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Bub City is Overmatched; Rickshaw Republic Delights

Bub City
Bub City
Photo: Barry Brecheisen

Bub City is a mediocre entry in the city's ever-expanding barbeque scene. Sliced brisket is "dry and almost smokeless" unlike Smoque; the crust on the St. Louis ribs is "soggy" and they're "not the addictive molasses-lacquered meat candy" that Brand BBQ used to serve; and hot links have "very little chili bite" like the ones at Uncle John's. Similarly, spicy fried chicken's crust also suffers from "sogginess," fried pickles are "heavy" and clam "yella-bellies'" flesh is "flavorless." When it comes down to it, Michael Nagrant thinks "there are so many better local options" for barbeque. [Sun-Times]

Indonesian cuisine may be scarce in Chicago, but Rickshaw Republic represents it well according to Julia Kramer. Batagor, deep fried balls of ground shrimp and fish stuffed in tofu, have an "unexpected, and unexpectedly pleasurable, springiness," while nasi lemak is a "pretty subtle dish" of fluffy coconut rice with slices of omelette, fried anchovies and curry chicken or coconut-braised beef. But perhaps one of the best items on the menu are the Asian-style wings, a "beast" that's twice-fried so hard the skin "crackles off like Rice Krispies" and glazed in a gingery, chili-backed soy sauce. Desserts like the es doger, jackfruit shaved ice, are "petite, delightful, refreshing treats," and in the end Kramer appreciates the restaurant because "there is just so much here to like." [TOC]

Mike Sula also agrees on Rickshaw Republic, calling it "one of the more unique and special places in town." Cold egg noodles with a deep-fried fish cake and hard-cooked egg in a bowl of dark, chiled vinegar broth have a "mix of springy, snappy textures and contrasting temperatures" that will "capture and hold your attention," and "delicate, crisp" crepe pockets called martabak are filled with egg, ground beef, and onion. The nasi lemak pairs chicken curry or beef rendang with a "perfect cone" of coconut-milk-saturated rice for a customizable bite while the batagor are "delicious, but heavy and rich." For dessert, there's a "refreshing" pink rose-syrup slush layered with soft coconut, jackfruit and cassava noodles. [Reader]

Ravioli Oli's fresh pastas out in Oak Brook put it "in a class by itself." The pasta is "tender" and "light, light, light," while Susan Stark starts with a "tasty" chicken tortellini soup with "solid" chicken stock and a "smooth, not-too-salty finish." Ravioli stuffed with marinated artichoke hearts with a thyme-infused brown butter sauce make for a "delicious dish," as do the "stellar combination" of "light, earthy, billowy pillows" filled with Portobello mushrooms and served with Alfredo sauce that are "oh, so delizioso." Lastly, meal-ending salted caramel gelato with chocolate sauce is "subtle" and "creamy with the slightly burned sugar depth of the most delicate caramels." [Daily Herald]

Bub City

435 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 610-4200 Visit Website