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Chicago Food Writers' Most Disappointing Meals of 2016

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As 2016 fades into 2017, Eater surveyed a group of critics, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from Top Standbys to Top Newcomers, from Best Meals to Saddest Closures. All answers will be revealed—cut, pasted, unedited and unadulterated—by the time we pop the cork on 2017.

Some people weren't happy with Mahalo
Some people weren't happy with Mahalo
Barry Brecheisen

What was your most disappointing meal of 2016?

Morgan Olsen, RedEyeMahalo. I was really bummed to see predecessor Bom Bolla shutter last year, and this opening didn’t fill the big cava-filled shoes left behind.

Elizabeth Atkinson, Time Out Chicago: Duck Duck Goat.

Anthony Todd, Chicagoist: Probably the expensive, tasteless mess I had at the revamped Ocean Cut (Formerly C Chicago). It felt like I was piling onto an already defeated restaurant, but it's still, somehow, a packed downtown power joint. The food was bad, the service was bad, and the whole thing was unbelievably expensive.

Chandra Ram, Plate: Each and every meal that began with a server explaining the concept of small plates to me as though I was an idiot from another planet who had never been in a restaurant before.

Michael Nagrant, RedEye: Myron Mixon’s Smoke Show. It was more like Myron Mixon’s Sh!t Show. I totally respect Myron Mixon. He’s the Michael Jordan of BBQ. But, like Jordan going to play baseball for the Sox, Mixon opening a restaurant was a total failure. Except for the ribs, everything else was mushy or dry and felt like it had been sitting around since the Cubs World Series win of 1908.

Lisa Shames, CS: I can't seem to remember a specific one. Maybe it's my sunny Southern California upbringing that makes me forget the bad ones.

Matt Kirouac, Zagat: The food at SPiN is about as disappointing as Susan Sarandon's ridiculous politics. But I suppose most people aren't going there expecting anything revelatory.

Penny Pollack, Chicago magazine: Bad Hunter. I love the idea, but the kitchen needs to calm down.

Michael Gebert, Fooditor: If Imperial Lamian has a time when it's really on, it's not Monday at 9:30 p.m. after a Between Bites show.

Chris LaMorte, UrbanDaddy: n/a.

Bom Bolla

1501 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (773) 698-6601 Visit Website

Duck Duck Goat

857 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 902-3825 Visit Website

Myron Mixon's Smoke Show

3801 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626 (773) 360-1452 Visit Website

C Chicago

20 W Kinzie, Chicago, IL (312) 280-8882


1321 E 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637 (312) 219-6544 Visit Website

SPin Ping Pong

344 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654 (773) 635-9999 Visit Website

Bad Hunter

802 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 265-1745 Visit Website

Imperial Lamian

6 West Hubbard Street, , IL 60654 (312) 595-9440 Visit Website


1501 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60622 (708) 328-3091 Visit Website

Ocean Cut

20 West Kinsey, Chicago, IL 60654