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Hema's Kitchen is coming to Lincoln Park


Fresser
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Schlepping to Devon Avenue on Chicago's North Side is always a treat for me, as I grew up in the neighborhood only two blocks from Rabbi Ribeye. But tonight was extra special, as Girlie Girl joined me at Hema's Kitchen, a favorite of curry-loving Heartlanders.

While Girlie Girl and I munched on samosas & tandoori chicken, the ever-gracious Hema kissed us both hello and told us that's she's opening another branch of Hema's Kitchen: this one will be at Lincoln and Fullerton in the Lincoln Park 'hood of Chicago. Frankly, I'm thrilled to see that Hema, after starting with a hole-in-the-wall-sized restaurant, has expanded her first site and already is opening another. With her grandmotherly demeanor, roving munchkins (read: kids) and savory, inexpensive food, Hema's Kitchen should pack them in at her new site.

Details to come...

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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I actually ate at Hema's last night for the first time! I thought that pretty much everything we had was very good. I do have one complaint though. And it's a big one. I ordered the Vindaloo and was a little upset when I tasted it (expecting to get my head blown off and to break into a hot sweat) and found that it packed no heat at all! Needing a second opinion, I pretty much forced my SO (who cannot deal with food which is in any way hot) to summon up the courage to try it, and even she agreed that it simply wasn't hot or even spicy in the least!

What's that all about? Do you have to ask for it to be made hot? This seems a little silly, especially as the menu specifically mentions that it is 'very hot'. I dunno. Maybe it's simply not the thing to order there. Shame, I was looking forward to having a nice vindaloo as it's the kind of thing I only feel like maybe once a year or so and I'd heard that Hema's was the best place in Chicago to get one :sad: . I guess I'll try elsewhere and return to Hema's for other dishes.

Edited by VeryApe77 (log)
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Thanks for the reconnaissance Fresser. I've never been to Hema's but that's likely to change in the very near future. So many Heartanders speak very highly of it.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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:cool:

Hema and her crew will cook to order for you, VeryApe: any kind of heat you wish, from pleasant buzz all the way to clean-your-clock hot. I don't recall the vindaloos there as a huge challenge either -- I bet they'll prepare one to your taste if you ask, though.

:cool:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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... I ordered the Vindaloo and was a little upset when I tasted it (expecting to get my head blown off and to break into a hot sweat) and found that it packed no heat at all! Needing a second opinion, I pretty much forced my SO (who cannot deal with food which is in any way hot) to summon up the courage to try it, and even she agreed that it simply wasn't hot or even spicy in the least! ...

IMHO, one of the best, and also the hottest, vindaloo on the strip can be found at:

Gandhi India Restaurant

2601 W. Devon Ave.

773 761 8714.

It's located right on the corner and looks like a dive, but don't be fooled. The food is tasty and inexpensive.

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Good to hear about Hema's expansion. I have had a number of excellent meals there, but I wouldn't place it as the best Indian food in Chicago. I do like the "atmosphere," though, on more than a few visits the "roving kids" as mentioned by fresser have served as waiters.

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Love Hema's but she again picks a place where parking is a nightmare.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

Hema's Kitchen II is now open for business (or so says Metromix).

Their location is at 2411 N. Clark Street, with the hours of Noon-9:30 p.m. daily.

Second location for Hema's Kitchen, the popular Devon Street staple run by the matronly Hema Potla and her daughter. The menu is exactly the same as the original, but with a slightly bigger kitchen and slightly smaller dining room, perhaps the long waits people have come to expect at the often-crowded first location will be eased. Look for favorites including buna gosh, lamb sautéed with fresh peppers, onions, curry leaves and black pepper; and curried fish with tamarind.
I smell another Heartland gathering. :wink:
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Good to hear about Hema's expansion. I have had a number of excellent meals there, but I wouldn't place it as the best Indian food in Chicago. I do like the "atmosphere," though, on more than a few visits the "roving kids" as mentioned by fresser have served as waiters.

i'd love to get your recommendations on where the best indian food in chicago is! hema's really hit the spot for me, so i'd love to know about more places.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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:wink:

Gandhi India (another good 'un, yellow truffle!), noted above, is good fun, and another place you might enjoy (or at least I have) is Tiffin, along the same strip on Devon, at 2536, I believe.

:cool:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Ditto that - we haven't been to Hema's yet and somehow I don't feel it would be right to go without some of y'all along.

Of course, that didn't stop me from invoking the name when someone in sanitation class asked if there were any good Indian places in Chicago. (She just moved here last Thursday. She'll learn. :) )

--adoxograph

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i am here until the end of july.....i really would love to meet people. if it's not too big a group we could do a curry crawl around devon? not sure how logistically do-able it is.

i went on a chaat crawl in bangalore earlier this year. my oh my, pani puri streetside. now that's what i call street food.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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As many of you had suggested, I decided to head on down to Hema's once I had heard that she had opened a place near me. The spot is a nice one, bunched up in the middle of Clark street's many little restaurants and shops however, the gigantic orange Hema's sign means you can't miss it.

Inside is somewhat barren, carpeted floors, small tables, nicely spaced, looks just like it should be as it started as a hole in the wall place. Though it was only five thirty, the place was half full and by the time I'd left it was nearly full. I could already tell that there were many Hema fans that came bounding to her new spot as I heard "on Devon" many times from a bunch of the carry out folks.

I ordered the shrimp vindaloo, a side of rice, and an order of poori. Slight, yes, but I just wanted to get a nice feel of the place. The poori came light, airy, and still hot. The side of basmati had hints of clove to go along with the already aromatic basmati and the vindaloo was nice and fiery. VeryApe had complained about the lack of spiciness, but I found this to be extremely spicy. Maybe someone had forgotten the spice in yours? haha. The use of coriander leaves was very apparent. Everything complimented each other well. The menu is authentic and extensive. I will be back. The price was decent, 22 including tax and tip and the portions were just right.

Nice place. Hema's got my stamp.

Though it probably doesn't matter if she had it anyways.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm afraid i didn't have a great experience at the new hema's kitchen on sunday night.

The service was stretched beyond breaking point. I stood and waited for 25 minutes for a table but I wouldn't have minded except there were six tables free, they just had dirty plates on them. My appetiser arrived without cutlery, but as it was luke warm that wasn't a problem, still no cutlery when my prawn vindaloo arrived (this time actually better than before with bigger prawns) Another solo diner arrived and sat for about 15 minutes before he was told that they were closed.

I hope these are teething problems. It was painful watching the guys try to cope. I was almost tempted to give them a hand clearing plates at one point. I'm not sure the food is good enough to see them through if they don't get this sorted.

I will go back, but I'll wait a while. Or maybe go back to the one on Devon.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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  • 8 months later...

Hey all,

My friend and I are tossing around ideas for a Sunday evening meal in Chicago . . . Hema's came up.

I love the Western & Devon location. What's the deal with Lincoln Park? Same quality? Same prices? Mama Hema walking around spreading her benediction over the food? BYO?

Anyone out there in the next few hours, let me know.

Thanks :biggrin:

Also, if anyone knows of a nice sloppy and delicious rib joint, that'd work too. We haven't quite narrowed down our genre yet :laugh:

Noise is music. All else is food.

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I will go back, but I'll wait a while. Or maybe go back to the one on Devon.

Sadly, I think the one on Devon has slipped now that Hema has opened her new location. I have not tried the new spot in Lincoln Park because I am up north, but her original location (which is now run mostly by her daughter) is not that good anymore. :sad:

Hopefully, they are just working out the kinks of having two locations. I will probably give it another go in a couple months.

S. Cue

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Hey all,

My friend and I are tossing around ideas for a Sunday evening meal in Chicago . . . Hema's came up. 

I love the Western & Devon location.  What's the deal with Lincoln Park?  Same quality?  Same prices?  Mama Hema walking around spreading her benediction over the food?  BYO?

Anyone out there in the next few hours, let me know.

Thanks  :biggrin:

Also, if anyone knows of a nice sloppy and delicious rib joint, that'd work too.  We haven't quite narrowed down our genre yet  :laugh:

Higher prices, worse food. Been there a couple of times (good friend lives down the road) and never had anything that even comes close to the original Hema's. And this is coming from someone that thinks the original Hema's is way overrated!

PS. Just saw you needed this info yesterday....sorry!

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