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Two Andersonville Restaurants Make Tribune’s Favorite Appetizers List

(Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune)

The main course is typically the star, but don’t forget the appetizers (especially at these two Andersonville restaurants).

The Chicago Tribune announced their 24 favorite appetizers at Chicago-area restaurants and Andersonville showed up on the list. In May, the news source worked through a myriad of the sometimes forgotten starters and pulled together the picks.

Big Jones, which shows up on just about every favorite list, does it again with their
Pimiento cheese. The often polarizing spread takes on a monumental come back with Hook’s aged Cheddar and homemade benne crackers that will begin your dining experience with some flavor.

The other restaurant may come to some as a surprise (but no surprise to local Andersonville residents). Taste of Lebanon made the list with their baba ganoush masterpiece. The low key and fancy-free atmosphere at this eatery is very misconceiving. These guys do Middle Eastern delights with the greatest of ease. It is hard to get baba ganoush perfect but they do seem to make it effortless. Every time.

To see the full list, Click Here. Below are the write-ups from the Chicago Tribune article:

Pimiento cheese at Big Jones

Pimiento cheese can be a polarizing dish, but at Big Jones, the spread is a staple among the appetizers, given that the restaurant and the dish share roots in Southern cuisine. You can almost taste that familiar history: Chef Paul Fehribach’s pimiento spread is smooth and subtly spiced, topped with a touch that actually comes from across the pond. A tomato piccalilli tops the spread, giving it a vibrant hit of acid and welcome finishing flavor. I finished the picalilli on its own, with a spoon. The pimiento is the familiar you know (and maybe love), while the pickled tomatoes are what you never knew it needed. The dish also comes with sourdough slices on which to smear, made in-house and equally delicious. $7. 5347 N Clark St., 773-275-5725, bigjoneschicago.com

— Adam Lukach

Baba ganoush at Taste of Lebanon

Pity poor baba ganoush. Its popularity pales compared to Middle Eastern dip sibling hummus – but is arguably just as tasty and approachable when done well. Andersonville’s legendary Taste of Lebanon knows how to do baba ganoush well (hummus, too), even if it’s nothing fancy, arriving on a basic white Styrofoam plate with a pool of olive oil in its center and a sprinkling of chile pepper. It’s smoky, creamy and hearty in eggplant’s rustic way. It also splendidly accents any sandwich from the menu. (My 4-year-old and I gleefully dipped our chicken shawarma wraps in our plate of baba.) Available as a side dish, in a wrap of its own or as part of one of two veggie combos. $5.19 for the appetizer. 1509 W. Foster Ave., 773-334-1600.

— Josh Noel


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