My favorite new carryout: Oak Park’s Pink Garlic

While it’s been wonderful to be back safely eating inside restaurants this year as indoor dining returns to “normal,” carryout is still a huge part of enjoying local flavors and neighborhood favorites. 

Once you’re sick of Thanksgiving leftovers, I have to suggest a meal from Oak Park’s Pink Garlic, a very new carryout-only restaurant at 11 Mile and Coolidge. There are more than 100 items on the menu to try, but I keep returning to the generous serving of creamy butter chicken over lightly seasoned basmati rice. 

There’s a reason that the phone is always ringing when I come in, and a pick up during weekday dinner time can take 40 minutes to an hour. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to call in your order. Because Pink Garlic makes everything fresh to order and because it’s a popular new place with quality food and friendly service, there is often a

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Noodle House brings a taste of home all the way from Vietnam to Ardmore

Beef Pho at Noodle House 12 -- before sauce and garnishes.

Beef Pho at Noodle House 12 — before sauce and garnishes.

With a history as rich as the broth it is known for, pho comes from mid-1880s cuisine in Northern Vietnam by way of Chinese and French influences. Primarily made with rice noodles and spices popular of the period in China, the slow-cooked soup took hold in Vietnam as French cuisine popularized eating red meat.

For Ly Hoa, bringing those historical and cultural influences to life in Ardmore is a dream come true. “It’s really important for a community to have diversity,” she said. Hoa is the descendant of many generations of pho and coffee shopkeepers from her home country of Vietnam. Her food, she said, is not simply influenced by Vietnamese cuisine and culture. “This IS my culture,” Hoa said.

Ly Hoa and her husband, Rick, preparing pho for serving at Noodle House 12.

Ly Hoa and her husband, Rick, preparing pho for serving at Noodle House 12.

The authenticity of the

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Restaurant Review: Cha Kee in Manhattan’s Chinatown

All good New Yorkers know that Lower Manhattan would lose a piece of its identity if Chinese businesses disappeared from Chinatown. In Little Italy, when the Italian Americans moved away, real estate brokers scrubbed one part of the area of its ethnic identity by renaming it NoLIta. If this tactic is successful a few blocks south, we could see apartment listings on Doyers and Pell Streets advertising their prime location in the heart of SoChiTo.

Walk around the neighborhood on any given day, and this scenario won’t seem as far-fetched as it should be. Chinatown started to empty out almost two years ago, when Covid-19 was still a rumor in New York City but a poisonous anti-Asian mood was rising, and it is still not packed the way it used to be. The tourists the area depends on still haven’t returned in force. And for the past few years,

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