Sunday, February 6, 2011

Urban Belly

 Urban Belly
3053 N California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

My wife and I made it to Urban Belly on Friday night for the first time. We drove past it a few weeks ago after a trip to Hot Doug's and my wife had been pushing me to go ever since. Urban Belly, along with it's sister restaurant Belly Shack (under the Western Blue Line Stop), both won Michelin Bib Gourmand awards as highly quality affordable restaurants.

My wife and I split the #3 (Asian Squash and Bacon) & #5 (Pork & Cilantro) dumplings. Both were very good. The squash and bacon dumplings also featured a strong citrus flavor and were refreshing and sweet. The pork dumplings were really like "pot stickers"...but good.

We then had the #12 (Urbanbelly Ramen: Pork Belly, Shitake, and Pho Broth) which was a big bowl full of ramen noodles and pork belly. Pretty good, but not as good as the dumplings.

We both thought our food was good, but for $33 (food only, service is via counter so there is little tip and since it's BYOB, no drinks) we thought it was a little pricey for what you get and we wouldn't put it in our rotation of dinner spots. Then again, I would come back here any day versus wasting my time and money at a PF Changs or Big Bowl.

Urbanbelly is a very unassuming place, (sitting in an Avondale stripmall next to a Laundromat), but offers good service and interesting food. It's worth your time if you're in the mood for some really good dumplings.

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