The Bliss List: 2008

posted on January 2, 2009 at 6:09 am
I have a hard time narrowing down the “best” restaurants of 2008. Moderation has never been my strong suit. While there are plenty of new places that opened over the past year, my favorites are the eating spots (both old and new) that kept me coming back again and again. Here are my 30 favorite bits and bites from 2008 in no particular order:
The Bliss List: 2008
1) The Korean gluttony at Honey Pig2) The wings at Jamal’s Buffalo Wings; 3) Freshly-fried churros at La Churreria; 4) Chef Liu’s new menu at Tasty China5) Pristine sushi and just plain awesome homestyle dishes at Sushi House Hayakawa6) The burger, drinks, folks and everything else at Holeman and Finch Public House; 7) Weekend tacos at Chicago Supermarket; 8) New York-style pizza at Verra-Zanno Pizzeria; 9) Korean BBQ and bibimbap at Hanil Kwan; 10) The massive and delicious sandwiches at Muss and Turners; 11) The fried green tomato BLT at Parish Market; 12) The fruit cups, paletas and pressed sandwiches at Lottafrutta; 13) A dirty martini and ground-to-order ribeye burger at Kevin Rathbun Steak; 14) The fried pies at the Chick-fil-A Dwarf House; 15) A hot dog and freshly made sweet onion rings at Barker’s Red Hots; 16) Kamal Grant’s craveable doughnut creations at Sublime Doughnuts; 17) Chef Bruce Logue’s La Pietra Cucina; 18) The meat pies at Australian Bakery & Cafe; 19) Anything with barbecue at Ming’s; 20) The comforting cuisine of Cakes & Ale; 21) A big greasy cheesesteak at Roys’ Cheesesteaks; 22) Shabu Shabu at Nakato23) Bagels, breads and more at H&F Bread Company; 24) The yakitori and ramen at Yakitori Jinbei; 25) The dan-dan noodles and fish with tofu at Cafe 101;  26) The consistently good Italian cuisine at Sotto Sotto; 27) The classics at Canton Cooks; 28) The gorgeous Indian vegetarian fare at Udipi Cafe; 29) Afternoon tea at Park 75 Terrace and Lounge; 30) Tlayudas, tacos and more at Taqueria Oaxaqueña

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  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: brady Lowe · January 2, 2009  8:47 AM

    Nice list and Happy New Year BG!!!
    What happened to Tasty China???
    I wish you the best swine and wine in 0-9.

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: Leah · January 2, 2009  8:56 AM

    fantastic list! im pretty sure the name of the chef at sublime doughnuts is Kamal.

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · January 2, 2009  9:04 AM

    Brady: Happy New Year to you to. Hope you are well. tasty China is on the list. There was a chef change a while back and it has been reborn.

    Leah: Thanks. I know his name is Kamal. I actually got the sweetest note from him the other day thanking me for my piece in Creative Loafing. Ah, the perils of working on too much at the same time and not having an editor!

    Happy New Year!

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: biskuit · January 8, 2009  5:13 AM

    Good list, I can’t believe I’ve only been to 5 out of 30! Lots of catching up to do.

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: Anonymous · January 14, 2009  7:01 AM

    In you opinion what makes the dan-dan noodles at Cafe 101 superior to say Manchunhong, Chong Qing Hot Pot, or Tasty China? Personally, I wish they’d put the garlic, chili’s and all the other goodies on top of the noodles rather than on the bottom of the bowl.

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · January 14, 2009  7:10 AM

    I have not had the dan-dan at any those places except Tasty China so I can’t give you a fully comparison. But I can tell you what I like about Cafe 101.
    Their noodles are chewier and thicker versus the skinnier versions you get at other places. I also like the addition of crunchy veggies and the subtle flavor of the sauce, which is just oily enough without being greasy. And I don’t mind that they place the sauce at the bottom of the bowl. Most dan-dan are meant to be tossed. Hope that helps!

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: Christina · January 15, 2009  11:08 AM

    I went to Barker’s Red Hots, cause it was mentioned on this site. This place is amazing. The dog was fantastic and of course the onion rings are perfect. It was pretty busy, but like everyone else, i went on lunch break. Even the loganberry was great. Im not a big juice fan, but i loved it. Thanks for the recommendation. Next up outing is going to be Muss and Turners.

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: Anonymous · January 19, 2009  8:02 AM

    Great list.
    I live half the time in Miami. Do you know of any blogs similar to yours for this area?

  • Re: The Bliss List: 2008
    posted by: Anonymous · April 22, 2009  1:43 PM

    I am not sure how Shaun’s isnt on this list. It is the most consistent, tasty meal in town. And their burger trumps just about all others…and I have had all others.

    Without Shaun’s this list lacks credibility.

    By the way, your love of all things Linton Hopkins is a bit much…I like their food but I am just saying…

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