CHICAGO (WLS) -- The last year has seen a lot of new food halls open around Chicago, and our Hungry Hound says the latest takes its cue from the pages of a local, online magazine. More than a dozen of the city's best chefs are up-and-running in Fulton Market.
Aside from the speculation that whomever agrees to operate a kiosk inside the new Time Out-branded food hall will be more likely to get covered in the pages of its magazine, the curators have done a pretty amazing job of assembling an all-star lineup of local talent. From Mexican, Vietnamese and fried chicken, to even popsicles and pastries. There's a lot to like, but making decisions will be fraught with what I like to call "choice paralysis."
It's hard enough running a successful restaurant, but for many of the vendors inside the new spacious Time Out Market on West Fulton, they've all agreed having a second location in this neighborhood was worth the effort.
"I really wanted to come back to this area and give the guests my take, or my style of Vietnamese cuisine, so it's literally what I do at HaiSous and CaPhe and really just a hybrid of it," said Thai Dang, Owner of HaiSous, and its sister property, Ca Phe Da in Pislen.
"We fry our own shallot, we fry our own garlic, it's taking our team and talent back at home base I call it, and getting them to really produce high-quality food for the guests here," he said.
Dang takes pride in what he prepares, from elaborate salads to hearty main dishes, and even a chicken wing inspired by his travels.
"We literally wrap it in sticky rice, the whole wing, and then fry it, so it's like crispy on the outside and sticky on the inside with the rice. Kind of like street food but more elevated a bit," said Dang.
The same could be said at Dos Urban Cantina. With a restaurant in Logan Square, the owners wanted to expand into the growing neighborhood closer to downtown.
"Honestly, it's been kind of a low to minimal financial risk for us, so it's much safer than opening a restaurant ourselves," said Chef/Owner Brian Enyart.
Similar stories for Chefs like Zoe Schorr from Split-Rail, whose focusing on fried chicken; Purple Pig and paninis, and Bridgeport's Kevin Hickey. As owner of the Duck Inn there, he's brought along Duck Inn Dogs, where they take the hot dog and other encased meats to new levels of execution, as they do at his other stand - Decent Beef.
"We sought out an all-natural, antibiotic-free prime rib; slow roast that overnight. We wanted to go with the best bread we could find, which is definitely D'Amato's on Grand. We worked to create our own giardiniera that's made for us; fresh peppers. Just a really, strong, flavorful broth," said Hickey.
A next-level Italian beef, to be sure, even if they do offer cheese. But Hickey said to get into a space like this, with its associated minimal costs, seems like a pretty good gamble in 2020.
"I don't know if we're profitable right out of the gate, but it's definitely an attractive business proposal," said Hickey.
In Steve's Extra Course Video, he checks out all four of the sweet options in the food hall.
Time Out Market
916 W. Fulton Mkt.