Quick Bites: Urban Belly satisfies with simple menu, big flavors
Posted: 09/17/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Marshall V. King
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Asian Squash and Bacon dumplings are on the menu at Urban Belly, 3053 N. California Ave., Chicago. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King)
A bowl of kimchi at Urban Belly, 3053 N. California Ave., Chicago, features summer squash. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King)
Urbanbelly Ramen has pork belly, shiitake mushrooms and a pho broth at Urban Belly in Chicago.
Truth Photo By Marshall V. King
At Urban Belly, the food was so rich I wasn't sure if I could finish what I ordered.
But it was so good. And I managed to find a way while at this small restaurant in a strip mall on Chicago's north side.
I'd been wanting to get there for a while. Former Goshen resident Andrew Gerber is a huge fan of chef/owner Bill Kim's restaurants. Urban Belly is on the Eater 38 list of Chicago's essential restaurants. Though the list is changing, it's my goal to get to as many as I can.
Urban Belly makes a fresh run at Asian dumplings and noodles. The result is rich flavors, with lots of umami. The restaurant has less than 20 dishes on the menu, but produces seasonal kimchi and a variety of soups and dumplings. The Ramen with pork belly, shiitake mushroom and a pho broth was full of deep, rich flavors. The Asian squash and bacon dumplings were delicate, yet had so much going in as the dish mixed textures and sweet and salty flavors.
The atmosphere is funky and cool and you eat at a communal table made from wood salvaged from old Indonesian ships, according to the restaurant's website.
I wanted one of everything.
And now I want to go back. The restaurant is at 3053 N. California Ave., Chicago.
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Marshall V. King is news and multimedia editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth/eTruth.com. You can reach him via email@example.com, 574-296-5805 or the Dining A La King Facebook page at www.facebook.com/diningalaking.