2409 N. Hudson Ave.
I have a reputation for possessing a fairly finicky palette, and the one thing I’ve always loved about Cheever’s is its unwavering excellence. I never go without ordering the quinoa avocado salad and either the fish special or the tilapia. And if there’s anyone out there who has not attempted to vanquish the chocolate cake — I think we’d be hard-pressed to find you — it’s a must. Too full? Get it to go, and prepare to fight another day!
Mama Lou’s Restaurant
1427 SE 30th St. 670-1667
Situated right off of I-35, this southside diner is a gem. I prefer to frequent the eatery before noonish on Saturdays, but patrons can get their breakfast, lunch or dinner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The lights are never out. I get my regular two eggs basted on an English muffin, cottage cheese and sliced tomatoes. (OK, sometimes I get a side of fries when I have a hankerin’ for ketchup.) Mama Lou’s staff is uber attentive, and each has a coffee or tea fill-up or kind word to say when passing by your red-vinyl-upholstered booth. Recommendation: Ask for Cindy!
Saii Asian Bistro
6900 N. May Ave. #7B
Three words: sizzling stone pots. With my aforementioned finicky palette comes my own predictability. The fiery seafood and ginger garlic shrimp stone pots are tried-and-true favorites. But beware; you’re going to want to let it cool a bit. They’re called sizzling for good reason! I’d be remiss not to mention the Zen ambiance, which not only relaxes but leaves you forgetting you’re behind a storefront in the corner of a strip mall on N. May Avenue.