Chicago Relocation

A Day Discovering Argyle:

October 12, 2008

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Being a devotee of Asian food and cooking, I have heard that Chicago’s Argyle Street offers visitors a taste of Vietnam. So, on a rainy Saturday, I donned my Wellies and headed out. Armed with my recipe for Pork Vermicelli Rice Bowls, I thought that I would pick up my supplies at one of the area’s well known Asian food markets.

My first stop was at Patisserie P., where word on the street is that this bakery’s chocolate croissants will give true Parisian cafes a run for their money! I walked in and was immediately greeted by Peter Yeun, the owner who is a world renowned chef trained here in Chicago at the French Pastry School. I decided to try one of the chocolate croissants, and after indulging, I can say that it was the best that I have ever had!

My next stop was to Tai Nam, an Asian grocery directly across the street. There, I scooped up all my ingredients for dinner which included fresh sugarcane and the exotic Gangala root. After a few hours of exploring the market, I was ready for lunch. I wandered down the street peering in the many gift shop windows and along the way,  I came upon “The Roots of Argyle Mural.” A masterful work of art completed in 2006, this mural chronicles the people and industries that have impacted and shaped the community surrounding Argyle. Strolling further, I ended up at Baile, a French influenced Vietnamese sandwich shop where I was introduced to a pork “Po’boy.” The sandwich is a take on the New Orleans favorite but with the additions of pickled carrots and cilantro. As unconventional as it sounds, I gave it a try and it was outstanding!

After my afternoon on Argyle, I came away with a new perspective. I realized that Chicago has even more to offer than I ever expected-you just need to get out there and explore.