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19 Chicago area eateries make Great Neighborhood Restaurants list

Great Neighborhood Restaurants’s 21 Great Neighborhood Restaurants and Resources:

• Anteprima, 5316 N. Clark

• Aroy Thai, 4654 N. Damen

• Art of Pizza, 3033 N. Ashland

• Avli Estiatorio, 566 Chestnut, Winnetka

• Big Little’s, 939 N. Orleans

• The Bristol, 2152 N. Damen

• Carniceria y Taqueria Tierra Caliente, 1402 N. Ashland

• D’Candela, 4053 N. Kedzie

• Edzo’s, 1571 Sherman, Evanston

• Great Sea, 3254 W. Lawrence

• Italian Superior Bakery, 931-33 S. Western

• Kabul House, 4949 W. Oakton, Skokie

• Lincoln’s O, 2813 Highway Ave., Highland, Ind.

• Mr. D’s Shish-Kabobs, 6656 W. Diversey

• The Purple Pig, 500 N. Michigan

• Ream’s Elburn Market, 128 N. Main, Elburn

• Three Floyd’s Brewery, 9750 Indiana Pkwy., Munster, Ind.

• Toons, 3857 N. Southport

• The Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee

• Xoco, 449 N. Clark

• Zenwich, 416B N. York, Elmhurst

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods — and great neighborhood restaurants.

And every year,, the Chicago-based chat site for food lovers, votes on the restaurants it feels are the city’s greatest.

The group on Tuesday announced its sixth annual list of Great Neighborhood Restaurants. There are 19 in all, which, in typical LTHForum fashion, skew toward the hole-in-the-wall taquerias, mom-and-pop Thai and out-of-the-way lunch counters.

Which might make two other picks — Xoco and the Purple Pig, owned by two of Chicago’s most recognizable chefs, Rick Bayless and Jimmy Bannos, respectively — a little surprising to some, says LTHForum moderator Ron Kaplan.

“Typically, our results have always been a little more offbeat,” Kaplan says.

The group’s verdict on the Purple Pig, 500 N. Michigan: “Yeah, yeah, it’s a bit of a celebrity spot, but it delivers. And not just the pork products — the vegetables are delicious, too. Really, we wanted to hate it, but it is too good.”

LTHForum doesn’t limit its search to within the city limits. Avli Estiatorio, a Greek restaurant in Winnetka; Kabul House, a BYO-Afghan joint in Skokie; Zenwich in Elmhurst, serving Asian-inspired sandwiches, and Lincoln’s O in Highland, Ind., a “trip back in sandwich time,” also made the list.

So what makes a Great Neighborhood Restaurant?

“Walking into a place where you know the proprietor is always or almost always there, and takes pride in what they’re doing and enjoys seeing you enjoy the food,” Kaplan says. “They love feeding people.”

Edzo’s Burger Shop in Evanston, another suburban pick, embodies this spirit, Kaplan says. At Edzo’s, you can have your burger grilled or griddled and choose from 10 milkshake flavors and as many fry options, including “old fries,” which are overcooked — on purpose — so they’re crunchy. Owner Eddie Lakin is “completely woven into the fabric of LTH,” Kaplan says.

“It’s a big deal,” Lakin says. “I love the GNRs because I use them as a customer as well . . . They have good taste.”

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