At our last adventure, a few members of the BSD Postdoctoral Association Social Committee had the pleasure of going to the first Hyde Park Restaurant Crawl hosted by the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce (HPCC). So impressed were we with the food, we jumped at the opportunity to go again when the second crawl was announced. This time we were accompanied by postdoc, Wenqi Yu, for her first social meet up with the Postdoctoral Association.
After arriving, we had the chance to talk with HPCC’s Executive Director, Mr. Wallace E. Goode, Jr. and staff. I was particularly delighted to find out that I was the first person to sign up for the second crawl. Once we checked in, we received a map of all the 8 local businesses participating: Cafe 53, Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen, Hyde Park Produce Market, Kimbark Beverage Shoppe, The Sit Down Cafe, Shinju Sushi, Yusho and ZBerry.
Across from the registration area was Yusho so we decided to go there first. This was a new addition to the 53rd street restaurants and I was highly anticipating what I would get there. We were told to go to a side window to pick up our soft serve ice cream. Luckily, the weather was cooperative this crawl and we looked forward to the cool treat. The ice cream was very flavorful and reminded me of a popular cinnamon based cereal.
Eating our fill, we decided to go to Kimbark Beverage Shoppe next. This was a welcome addition because one of the problems we had at the previous crawl was the lack of drinks available after eating all of the good food. There, we grabbed a mocktail to quench our thirst.
From there, we proceeded outside to Hyde Park Produce and were greeted warmly by the staff. They suggested that we try a little sauerkraut on our Boar’s Head hot dog. We never thought of trying that combination on a hot dog and we were glad we did. The combination complemented each other nicely. We topped that off with a big fruit cup filled with watermelon, kiwi fruit, grapes, oranges, and more.
While the first restaurant crawl was filled with delicious food, it took us while to get full but this time around no one was holding back and gave us very satisfying portions. Despite the filling dilemma, we continued our trek to the next restaurant which was The Sit Down Cafe. We were greeted and allowed to sit down at a table. The atmosphere was really nice and the presentation of the food was really good. Once again, the portions were very generous with our Asian salad and spicy crab rolls.
Our next restaurant stop was Zberry. This place I was looking forward to because a woman we met at the first crawl was the owner and she had informed us that she would be participating in this second crawl. We were not disappointed as we tried samples of their selected frozen yogurt to see which flavor we liked the best. We also had the option of picking a swirl of two flavors for our sample cup. Although we did not have it on our sample, we saw several customers come in and put on multiple toppings that looked delicious. It was really good and it’s a nice place to stop by after lab or work to get a tasty froyo treat.
The second to last destination was Shinju Sushi. Although the place was a little crowded, we were greeted warmly by the staff. Luckily for us, the rolls were already prepared for us to eat. Not only did they have for us the California roll sample and the vegetable maki roll sample but they also gave us a nigiri piece and seaweed salad on the side. The most appealing part of this restaurant is that it offers an all you can eat buffet for lunch and dinner. So any postdocs that want to gorge themselves on sushi but don’t want to travel too far from campus, this would be the place to go.
Our final destination was Cafe 53. When we got to the counter we ordered our food and was told to go to the back patio. This would have been fine but it was pitch black outside. The other food crawlers had a great sense of humor and turned on their cell phones so that we could see the available tables. Despite a wait, when the corned beef panini came out it complimented the outdoorsy feel of the situation. We joked how it was like dining under starlight at a camping site.