The young are so helpful. Chow, Baby’s teenage nieces, for example, are always willing to point out how uncool and out of touch I am. Sadly, instead of sending me to the latest chic dive, their comments only drove me deeper into comfort-food territory.
Actually, it was hip territory. The Near Southside has become the it place to eat in this town, with new restaurants opening all the time. As good as some of the newbies are, though, nothing has come along to replace the Old Neighborhood Grill (1633 Park Place Ave.). The mom-and-pop eatery just keeps pumping out great comfort food at reasonable prices to scores of regulars. It fills the same niche as The Paris Coffee Shop (700 W. Magnolia Ave.), but the Grill’s menu is head and shoulders above that of Paris.
The place is set in an unremarkable line of shops on the less trendy side of the ’hood. A sign out front simply reads “Eat” — wonderful understatement, so post-postmodern. Inside, the atmosphere is homey and comfortable, with red brick walls and family photos — but in, you know, an ironic way.