If you live in Bucktown you’ve probably walked past Sweet Rice a zillion times and didn’t think twice about it. It’s easy to miss, nestled underneath the Western Blue Line tracks. Don’t ignore it next time. Go in and be as impressed as I was.
I’ll admit that maybe the *perfect* not-too-cool not-too-hot breezy Chicago weather affected my impression of the place, but I absolutely loved this restaurant.
It has a total mom-and-pop vibe, but with a nice spacious patio. Fresh flowers everywhere. The food has a grandma home-cooked vibe to it. It felt like the cooks took extra care that the dishes were seasoned well and cooked to perfection. That being the case…the two dishes we tried were spectacular.
I ordered the Mussel Fritter because it was recommended by our server. It was unlike anything I’ve eaten. A little fishy, nice and salty, and the fritter itself was like a flaky pastry dough merged with a crepe. The sweet and spicy dipping sauce was a perfect accompaniment to the savory fritter. It was seriously good. I will absolutely be back for it and now having tried it, I’m surprised I don’t see this on the menu at more places.
The Beef Curry was stellar as well. The beef in the curry wasn’t the typical “take-out” beef that you get when you order on DoorDash or something. It was tender, large pieces of beef cooked perfectly and seasoned well. But what really made the curry stand out was the consistency and texture of the curry sauce. You know how sometimes you get a curry and it’s super watery, or on the flip side way-too-thick? This was the goldilocks of curry – neither too runny nor too thick. Nice and smooth consistency without even a touch of grainy-ness.
Sometimes I go to a restaurant and I think “I’ll come back here someday” and then I never go back. For Sweet Rice, not only am I going to go back, I’ve already told my friends about it. It’s a fantastic place that’s easy to miss if you aren’t in the know.