The Run Down

Young kids in daycare learn to make friends. But my guess is you're learning to do the same with other parents too. With that in mind, we've planned a casual playdate with your new parent friends. You'll pick up Cambodian fried chicken sandwiches and then take it down the street to a tap room that kind of looks like a daycare on Saturday afternoons.

1. Cambodian Fried Chicken @ Hermosa

2. Drinks @ Right Bee Cider

1. Hermosa

This is not your typical sandwich shop. During the day, a skeleton crew runs a casual, quick-service operation frying up their critically acclaimed Cambodian-inspired fried chicken sandwich. By night, their small space transforms into a private fine dining room serving a 7 – 8 course BYOB dinner.

Here are some logistics notes to keep in mind.

– Sandwich shop hours are from 11 am – 3 pm Monday – Saturday.

– Their fried chicken sandwiches are made-to-order, so it can take 15 minutes or so to come out. The easiest thing is to text ahead of time. Here’s their number. 312.588.6283

When you enter, only a tiny counter separates you from all the action in the kitchen. A chalkboard lists just a few items, but their fine dining bonafides are apparent in their daytime menu.

While our plans for this guide are to take everything to go, here’s a shot of their small dining room, which transforms into a private dining space at night.

If you haven’t had Cambodian food, Hermosa’s food is a good primer for the region’s flavors. At the heart of many Cambodian dishes is kroeung, an aromatic spice paste that forms the base of the cuisine. Made from grinding together ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, lime zest, garlic, and chilies, kroeung can be customized in countless ways, with each chef adding their own unique ingredients and techniques.

Their fried chicken sandwich is no exception. It’s marinated in kroeung, coated in rice flour, and deep-fried.  It’s then topped with pickled papaya salad mixed with Thai basil and mint. The result is this herbal and tangy punch balanced with a classic and crispy piece of fried chicken.

Add fries and garlic mayo to your order, and you’re set.  If your kid’s palate is still developing, you can also order just a fried chicken, which has a more familiar flavor profile but retains that Cambodian twist.


2. Right Bee Cider

After picking up food from Hermosa, take it a few blocks to Right Bee Cider, where you’ll hang out the rest of the afternoon.

Right Bee Cider has been in the neighborhood since 2016, occupying a small section of a large warehouse that spans an entire block.

If you’re here on a Saturday afternoon, the place is buzzing with parents and kids. That family-centric feel stems from the fact that the husband and wife team behind Right Bee, Charlie Davis and Katie Morgan, live right around the block and often work in the brewery and talk to customers with their kids right alongside.

Need more convincing of the family-friendly nature of the place? How about this lineup of sippy cups alongside a few beer glasses?

If your kids are a bit older, a table of games can keep the family occupied. Another big hit is the free popcorn machine next to the game table.

On a Saturday afternoon, the prime time for parents to shuffle in, I’d guess maybe one in three tables had kids. It’s sort of a relief to hang out in this type of spot and not have to stress about whether your kids might disturb other patrons because they inevitably will, but no one cares because everyone’s going through the same thing.