Put down the pho spoon and save the banh mi for another day. Follow the lead of three chefs, and taste the Argyle area’s unsung treasures.
Thai Pastry’s Pork Shank: Erling Wu-Bower of Avec turned us onto this Thai restaurant’s whole, skin-on pork shank ($11), braised until the meat slips from the bone. It’s finished in the oven to order, so expect to wait at least half an hour for the flavorful shank--served with sweet, fragrant star anise broth--to appear on the table. 4925 Unit E. N. Broadway; 773-784-5399 or thaipastry.com
Tank Noodle’s Clay Pot Catfish: Kristine Subido of Pecking Order ranks this steaming pot of catfish and scallions ($15), in a savory fish sauce caramel, high among her comfort-food favorites. 4953 N. Broadway; 773-878-2253 or tank-noodle.com
Hon Kee’s Congee with Pork and Preserved Egg: Another Subido recommendation, we thought this supremely comforting bowl of savory rice porridge ($5) was best with extra scallions and a drizzle of soy sauce and chile oil. 1064 W. Argyle St.; 773-878-6650
Patisserie P’s Custard Buns: “That is my favorite pastry of all time,” says Ryan Poli of Tavernita and Little Market. Don’t bother trying the bun ($2) room temperature: Heat it in the oven for five minutes (or ask the bakery to do it if you want to eat on-site), and prepare to swoon. 1050 W. Argyle St.; 773-878-3226 or lapatisseriep.com