Politan Row ( 111 N. Aberdeen St.; chicago.PolitanRow.com ) is not your average food hallin terms of offerings or mission.
Politan Row ( which has affiliated sites in Houston, New Orleans and Miami ) is a chef-driven concept with a variety of intriguing vendors/menu itemsbut with the purpose of helping said chefs to eventually have their own brick-and-mortar establishments.
General Manager Rob Larcom told Windy City Times that Politan Row aims to "build a stage for [the vendors] to perform." Continuing along that line, he added that while other food halls may stage a "greatest hits" concept ( with chefs who are already established ), Politan Row is more like "an indie album," with people trying to succeed.
In addition, this hall is unique in its interactions with the neighborhood ( and the general public ), with various groups and people able to rent space for meetings and other events. A nice selection of games ranging from Big Boggle to checkers adds to the laid-back vibe.
But since this is a food column, let's discuss the culinary offeringswith everything we tasted being delicious. The pork-belly bowl from PIKO Street Kitchen was delicious, and Loud Mouth's lobster-and-bacon panini was probably my favorite itema delectable sandwich that was packed with seafood. And LaShuk Street Foodno lieprobably has the tastiest, smoothest hummus I've ever had. You really can't wrong with any of the vendors.
By the way, in case you're wondering what "politan" means, a pillar states that the word can mean "1. One who craves unique flavors and values craftsmanship, finding themselves equally at home all over the world. 2. You."