It was a downright delicious year inside our Landmark Eats communities in 2022. I enjoyed a massive number of delicious things in our little foodie alcove. We welcomed newcomers like the Sandtrap and said farewell to Sips and Sweets — for now at least. 

We watched food-focused events draw crowds once again and witnessed restaurants redefining themselves in the face of post-pandemic norms. As hard as it was, I picked a nine of my very favorite local sips and nibbles from the past year. Enjoy this delicious look back at some of 2022’s best bites!

1. An outlier taco from Beach Ave, BBQ, Brookfield: Known for slinging Wagyu brisket and whole hog pulled pork, Beach Ave. BBQ, 3453 Grand Blvd., also has a notable special menu including unexpected things like this mighty good fried fish taco on a hand-made tortilla. Chef Juan Silva is known for experimenting in the kitchen — he threw some house-made slaw, jalapenos and pickled onions on this crispy taco.

2. A Ropa Vieja Sandwich from Cubanito Express, Riverside: Looking for more than your average grab-and-go establishment? In a twist on a Cuban tradition, Cubanito Express, 3222 Harlem Ave., serves up a pressed Ropa Vieja sandwich featuring shredded beef in creole tomato sauce, topped with house made black beans and sweet plantains. 

3. Polish Smorgasbord at Sawa’s Old Warsaw, Broadview: Since 1973, hungry folks clamoring for cabbage rolls, kielbasa and pierogi have been following the glittering lights to Sawa’s Old Warsaw, 9200 W Cermak Rd. in Broadview. We revisited the Proviso Township classic for Broasted chicken and dill meatballs, but also tried a Polish taco because it was the second Tuesday evening of the month, and they are free to anyone visiting the bar. 

4. Sopesitos from La Malquerida Latin Fusion, Berwyn:  This Depot District spot specializes in artful preparations of steaks, seafood and tapas that blend Latin culinary influences. La Malquerida, 6906 Windsor Ave, Berwyn, puts a noteworthy fusion spin on sopes — offering three mini corn sopes topped with black beans, chicken tinga, sour cream, and queso fresco.

5. Wings from the Sandtrap, Riverside: The Sandtrap Grill and Tap, 31 Forest Ave., opened in early September and the first-time restaurateurs have been perfecting their swing since opening their golf-themed bar and eatery. Guests are gravitating toward the chicken wings and feedback has been positive. The marinated and fried drums and flats are sauced with a choice of barbecue sauce, garlic-Parmesan or in a custom-blended buffalo sauce — they are among the best in Riverside.

6. Red Pozole carryout from La Lupita, Berwyn: In 2022, many folks contracted COVID, but nothing made my family feel better than carry out pozole from La Lupita, 6539 Cermak Rd. White, green and red pozole have been the “icons of La Lupita” for years, but the dish has become more popular since being invited by acclaimed chef, Rick Bayless, to serve her pozole verde at the after-party for the James Beard Awards in 2019. You can purchase the soup and all the trimmings to enjoy at home if you are feeling in the mood or under the weather.

7. GCM Jars, private residence, Oak Park: Growing Community Media and The Landmark hosted a donor event in 2022 where we gifted cherry filled cheesecake jars to our guests. They were darn delicious — with flavors of ginger, rosemary, and orange.

8. A bar burger at The Cordial Inn, Brookfield: According to owner, Joe Kenny, The Cordial Inn, 9207 31st St., is a “true old-fashioned Chicago-style tavern” and a place for residents to socialize. The mainstay tavern keeps things consistent by serving up classic burgers cooked on a grill situated behind the bar. The place is brimming with regulars and the burger, while simple, is exactly what you’d want to enjoy with a shot and beer.

9. Turkey Wrap from Sawmilly in Riverside: This eco-conscience eatery has mastered the art of sandwich making. On a recent visit we ordered the turkey wrap with bacon, avocado, greens, pepper jack cheese, and boom boom sauce. It was a perfect treat on a summer afternoon — the bold flavor and friendly service hit the spot! Find your own favorite at Sawmilly, 35 East Burlington.