Best place to feel bad about gentrification but good about your meal

M. Henrietta

1133 W. Granville

If social scientists are looking for a sexier, more evocative term to describe the process of gentrification, I suggest brunchification—restaurants serving the meal seem to open proportionally to which way a neighborhood's going. So I greeted the arrival of M. Henrietta to a diminishingly dingy strip of Granville Avenue with some consternation. Truth: I've never been there. But if it's anything like its Andersonville companion M. Henry, it's worth a visit—the new place extends M. Henry's excellent brunch menu, and then stays open for dinner, with entrees like brick-grilled adobo chicken, roast pork shoulder, and a burger with porchetta, turkey, and fennel. But for me the space is haunted by the ghost of Standee's, the all-night diner that closed early last year after an impressive 60-year run. A friend once suggested its motto should be "Never good. Always there." It's true that the greasy fare wasn't "good" in the conventional sense, but at any given 2 AM it fulfilled its raison d'etre: to soak up oceans of cheap liquor, ingested at nearby awesome dive the Sovereign or at the Anvil, Chicago's grossest gay bar, located next door. Anyhow, rest in peace, Standee's—and welcome to the hood, Henrietta. Can cupcake-ification and pet-spa-ification be far behind? —Sam Worley