Best Kept Secret (Restaurant Division)

Stella Blues

A Korean dive bar? It sounds like an odd mix — and it is — but that's part of Stella Blues' charm. Referred to by those in the know as the Fast Eddie's of south city, the little bar with tons of personality gives patrons a bit of the Alton eatery's spectacle without the drive across the Clark Bridge. Operated by the man affectionately known as "Mr. Choi," Stella Blues serves cheap food and cold beer in an awesomely tacky setting. Neon-lit signs and kitschy décor reflect off the shiny metal ceiling, and a life-size statue of the Blues Brothers greets patrons on the patio. The wings are fantastic. (Would the gigantic chicken out front holding a sign boasting "the best wings in town" lie?) The Peking-style sweet and spicy glaze is a welcome departure from its Buffalo-style cousins. Glazed pork kabobs and fried pickles are a few of the other guilty pleasures that await folks at this cash-only joint. Shoot some pool or just belly up to the bar (which always seems to be tended by very attractive ladies) for a bit of Bon-Air on the south side.

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