Best Kept Secret

Tiny Chef

Staff Pick

Pre-COVID, word was starting to get out about Tiny Chef, an unlikely bastion of Korean cuisine inside Bevo Mill neighborhood pinball bar the Silver Ballroom. From a small takeout counter in the back of the bar, owner Melanie Meyer was finally realizing her dream of connecting with her Korean heritage through food with delicious results, gradually building a group of loyalists who were eager to taste what she was cooking that day. When the pandemic hit and the bar shuttered, Meyer was crestfallen, worried that she was on the verge of losing all that she’d worked for. However, she rallied, creating a robust takeout business that operates through a small, street-facing window. She’s gotten creative with her offerings, running everything from her amazing tteokbokki special to a Korean-style seafood boil that has people begging for it to be a regular occurrence — one she’s inclined to keep going, like everything she does, as long as the people keep coming. — Cheryl Baehr

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