Sporting a button-down blue oxford and apron, my waiter beamed as he told me that Tre Kronor represents the three kingdoms of Scandinavia now known as Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Working at this Albany Park
Swedish bistro gave him plenty of opportunities to use his Scandinavian minor degree from North Park University, located across the street.
Barely noticeable from Foster Avenue, the BYOB restaurant draws a steady crowd of neighborhood locals and Scandinavian-Chicagoans. Opened in 1983, Tre Kronor keeps customer coming back with its gooey Danish rolls and friendly but professional service. A dozen four-tops sit in the center and a row of two-tops line both walls of the compact yet orderly dining room. A Swedish pastoral mural lightens up one side, and Swedish flags and artwork hang on the opposite wall.
I tried Anders' homemade corned beef hash, a parsley-flecked, meaty dish that rightly shames the canned hash served at most breakfast joints. The airy Swedish pancakes burst with flavor when mixed with the zingy lingonberries. The handwritten menu lists items like honey-mustard chicken salad and pickled herring for lunch, and dinner entrees range from duck to pork tenderloin to Swedish meatballs, of course. Be sure to ask about daily specials like the Norwegian salmon quiche ($8).
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Robert Duffer