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Chicago Visitor's Guide

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Post#21 » by TB#1 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:28 am

AAU Teammate wrote:If you're not intent on the Chicago style, go to Piece. More the New England style. Even though I was born and raised here, and love all things Chicago, that place is great.

Aim your snowballs (or shards of ice) this way - and...fire!




Some great bars to go to if you want a wide array of beer-bar beers..... The Hopleaf, The Map Room, Quenchers


This reminds me -- as I've mentioned before, Chicago doesn't have JUST deep dish. Chicago style thin pizza is just as (and actually, with the spread of deep dish) MORE unique to the city, and I miss it terribly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago-style_pizza

Thin-crust pizza
Chicago style thin-crust pizza.
Chicago style thin-crust pizza.

In addition to Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, there is also a thin-crust pizza unique to Chicago, sometimes referred to as "flat" pizza.[5] The crust is thin and firm enough to have a noticeable crunch, unlike a New York-style pizza, yet thick enough to be soft and doughy on the top.

The crust is topped with a liberal quantity of Italian style tomato sauce, which is usually quite herbal or highly spiced, and typically contains no visible chunks of tomato. Next, a layer of toppings is added, and finally a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Traditionally, like St. Louis-style pizza, this pizza is cut into squares, also known as party cut, as opposed to a pie cut into wedges. However, the consistency of the crust and the quantity and choice of the tomato sauce and cheese are what separate this style from East Coast-, Roman- and St. Louis-style pizzas, and it makes the pizza from neighborhood pizzerias immediately distinguishable from that offered by national chains such as Papa John's or Pizza Hut.


EDIT:

Strong calls you have there, Scott May! I had Frontera on my list, an I agree with you about Morton's. Great call on Arun's. I would have put that on my list if I'd thought of it. Heaven on Seven is indeed a great place to go for a filling bowl of gumbo. Also great call on the Seminary Co-Op. I spent a lot of time there when I lived in Hyde Park/Woodlawn.

As to Chicago Chop House, I have to admit...I'm not sure if I've ever had a traditional "steak" there. I like to start with a seafood appetizer...oysters or the Irish Salmon...and, perhaps it is the literalist in me that I try to deny, I tend to order the pork chops or lamb chops. I did have the veal porterhouse once and it was amazing. They do make a great Gray Goose martini with blue cheese stuffed olives, though.

Also, Scott -- since you think they started here, I added the link for Morton's rather than just having then as an honorable mention.
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Post#22 » by Scott May » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:31 am

dougthonus wrote:2) Their pizza isn't real deep dish chicago style pizza.
3) It's a chain that has restaurants all over the country and not just in the Chicagoland area.


Granted, I haven't been to either in at least 15 years, but at that time, the original Uno and Due served the real deal. Is that no longer the case?

However, you are right about one thing -- the pizza served at the national Uno is in no way, shape, or form anything like true Chicago deep dish pizza. I have no idea what it is, but I always found it incredibly irritating that they decided to use the Uno "brand" but then serve this bastardized product. What in the world was the point?
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Re: The Official "I'm Coming to Chicago..." Thread 

Post#23 » by Scott May » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:35 am



I just wanted to heartily second these recommendations, especially if you've got kids. Maybe they aren't sexy or obscure or off the beaten path, but they are fantastic and the basis of a great urban vacation practically on their own.
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Post#24 » by CousinOfDeath » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:38 am

Johnnies Beef on North Avenue in Elmwood Park is the best beef on the planet. Portillos is very overrated as is Pizza Uno.
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Post#25 » by Bullsmaniac » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:43 am

Pizza (best thin crust)

Pizano's

Sushi

Kamahaci

Sai Cafe

Tacos/Burritos

La Pasadita

Costa Rican

Irazu

Steak

Gene and Georgetti's

Ruth's Chris

French

Kiki's Bistro

Le Bouchon

Breakfast

Lou Mitchells

Brunch

Lula's

Wish Bone

Italian

Tufano's

Tapas

Cafe Baba Reeba

Cafe Iberico

NY Style Deli

The Bagel Restaurant

Italian Beef

Al's Italian Beef

Burgers

Kuma's

Ribs

Twin Anchors

Southern Fried Chicken

Stanley's (you also have to try their Mac & Cheese-best in town)

Irish Food

Chief O'Neil's

Crab Legs

The Half Shell (divy but a must if you come to Chi-town--Guys you cannot wear a hat inside)

Seafood (pricey)

Hugo's Frog Bar

Cape Cod Room
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Post#26 » by CousinOfDeath » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:47 am

And being a kid, all of those recommended places are pretty boring other than the planeterium and the field museum. millenium park is only a summer thing because of the fountains.
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Post#27 » by TB#1 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:05 am

Brando13 wrote:And being a kid, all of those recommended places are pretty boring other than the planeterium and the field museum. millenium park is only a summer thing because of the fountains.


Happy now?
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Post#28 » by Posey H8er » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:07 am

Brando13 wrote:Johnnies Beef on North Avenue in Elmwood Park is the best beef on the planet. Portillos is very overrated as is Pizza Uno.

Johnnie's Beef is amazing. I used to go there often with the 40,000 other people waiting in line, but I haven't recently. One thing I dislike is that it seems they are putting smaller amounts of meat on the beef sandwiches.
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Post#29 » by Posey H8er » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:09 am

TB#1 wrote:-= original quote snipped =-



Happy now?

I heard a rumor they were going to close that. Hopefully I heard wrong, it is a good local amusement park for kids.

And right across the street from Maywood Park, I know some people there.
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Post#30 » by Scott May » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:03 am

Posey H8er wrote:-= original quote snipped =-


Johnnie's Beef is amazing. I used to go there often with the 40,000 other people waiting in line, but I haven't recently. One thing I dislike is that it seems they are putting smaller amounts of meat on the beef sandwiches.


Good to see some other folks giving some love to Johnnie's. That wasn't always the case when I weighed in on some of these 'best beef' threads in the past.

Posey H8er, I was at Johnnie's in December and I didn't notice a meat shortage. However, in recent years I've become a combo man, and it would be hard to notice missing meat on one of those. The next time I'm there I'll order a regular beef sandwich and check carefully for stinginess.
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Post#31 » by Bulls_Dynasty6 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:06 am

Aww, I thought this was a trade thread.
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Post#32 » by Ashley5438 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:35 am

Haha, so did I!


I like Pizzeria Due a lot personally.
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Post#33 » by Jo Jo English » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:39 am

Nice job everyone. Offhand I cannot think of anything that you guys didn't cover.

By chance, if anyone visits Chicago, and feels the need to drive to St. Louis (never happen, I know), make a quick stop in Decatur, IL for another of our state's "unknown treasures", the best fast food burger known to man served at Krekel's Custard.

It is, without a doubt, the thing I miss most about living in central IL. Besides my family of course. :)
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Post#34 » by SportsWorld » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:07 am

Can't believe no one has mentioned Ed Debevic's:
http://featuredfoods.com/cgi-local/Soft ... 1203584686
Located near the Rock and Roll McDonalds and Gino's East.
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Post#35 » by The300thSpartan » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:57 am

Hotdogs -You have to include Wolfys

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Italain Beef, Gyros, and Burgers - Definitely Hubs (you lika da juice?)

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Post#36 » by Posey H8er » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:02 am

Has anyone ever been to Tasty Dog? That had to be my favorite hot dog place growing up.
http://www.oprf.com/TastyDog/
http://www.centerstagechicago.com/resta ... tydog.html

This is the original building. They moved across the street recently because apartments were being built.
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Post#37 » by Miltpalaciofanclub » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:06 am

Here are a few places that I like to go. A lot of them are in my hood and are perfect for a pre-United Center experience:

El Barco -- 1035 N. Ashland. Hot steaming piles of mexican fresh seafood. Goldfish bowl margaritas. Large patio. IMHO, the best place to go for seafood in all of Chicago. It's like Bob Chinn's but half the price and they make killer mojitos (Mojitos... I don't care if it's a gay drink... MOe-Ji-Toeees).

Maza -- 2748 N Lincoln. Okay, so this place is nowhere near the UC, but it has the best Middle Eastern food in Chicago. Renee Zwelinger(sp):Naomi Watts::Reza's:Maza. There's no comparison.

Empty Bottle -- 1035 N. Western. Tired of screaming obscenity laced tirades towards Boylan? Want to get your aggression out by ridiculing those smarmy Hot-sh*t hipster kidz who haven't washed their hair in three weeks? The Empty bottle always stages pretty stellar shows and hosts some killer two hour sets from some of the hottest indie bands. If you're wired up after an excrutiating Bulls loss, check out their schedule before hand and catch a rockin' good show.

May Street Market -- 1132 W. Grand. Money no object to you? Of course not, you're on vacation and Chicago is so cheap and easy on tourists. This place costs and arm and a leg, but consists of the best food money can buy in all of Chicago. Want to splurge on some celebrity chef instead? Fine. But in all seriousness, no Waltonizing hyperbole, this is the best restaurant in Chicago.

La Luce -- 1393 W. Lake. Right near the UC and always solid, consistent, innovative Italian fare. Like we don't have enough Italian restaurants in Chicago. Experts in catering to Bulls/Blackhawk fans.

West Town Tavern -- 1329 W. Chicago. Like to eat hearty food? You got a big girl and she likes to eat too? Take her here. You'll sweep here off her feet by looking sophisticated and savvy about the Chicago restaurant scene while eating the best rib-sticking-Chicago-February-beating fare in the City. If you can't afford the $200 a person at May Street Market, venture here. It's not cheap either, but fantastic.

Sticky Rice -- 4018 N. Western. Also nowhere near the UC, but none of the good Asian restaurants are on the West Side. Choke down some spicy Thai sausage, floss your teeth with pork intestine, slurp suckling pig boiled in its mother's blood, and finish it all off with deep fried caterpillar worms. No, this is not Charles Manson's remedy for kicking a wicked bender on whippets and downers, but the most authentic Thai restaurant in town. They also have good renditions of all of your Thai classics. Something for everybody, even Pete Myers -- and he doesn't know what he likes.

RoSal's -- 1134 W. Taylor. You either like Tufano's of RoSal's. Cannot go wrong with either one of them, but I give the nod to RoSal's. Get the stuffed artichokes if available.

Munidal Cocina Mestiza -- 1640 W. 18th. Sure, it's frou-frou bastardized whiteboy-Mexican food, but it incorporates authentic spices, flavors, and methods of real upscale Mexican cooking. Plus you can bring your own booze! What's better than that? Where else could you here the following exchange:

"Sir, would you like me to chill your 12-pack of Keystone Light?"

-- "Would I?!"

Los Nopales -- 4544 N. Western. Rick Bayless can suck a poached egg. This is the finest Mexican restaurant I have ever been to in Chicago. Also, any place where you can bring your own Keystone Light is a big plus. It's better, more authentic, and cheaper that Mundial Cocina, but again, nowhere near the UC. This place gets packed. Come early.

Bars:

Map Room is a great place. Check it out.

Aria -- Want to wear a suit and pretend that you're rich. Do it here.

Chipp Inn -- Very Divey. Serves Schlitz and Hamms from the can. I usually opt for Stroh's.

Dugan's -- This is where people go to get F-ed, figuratively and literally.

Schuba's -- good live acts. Nice friendly concert goers. Always low-keyed and pleasant.

Innertown Pub -- good beer on tap.

Relax Lounge -- Eye candy. Lots and lots of Eye Candy.

The Whiskey -- The one Viagra triangle bar I can stand. They make a killer Hendrick's and tonic.

There are countless others and my fingers are tired.
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Post#38 » by BullSoxChicago'sFinest » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:20 am

Wow, what a list

As for more general stuff, for eating, I'll recommend yelp.com for user reviews and chicago.menupages.com for menus
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Post#39 » by TB#1 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:52 pm

Jo Jo English wrote:Nice job everyone. Offhand I cannot think of anything that you guys didn't cover.

By chance, if anyone visits Chicago, and feels the need to drive to St. Louis (never happen, I know), make a quick stop in Decatur, IL for another of our state's "unknown treasures", the best fast food burger known to man served at Krekel's Custard.

It is, without a doubt, the thing I miss most about living in central IL. Besides my family of course. :)


Did I ever mention my wife was born and raised in Lexington, Il?

She has family in Decatur and when and if we ever get back there, I'll check it out.

Her favorite food treats when she gets back to central Illinois are Gondola subs from Avantis and Monicals Pizza
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Post#40 » by guypithecus » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:16 pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the world famous Billy Goat Tavern. Maybe not the best food, but certainly a Chicago landmark made famous by Saturday Night Live.

http://www.billygoattavern.com/home.html
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