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#351 Joe H

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:52 PM

I agree.  I'd go there also.  For the name, the cleverness....and I'd specifically want to go with my brother and 2 other similarly older male cousins;  all of us the son's of 2 brothers and a sister.  Those 3 siblings called one another every single day.  The 2 brothers would call one another "fat"  They spared their sister that nickname.

 

Growing up we heard them every day.  So the name "fat" is one that is familiar and "affectionate" for my cousins, siblings and I.  If my older brother and 2 older male cousins and I were all there, I'd treat.  I'd order up "double fatso's" from the menu.  I'd happily serve them.  Two of my cousins "earned" that name.  We all had a great uncle, who was a big "fatso" and amazing character, and the uncle of our parents.  We all grew up very aware of this character.  

 

I'd serve the double "fatsos" to my cousins.  I'd rename them after our late great uncle, I'd call them "Meyer's".  We would all laugh and laugh and laugh, and share in memories.  

 

I'm sure myriads of people everywhere have similar memories.  Its a clever restaurant/joint name.  

 

Now we old codgers have to coordinate flights to Chicago...if we wish to partake in this fun memory.    

 

Daveo, really enjoyed your post.  Thank you for sharing.



#352 ohstate

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:25 PM

Just back from Chicago.  Some pretty good chow.  Very meat-centric, naturally.

Side Door - classic little bar (part of Lawry's steak house) that has a separate menu - they call it a gastropub. Was out by myself with a big work meeting the next day, so I grabbed a bar stool and had a burger. It was a very nice burger, and they had a decent bourbon selection.  I liked the atmosphere (low key) and the food.

Fontera Grill - was told the wait would be an hour+, but was actually about 20 minutes. Wasn't bad, just wasn't as good as I remembered from last time.  Started w/ the Guac, husband had the relenos special (liked it quite a bit) and I had the skirt steak.  Would say it wasn't as good as I remember, but that was 10 years ago.  Don't think it would make my list for the next trip.

Berghoff:  German lunch, classic, quite nice.  Has the first liquor license granted after prohibition posted in the bar. We both had the schnitzel. Red cabbage was a better side than the gernam potato salad.

Cafe Spiaggia:  Great food. Really nice carpaccio and burratta appetizers, followed by the wild boar gnochhi for me. Loved it. Really beautiful gnocchi. Would get it again. Split a tiramisu for dessert - a little on the dry side for me, but I think mine is usually better than anyone elses out there.

Tavern on Rush - Saturday breakfast. Not bad, but LuxBar next door was much better.

Purple Pig: Highlight of the eating adventures. Granted, we lucked out and got seats at the bar immediately (there was a wait for tables, naturally). Was a late-afternoon refreshment stop after a history walking tour. Split the fried deviled eggs (need more) and the veal flank steak (yes, please).  We were meeting friends for dinner (they picked the place) so we didn't get more.

Piccolo Sogno Due:  Had a very nice meal with our friends here. We lingered for hours (hadn't caught up with them in a while) and the staff was great. Did the antipasta for 4, I had the rib eye (average), the guys each had a whole bronzino or the whole flounder and our other friend had the ravioli, I think.  Not the best meal of the trip, but the company, service and atmosphere made for a great evening.

LuxBar - Sunday brunch - busy place, better breakfast between it and the place next door. Had the classic benedict (house made canadian bacon) and the husband had the breakfast skillet. 



#353 Choirgirl21

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 10:59 PM

Any other recent recommendations? Has anyone been to Alinea that hasn't already written about their experience? 


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

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#354 ad.mich

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:18 PM

I did Alinea this summer.  The food portion of the meal absolutely lived up to the hype.  Damn good and easily one of the best 2 or 3 meals of my life so far.

 

The service is weird. Super formal, overly rehearsed, and any attempt to ask questions and/or get them 'off script' was met with general confusion.  I know it's really expensive so formality is expected, but the level of stiffness (not just from one individual but all staff interactions - including the big finish with the man himself at dessert) wasn't our particular cup of tea.  

 

The food though... it's killer.


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#355 goodeats

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 04:48 PM

The service is weird. Super formal, overly rehearsed, and any attempt to ask questions and/or get them 'off script' was met with general confusion.  I know it's really expensive so formality is expected, but the level of stiffness (not just from one individual but all staff interactions - including the big finish with the man himself at dessert) wasn't our particular cup of tea.


Funny--I asked all sorts of questions and they answered them just fine. But this was many moons ago, so I don't know if staff changed or anything. 


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#356 Choirgirl21

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:02 PM

So the Chicago trip is quickly approaching (2 1/2 weeks)! I have reservations the night I arrive at The Girl & The Goat and at The Publican the following night. That leaves Saturday & Sunday. I will be at a conference all day both days.

 

The conference is here: Best Western River North Hotel

125 West Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654

 

And I am staying a few blocks from SE of the Clark/Division metro stop. Since the conference days are long, I will want to stay close by. I did some searches into farm to table type places and also researched good cocktail/wine places and found a few ideas that I haven't really seen mentioned here. Highest on my list is probably BottleFork. Boarding House also interested me. I was thinking I might hit up BottleFork for cocktails and snacks and then head to Boarding House to finish out the night, but I may have people from the conference joining me. If that turns out to be the case I should probably just pick one place.

 

A lot of places are closed on Sundays, which limits my choices. Purple Pig is open, but Tippling Hall really interested me. Cafe Iberico was also recommended to me. 

 

Thoughts/experiences with any of those?

 

I was also thinking I might spend some time on Friday just walking through neighborhoods and grazing/drinking along the way. I will still have dinner at The Publican that night so I don't want to stuff myself, but suggestions for places to go that are easily metro accessible? I was thinking I might start the day in Wicker Park at Wormhole for coffee and go from there. Violet Hour and Big Star are nearby, Longman & Eagle is an easy metro ride up, and then from there I could potentially get to Hot Dougs. That may be too much though as I have to be back downtown at 2:30 for a boat tour.

 

Anyway, any suggestions, even of the neighborhoods that are worth walking through because of cool shops, architecture, etc. are appreciated. Thanks!


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If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
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If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#357 cheezepowder

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:18 PM

...Violet Hour and Big Star are nearby, Longman & Eagle is an easy metro ride up, and then from there I could potentially get to Hot Dougs. That may be too much though as I have to be back downtown at 2:30 for a boat tour.
 
I went to Violet Hour a long time ago, but I liked it.  Hot Dougs closed last year (website, Chicago Tribune article).


#358 Choirgirl21

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:34 PM

 

 
I went to Violet Hour a long time ago, but I liked it.  Hot Dougs closed last year (website, Chicago Tribune article).

 

Huh. Well that solves that puzzle. Portillo's it is. Much more convenient since it's 2 blocks from the conference. :)


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#359 goodeats

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 03:08 PM

I will still have dinner at The Publican that night so I don't want to stuff myself, but suggestions for places to go that are easily metro accessible? I was thinking I might start the day in Wicker Park at Wormhole for coffee and go from there. Violet Hour and Big Star are nearby, Longman & Eagle is an easy metro ride up, and then from there I could potentially get to Hot Dougs. That may be too much though as I have to be back downtown at 2:30 for a boat tour.


Suggestion: don't call it the metro--the system is known as the "L" as marketing calls it. Probably best to get a multi-day pass if you will be traveling all over the place. 

 

You should consider taking a walking tour with the Chicago Architectural Foundation in addition to the one you're probably taking by boat. 

 

Be careful if you walk back to your hotel late at night--that area is still in transition. But it has quite a few nightclubs, iirc.


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#360 Choirgirl21

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 04:39 PM

Be careful if you walk back to your hotel late at night--that area is still in transition. But it has quite a few nightclubs, iirc.

 

Thanks. That's good to know. I definitely did plan on walking home (alone) after dinner Saturday and Sunday since it's less than a mile from the conference and restaurants we'd be at.


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#361 aaronsinger

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 11:20 AM

Thanks. That's good to know. I definitely did plan on walking home (alone) after dinner Saturday and Sunday since it's less than a mile from the conference and restaurants we'd be at.

Frontera/Topo/Xoco (the latter also has nice, quick breakfast options) is also around the corner from the Best Western on Ohio. In the alley behind Bayless' block of buildings is Three Dots & A Dash, a newish tiki bar (though it can get very crowded on weekends and doesn't have many seats/tables).

 

The Architecture Foundation boat tours are the best ones, though it may not be all that warm in April.

I've only been there once, but I really liked Longman & Eagle, if you head up to Logan Square. It's also just a few dozen yards from the Blue Line stop,, so pretty El-convenient. There's also an Intelligentsia right there, as is one of the better and bigger of Chicago's craft breweries, Revolution. Across the square is Lula Cafe, a good farm/table restaurant. I've only been there for brunch, but I really like it.

 

Iberico is a cheap tapas place and a popular nightlife spot for the River North crowd on the weekends. I haven't been there in many years, no idea if the food is any good anymore.


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#362 aaronsinger

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 11:34 AM

Every year just before the baseball season starts I meet a few of my fellow Sox fans at an otherwise unremarkable bar in Bridgeport. Instead of mediocre bar food last weekend, I walked around the neighborhood to head to Pleasant House Bakery, a British-style pie place. I've been there 4 or 5 times now, and it always is delicious.


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#363 Choirgirl21

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 12:53 PM

One more (final?) question - the season finale of Best New Restaurant and the fact that I was in Italy this time last year have me REALLY craving Italian food so I checked to see what was near the conference. Quartino and Coco Pazzo both turn up. The menu appeals more at the latter - anyone have any feedback on either?

 

Frontera/Topo/Xoco (the latter also has nice, quick breakfast options) is also around the corner from the Best Western on Ohio. In the alley behind Bayless' block of buildings is Three Dots & A Dash, a newish tiki bar (though it can get very crowded on weekends and doesn't have many seats/tables).

 

The Architecture Foundation boat tours are the best ones, though it may not be all that warm in April.

I've only been there once, but I really liked Longman & Eagle, if you head up to Logan Square. It's also just a few dozen yards from the Blue Line stop,, so pretty El-convenient. There's also an Intelligentsia right there, as is one of the better and bigger of Chicago's craft breweries, Revolution. Across the square is Lula Cafe, a good farm/table restaurant. I've only been there for brunch, but I really like it.

 

Iberico is a cheap tapas place and a popular nightlife spot for the River North crowd on the weekends. I haven't been there in many years, no idea if the food is any good anymore.

 

Thank you for this!


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#364 aaronsinger

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 10:03 AM

Never been to either place, though I've heard of Coco Pazzo.

Around River North is also Osteria via Stato, and Eataly. Haven't been to either of those.

 

Some of the best Italian eats, besides upscale spots like POTUS' favorite Spiaggia, are found in the old Italian neighborhoods on Taylor Street (by UIC, just SW of downtown) and on Oakley (sometimes called the heart of Italy or something like that). But you'd most likely need a car to get there.

Also, my apologies, Revolution isn't right by the Logan Square blue line stop, it's a few blocks south on Milwaukee Ave.



#365 Tujague

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 08:16 PM

Horrifying, tragic news.


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#366 Choirgirl21

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 11:52 AM

Darkstar, this is for you. Drinking my $8 cup of coffee at Intelligentsia in Logan Square:
0417151148.jpg
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Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#367 goodeats

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 09:49 PM

Oh, wow. I never thought I would miss Butternut bread, but boy, does it taste deliciously nostalgic when I haven't had it in a long time. The only bummer part of that statement is that I didn't get to pair with some Harold's Fried Chicken. Next time.

 

This time, my trip coincided with National Doughnut Day! And right now, there is no city better to be in for that day than Chicago!! With gems like Doughnut Vault and Do-Rite as new world doughnut shops and classic old world shops like Country Donuts and other suburban great hits, you can't go wrong with a nice glazed classic almost at any shop. This great day was celebrated in trendy Wicker Park, where two new world shops compete right across each other at the Damen Avenue L-stop:

 

1. Stan's Donut, on one side of the street, is probably on the upper-eschlon of trendiness, where you can order from a three-tiered system:  standards (aka classics at $1.75 each, which a tad higher than old world places); specialties ($2.50 each with flavors like Lemon Curd), and Dough Boy's Best ($3.25 each, with unique flavors like the Biscoff Pocket). I bought a half-dozen to bring to a friend's party, with the intent to taste a bit of each of:  glazed (hit), chocolate glazed (nice chocolate used), maple long john (didn't get to try), lemon curd (didn't get to try), captain crunch bismark (good), and biscoff pocket (really good). It was really busy, with a steady line, and sensory-overwhelming, but fun.

 

2. Glazed and Infused, on the other side, is equally trendy, but with less options, so it was less overwhelming. The average doughnut ran around $3 per, which is about the same Astro here, but tastes better. By the time I arrived, there were only 2 flavors left:  peanut better & jelly and the white-praline. The PB&J was awesome, with the PB oozing out quite nicely after a bite. The praline was too cakey for me and a tad on the sweet side, though.

 

If doughnuts aren't your thing, then you might think about stopping by Sugar Bliss cakery. Owned by a college friend, I happily noshed on lemon, pumpkin, and chocolate flavors last weekend. Good cake.

 

I don't really know if this is a secret or not, but I think Chicago serves some of the best Southern cooking ever. I was spoiled by Dixie's Kitchen & Bar back in college, and now that the location I used to frequent no longer exists, but I was craving it, my friend introduced me to Pearl's Place instead. Mostly, I miss rib tips. Many won't know what I'm talking about, but I think rib tips are the best part. Pearl's barbecue sauce for the tips were kind of weak and the tips a bit fattier than what I was used to, but it was still nice to have, since my other favorite place, Rib n' Bibs, has since closed, too. But, the must order from this place is their shrimp and grits. Other than Grapeseed's fine version, these grits were nice, creamy, and buttery. Quite tasty, as was their fried green tomatoes and collard greens. Total comfort food. If you dine there, be slightly careful, as Bronzeville, where the restaurant is located, is still in transition.

 

Also still an experience is riding the Cottage Grove bus. Brought back memories. Wouldn't recommend for first-timers. There are just certain bus lines visitors shouldn't take.

 

I also managed to gorge on pancakes and waffles while in Chicago. I haven't found DC places that are as good. Maybe it's the water, or feel free to PM me of places, but I liked Wildberry's Gluten-free honey cakes, even if they are a chain. I like that they served Intelligentsia coffee there, too. If you are looking for a vegetarian and gluten-free brunch place, then you might think about going to Victory's Banner up in Roscoe Village. A vegetarian, gluten-free friend suggested this place as our meetup and it certainly hit the spot. Especially their housemade chai. I really liked their buckwheat waffles with real maple syrup. 

 

Another friend recommended Cai in the new Chinatown plaza area. (aaronsinger--why didn't you tell me Kung Fu Tea was there!!!! So awesome.) HUGE bonus points for Cai is that you can order online for pickup. Including dim sum options during their dim sum hours. So awesome, awesome. And convenient when the friend you're staying with has a newborn. :D It was nice to have good dim sum in Chicago.

 

Finally, I forgot what it was like to buy liquor in grocery stores. My mind was blown when I went to the South Loop Whole Foods (it is equally mindblowing to see South Loop become trendy), but then on an entirely other level when I saw that Koval distillery made these little Asian/liteweight-friendly bottles (200mL) of bourbon and rye whiskeys for $17. Needless to say, I bought one of each and the Letherbee flask-sized fernet. So happy. One last very happy thing was to buy Metropolis beans (I like them better than Intelligentsia and someone should try to bring them out here!) and to tryout Bowtruss for the first time. Will have to report back on the latter.


Taste. Feel. Be comforted.

Am not a fan of finding out that I started a new topic...

Oh ply me with barley,
Or ply me with rye,
Just don't expect to hear
A coherent goodbye.

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#368 ad.mich

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 12:12 PM

Bowtruss is good.  Metropolis is what we have at home right now because they do a great job of getting freshly roasted product out and in grocery stores (typically roasted same week, last bag I bought was 2 days old).  All things being equal I'm still partial to Dark Matter though.  

 

Re: Stan's & Glazed & Chicago donuts in general...  The thing that Stan's and Do-Rite do well are big towering yeast donuts with a super rich chocolate glaze.  That's not for everyone, but if that's your thing, you'll be hard pressed to do better.  Stan's also makes a big, crispy, yeasty west coast apple fritter (they are originally from California) the type of which can be hard to find done well.  Glazed is more of a stunt show with lots of flavor experiments.  They can be hit or miss (creme bruelee is a shadow of DC's Astro for example) but the hits are strong.  Co-sign on that PB&J.  Donut Vault is pretty much all about old fashioneds, which are just not my platonic ideal of a fried dough situation.  

 

Donuts and coffee are really strong here.


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My kingdom(e) for a Seattle hot dog in the district


#369 genericeric

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:31 AM

Had a last minute trip to Chicago last week, which meant I had zero chance of getting an actual reservation at Girl and the Goat.  To my surprise, when I walked in with my +1 at 6:15, was seated immediately at one of the outdoor communal tables.  Quick word about the ambiance - I was very glad to sit outside.  The interior seemed like a chaotic food hall.  While I'm not a huge fan of communal tables, and the ones here are seated pretty tightly, at least we could enjoy a pleasant conversation and a nice evening. 

 

Started out with the Ratatouille Bread ($4) served with a tzatziki and one other dipping sauce lost to my aging memory.  The bread had great flavor without being overwhelming, and at $4 was a great way to start the meal - I would definitely recommend trying any of the bread menu (there were five options when we were there).  Next up was the Chickpea Fritters with a stonefruit salad.  I'm not a chickpea lover but this was one of the best dishes I've had all year.  The fritters themselves were crispy squares that were silken and smooth on the inside that were balanced nicely by the salad.  Next up were the Squash Blossom crab rangoons - pretty much exactly what you would expect but well-fried and delicious.  The only disappointing dish of the meal were the Pierogies - I didn't care for the flavor or texture of the pierogies' shell - it almost tasted again like there was a chickpea batter.  I couldn't place my finger on it, but I had a strongly negative reaction - though to be fair the table next to us seemed to love them.

 

Overall I'd happily go back and work my way through more of the menu.


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#370 Tex Chef

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 09:20 AM

Heading to Chicago for a girls trip in a few weeks. I love Chicago and its restaurants. I have a pretty great list of options going (some new, some old favorites) but looking for a great Italian recommendation. When in town with my husband we've been to Cafe Spiaggia a few times (never been to the other side of the restaurant) and have loved each meal but because this is a girls trip I'm looking for something with a smidge more atmosphere but with equally delicious house made pastas. Any ideas? 

 

Here is the list I'm throwing out the other ladies going... Any where else folks are loving these days? 

 

Dinner: 

Nico Osteria

Publican

Parachute

Juno Sushi

Bavette's

Frontera Grill

Girl and the Goat

 

Brunch:

Pomp & Circumstance

Cindy's Rooftop (Chicago Athletic Assoc)

 

Thank you for any suggestions. 







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