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Thread: Chicago business trip

  1. #1
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Chicago business trip

    In a few weeks, I'll be headed to Chicago for a four-day conference/meeting and basically spending all my time in and around my hotel, here. In the few hours I'll have each evening, I'm hoping to explore, even just a little bit. Any tips? I'm hoping @Badger has a good recommendation (or two) for beverages :-)
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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Chicago business trip

    You know it! Are you willing to taxi?
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  3. #3
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    You know it! Are you willing to taxi?
    No problem!

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    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Oh! When are you going? Is will there be a Fest? Please say there is going to be a Fest!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    Eat at Eds,You can't Bowl there!

    Ed Debevic's | Chicago, IL

    Also one of my fav's

    Buddy Guy's Legends

    I am cheap for the Blues too!
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  6. #6
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVService View Post
    Eat at Eds,You can't Bowl there!

    Ed Debevic's | Chicago, IL

    Also one of my fav's

    Buddy Guy's Legends

    I am cheap for the Blues too!
    As a snarky New Jerseyan, I must make time to go to Ed Debevic's, it looks fun! And it's within walking distance of my hotel, even better, thanks!

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Sorry this is a little late.

    Around your hotel, you have a very good choice for dinner: the Purple Pig, which is about three blocks south of you. They cure their own meats and have a great wine by the glass menu (beers are only okay, although they do have Spanish beer, which we don't see a ton of in the Midwest). You absolutely need reservations any day of the week there, but it would be a fun place to go with a couple of colleagues. If you go solo you might be able to sit at the bar, which would not be a bad thing in the least.

    Another good choice is Tru; they're probably most famous for their pastry chef, Gail Gand. The food is highly stylized and the focus is on prix fixe dining, so it's definitely in the splurge category. You need reservations.

    Another place that I think is very consistent is Quartino, which is to the west of your hotel. They specialize in Italian "small plates" and do very decent pizzas. You can get Italian cocktails like the Aperol Spritz. It's also insanely busy most days so I would suggest reservations again.

    If you want to try Chicago style pizza, there is a Giordano's and a Gino's East one block north of you (one is one block to the left and the other is one block to the right).

    You are located very near the Hancock Tower. I've never actually done this, but they have a bar way up at the top and you can have a drink (probably freaking expensive) and get a look at some amazing views.

    Two places I would recommend if you're willing to taxi: the Barrelhouse Flat and the Violet Hour. Both specialize in cocktails. The Violet Hour is my favorite bar. Hands down. They open at 6 and you'd do well to get there between 6 and 7 if you don't want to wait. Sitting at the bar is a good idea because you can watch them mix drinks. They have a phonebook-sized cocktail menu but you can also describe what you like and your server or the bartender can make recommendations. (I went there once and asked for "something with Genevieve gin" and boyfriend mixed up something he pulled out of his head on the spot. It was very very nice!) The Barrelhouse has a similar concept and it's up in Lincoln Park so you would have lots of other dining options if you didn't want to eat there. One more place I haven't been to but would like to try is Hopleaf, which is in some northern suburb but is said to have the best overall beer selection in Chicagoland.

    Since you are into beer, here are some you should look for:
    Goose Island Sofie: very crisp, well-balanced saison. Not too hoppy, not too malty. Great for summer. Because it's summer, they'll be pushing the 312 wheat beer, which a lot of people like but I think is kinda eh. Sofie (or her sister Matilda, or their father Pepe Nero) is really the best.
    Anything by Lagunitas because there is a Lagunitas brewery in Chicago (who knew?). They have a tap room as well.
    Beers from Wisconsin: Hinterland (Green Bay; their Farmhouse/Saison is good), Lakefront (Milwaukee; Fixed Gear and Riverwest Stein seem to be the ones I see most in Chicago), Capital Brewing (Middleton; I like the Maibock), Tyranena (Lake Mills; might be harder to find but their Bitter Woman IPA is stellar), Ale Asylum (Madison; Hopalicious APA and Madtown Nutbrown are the big hitters).
    Beers from Minnesota: Summit (Saga IPA or anything from the limited-edition Unchained series); Surly (Furious APA and Bender oatmeal brown).

    If you are looking for local spirits, Few, CH, and Letherbee are some of the names you should be looking for.

    That's it for now . . . but I will keep thinking.

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    I'll add one place if you like meat and are willing to taxi. Au Chavel was rated has having the best burger in America. I can confirm it. Get it with a fried egg and bacon. Just get the single, which will be two patties. The mashers are fabulous too. The wait will be very long so just give them your mobile number and walk across Randolph to the brew pub across the street. Get a beer and order their sausage sampler. They make them there too! Keep your phone handy because Au Chavel will tell you when to head over when your table is close to ready.

    I second Lagunitas. Check to see if they are playing music in the amphitheater.

    Have fun!


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    Oh, a few more... Eno is across Michigan Ave from Purple Pig. Wonderful appetizers and wine. It's one of the few places on Mich Ave where you can sit outside. Only go if you can sit outside. The seating is actually on Illinois so it is pleasant. Great pre-dinner place.

    If you can go out for breakfast, Sunny Side Up on E Superior. Their pancakes are amazing! Good outdoor seating, but can be a long wait on the weekend. If you're up for a long walk, Brasserie by LM. They have these awesome grilled breakfast sandwiches that you can add a fried egg to. Amazing!

    Please note, this is not my normal eating! I generally eat very well with very little meat. But I love food and with all my working out, I will allow myself to indulge a little. Plus, I rarely cab it in Chicago.


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    +1 for the lounge atop the Hancock building! It's a little pricey but not nearly as bad as I expected (I had some kind of faaaancy pear martini last time and it was maybe $12??), and you cannot beat the view!

  11. #11
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    IT seems I will no go hungry (or thirsty!) on this trip - thanks for all the great recommendations!

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    Chicago "pizza" isn't pizza!!!

    #startsawar

    (haha)

    Frontera Grill is terrific!!!

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl0 View Post
    Chicago "pizza" isn't pizza!!!

    #startsawar

    (haha)

    Frontera Grill is terrific!!!
    Technically anything served outside Napoli isn't pizza. But aren't we glad that geography doesn't have to be such a sticking point?

    Nuke, I forgot to mention that you are a not-too-far walk from Binny's Beverage Depot. 213 Clark. Each one is different and I can't vouch for the selection at this one but it's totally worth a look-see. They have member rewards and pricing but you can join on the spot.
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  14. #14
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    << Technically anything served outside Napoli isn't pizza. >>

    I would amend that to say Napoli and New Jersey.

    :-p

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    Fraught, I tell you.

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