The non-trite Chicago Guide

I live in Chicago and go out quite a bit. I have reviewed a bunch of the restuarants, bars and other fun stuff I have enjoyed. Summer Festivals are the best. From The World's Largest Block Party at Old St. Pat's Church to North Halsted Street Market Days to the Taste of Lincoln Ave. See great bands, eat unhealthy food, drink beers and lemon shake-ups and see the neighbors come out to play. Chicago is one my my favorite places aside from being a resident. It is New York with out the attitude or prices. It is undiscoved by many non-midwestern Americans and almost all foreigners. I think Chicagoans don't like the spotlight anyway so it works for us. Chicago is a big sports town, even if the teams don't win. You hear that in NYC they talk about art and theater, in Washington, DC it's politics. Chicago - It is Sports. If you visit, try to work in a Bears, Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks or Bulls game - at least just to observe the natives! A Chicago deep dish pizza and a hot dog are a must.


The non-trite Chicago Guide

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Laura on December 13, 2001

Eat. There is a HUGE variety of restuarants of every type. The Art Institute is world class. See the neighborhoods - experience the architechiture, the effect of the Great Chicago fire. The lake is beautiful. The city is clean and the people friendly.${QuickSuggestions} Get out of downtown if that is your focus and check out the nieghborhoods. That is where the non-trite choices for dining and shopping exist. The variety is endless.${BestWay} Take the El or bus. Parking downtown can be expensive. However, it is MUCH easier to get around in a car in Chicago than in other big cities like New York or Rome.

FAIRMONT HOTEL

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

We held a conference here for work and the hotel was absolutely lovely. The food was good, the meeting rooms very nice, the service excellent. We did have a little over booking issue with the hotel because our meeting crossed over with another and they were completely out of rooms forcing us to send our meeting planner to stay at her own home. I had an upgraded room and it was very large and luxurious. The bathroom had a large tub and glass shower. The guestrooms each have an electric shoe buffer! The location is very nice, you can walk to Michigan Ave. for shopping or to State Street. It would be an absolutely beautiful, but expensive place for a wedding or corporate gathering.
The Fairmont Chicago
200 N COLUMBUS DR
Chicago, Illinois, 60601
312 565 8000

HOTEL INTER-CONTINENTAL

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

We had a meeting here for work and attendees loved the location. It is right on the Magnificent Mile. My guest room was a suite and I felt like a queen. It was 2 rooms- a living room and bedroom, 2 full baths with a tub and a shower. The maid took down the bed each night, filled the ice bucket, and left classical music playing from the TV. Upon arriving I had a fruit basket and a bottle of wine waiting. Others in my group with regular rooms felt that the room was small and the bathroom VERY small. The hotel was originally built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club so that explains why there is some disparity in rooms sizes and bathrooms. Guests should at least see if not use the lovely Medinah Athletic Club-designed pool covered in mosaic tile from the era. The meeting rooms are unique and can be rather elaborately decorated with fitting names like Spanish Court, Renaissance Room, King Arthur Court. If you need several concurrent meeting rooms, it can get a bit confusing with the up and downs between the 5th & 7th floors as well as the North and South Towers. The hotel began a major, 2-phase renovation in December 2000. Phase II of the renovation will began in December 2001. The hotel is a very good choice for meetings or just for visiting the windy city.
InterContinental Chicago
505 North Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60611
(312) 944-4100

Goose Island Brew Pub

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

Goose Island has the best Carolina pulled pork sandwich around. It is tender and there is a great tangy bbq sauce with some beer apparently. It is served with coleslaw on top and some seasoned fries for $6.95. Oh yeah, and it is a well-known brew pub serving its Honkers Ale, oatmeal stout, IPA and other seasonal brews. Some really good ones are a chocolatey Christmas port, the Oktoberfest and a recent sour cherry beer. If you like root beer or orange cream soda, they make that too. The Oriental chicken salad is very good with Napa cabbage, crispy wontons and an orange sesame dressing. My friends love the cobb salad, but it has gotten much smaller over the years. For starters, get a basket of the pub chips - potato chips with some bbq seasoning. The 1800 N. Clybourn location next to a Bed Bath & Beyond store has free parking which is a huge plus in the city. The Wrigleyville location on Clark Street has the same menu. There are free tours of the brewery at 6 p.m. every Wednesday and 3 p.m. every Sunday, followed by a brewer-led tasting. A room can be booked for private, pub catered events.
Goose Island Brewery
1800 North Clybourn Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(312) 915-0071

Tuscany on Clark

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

At the corner of Clark and Waveland, this Italian eatery is a good place to stop pre-Cubs night game especially if entertaining clients. The ravioli with pear and walnuts is amazing and I should have ordered it. Instead I was sneaking bites off my friend's plate. I got the pork chops and found them to be a bit too garlicky. The minestrone had good flavor but was heavy on the cabbage and celery rather than the traditional Tuscan bean type you would expect at Tuscany. The bruschetta is very good, with nice fresh tomatoes, but quite a lot or garlic. There is a good selection of wines. The tables can be crammed together and the restaurant can be noisy. Our service was pretty good, but could have been more attentive. When they knew we had a Cubs game to catch, they were sympathetic.

There is a location in Little Italy at 1014 W. Taylor St. as well as in suburban Wheeling.

Tuscany Restaurant
3700 N. Clark St.
Chicago, Illinois, 60613
773-404-7700

Ron of Japan

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

Ron of Japan specializes in steak, shrimp, chicken, lobster prepared in the Japanese teppanyaki style. Meat and vegetables are cut, seasoned and served up by chefs who dish up a bit of a show for diners. Watch out for flaming shrimp tails, flying eggs and knives. The full dinners include soup, salad with a fabulous ginger dressing, shrimp appetizer, rice, vegetables and the meat or combo of your choice. I like the sukiyaki steak, a thin sirloin. The filet is good too, but sometimes can be a bit stewy. For a little extra, you can get flavorful beef fried rice. You are served by Asian ladies in traditional Japanese dress. Try a Midori colada if you crave a sweet tropical drink. They are delicious with coconut milk and Midori melon liqueur. You will likely sit with strangers if you have a smaller party around the teppan grill set for groups of 10. Also expect for you clothes and hair to smell like fried food from dining at the grill table. While many like to go for the chef's show, the food really is good and you get a lot for your buck.

There is also a suburban Northbrook location.

Ron of Japan
230 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, Illinois, 60611
312-644-6500

California Pizza Kitchen

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

On the 7th floor of Water Tower Place, next to Lord and Taylor, this chic pizzeria can get pretty busy with hungry shoppers. I know it's a chain, but I love this place. There can be a wait, but the estimates given by the hostess are accurate. The service is efficient, friendly and fast. My favorite pizzas are the Thai chicken with a sweet barbeque sauce, chicken, bean sprouts and carrots (I hold the cilantro). Other good choices are the Original BBQ chicken pizza with smoked gouda, red onions and cilantro and the Tandoori chicken pizza served with mango chutney on the side. The Philly cheese steak pizza can be greasy, but what to you expect? Traditional meat and cheese pizza is also available. All are brick oven, thin crust servings for one. It is fun to get one pizza and one large salad to share with a friend - that is if you can agree on one of the pizzas. The Thai linguini is great, but very SPICY with peanuts and hot peppers. We also love the Oriental Chicken Salad with sweet sesame dressing or a chopped salad with turkey and a mustard vinaigrette. All dinners come with yummy sourdough bread. There is also a location at 52 E. Ohio St.
California Pizza Kitchen
835 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60611
(312) 787-7300

312 Chicago

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

312 Chicago, adjacent to the hip Hotel Allegro and Cadillac Palace Theater, offers an Italian-inspired American menu. I have only been for lunch and recommend going if you are on your or someone else's expense account. It is a bit pricey. Meals begin with a great basket of Italian crusty breads and focaccia and an olive and sundried tomato tampenade. Many of the dishes are fish or seafood including olive oil poached bass or lobster ravioli. I have had the smoked chicken risotto and an angel hair pasta with some kind of fresh tomato sauce which is just OK. There are better choices. The roasted 1/4 chicken was very nice and I have a had a great cream of broccoli soup served as a puree with a little kick of white pepper. The baked goat cheese appetizer is very good with a sweet tomato baked on top. There is also a nice chicken salad for the not too gluttonous. The menu changes periodically so it may be different now. The desserts are fabulous like crème brulee and a bread pudding with black cherries and even better with a nice cappuccino. The decor includes dark wood furnishings and rich colors to create a warm, bur business-like welcome. There is a cigar bar upstairs. Close to the county and state office buildings and LaSalle street bankers and lawyers - a lot of business is probably done over lunch. The dinner crowd is probably for the theater goers.
312 Chicago
136 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60602
(312) 696-2420

Italian Village

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

Italian Village, the top floor of a trio of Italian restaurants at 71 W. Monroe, has been a Loop institution since 1927. It attracts locals, tourists, shoppers and theater patrons. Ask to be seated in the actual village - the decor replicates an outdoor villa, complete with an illuminated skyscape that looks like a Tuscan sky at dusk. Private areas are also available for larger groups to reserve. The food is basic Italian with pasta, veal and chicken choices. The chicken parmesan is very good. Diners can order a complete dinner that includes the entree, soup, salad and dessert. We did this with a moderately-priced bottle of Chianti for about $75 with tip and tax. The service is very professional. It is probably one of the best traditional Italian restaurants in the city - especially now that the Como Inn is gone to make way for more loft condos.
Italian Village
71 West Monroe St
Chicago, Illinois, 60603
+1 312 332 7005

Leona's

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

This family-owned Chicago has been around for more than 50 years. It seems every neighborhood has one. Actually there are now 12 in town serving moderately priced Italian and American foods. This is a good place to take a picky eater. The menu is HUGE with Italian favorites like mix and match pastas and sauces, chicken dishes etc. The bbq ribs are average at best. You can get beef sandwiches, grilled vegetables and more. The minestrone soup is very good with crunchy veggies and a tomato base and the psychedelic salad is terrific - a beautiful display of lettuce, carrots, green peppers, tomatoes, etc. and comes with sun flower seeds. The house Italian dressing is a good basic vinaigrette. The pizza is quite good - lots of cheese. I prefer the thin crust to the pan. The Italian beef ravioli with alfredo sauce is a decadent treat and their pesto is quite good. You can also get some yummy huge sundaes to share with a friend or date. Leona's delivers or you can carry out.
Leona's - Lakeview
3215 North Sheffield Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773) 327-8861

ANN SATHER'S RESTAURANT

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on January 15, 2002

Ann Sather's is a Swedish restaurant. The original location is in the Andersonville neighborhood at 5207 N. Clark. The Belmont location, just east of the Belmont El stop is in a former funeral home! You can't tell now. It was a very long time ago. They have furnished it recently with the carved wooden booths they bought from Zum Deuchen Eck when that old German stub called it quits. I have only gone on the weekend for breakfast which is a neighborhood tradition. While it looks crowded at the doorway, the host moves quickly and seat groups quickly by calling out what size table they have available. The next group of 4 or 2 or 6 go ahead and take that table.

They are known for their cinnamon rolls which are an absolute must on the menu. You can also purchase them boxed to go.

The menu is on the paper placement and includes Swedish pancakes served with lingonberries. I think they taste like mini cranberries. They have eggs benedict which is not my favorite. Rather than a nice Canadian bacon, they slap a slab of ham over both English muffins. I do Like the eggs Florentine, made with creamed spinach and they have a rich crab cakes benedict too. My sister loved the veggie omelette. The egg dishes come with the choice of potatoes or fruit cup and the choice of cinnamon roll, toast, English muffin or bagel. Each breakfast entree costs $6.95 to $8.95. The potato pancakes are sweet rather than salty.

There is a parking lot entrance between the buildings a few doors east of the restaurant. On the weekend there is an attendant that asks that diners get a slip of paper validated. Some people like to tip him.

Ann Sather's
909 West Belmont Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773) 348-2378

Volare Ristorante Italiano

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 16, 2001

This River North Restaurant serves basic Italian choices. You can choose your favorite type of pasta and match it with a sauce. I like the penne with prosciutto and peas - a cream-based sauce. The Bolognese sauce did not look too great to me, but it is a very hearty, meaty sauce to begin with. There are nighly specials and the linguine with seafood was enjoyed by 2 or 3 people in our group. There are also nightly fish and lamb dishes. The meat and poultry selections on the menu are slim and it appears the focus is on the pastas. For dessert, there are sorbet selections each night among the other classics - canoli, tartufo, spumoni... I had the pana cota - a cross between a flan and a creme brulee. It was deliciously creamy, but a little too heavy after all the pasta I ate.
Volare Ristorante Italiano
201 E. Grand Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60611
312-410-9900

Geja's Cafe

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 15, 2001

Pronounced /Gay' - HA s/. This is a romantic fondue place found in the cavernous basement of a turn of the century building. It is dark and you leave smelling like the boiling oil used to cook meat and vegetables. It is known as a place to propose marriage. But you can still go with friends and feel comfortable. Despite the bite-sized pieces you cook yourself, you will have plenty to eat. Each dinner comes with a cheese fondue course, main oil cooking course and a chocolate dessert course. Valet Parking is available. It has flamenco and classical guitar nightly.
Geja's Cafe
340 West Armitage Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
+1 773 281 9101

El Jardin Cafe

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 16, 2001

This Wrigleyville little Mexican diner is a great choice. Stop in after a Cubs game. It is very casual and could almost be considered a "dive." Their service is fine especially considering the prices. They serve margaritas with traditional Mexican faire. Many entrees come with a choice of sides, the grilled veggies are awesome - broccoli, carrots an cauliflower grilled and slightly seasoned. Salsa potatoes, rice and beans are the other choices. I like the steak tacos and fajitas. Others I know like the enchiladas verdes.
El Jardin Cafe
3401 N. Clark
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
773-935-8133

The Raw Bar

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 16, 2001

Don't let the name fool you. There are not too many raw selections on the menu. The name means raw as in hip and undiscovered. The menu is mainly seafood selections, but there are a couple steak and chicken choices. I like the filet served with new potatoes in a cajun sauce. My friends like the tiger shrimp tempura and the salmon choices.

Raw Bar is known for tropical drinks and the waiter will revitalize the rum in your overflowing frozen daquiri. And don't be surprised if you get an after dinner round on the house. Try the pomegranate martini. On the weekend there is live music and the place appears to be filled with people on romantic dates. One solo guitarist sounds EXACTLY like Frank Sinatra.

Raw Bar
3720 North Clark St
Chicago, Illinois, 60613
+1 773 348 7291

Select Cut Steak House

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 16, 2001

To me, this neighborhood steakhouse beats those more famous "chain" places you find downtown. The prices are better and the setting, while not fancy is cozy. I like the filet or the sirloin steaks. I have had the prime rib special and was a little disappointed compared to the normal quality of the steaks there. It was a little tough. They do offer surf and turf combos as well as chicken and ribs. The skillet mushrooms are VERY garlicky. Expect to spend about $50 per person if you get a bottle of wine and salads.
Select Cut Steak House
2808 North Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 244 1500

Fondue Stube

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 16, 2001

Fondue Stube's classic menu choices include yummy garlic bread, salad, cheese fondue with apples and bread. Then the oil for cooking beef, chicken and vegetables. Finally the chocolate course with fruit and pound cake (which is not very good). This combo, my favorite called the "Sinfonia Eroica" is about $24 per person. There are other choices with seafood. It can be romantic, but appropriate for families as well. They advertise live classical music, but I think whenever I have been, it was on the stereo. Maybe it's just the weekends. The service is very friendly and attentive.
Fondue Stube Ave
2717 W. Peterson
Chicago, Illinois, 60659
773-784-2200

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

This is a Spanish tapas restaurant. Expect to order 3 or 4 of these appetizer sized portions priced at about $6 to $7 each. The restaurant is noisy due to the all the ceramic tile on the walls and floor and expect to wait up to two hours for a table on busy weekend nights. A pitcher of sangria is a must. They offer traditional red or white and also a fun fruity mango or pineapple. My favorite tapas include the goat cheese surrounded in tomato sauce served with garlic bread, the bacon wrapped dates, the stuffed mushrooms, papas picantes (spicy fried potatoes). I also like the cerrano ham - a Spanish prosciutto served with Spanish olives. And a friend loves the grilled calamari. You can also wait an extra half-hour to try the made-to-order paella. I have ordered a vegetable paella and was disappointed. I found it tasteless and a little gummy (but maybe I am too used to the kick of jambalaya). This is a very fun place to go with a large group. The wait staff is usually very good and quick with the food.
Cafe BA-BA-Reeba
2024 N Halsted St.
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(773) 935-5000

Sabatino's Restaurant and Lounge

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

This is old school Italian. It could be very romantic, or you can bring your mama. It has been around for 25 years. You get bread including focaccia - a kind of pizza bread, then a salad and soup, then an entree - try the veal Parmesan, and a side of pasta. Many recommend the baked Alaska dessert. I also hear that the weekday lobster special is wonderful. The dining room is set off from the good-sized bar, where the piano player is a big draw on Saturday night. It can get pretty smoky even in the "nonsmoking" area. The furnishing and decorating feel old - well probably because they are. That is part of the charm of this "from another era" Italian place.

Valet and street parking available.

Sabatino's Restaurant and Lounge
4441 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago, Illinois, 60641
773-283-8331

Calo Pizzeria Restaurant & Lounge

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

Calo is from another era of Italian eateries. I think the booth I sat in was too. The springs were so warn I sunk to the ground. But the food was great. I had a pasta with peas and mushrooms cooked in a chicken broth. You start out with complimentary focaccia bread. Other diners like the Gnochi Gorgonzola in a tomato basil cream sauce. They also have ribs, chicken vesuvio, etc. - all the classics.

Apparently, they are known for pizza too, as I see a bunch of coupons in the telephone book and I keep getting flyers left on my door step. I hear the thin crust is fabulous especially late night. I will have to try it some day. There is free parking in the Currency Exchange lot across the street which is a plus in Andersonville.

Calo Pizzeria Restaurant & Lounge
5343 N. Clark St.
Chicago, Illinois, 60640
773-271-7725

Philly's Best

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

I guess you are supposed to have a cheese steak at this East Coast style diner, but the stuffed pizza is fabulous. I get the spinach stuffed pizza delivered a few times a month. The salads are nice and fresh too with a good house oil and vinegar dressing served with garlic bread. Look for coupons and menus inserted into the Chicago Reader newspaper. You can dine in the small seating area, get it delivered or stop in for a food pick-up.

In addition to the Philly cheese steak sandwich and my favorite pizza, you can get grinders and medium-crust pizza. I hear that Philadelphians transplanted to Chicago go here to get an authentic taste of home. You can even get Tasty Cakes! There is an Evanston location too.

Philly's Best
855 West Belmont Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 525 7900

Chicago's Pizza

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

Open until 5 a.m., this is the place for that 3 am pizza craving. You can get thin or stuffed pizza by the slice for there or to go. But, in case you are there at a normal dinner time, the minestrone soup is very good and there is an nice menu including some great salads, pasta, sandwiches etc. I like the spinach stuffed pizza for $3.50 a slice to go. A slice of thin crust cheese is $2.50. They serve beer and sodas too.

You will often find cops and employees from nearby Illinois Masonic Hospital dining there.

Chicago's Pizza
3006 North Sheffield Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 477 2777

Nookies Tree

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

Nookies Tree, in the heart of Boystown is the place to go any time of the day or night for omelettes, waffles or pancakes. It is a typical breakfast diner. The service is businesslike or friendly depending on your waitperson. The prices are very reasonable. I like the apple cinnamon covered waffle. My friends like the ham and cheese omelette served with toast and pototoes for like $6.95.
Nookies Tree
3334 North Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 248 9888

Nookies Too

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

Open 24 hours on the weekend, you will find Halsted Street bargoers grabbing a late night bite into the wee hours. Nookies serves up pancakes, omelettes, waffles and other breakfast foods. Also a good "normal time" breakfast place and can be pretty busy on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Prices are reasonable like $6.95 for an omelette with toast, and potatoes. Service is quick. Cash only.
Nookies Too
2114 N. Halsted Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(773) 327-1400

MOD.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 16, 2001

This Wicker Park establishment is perfectly named. It is decorated in plastic artwork and uncomfortable plastic and metal chairs right out of the Jetson's. You should be feeling very hip in order to make the jaunt over to MOD. The service is absolutely excellent and attentive. The food, when you get down to it, is basic. A bone in sirloin, roasted chicken, double cut pork chop, etc. But it's the sides that make the cuisine whimsicle and interesting - mascarpone mac and cheese, gorgonzola fondue, carmelized pears. The Fried Blue Lake Green Beans are great and the desserts are wonderful, but pricey. We got a trio that included a tiny passion fruit ice cream soda, tiny chocolate peanut butter mousse and some sorbet for $9. There is free parking in the lot just south of the restaurant which is a great find in Chicago. It is a bit pricey when you add the wine. We had a birthday dinner for 3 and spent $150 incluging tip and tax.
MOD
1520 North Damen Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60622
+1 773 252 1500

Andies Restaurant

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

Andies specializes is Lebanese and Greek food. The pita bread was warm and fluffy. We ordered hummus which was good. We had saganaki (Greek flaming cheese) that was very good, but salty. I has Moroccan chicken. It was a chicken breast with apricot sauce and red and green peppers and chick peas. It tasted a bit like a sweet and sour sayce you would get at a Chinese place. I wished I had ordered the chicken and couscous which had more of a spicy kick to it. There is a small, reasonably priced wine selection. No parking.
Andies Restaurant
1467 W. Montrose Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60613
773-348-0654

Matilda

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

This is more of a bar scene than a restuarant, but the food is not bad. I had a wood fired pizza with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. The tomotoes were a little hard and chewey. They also have a burgers, grilled ostrich fillet, chicken kabobs and a great Mighty Matilda House Salad (spinach, chow mein noodles and chicken). The martinis are yummy, but expensive. I had an orange dream and it was delicious but $10. The decor is very hip with inverted lamps and picture frames hanging from the ceiling. There are plenty of cozy leather booths and tables for conversation. For a more intimate living room feel you can wander down the VERY STEEP stairs to the candle-lit Baby Atlas lounge, where you can sink into cushy couches & have a chocolate martini. This would be a good new date place or a fun singles joint for the mid-20s crew.
Matilda
3101 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
773-883-4400

Wild Goose

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

The place is a bit of a dive, but with a nice menu that offers a little more than burgers and chicken sandwiches. It's not fancy and service can be a little slow sometimes. Silverware, napkins, ketchup, salt and pepper, are delivered to the tables in a six-pack container. It's mostly simple bar food. The best part are the nightly specials. Tuesday is 50 cent chili. A little too chunky for my taste, but good with a little kick. There is also 10 cent wing night and a Monday night pasta special for like $3. I love the Chicken Tinga tostadas. They have spicy chicken, creme fraiche, cabbage on a crunchy tostada. The nachos are good too. You get 3 for $6.95. Good stuff. A good place to stop after sports league play.
Wild Goose Bar & Grill
4265 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60618
773-281-7112

Yak-Zies Bar & Grill

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

Early on, this is a great place to meet up with friends and have a bite. It is also a good place to watch sports on Sunday or Saturday afternoon. They are famous for Tang Chicken. The tang chicken sandwich, pizza or salad are recommended if you can handle a little kick to your food. Some days are hotter than others, I noticed. The tang sauce is like a buffalo wing sauce and is great on the parsley crust pizza with chicken and mozzarella. Their order of fries is a mountain of shoestring potatoes to share with a friend or 3. If you get cheese fries don't expect some cheese-whiz sauce. It's the real thing - cheddar melted on top of the mountain of fries.

Late night at Yak-Zie's is a whole 'nother story. The food is gone and the drunks from recently closed 2 am bars are in. Popcorn is the only snack and Jeffrey pours the drinks to those patrons just not ready to call it a night. You can stay out until 4 on Friday and 5 on Saturday. If you get hungry, wander across the street to Grandma's for some pancakes. There is also a Wrigleyville location at 3710 N. Clark St.

Yak-Zies Bar & Grill
506 W. Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
773-327-1717

A La Turka Turkish Kitchen

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 14, 2001

There are belly dancers on Fridya and Sat. night. The food is great. My friend ordered the Turkish Ravioli - homemade pasta filled with seasoned beef. I had chicken shihs kebobs. The service is pretty good and the prices reasonable.
Ala Turka Turkish Kitchen
3134 N. Lincoln Ave.,
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
773.935.6101

The Parthenon

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 14, 2001

The Parthenon, located in Chicago's Greektown is a fun and reasonably priced restaurant. Take a group of friends and enjoy. The Saganaki - flaming cheese is a must. The Lamb and Artichokes is recommended by those who know. In addition to full entres, you can order "tapas" style small portions to share. There are nightly specials and if you are lucky enough to catch it, order the stuffed cabbage. It is like a stuffed grape leaf, but the outside is cabbage covered in a lemon egg sauce. It is really great especially because I am not a big fan of the taste and texture of grape leaves, but love the stuffing of meet and rice with spices. The meatballs in Sherry sauce are good and a greek salad with cucumbers, kalamata olives and feta cheese is a must do. All the classic Greek entres are offered - shish kebobs, pasticio, mousaka, gyros, spinach pie... Get a glass of Roditis - a very light and semi-sweet red Greek table wine. Open daily from 11 am to 1:20 am.
Parthenon Restaurant
314 South Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois, 60661
+1 312 726 2407

Reza's

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 14, 2001

Located at the end of Ontario where it dead ends at the expressway, Reza's is a little off the beaten path, but very popular and reasonbly priced for lots of food. The Armenian waiters were once chosen among the "most beautiful people in Chicago" by Chicago Magazine. The restaurant is in an old brewery so it is wide open and can be noisy. They also have a location in an old Persian neighborhood at 5255 N. Clark. Each entre comes with tomoto soup and pita bread and a plate of feta, parsley and radishes. Th chicken and filet combo kebobs are recommended. The walnut pomegranite sauce with the cornish hen is also great. The hummus is a good starter.
Reza's
432 West Ontario St
Chicago, Illinois, 60610
+1 312 664 4500

Pockets

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 14, 2001

Pockets is a fresh and healthy combination of ingredients stuffed into a freshly baked pocket bread. They have several location and deliver. They also have calzones served with pizza sauce on the side. I like the hot stuff calzone with jalapenos, pepperoni, broccoli, tromotoes, mozzarella cheese. I also like the original pocket - bread stuffed with lettuce, tomatos, green peppers, shredded carrots, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese with the salad dressing of choice.
Pockets
75 West Chicago Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60610
+1 312 664 4808

POMPEI BAKERY

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 20, 2001

Just off the Wellington stop of the El's Brown Line and in the shadow of Illinois Masonic Hospital, Pompei offers up homemade pasta, fresh salads and pizzacotos - a stuffed strudel style pizza. Some good ones are the turkey and stuffing or poor boy. There is also traditional pizza served by the big square slice. Neighborhood kids love to watch the pasta being made by hand through a corner glass window at the counter. The meatballs are large and tender. The marinara sauce is on the fresh side with a lot of garlic. The portions are not overwhelming. The daily specials are a good bet - especially if you can catch the cream of asparagus soup or the field greens with a warm baked goat cheese. The minestrone is healthy and chock full of vegetables. The chopped chicken salad features fried pancetta - an Italian bacon, blue cheese and olives with a vinaigrette with a touch of mustard.

Pompei has carry-out and delivery available. There is also a lovely "Little Italy" location at 1531 W TAYLOR ST. and a carryout only location under the Illinois Center at 225 N. Michigan Ave.

POMPEI
2955 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773)325-1900

Berghoff Restaurant

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 20, 2001

This is my absolute favorite lunch spot when working downtown. It is reasonable and fast and the food is superb. The wiaters are surly and very professional. The minute you sit down you will be served terrific hearty rye bread and wheat bread. The Berghoff is known for their beers, but the root beer is a delicious sweet lunchtime choice. I love the saurbraten (a kind of pot roast sliced thin and served in a sweet and sour gravy) with potato pancake and the famous creamed spinach flavored with just the right herbs. Other choices include chicken schnitzel and weinerschnitzel of course. They also have some pastas and roast turkey for the non-German food eaters. A great spot after shopping on State Street or before the theater. They serve both lunch and dinner.
Berghoff
17 West Adams St
Chicago, Illinois, 60603
+1 312 427 3170

Houston's Restaurant

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

Just off the Magnificent Mile, Houston's Restaurant has some of the best ribs in town. They beat Carson's hands down. The Hawaiian steak and the grilled chicken salad with honey lime vinaigrette and peanut sauce are our favorite choices. We like to start off with the hot spinach artichoke dip served with tortilla chips and a side of salsa. It is pretty busy every night of the week and diners should expect to wait 1 to 1.5 hours on the weekend because they do not take reservations. The decor is heavy dark wood booths and tables and low lighting. The service is generally very good with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic waitstaff.
Houston's Restaurant
616 N. Rush Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60611

MI TIERRA MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

Just a few steps west of the Belmont El stop at Sheffield, Mi Tierra is a festive Mexican joint to meet up with friends, have a margarita or 2 and a terrific, reasonably priced combo platter. I like the Nortena with a tostada, mini burrito and a taco. The shredded beef is very good. The margaritas are terrific and come is a slew of flavors, lime, strawberry, raspberry, mango, banana, peach, pineapple etc. You can get an "everything" margarita that mixes all the flavors! It tastes like a hurricane. The decor resembles a courtyard patio in Mexico including an elaborate fountain system through the middle. It can be loud because of all the terra-cotta tile on the floors. The restaurant has a party room available too.
Mi Tierra
1039 West Belmont Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 929 7955

CEASARS TACOS

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

Just south of the busy corner of Belmont and Clark, this is a great little neighborhood Mexican place. You are welcomed with the pink neon sign advertising MARGARITAS. And they are quite good. Caesar's offers traditional Mexican food like tacos, enchiladas, burritos. But they also have some healthier choices like a veggie burrito with broccoli, carrots and cauliflower in a flour tortilla. And there is a grilled chicken breast with veggies. The chiles rellenos are probably the beast around - it's tang pepper stuffed with Mexican cheeses. Ceasar's is very reasonably priced with delicious drinks. And watch out, they may bring you a tequila shooter at the end of your meal.
Ceasar's Tacos
3166 North Clark St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 248 2835

PANES BREAD CAFE

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

Located just off the Wellington El stop and around the corner from Illinois Masonic Hospital, Panes is a popular neighborhood sandwich shop. They feature really good bread - hence the name. I have tried a sandwich with chicken and did not like it. The chicken did not taste fresh - like it was heated in a microwave or something and the pesto was too heavy handed. So I moved on to a veggie and goat cheese sandwich which was great with yellow squash, spinach and mushrooms. If you are out drinking at Vaugh's Pub up the street, and want a bite to eat, the sandwiches are delivered fresh from Panes.
PANES BREAD CAFE
3002 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
773)665-0972

one sixtyblue

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

This is a pretentious little West Loop restaurant. Michael Jordan is a silent partner. The night I was there Wynton Marsalis walked in. It has painted cobalt blue bricks on the outside and modern maple wood decor on the inside. The menu is contemporary French. I went with a large party and someone else paid which was nice because it is one expensive place. We started with a cheese platter - some very stinky and piquant, others buttery and delicious. The roasted quail appetizer was served over mashed potatoes. The jumbo whitefish entree was not so jumbo, but was nice and flaky. The lamb was rare and flavorful, but a little tough. Warning, you may leave hungry unless you are at a business dinner with 6 courses! The wine list is very nice. Try the peach wine with dessert. Many diners have complained about the service, but the service for our large party was very good and the water glasses were kept filled with bottled water and the bread basket was full. However we had a fixed menu making the waiter's job pretty easy. Parking is readily available on the street in the area and it may be difficult to find a cab there as the neighborhood is still very much in transition and there is not much else going on around there.
One Sixty Blue
1400 West Randolph St.
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
(312) 850-0303

Marche

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 19, 2001

The "Cirque de Soleil" decor with burgundy and gold velvet accents make Marche an imaginative place to have dinner on the hip west Randolph Street strip. The service was friendly and unpretentious. The filet was great and served with shoestring fried onions. The decor is cool, and the menu has some nice and varied choices. I would go back, but to celebrate a special occasion. We spent about $120 for dinner for 2, a bottle of wine, salads and desserts including tip and tax.
Marche
833 West Randolph St
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
+1 312 226 8399

Erwin

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on April 10, 2002

Erwin was nice, although I have read many other reviews complaining about the wait times for a table despite reservations and for food too. It is near boys town so you may see 2 guys on a date (in case that bothers you.)

I knew it was my boss' favorite place, but it took me years of living down the street to finally try it. I went with 2 friends on a Saturday night. We were able to get a reservation at 7:15 even though calling that afternoon. The place was busy though they never rushed us to turn the table. In fact I thought the service was a pretty slow. We were not in a hurry nor tremendously starved so that was fine.

The atmosphere was cozy, but fairly noisy because of the hardwood floors and bare walls. It was decorated with birdhouses and remineded me in style and menu of Cornelia's Roosterant up the road.

My friends ordered a smoked trout appetizer in some sort of a wrap that was not so great. The fish was dry. I had a pork chop on the bone with basil sausage served with sweet corn polenta with a chipotle BBQ sauce. It was great. The pork-based sausage is made in-house. The deserts were AMAZING. We had a butterscotch pot de crem and a rice pudding. WOW! Apparently the menu changes seasonally. I like the unique and thoughful combinations of flavors. We saw Chef Erwin that night too, talking to the people behind us.

The waitress was very knowledgeable and my friends like to order several courses and share. She was gracious about that and split the entree for them. It was a bit pricey. Entree's were between $17 and $22 and desert was $7.

Erwin
2925 N. Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773) 528-7200

Rise Restaurant

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on September 16, 2002

Rise is an excellent choice for Japanese. Better prices than a lot of pretentious sushi competitors and the menu is great. They have sushi and lots of other choices. I got a spicy beef dish that hit the spot with cracked red pepper in a garlic teriyaki sauce with pea pods and other veggies. We had several appetizers including tempura, edamame and chicken goiza. The waitress was very knowledgeable about the sushi and the menu choices. They also serve specialty martinis. The decor is minimalist with techno music pumping in the background. It was very hip, but not over priced. The service was great.
Rise Sushi & Sake Lounge
3401 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773) 525-3535

El Jardin Restaurant

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on June 9, 2002

El Jardin Restaurant, distingushed from the more laid back El Jardin Cafe up Clark Street, is a traditional Mexican-American restaurant. The serve up margaritas - the strawberry ones we concluded were too sweet. I had beef tostadas and others with me had steak tacos, enchiladas con mole or flautas. Most entrees are about $10 and come with plenty to eat. In the summer the outside patio is a favorite dinner spot to enjoy the warm air and the people-watching of the Wrigleyville area. After a Cubs game, it can be very crowded - so get there early. I sent for a birthday celebration, and they gave the birthday boy a sombrero and a flan with a sparkler in it!
El Jardin
3335 N. Clark St.
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
773-528-6775

Enoteca Piattini

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on August 24, 2003

Enoteca is a spacious two-room wine bar with hardwood floors and modern settings. It has a relaxed yet potentially romantic setting for couples, friends and families. Being an enoteca -the wine selection is huge and there are like 30 wines on tap behind the long, copper bar. You can also choose from the list of 100 bottles. The entrees are served in tapas-sized portions that still leave you quite full. We loved the asparagus risoto, chicken picata and lobster ravioli. The salads were fabulous, too. The mista salad, with poached pears, goat cheese and walnuts was great. We got a variety of desserts to share - all great. It was a fun place to go with friends to share food and wine, but it can be a bit loud.
Piattini
934 W. Webster Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(773) 935-8466

Zealous

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on July 7, 2003

I went with a large group for a post-business meeting outing. This restaurant was absolutely amazing. We were served the chef's choice tasting menu which had wine served with each course. By the time dessert rolled around we were stuffed and tipsy. However, the wait staff was incredibly accommodating. Before we began she asked if we had any dietary restrictions/requests. We has a vegan/no dairy person and I'm the non-fish/seafood eater in the group. They were so great about finding us options!

I sneaked a peak at the normal menu and Zealous does offer a vegetarian tasting with wine. Entrees appear to range from $27 to $35 and salads are around $12. The wine selection is amazing.

The highlights of our 7 course dinner were the spinach-wrapped Asian pear, the pea and asparagus risotto, the deconstructed black forest case dessert.

The space is modern with brick walls and a glass enclosed wine cellar. There is slate tile on the floors.

I was surprised to find it not so busy on a normally crazy Saturday night. It is a shame for those who miss it, but lucky for the diner who finds this little gem. I would for sure take a client or loved one here for a special occasion. It is fabulous and the service was great too.

Zealous Restaurant
419 W. Superior Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60610
312-475-9112

Fogo de Chao

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on July 7, 2003

Fogo de Chao is known for the meat, but wow the salad bad is to die for. For a set price of $43.50 for dinner, you get all you can eat salad bar and roasted meat served off the spit from roving gauchos.

First, the salad bar. They say it is for wimps, but the veggies, salads, cheeses, cold cuts, and more offer amazing choices -- all excellent.

Then, the meat. It is served after you flip the laminated disk to "GO" on your table. Costumed gauchos swarm you offering lamb chops, filet, bacon wrapped chicken, pork loin, the house special rump steak and more. My favorites were by far the filet and chicken. The meat is not heavily spiced at all. The sides keep appearing too, including fried polenta, fried bananas, and mashed potatoes. Everything is really excellent -- not fancy, but high quality. We even found room for the papaya cream desert. The drinks were pricey, but a great steak dinner -- all you can eat, no less -- for about $45 before tip or tax is not too bad for Chicago. Service was promt and attentive. We almost felt rushed at points, but it was just the eager-to-serve gauchos.

Fogo de Chao
661 N La Salle Drive
Chicago, Illinois, 60610
(312) 932-9330

Twin Anchors Restaurant and Tavern

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Laura on February 21, 2005

Twin Anchors is a popular little neighborhood rib place. The cozy leather booths and marine-themed decor made this old town neighborhood institution the restaurant featured in the movie Return to Me, starring Chicago native Bonnie Hunt and Mini Driver.

It is most famous for their fabulous pork ribs. The "zesty" sauce is a must. It is not spicy, more tangy. There are other menu choices, like steaks, seafood, burgers, and salads. The BBQ pork sandwich is excellent, and there is even a Soy Natra sandwich, a soy-based sloppy joe.

Service is great and homey, and there is a great bar boasting the coldest beer in town. Since the wait can sometimes be over an hour, that is a very good thing.

Twin Anchors Restaurant and Tavern
1655 N. Sedgwick Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
312/266-1616

Side Track

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 14, 2001

This "video bar" is located in the heart of Boystown. On Sundays is "Show Tunes Night". Beginning at about 5 pm, the bar plays videos from Braodway musicals and hords of gay men sing along. It is a blast. The frozen drinks are fabulous with a Absolute Kurran Krush, Cherry Bomb and others.
-Especially fun during one of the 2 Halsted Street festivals.
Sidetrack
3349 North Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 477 9189

Retro on Roscoe

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 13, 2001

This is a great neighborhood street fair. There are bands, activities for the kids, food drinks etc. A fun way for all the Gen Xers to get out and mingle. Roscoe Village is a fun neghborhood - hipper than Lakeview and safer than Wicker Park.
Roscoe's Tavern
3356 North Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 281 3355

The Great Chicago Fire Tour

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 13, 2001

This is one of the special "Chicago Neighborhood Tours" offered by the Chicago Cultural Society. The tour is on a luxury coach and begins at the origin of the fire, at the cite of Mrs. O'Leary's home. We learned the real story of the cow's level of involvement. Peg Leg Sullivan blamed poor old Bessy for kicking over a lantern, but maybe it was him as he ran from a gambling debt. The fire's origin, is today the location of the Chicago Fire Academy where the city's brave firefighters are trained - yes someone was a smartass with that choice of locations. The tour follows the path of the fire up to Lincoln Park where it stopped. The bust stops at the Water Tower (the structure, not the shopping mall) one of the only remaining buildings from the fire. And it stops at the Chicago Historical Society’s Fire exhibit. Lunch, included in the tour price, is at the Chicago Historical Society's Big Shoulder's Cafe and includes a charming piano player. There is a drive by what was the Red Light District at the time of the fire as well as the the cite of the only home that survived. The gold coast mansion, now gone was saved because the owner put wet towels on the roof all through the night. Tour participants learn about the factors making the fire such a tragedy - the very dry summer, the poor fire notification system, the windy night etc. The tour is from 10:30 am to 4:15 pm
Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington St
Chicago, Illinois, 60601
+1 312 744 6630

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

This is one of the best street fairs of the summer. All the neighborhood beautiful people come out. Many bring their friendly dogs. There are 4 stages for bands - 2 small 2 large. Local cover bands play and some more alternative artists from out of town play the smaller side stages. There are some kids activities on Lil Street. There is beer, sangria and magaritas flowing. The bars are blasting dance music. There is plenty of food choices and local retailers set up booths to hock wares like silver jewlery, Cingular Wireless, Chicago Tribune, local radio stations art and more.
Taste of Lincoln Avenue
Liuncoln Ave.
Chicago, Illinois

Blue Man Group

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

These are those now-famous guys in the Intel commercials. This is crazy loud fun performance art set to great industrial music. They offer earplugs, but I found that you do not need them. Some people will ONLY go if they are in the first 5 rows. That would make it fun, but you are in the "PONCHO SECTION." A poncho will be provided on your seat and provides protection from edible and washable stuff flying off the stage. You could get plucked out of the audience to join the Blue Men in a funny restaurant scene. This was a great activity for visitors who do not speak much English because there is no spoken language, just great upbeat music and silly performers only in blue. Children five years and younger are not admitted.
Briar Street Theatre
3133 North Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 348 4000

Skyline Stage at Navy Pier

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

This is a very nice venue to see music. The acoustic are very good for an outdoor theater. I have seen rock and jazz at the Skyline Stage. The summer concert series is announces in the spring and some shows sell out fast. On a nice summer night, this is a great place for a date or a group of friends. There is only assigned seating - no blankets and picnicking. There is a lovely landscaped outdoor patio adjacent to the concession area where it is nice to listen for awhile. It is Chicago's only performance pavilion on the lake. The theater is covered and shelters concert-goers from the lake winds. Skyline Stage is open May through September.
Skyline Stage at Navy Pier
600 East Grand Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60611
+1 800 595 7497 (PIE

Beat Kitchen -

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

Monday nights at Beat Kitchen. Pat McCurdy plays his indescribable blend of standup comedy, silly folk music and even audience participation. It is basically stand up comedy set to music. He is best known for his anthem to "Sex and Beer" or his "Freudian Love Song". -hysterical, your gut will hurt from laughing at his whip-smart wit. He also frequently plays at Hoghead McDunna's at 1505 W. Fullerton Ave.

Food is served until 1am, closing time is 2am.

Beat Kitchen
2100 West Belmont Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60618
+1 773 281 4444

Brew & View at the Vic

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

This place is a great place for a first date. It is silly and pitchers of beer are available. The downstairs has cabaret style seating and can be VERY smokey. Upstairs is very dark and I worry about what is living on those floors. Nevertheless, it is a blast and a fun place to see second run movies and some very popular TV shows. The Vic, when not playing movies is a concert hall. Aside from Metro, I think the Vic is one of the best places to see a band.
Vic Theatre (The)
3145 North Sheffield Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773) 472-0366

McGee's

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

McGee's is a Sheffield neighborhood bar that caters to local young professionals and DePaul University students. It can get pretty darn crowded, but make your way to the space at the back and you'll be more comfortable.

For sports - it is THE place to watch Nebraska football games.

I like to go to McGee's when Louis and Scharph are playing in the back room. These 2 guys play acoustic sing along pop music and some originals. - Covers like the Indigo Girls, Matthew Sweet, Big Head Todd, the Pretenders etc. For originals - Request "M.R.S. DEGREE" or Roanoke. They even play some songs from School House Rock!

McGee's menu has sandwiches, soups, salads and appetizers like nachos or mozzarella sticks ranging from $2.75 to $6.75.

McGee's
950 W. Webster Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(773) 549-8200

Kincade's

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Laura on December 18, 2001

This is an old Lincoln Park/DePaul favorite sports bar with lots of TVs. The food is typical bar faire. I like the buffalo shicken sandwich. The taco salad looked pretty tasty too. I have been known to order the fried veggies late night which are adequately geasy to satisfy any craving. The service can be a little slow. The New Year's party there is quite fun and lively. It can also be booked for private parties. They have bus service to the Bears games shich includes a keg on board. A good transportation choice to get down to Soldier Field.
Kincade's
950 West Armitage Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
+1 773 348 0010

Irish Eyes

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

Irish Eyes feels like you are in someone's basement rec room. If you like silly Irish sing-along songs this is the place - especially on a Friday or Saturday night if Whitey O'Day is playing the Unicorn song or the Notre Dame Fight Song. It can get pretty crowded and smoky some nights. On St. Patrick's Day you better get there REALLY early. Some say this is the best bar in Chicago for drinking, singing and having a good 'ol time.
Irish Eyes
2519 North Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(773) 348-9548

Augie's

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

This is a great, friendly neighborhood place and rivals any swanky place for fabulous decorations around Christmas time. I make it a tradition to go on Christmas Eve with friends. Augie's Monday Night Volleyball League plays on an outdoor sand court on the side/back of the building from May through October. The wildest thing is the nine TVs installed IN THE FLOOR of the bar! There is a juke box and in case you get hungry, they can serve up a freshly made frozen pizza.
Augie's
1721 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(773) 296-0018

The Store

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 17, 2001

"The Store 'till 4" AM that is! This is the prime very late night/early morning scene. Most partiers know it only as the place to hit after the 3 a.m. bars in Lincoln Park have closed, but apparently it is a nice little sport's bar earlier in the day and evening. A back party room is often in use for bachelor parties, but opens to the public late night. The narrow front room can get really crowded and uncomfortable around 2:30 am. The juke box is great and constantly going. Don't expect atmosphere; it's just a fun liquored-up crowd to hang with until you can't take any more - then saunter up the street to Nookies for breakfast 24 hours a day.

The Store is open until 4 a.m. Sunday through Friday & until 5 a.m. Saturday.

The Second City
1616 North Wells Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(312) 337-3992

Chicago Supernatural Tour

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on January 18, 2002

I went on the 5-hour nighttime bus tour. They begin at 7pm and you are back by midnight.

This evening bus tour begins with a stop on the Northside at the haunted totem pole. Do the Cubs continue to lose because it faces the ball park rather than its beloved water? Someone in our group confirmed that if you take a photo of it, there is always a haze over the image of the totem pole. The tour stops on the south side too with the tale of Resurrection Mary. She was allegedly killed on her way home form the Willowbrook Ballroom in the 1940s and still seeks a ride home today. She asks to be let off in front of Resurrection Cemetary and then runs away dissapearing into the black night. The iron gates of the cemetary have some inhuman damage to them, like someone or something was trying to pry its way out.

The tour also stops in Chinatown with a talk about Fung Shui and an opportunity to buy a mirror or some fortune cookies. It also stops at the Museum of Science and Industry to hunt down Clarence Darrow whose ghost was captured on video on one tour. And a perhaps a visit by the Lincoln ghost train - the one that carried his body from Springfield to Chicago for mourners.

Drive by the location of the St. Valentine's Day massacre where many a pet dog is still found to be agitated and the Biograph Theater where Dillinger was shot. He also discusses the Chiciago origin of Rosemary's baby at Jane Adam's Hull House on the UIC campus and the Eastland disaster. It was not Excalibur nightclub that served as a temporary morgue - it was the old armoury which now houses HARPO studios, home of the Ophrah Winfrey Show! She keeps a tight lip, but it is pretty well known to be filled with events of the paranormal.

Tours are on a luxury coach with washroom and personally guided by Richard T. Crowe, "the original and only full-time Ghost Hunter of Chicagoland."

Each tour includes stops and drive-bys. There is a stop at a Justice, Illinois local bar where drinks, food and a pit stop are available and there is a stop at the world famout Billy Goat Tavern where Richard discusses the curse on the Cubs. Participants can bring their own libations and snacks on the bus as well. It can get a little rowdy.

Chicago Supernatural Cruise
300 North Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60601
+1 708 499 0300

World's Largest Block Party at Old St. Pat's Churc

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 21, 2001

Old St. Pat's will host the 18th annual World's Largest Block Party in 2002. The date will likely be Friday and Saturday July 19 and 20. The cost for entrance is $35 and includes 6 beer tickets. Old St. Pat's Block Pary is known among Chicago singles as THE place to meet a potential spouse. The crowd tends to be pretty "whitebread" i.e. not too culturally diverse and made up of 20 and 30 somethings. Headliner bands in the past have been Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Blues Traveler, Cheap Trick on the main stage. There are also smaller stages featuring local acts. There are food stands to grab some pizza, bugers, noodles and more. Friday night tends to be more city-dwellers and Saturday night tends to be more suburbanites. This is one of the best street fairs of the summer and the high entrance fee keeps out the rif raf. It sells out so I suggest purchasing tickets on line or by phone before hand.
Old St. Patrick's Church
700 West Adams
Chicago, Illinois, 60661

DSW SHOE WAREHOUSE

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

DSW - Designer Shoe Warehouse is full of name brand shoe bargains. They also have some hand bags and socks. The focus is on women's shoes, but there is a good men's selection too. It is self service and I love to browse the bargain rack in back. The tags are color coded indicating the additional percentage off like 20, 30, 40 or 50%. It can be CRAZY - especially if you are willing to buy sandals out of season! They have a frequent buyer card,if you choose to be in the program. Then you receive coupons in the mail and $25 gift certificate for every $250 you spend. It is a shoe hound's paradise.
DSW SHOE WAREHOUSE
3131 N Clark St
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773) 975-7182

Southport Lanes & Billiards

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

This lively sports bar/pool hall is famous for REAL LIVE pin-setters instead of automatic re-set and ball return! The rules include "Don't bowl if you see legs." The best secret is that you can tip the pin-setters by sticking money into one of the finger holes in the ball and roll it down. You will see your scores improve greatly. There are only four lanes, and with the novelty of the pin-setters and having a bowling alley in what is a favorite local tap anyway, the lanes are occupied much of the time. Southport Lanes & Billiards has been in business as a tavern/bowling alley/pool hall since 1922. There is a lengthy beer list and in the summer you may be lucky to catch a pear cider - delicious. There is also great jukebox and a nice-sized menu for eats.
Southport Lanes and Billiards
3325 North Southport Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 472 6600

Lincoln Park Zoo

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 20, 2001

Lincoln Park Zoo is probably one of only a few fee zoos in the nation. It is lovely. See all the classic zoo animals like giraffes, elephants, lions. The Ape House is great and there is an aviary for bird lovers. For Christmas there is a zoo lights festival and visitors can wander among festive animal themed decorative light configurations as well as see the real animals.

In the summer, there is a monthly "Jammin' at the Zoo" with national and regional acts like Sonia Dada, Richard Thompson, Joan Osborne with Double Trouble. This appears to be geared for the 20 to 30 somethings.

Parking is $8 in the zoo lot.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 North Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
(312) 742-2000

North Avenue Beach

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Laura on December 16, 2001

In the summer this place is teaming with volleyball nets and nuts. On the weekends friends get together to play or meet up with potential teammates. Equipment including the ball, net, lines can be rented at the beach house through the Chicago Park District. Friday evenings beach volleyball leagues play.
North Avenue Beach and Chess Pavilion
1600 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
312/747-0832

Life Along the 'L' Train Tour

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on May 5, 2002

The Chicago Historical Sociery runs the "Life along the El" as a part of its Out of the Loop El Tour series. They are on Sundays from 1 pm to 3:30 pm. We Boarded the CTA's Brown Line at the Randolph/Wabash station for a tour guided by the Chicago Historical Society staff. The highlights included viewing landmarks such as Wrigley Field and discussions of the 1871 fire. We learned about patterns of ethnic settlement in the different neighborhoods along the Brown Line like Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Lincoln Park, Albany Park, the Loop and more. We learned about the El station architects William Gibb and Arthur Gerber and the master planner of the El Chicago tycoon Charles Tyson Yerkes.

It was difficult to see many of the sites pointed out by the tour guide because we were on a train and it does not lend itself to that. However, it was interesting to see all the neighborhoods up to the end of the line. It is a good way to learn about the diverse neighborhoods and to see how Chicagoans live.

Loop Tour Train
77 East Randolph St
Chicago, Illinois, 60601
+1 312 744 2400

ANTIQUES AT THE LINCOLN MALL

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Laura on December 22, 2001

Lincoln Ave. in the Roscoe Village neighborhood is a real "Antique Row." Look for shops between Wellington and Belmont. You can take the El Brown Line to Paulina and exit by walking south down Lincoln. This is a great area to look for antique furniture, rugs and other items. Some stores also sell replicas for a far better price. Also going west from Lincoln on Belmont is more "antique row."
Chicago Antique Mall
3045 North Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
+1 773 929 0200

Tony n Tina's Wedding

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Laura on December 23, 2001

The theatrical performance of Tony n`Tina's Wedding satires an Italian-American family wedding. The audience participates in all aspects of the the event. The ticket price includes the ceremony, reception, unlimited Italian buffet, champagne toast, wedding cake, live music and dancing.

Start the evening in Vinnie's Celebrity Lounge for a cocktail (not included). As a "wedding guest" you will then attend the ceremony in a life-like chapel and the reception in a real banquet facility (Vinnie's Coliseum). The entertainment for the evening is provided by a live band - Donny Dolce & Fusion playing everyone's favorite wedding tunes like the Hustle, the Macarena, the Chicken dance, an even the Tarantella.

For dinner you are served an all-you-can-eat buffet of mostacolli, Italian sausage with peppers and onions, salad, bread, and wedding cake. You,ll toast the bride and groom with champagne, participate in the bouquet and garter toss and dance with the bridal party. A full-service cash bar is also available.

If you are Italian and easily offended, this is not the place for you. The food is nothing to write home about. It is pretty fun and you can bring kids, but note not all the jokes are clean and nor are all the characters prudish. The night gets a little long and for a 7:30 show, you get out at about 10:30.

Tony n Tina's Wedding
210 W North Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60610
(312) 337-0436

Wrigley Field Tour

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on January 9, 2002

On summer weekends, when the Cubs are out of town, you can take a tour or Wrigley Field. For a $10 donation to the charity Cubs Care, you will get a great behind-the-scenes look at beautiful Wrigley Field. Tickets will need to be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster because it sells out every time. You will tour the press box, Cubs locker room, the Cubs dugout, the bleachers and more. You will learn about the security system, the scoreboard, movies filmed at Wrigley (like "A League of Their Own" starring Madonna). You can ask questions of your host - like what do the players eat before a game? Bring a ball and glove because you will be able to play catch on the field and take all the pictures you want - even in the on-deck circle!
Wrigley Field
1060 West Addison Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60613
(773) 404-2827

AfterHours at the Art Institute

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Laura on February 6, 2003

AfterHours is held the third Thursday of every third month from 5:30 to 8:30pm. Visitors can explore the galleries at their own pace. It is a hip event especially for 20- to 40-something singles. I would recommend it for sure.

I went to see the Medici, Michelangelo, and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence. The exhibition was quite crowded that night so I did not have the patience to see everything in the detail that I normally would. Nevertheless, it was fun because the night had an Italian theme with Italian music played by live entertainers. There was delicious appetizers like mini bruscetta and of course, vino or other cocktails for a fee.

The museum shop was open and I was pleased to find some super bargains on posters from previous exhibitions--something I really like to collect.

The Art Institute presents AfterHours on a quarterly basis for a post-work celebration of art and entertainment. Each AfterHours program is centered around a theme highlighting either the museum’s permanent collection or a special exhibition like the Medicci one. There are gallery walks presented by museum curators, music, cocktails, and complimentary food included with the entrance fee of $15 for non-members and $10 for museum members.

Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois, 60603
(312) 443-3600

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j7984-Chicago-The_non-trite_Chicago_Guide.html

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