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Old 05-27-2012, 03:42 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Yep, another tourist wanting to know about parking

I am planning on making my first visit to Chicago soon. I know that I don't want to see Chicago by car, but I am driving to town because we're combining it with a visit to relatives in Kentucky. It will stay parked for most of our time in Chicago. We plan to stay at the Tremont, so that area is where I'm looking.

Now, here's the wrinkle: I don't want to disparage an entire city or profession, but I've seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off. My car's not a classic Ferrari, but if I worked at a parking garage, I'd be tempted. So, in the interest of not recognizing my car in a youtube video, I'd really like to find some daily covered parking where I park it and take the keys myself. I've thought about such things as parking at the airport and taking a train down-town, but if I can avoid extra commutes in a strange town, I will.

If you know nothing about parking, but know of an extensive list of places to have good sausage and italian beef at, I'll take that instead. But, you will have it on your conscience that I may be eating it on a worried stomach.
  #2  
Old 05-27-2012, 04:21 PM
Farmer Jane Farmer Jane is offline
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I offer no help, except that my dad never thought twice about parking his Mercedes downtown, metered or garage. (They used to live in Aurora.) My step-aunt and uncle live on the south side of the Loop and I never saw my dad quake in fear when he couldn't borrow one of their parking spaces.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:10 PM
Cheryl44 Cheryl44 is offline
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Where are you coming from that you're visiting both Kentucky and Chicago on one trip?
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:34 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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From Texas. I grew up a couple of miles from a billboard advertising Carlsbad Caverns. It's directions: Take the next exit, turn around, drive 472 miles. It probably warped my idea of what's nearby, and how to get there. My first idea for a trip we could tie into the Kentucky trip was a visit to the Rockies =).
  #5  
Old 05-28-2012, 12:06 AM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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I've never heard of anyone using a parking garage and having problems anything like what you are talking about such as in the Ferris Bueller movie. I can't imagine parking being risky in any way at a nice place like The Tremont.

There are multiple self park garages throughout downtown as well. I don't know how long they allow you to leave your car. Most of them I have used run $25 - $35 per day and you take your keys with you.

Having considered this while writing I have to say your best bet is going to be letting the hotel park your car. After all, Ferris Bueller's Day Off isn't a documentary.

BTW, the Tremont offers valet parking for $54 a day. (Yikes! )
  #6  
Old 05-28-2012, 12:23 AM
zoid zoid is offline
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I think your best option is in your OP. Long term parking at O'Hare lot F is $9/day.
Downtown is't gonna be a small fortune.
How long are you staying?
  #7  
Old 05-28-2012, 12:57 AM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoid View Post
I think your best option is in your OP. Long term parking at O'Hare lot F is $9/day.
Downtown is't gonna be a small fortune.
How long are you staying?
$9 a day? On second thought I am going to agree with zoid. The Blue Line will get you downtown and you said you don't plan on driving around while visiting. Honestly, you could take taxis to and from O'Hare and still save a good size chunk o' change.
  #8  
Old 05-28-2012, 03:46 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolak of Twilo
After all, Ferris Bueller's Day Off isn't a documentary.
Yes, I know it's not a documentary. That was really just a coincidence and an attempt at comedy. On the other hand, I used to be a state inspector at an oil change place, and I worked at an auto auction. Both places taught me that giving young folks access to cars that aren't theirs is at least asking for hair raising tales. Making that a small car with decent power, a manual, and awd is almost guaranteeing some fun will be had.

I wasn't an angel myself when given access to a cars that I knew were owned by a car dealer at the auction. We didn't even leave the lot, and had a blast. Nothing was done to the cars that you would outwardly notice, but I know the future owners would not be happy if they knew how the cars were used. I am pretty sure a few of the car's useful lives were shortened. I know it's unlikely, but I also know it's not impossible. I know I'd sleep better if the keys were with me.

Thank you for the info on O'Hare, Zoid. Really, I knew that storing a car, covered in Chicago was going to be pricey. Garage A at $31/day looks to be the cheapest covered parking that they have, still a sight better than $54/day at the Tremont for valet (yikes, indeed!). I'm going to be there 3-4 nights, so any savings I could make would add up.

Kolak, the self parking is really what I am looking for. I found that (duh) http://www.chicagoparkingmap.com has info on who allows self-parking when you click on individual locations, and who is open 24/7, but the site has no way to filter or search on those criteria . There seem to be quite a few that are both. Either way, Scabpickerina read some bad reviews on the Tremont, so it doesn't look like we're staying there ( I thought it looked nice...). So, when we've settled on where we're staying, I'll click around and find a place.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Now, I need to figure out where to eat! That's a much more satisfying subject.
  #9  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:33 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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There are relatively few attendant parking garages any more, and the majority of them are in residential buildings and easy to spot and avoid. The parking at the 900 North Michigan complex, for instance, right behind the Tremont, is an enormous self-park garage. When the valet at the Tremont takes your car, chances are that's where he takes it.
  #10  
Old 05-28-2012, 06:01 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
Thank you for the info on O'Hare, Zoid. Really, I knew that storing a car, covered in Chicago was going to be pricey. Garage A at $31/day looks to be the cheapest covered parking that they have, still a sight better than $54/day at the Tremont for valet (yikes, indeed!). I'm going to be there 3-4 nights, so any savings I could make would add up.
Rather than paying $31 a day for the garage at O'Hare, you could use the garage at the Cumberland Blue Line station (2 stops away from O'Hare) for $12 a day. All but the top floor are covered.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:50 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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That's a good thing to know, Mr. Downtown, thank you. If we end up staying at the Tremont anyway, I'll probably use that building just out of convenience.

The Cumberland Station parking seems to be the cheapest covered parking I've seen in Chicago, Alley Dweller. Heck, I could buy the whole month for less than 3 days of valet parking. If I decide to park it further than walking distance from the hotel, that's probably where I'll put it.
  #12  
Old 05-30-2012, 12:41 PM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
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What's worked for me is to look for hotel deals that include parking. Yes, they're few and far between but I've lucked out a few times and just happened to see this deal on Travelzoo that might work for you.

Link

I've also used a public ramp across from the Macy's on E. Randolph. It's been a few years but I think it was $24/day. I used that one while staying at Swissotel, which was maybe a 5-6 block walk. Just pulled up to the hotel, declined valet, checked in and ran bags up to the room quick and then went and parked.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:50 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Thankya, SmellMyWort. I love that hotel's name. It'd be more fitting if there was a 1 ton weight hanging over the beds =). I think we've decided on a similar deal that includes self-parking near the Hancock building.

Slightly O/T: You're a brewer, right? Any suggestions on Chicago or Illinois specific beers I must try (or even better, can bring home)? I can carry about 300 lbs in the car after people and luggage. It'd be a shame to go home empty. <hums> East Bound & Down</hums>
  #14  
Old 05-30-2012, 09:11 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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Untill SMW returns...

Goose Island
Haymarket
Half Acre
Revolution
Lunar
  #15  
Old 05-31-2012, 01:05 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Oh my! I knew Chicago would not let me down on beer, but I was not prepared for the glory!

We'll be coming home with a full trunk.
  #16  
Old 05-31-2012, 08:28 AM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Take your car to Binny's Beverage Depot (formerly known as "Sam's Wine & Spirits") and bask in the glory.

My favorite beers from the time I was in Chicago were all from Three Floyds. They're from "the Chicago area" (Munster, IN) rather than Chicago proper, but their stuff is so very very good.
  #17  
Old 05-31-2012, 10:11 AM
carlb carlb is online now
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Depending on the travel itinerary to/from Kentucky, Three Floyds would be a nice lunch stop. Their food is pretty good, and you get the beer from right there at the brewery.
  #18  
Old 05-31-2012, 03:01 PM
I_Know_Nothing I_Know_Nothing is offline
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I work graveyards at 540 W Madsion(Madison and Clinton) and have used the Presidential Towers(entrance on Jefferson b/t Monroe and Madison)garage a few times when I forgot my parking pass. I remember it being it high $20's per day, but I was not going to park on a surface lot overnight. It's attached to the upscale residential towers, clean and well lit. Not sure how convenient it is for you, but I would feel perfectly safe parking there. fwiw

And if you're doing deep dish pizza just know that Uno's in near north invented it. I think you're just a few blocks from. But if you want the best of the best take a trip on the Metra(Milwaukee District N) out to Bert's in Morton Grove. You have to order your pizza a day ahead though.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:57 PM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
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I'm not super familar with Chicago/Illinois beers but it looks like Zoid put up a good list. I do know several people up here (WI) that are always on the lookout for Goose Island special releases when they go to IL.
  #20  
Old 06-01-2012, 12:23 PM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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I'd add Two Brothers to the local beer list. Domain Dupage is my favorite of theirs.
Be aware that Goose Island tends to use a heavy hand with the hops in most of their brews, which may be a plus or a minus for you. I'm not a big fan.

Since I usually go out of my way to avoid parking downtown, I don't have much for you on that subject. But I do hope you have a fantastic time in our great city!

Last edited by Wheelz; 06-01-2012 at 12:25 PM.
  #21  
Old 06-01-2012, 03:50 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Yep, SMW, I've gotten a lot of great beer suggestions. This thread has been great. I am very glad I opened it. Thank you all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
Take your car to Binny's Beverage Depot (formerly known as "Sam's Wine & Spirits") and bask in the glory.

My favorite beers from the time I was in Chicago were all from Three Floyds. They're from "the Chicago area" (Munster, IN) rather than Chicago proper, but their stuff is so very very good.
Binny's looks like a shopping extravaganza, and regional favorites that aren't shipped out are what I'm looking for. With a 109 Illinois beers listed on the website ( including Lone Star ), It's probably where I'll fill the trunk. I have to drive in/out of Chicago. So, I'll try to make it to the Three Floyds' pub on my way in or out. Because this sounds like a good suggestion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlb View Post
Depending on the travel itinerary to/from Kentucky, Three Floyds would be a nice lunch stop. Their food is pretty good, and you get the beer from right there at the brewery.
I don't know that I am going to eat one, but this is a menu item that I will recall reading for a long time: Blood Sausage Corndog. I think I would be cheating myself if I didn't go. It sounds more appealing each time I read it. I don't know if we're going to make it that far in from KY by lunchtime, we might try to stop in Indianapolis for lunch on the way in. It may be where we stop for dinner while we are rolling into to town the first night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Know_Nothing View Post
I work graveyards at 540 W Madsion(Madison and Clinton) and have used the Presidential Towers(entrance on Jefferson b/t Monroe and Madison)garage a few times when I forgot my parking pass.
Thank you for the info, but I think that's a bit far from where we've decided to stay. My wife has fears of me being lost on the transit system alone that aren't unfounded, so I'll probably be parking in walking distance.

Because of your location, I gotta ask what seems like a very dumb question: Are you commuting from Dallas to Chi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Know_Nothing View Post
And if you're doing deep dish pizza just know that Uno's in near north invented it. I think you're just a few blocks from. But if you want the best of the best take a trip on the Metra(Milwaukee District N) out to Bert's in Morton Grove. You have to order your pizza a day ahead though.
Ok, now pizza seems a completely complex subject, especially in Chicago. I've heard that Uno is the original. I've had it, at chain locations here in Texas. I've heard from several people that you can never get in at Uno's, and Due is across the street and is just as good. Does anyone have any corroboration of this?

Geno's East seems like one that I have to have as well. It's the one that Scabpickerina wants to try the most.

Bert's seems like an amazing pizza from the description and the photos. It may be one I have to visit, because it doesn't seem like it's ever going to be shipped out, and any pizza you have to order a day in advance is worth trying. It having been on Anthony Bourdain's show will be a selling point when I start suggesting lunch at a place that isn't down-town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
I'd add Two Brothers to the local beer list. Domain Dupage is my favorite of theirs.
Be aware that Goose Island tends to use a heavy hand with the hops in most of their brews, which may be a plus or a minus for you. I'm not a big fan.
Well, I think that the modern American brews tend to go hop-heavy in general. I personally prefer malty beers myself. As long as they are using mostly aroma hops, going crazy with the hops usually isn't too bad. My brother's a beer blogger, though. Goose Island is the one place that he's requested I bring beer back from. I'm sure I can handle their beers, but they may not be my favorite. It looks like Binny's carries Two Brothers, so I'll be sure to grab some of that, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
But I do hope you have a fantastic time in our great city!
At this point, I think it'd be hard not to have a good time. I've been told the hot dog stand outside the Field Museum is the hot dog to have. Any other contenders for king of the hot dogs? (I plan to contract gout on vacation.)

I have 11 meals worth of time in Chicago. I've always heard it was an eating town. I don't want to see the inside of a McDonald's or Denny's while I'm there. If I can obviate the continental breakfast, it should be a complete success. If anyone has any suggestions on places that are serving lunch early down-town, that would be wonderful. If not, good breakfast places (or really, just any eating) would work, too.
  #22  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:35 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Quote:
Ok, now pizza seems a completely complex subject, especially in Chicago. I've heard that Uno is the original. I've had it, at chain locations here in Texas. I've heard from several people that you can never get in at Uno's, and Due is across the street and is just as good. Does anyone have any corroboration of this?
First thing to know: the Uno's that you get anywhere outside of Chicago is NOTHING like the Uno's that you get at the original downtown Chicago location. Nothing at all. I think it is a different company just licensing the name. So don't go by your experiences with that.

If you can get into the real Uno's, it will be great. If you can't, go to Due's. Or go to Due's to start with if you like. It's exactly the same stuff. Gino's East is slightly different, but every bit as good. Giordano's is also slightly different, but just as good. Or sign up for a "pizza tour" with one of the local companies and you'll get to taste a bunch of them on a nice interesting walking tour.

As for other food, I would strongly recommend you try an Italian Beef sandwich. Ask for it "slightly dipped" (that is, not too wet and not too dry) and it will be perfect. Be prepared to tell them if you want sweet or hot peppers. Everyone has their favorites, but you can't go wrong with Al's, Mr. Beef, Buono Beef, or Portillo's. Hot dogs are pretty much good anywhere that isn't a chain store. Be prepared for a chef's salad worth of toppings on it if you get the authentic "Chicago style" dog.

Hope you have a great time, and don't forget to file a "trip report" when you get back!

Last edited by Tim R. Mortiss; 06-01-2012 at 09:39 PM.
  #23  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:59 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
Yep, SMWI have 11 meals worth of time in Chicago. I've always heard it was an eating town. I don't want to see the inside of a McDonald's or Denny's while I'm there. If I can obviate the continental breakfast, it should be a complete success. If anyone has any suggestions on places that are serving lunch early down-town, that would be wonderful. If not, good breakfast places (or really, just any eating) would work, too.
How much do you want to spend?
What do you want to eat?
How far are you willing to travel?
  #24  
Old 06-01-2012, 10:10 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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Just a quick thought;

I case of emergency, Pizano's at Dearborn and Chicago is close to you and they deliver untill 4 AM on the weekends.
It's typical pizzeria food but it's pretty good and if you need a late night feast after boozing it's good to keep in mind.
http://www.pizanoschicago.com/dearborn-and-chicago.php
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:34 PM
I_Know_Nothing I_Know_Nothing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker
Because of your location, I gotta ask what seems like a very dumb question: Are you commuting from Dallas to Chi?
Oops. Looks like I haven't updated my profile since I moved here a year and a half ago. Thanks for the reminder. I live in the west suburbs(Bloomingdale). I work graveyards downtown so I don't get to see as much as the city as I would like because when I get off at 830AM I ready to get out and go to bed.

To nitpick myself the Uno's is in River North, not Near North. They tell you when you walk in that the pizzas take 45 minutes to cook, which is supposedly different than the chains, which I am not familiar with. Btw, America's Test Kitchen had an episode on Chicago style pizza if you cook and want one at home. Those guys are awesome.

I was watching a review on PBS of Burt's once and the guests wanted to order an extra appetizer that they didn't order the day before. The waitress said she'd have to check with Burt first, came back and said "He'll do it but he says your pushing it!" That's my kink of place. This guy has his vision damned if he's going to change it for anyone.

As far as diners go look no further than Lou Mitchell's. It's been around since 1923. They serve their omelets in the skittle. Cash only if I remember correctly.
  #26  
Old 06-02-2012, 03:50 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
First thing to know: the Uno's that you get anywhere outside of Chicago is NOTHING like the Uno's that you get at the original downtown Chicago location. Nothing at all. I think it is a different company just licensing the name. So don't go by your experiences with that.
I imagined that might be the case. That's why I wanted to know if Due's really was identical. I wanted to get in and see what the difference was, and a spare never hurts. We've had the chains on/off here in DFW for awhile now. I've heard that I've been lied to. Now, it's time to find out to what degree .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
Or sign up for a "pizza tour" with one of the local companies and you'll get to taste a bunch of them on a nice interesting walking tour.
Hmm, that does sound interesting, I'll look for one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
As for other food, I would strongly recommend you try an Italian Beef sandwich. Ask for it "slightly dipped" (that is, not too wet and not too dry) and it will be perfect. Be prepared to tell them if you want sweet or hot peppers. Everyone has their favorites, but you can't go wrong with Al's, Mr. Beef, Buono Beef, or Portillo's. Hot dogs are pretty much good anywhere that isn't a chain store. Be prepared for a chef's salad worth of toppings on it if you get the authentic "Chicago style" dog.
Oh, I absolutely am going to have Italian Beef. Since they seem to be everywhere, Al's will probably be my introduction to it. I am intrigued by the sausage/beef combo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
Hope you have a great time, and don't forget to file a "trip report" when you get back!
Ok, I'll take notes and everything. I'm wondering if I should keep a calorie count?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoid View Post
How much do you want to spend?
What do you want to eat?
How far are you willing to travel?
Well, anywhere that public transit can get, I probably have the patience to ride there. If there are other attractions in the area, that'd be a plus when deciding to go out to the suburbs. I'm not above spending about $50 a plate, but that's probably about my limit before I start thinking "dinner had better change my life". I'm willing to try most things once, but there are limits. While I am not really willing to eat a mother-in-law, for instance, I have more of a fat/umami tooth than a sweet tooth.

And I'm going to be there during the week, but Pizano's is open late then as well. They'll probably win for a late dinner one night.

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Originally Posted by I_Know_Nothing View Post
Oops. Looks like I haven't updated my profile since I moved here a year and a half ago. Thanks for the reminder. I live in the west suburbs(Bloomingdale). I work graveyards downtown so I don't get to see as much as the city as I would like because when I get off at 830AM I ready to get out and go to bed.
Ok, I figured that was what was going on. I work graveyards myself. But there's not much to see between Dallas and Fort Worth at any time of day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Know_Nothing View Post
I was watching a review on PBS of Burt's once and the guests wanted to order an extra appetizer that they didn't order the day before. The waitress said she'd have to check with Burt first, came back and said "He'll do it but he says your pushing it!" That's my kink of place. This guy has his vision damned if he's going to change it for anyone.
Perfect, the pizzas look amazing. We have to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Know_Nothing View Post
As far as diners go look no further than Lou Mitchell's. It's been around since 1923. They serve their omelets in the skittle. Cash only if I remember correctly.
MMMM, That'll have to be a breakfast trip. It seems a great deal of Chicago's food is cash only. That's often a good sign. The best barbecue place around here is cash only.
  #27  
Old 06-02-2012, 09:55 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Second City Pizza Tour is the one I was on. It was pretty good. But there are lots of other similar tours in town. A tiny bit of Google-Fu should find you lots of options. If you search Groupon or YouSwoop you can probably get a half-off deal.

Al's is my favorite Italian beef, so that's where I'd steer you. They have the most flavor, IMHO.

Calorie count? At the risk of sounding New York, FUGGEDABOUDIT!!!!
  #28  
Old 06-03-2012, 02:13 PM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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Places you should eat would include:

Al's Beef (of all the Italian beef joints this is the best by far)

Hot Doug's

The Wiener Circle (go late for the full experience)

For more upscale meals but not super fancy,

The Gage

Davanti Enoteca

The Publican

The Purple Pig

Slurping Turtle

Urbanbelly

I could go on but these are the first that came to mind out of a slew of great restaurants.

As for beer, of the local or area brewers you should pay special attention to beers from Revolution, Half Acre and Three Floyds above all others. Goose Island makes some very good beers but they have much wider distribution nationally.

If you want to go bar hopping and check out places with a wide selection of great beers from all over I would recommend you stop in Hopleaf. The Revolution brewpub is also worth a visit.
  #29  
Old 06-03-2012, 04:13 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Good luck getting into Hot Doug's. In all my years, I've never had the patience to wait in that stupid line.
  #30  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:46 PM
carlb carlb is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
...So, I'll try to make it to the Three Floyds' pub on my way in or out. Because this sounds like a good suggestion:

I don't know that I am going to eat one, but this is a menu item that I will recall reading for a long time: Blood Sausage Corndog. I think I would be cheating myself if I didn't go. It sounds more appealing each time I read it.
I stopped by the brewpub yesterday, and didn't see the blood sausage on the menu; the food rotates relatively often depending on what's in season. Although, they seem to always have the Scotch egg around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
Well, I think that the modern American brews tend to go hop-heavy in general. I personally prefer malty beers myself. As long as they are using mostly aroma hops, going crazy with the hops usually isn't too bad. My brother's a beer blogger, though. Goose Island is the one place that he's requested I bring beer back from. I'm sure I can handle their beers, but they may not be my favorite.
I don't think Goose Island is nearly as crazy with the hops as a lot of other places. If you can squeeze in a visit to their Clybourn brewpub, I think it would be well worth the time (bonus - a Binny's is right across the street, so you can get your shopping trip in). The brewpub always has a mix of hoppy beers, malty beers, middle-of-the-road beers, Belgian styles, and often an odd-ball one. There's generally something for every palate on tap there.
  #31  
Old 06-07-2012, 02:39 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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It's not part of your OP, but if you're planning on using the CTA while here, if you have a smartphone, you can use ctabustracker.com to get arrival times for buses, and transitchicago.com/traintracker for train arrival times. Both of these websites work really well with mobile, and provide a little more information than an app. I just load the sites and bookmark the phone's web browser. If you need to figure out how to get from there to there, your Google Maps app will be better at local transit than the CTA Trip Planner.

If you don't have a smartphone, you can print system guides and maps at transitchicago.com/maps/. Schedules, too, but those aren't very useful.
  #32  
Old 06-07-2012, 06:42 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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All of those places look great, Kolak I will try to make as many of them as I can. I'll try to get in line early at Hot Doug's. Since I'm going to be in on a weekday, do you think that I'll have any better luck, Tim?

Well, I was planning on going to both Goose Island's and Three Floyd's brewpub, Carlb. If I can only make one, I'll make it the Clybourn Goose Island location, since it's across from the Binny's closest to my hotel. I didn't realize they were across from each other, thanks.

And, SeaDragonTattoo, thanks a hell of a lot. I wasn't aware of either of those sites. I am sure they will come in very useful. I use mass transit about once every 3-4 years here in DFW, so I am probably gonna need help with Chicago's.
  #33  
Old 06-07-2012, 04:01 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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An interesting Loop bar is Stocks and Blondes at 40 N Wells. The tap beer selection is quite good. It is located next to the Washington and Wells train stop. As an added bonus, the nearby parking garage is the one that was used in Ferris Bueller's Day Off!

Stocks and Blondes
  #34  
Old 06-07-2012, 06:48 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
As an added bonus, the nearby parking garage is the one that was used in Ferris Bueller's Day Off!
Hmmmm, I'll be taking public transit to it.
  #35  
Old 06-09-2012, 11:20 AM
SlickPoetry SlickPoetry is offline
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If you feel like getting away from the city for a couple hours, there's another brewpub I like called Flossmoor Station in Flossmoor, IL. good food, great beer. Because it is right at a Metra stop, it is easier to get to than three floyds (although others would say floyds is the preferable destination). This brewpub is located in an old, Illinois Central train station that was remodeled 10 years ago. they brew on-site.


to get there without a car you get on the Metra Electric train line at the Millenium Park Station (the train station is underneath the park) then take a 45 minute train ride to the line's Flossmoor stop. That stop deposits you right next to the brew pub. Downtown Flossmoor is also a charming place to walk around for an hour or so, although there is not much to do other than the brewpub.

Last edited by SlickPoetry; 06-09-2012 at 11:21 AM.
  #36  
Old 06-10-2012, 04:23 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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If you don't feel like waiting in line at Hot Doug's, but really want a "different" type of hot dog, you can check out Chicago's Dog House near DePaul. No line, and they are open on Sundays......

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chicagos-dog-house-chicago-2
  #37  
Old 06-11-2012, 01:52 PM
Cheryl44 Cheryl44 is offline
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How can any of you talk of hot dogs and not mention SuperDawg?

http://www.superdawg.com/
  #38  
Old 08-11-2012, 06:40 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Ok, as requested up-thread, here's a (rather long) trip report. It's been a few weeks since we got back, but I've been busy catching up from vacation, sorry. Hopefully it'll have the benefit of not being colored by recent nipple-hardening excitement:

First, thank all of you for your suggestions, they helped make my stay very enjoyable.

The parking advice was a great help, if nothing else it showed me that parking in Chicago wasn't the trial that it can be in NYC, or even in the downtown areas of DFW. I ended up parking in the Hancock Center, since it allowed self-park. It was a bit more than I was hoping to pay, but it was too convenient to the hotel (right across the street) for me to even begin to shop around.

It's a gorgeous city. If I had read Frank Lloyd Wright's quote about Chicago being the last beautiful great city before visiting it, I would have raised my eyebrows. Since I read it after walking about the city for a couple of days, I could only nod in agreement. Even the El train is beautiful. We took the architecture cruise on our last day there. I highly recommend it for anyone visiting the city. I have 98% of an art degree, and did well in the architectural sections of art history, and I learned new things about buildings I was already familiar with. Get me drunk, and you could make me wax for hours about how much I liked the look of the city, really.

In regard to the museums, I didn't even get to half of the ones I wanted to see. The Art Institute was a giant string of "Jesus, I didn't know they had that, I've only seen it in books!". Walking around the corner and being surprised by Nighthawks will be a sensation I want to remember forever. Even though their print/paper collection was closed, it was incredible. I will have to return to the AI just to see the Great Wave off Kanagawa in person some day. The MSI was a great treat as well. Standing on the U-505 was quite an experience for someone who's played the same WWII submarine simulator for more than 20 years. We didn't even get to the MCA or the Field Museum, there wasn't time.

And the city tastes good, too! The first thing we had in town was Flaco's Tacos. Even if cheese is an unusual topping on a non tex-mex taco, they were good. Certainly spicy enough to satisfy, even for a Texan. We had Al's for breakfast (yes, breakfast) the next day. It was delicious, but I will order them hot+dry in the future. That bread is good, but it doesn't need to be soggy (ok, I have texture issues). We met an old friend with his wife and tater at Owen+Engine that night. Their Burger, Beer + Bourbon special was great, and it got Scabpickerina to realize that she liked Kentucky Bourbon. She's from Kentucky, so it's appropriate. Afterward, we went to Pops for Champagne, and had...beer. I was too involved in catching up to really note what I drank that night, but it was good. However, the best beer I had in Chicago was the Green Line from Goose Island. The pizza I had with it at Giordano's was just as good. I actually sulked for about 20 minutes when I realized the next day that we had no good way to re-heat the leftovers (the microwave is no place for a pizza). Giordano's calamari was the best I've ever had, too. I had no idea I'd like a battered, deep fried lemon with my squid. I'm going to miss it when I have it without it now. We used Portillo's for our Chicago hot dog experience. I don't think you should dress dogs any other way now. I am going to have to find a purveyor of char dogs when I return, though. Lou Malnati's was our last Chicago meal. The pizza was closer to the Chicago-style that we get at Uno's franchises here, but it was not as heavy, and still delicious.

I did get to Binny's on my way out of town, and stocked the trunk. I picked mostly lagers/pilsners/kolschs since I figured those would be the styles that the area would traditionally excel at. I was not disappointed. Baderbräu is everything a pils should be (I've got two bottles left, until I can get more), Metropolitan's Krankshaft Kolsch is amazing, and Matlida from Goose Island was a special surprise. I didn't have high hopes for a Belgian style brewed in a cold place, but it's one of my favorite Belgian's now. Even the IPAs I had from Chicago showed restraint in the hop areas, or at least had enough malt to soothe the sharpness. That's very unlike the breweries out west. Even the "Hop Juice" from Two Brothers that I'm drinking right now is less bite-y than your average western IPA.

Frankly, I want to move to Chicago after visiting there. I mentioned that to my boss, and he said, "Be careful what you wish for." We're going to have to have a visit in February before any plans of that type are made, though. Tales of ropes tied around buildings so you can pull your way around has us a little frightened of your winters. Here, winter shows up for a weekend and leaves. A real winter might take some adjusting. Either way, there's too much that we missed (I'm looking at you, SuperDawg), to not make a repeat visit.


You guys have a great town, thank you for having me.

Last edited by scabpicker; 08-11-2012 at 06:43 AM. Reason: Either too many or too few commas, I'm not sure.
  #39  
Old 08-11-2012, 11:24 AM
nogravity nogravity is offline
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Quote:
Frankly, I want to move to Chicago after visiting there. I mentioned that to my boss, and he said, "Be careful what you wish for." We're going to have to have a visit in February before any plans of that type are made, though. Tales of ropes tied around buildings so you can pull your way around has us a little frightened of your winters. Here, winter shows up for a weekend and leaves. A real winter might take some adjusting. Either way, there's too much that we missed (I'm looking at you, SuperDawg), to not make a repeat visit.
As an expat Chicagoan who lived there for 40+ years I can tell you, yes, the Chicago winters aren't for pussies but the rope thing I've only seen sporadically and that was on Michigan Ave. going from the Tribune Tower to the IBM building so it's not like it's everywhere. And if you work downtown and commute out to the suburbs you'll learn how to cut through buildings and underground tunnels to get around. The worst part of Chicago winters is just that they never seem to end. I've seen snow as late as early June then go right into 90+ temperatures.

Now I live in the Tampa area and when the temps run lower than 75 I have to put on long sleeves and my winter shorts. Also, I used to have a Giordono's just a couple miles from my house down here but it closed down and now I haz a sad for combo sandwiches (au jus and hot on the side).
  #40  
Old 08-11-2012, 12:36 PM
I_Know_Nothing I_Know_Nothing is offline
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Pretty recent transplant from Dallas. I remember seeing a dump truck full of snow being hauled out from downtown and thinking, "Why are they trucking away snow? That stuff melts you know?" Here it hangs around for a long time, taking up precious already scarce parking spaces and driving lanes.
  #41  
Old 08-11-2012, 06:41 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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..I second Floosmoor Station! (For the beer, that is.) Depending on the time available to the OP., it can be very accessible from downtown, but, especially on Sunday, not so convenient a return trip. Sunday trains don't run frequently.
But it's a simple trip: Hop on the electric line south out of downtown, and the brewpub is at the stop in flossmoor.....

(Edit...Um, I see you've already made tour trip. I'll read about it now.)

Last edited by bobot; 08-11-2012 at 06:44 PM. Reason: He already took his trip!
  #42  
Old 08-11-2012, 06:52 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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Hi, I've read about your trip here, and am pleased that you liked our city so much.
Please come again, in early Feb. Stick around a few weeks. You know, just to see how much you really love it!
  #43  
Old 08-15-2012, 05:03 PM
daveg daveg is offline
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Nice trip report. And for those who haven't, try Green Line from our friends @ Goose Island. Tap only I believe.
  #44  
Old 08-16-2012, 11:29 AM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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Glad to hear you had a fun visit scabpicker! Yep, Chicago is a beautiful city with a whole lot of great food, drink and plenty to see and do. The winters are an experience and take getting used to. They can also be incredibly beautiful as well so don't let that scare you.

Last edited by Kolak of Twilo; 08-16-2012 at 11:30 AM.
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