Chicago

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by redavis001, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. redavis001

    redavis001 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Beautiful Norman Oklahoma
    I am going to Chicago next week and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on:

    where to eat

    where to find hats/clothes

    where to go

    anything else

    Thanks,
    R.E.
     
  2. Phil

    Phil A-List Customer

    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    Iowa State University
    Superdawg

    It's this drive in joint. Great Chicago dogs. A Little pricey, but it's worth it. You can find it in Midway airport, but the one I speak of is at the corner of Devon and Milwaukee. Just loof for the ginalt hot dogs.
     
  3. redavis001

    redavis001 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Beautiful Norman Oklahoma
    Hey thanks Phil!
     
  4. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

    Messages:
    13,719
    Location:
    USA
    Mecca



    Where are you staying? How long is your stay? What type of food do you like?
     
  5. redavis001

    redavis001 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Beautiful Norman Oklahoma
    I'll be staying downtown

    I will be there Wednesday through Sunday

    I like any type of food I can shove in my pie hole...

    I do hope I get to visit Optimo though I doubt that I can really afford anything.
     
  6. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,032
    Location:
    Arkansas
    The one time I went to Chicago, I ate at a steakhouse called Rosebud. I think it was the one on Taylor, but I'm not sure. Obviously, I've only eaten there one time, but it was outstanding.
     
  7. redavis001

    redavis001 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Beautiful Norman Oklahoma
    Thanks Aabraxan
     
  8. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,032
    Location:
    Arkansas
    My pleasure. They say armies travel on their stomachs, and I tend to do the same thing. If I remember any other good places that I ate, or think of any that I'd avoid, I'll post 'em.
     
  9. M Tatterscratch

    M Tatterscratch A-List Customer

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Near Chicago, America, 1920s
    Redavis,

    Here are some suggestions to add to those from my earlier post:


    CLOTHING:

    If you don't get to Optimo, go by Hats Plus at 4706 W. Irving Park Road. Lots of hats, great chaps, and very accommodating.

    For vintage stores, go by Silver Moon Vintage at 1755 West North Ave. They're closed on Mondays, though. Ask for Liz, the owner. Keep an eye on the pricetags, since things sometimes run a little high.

    You can also try Wacky Cats on Lincoln, and although there's a lot of junk in there, Hollywood Mirror on Belmont has some things in hiding once in a while.

    If you're shopping for a lady, go by Lulu's at the Belle Kay on 3682 N. Lincoln. Pricey, but swell stuff, especially for designer vintage.

    Great luck can also be had on the "Hip Half-Mile" around the junction of Damen, Milwaukee, and North. In one day I found not one but TWO pairs of WWI officer's boots, a set of vintage luggage w/ the keys, and a derby. There's the Brown Elephant, and further down Damen there's The Ark, but just stroll the area and you'll see plenty of little places to stick your head into.


    FOOD:

    Stop at Red Light for the Tim-Burton-does-Art-Deco main room and a fine supper. Get the duck, and if they have it, save room for dessert and get the Chocolate Bag. Go to Wishbone for good Southern food and excellent Limeade. These are both down on Randolph.

    Get the best Cajun food I've had outside of Acadiana (and I'm Cajun, BTW) from Heaven on Seven - Preferably the one in the Loop, but either will do. (If you're lucky, they've made their Turtle soup and Crawfish Etouffee). Have the gumbo.

    If you're up for an obscene brunch, go to the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock - Great view and two of everything you want to eat.

    If you can miraculously get a reservation (you usually have to book at least a month in advance, but they do have cancellations - you'll see why) and want a meal you'll tell your kids about, go to Alinea at 1723 North Halsted for their 24-course menu. No, that's not a typo - 24 courses of the most inventive, unexpected, multisensory dishes you'll ever have, provided you don't mind leaving around $1000 behind when you stagger out of the place. That's not a typo, either. Worth it.

    For something a little less painful to the waistline and the wallet, but with wonderful atmosphere and luscious Nouvelle-Asian cuisine to boot, get reservations at Japonais. Whatever you do, have The Rock - marinated Kobe beef served with an oven-heated rock, on top of which you put the thin beef slices and cook them yourself. Also have the Le Quack Japonais, Peking Duck with Mango Chutney. Mmm-MMMM!

    A little further down the list, but good for lunch, is Rockit at 22 W Hubbard St in the Loop. Get their Rockit Burger, which is Kobe beef with melted brie, and a side of truffle fries. I'm not a burger and fries sort of chap, and I rave about these fries.

    And finally, if you want outstanding, honest-to-god Soul Food, and you're prepared to drive waaaay down to the Southside for it, go and pay court to the Soul Queen. All you can eat in this landmark place for around a Jackson (Andrew, not Jesse). Helen the Soul Queen has rubbed elbows since 1971 with such luminaries as *The Greatest* Muhammad Ali, and when Jesse Jackson was hospitalized in Chicago, he sent his people to Soul Queen every day to bring him their collard greens. They're at 9031 S Stony Island Ave. Take off your hat and pay your respects.


    NOISE:

    If it's Monday, go by Artis' Lounge just down the street from Soul Queen and hear Blues legend Billy Branch play his famous harp at a regular gig he's played for decades now, whenever he's not touring. Tell him Trevlin says hi.

    See my previous post for some other places to go 'round to for music and dancin'.

    Well, that should keep you busy. Bon voyage!

    T.
     
  10. M Tatterscratch

    M Tatterscratch A-List Customer

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Near Chicago, America, 1920s
    Oops! Just saw this was a DIFFERENT Chicago post. Redavis, there's another post from a few days ago in which someone was asking about places in Chicago. Have a look:

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=23451

    My other recommendations, and a number from other folks, can be found here.

    Sorry for the confusion. Also noticed you won't be in Chicago on Monday. Too bad. Billy plays a vicious harp.

    T.
     
  11. redavis001

    redavis001 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Beautiful Norman Oklahoma
    Msr. Tatterscratch,

    Thank you for all the great advice.

    R.E.
     
  12. M Tatterscratch

    M Tatterscratch A-List Customer

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Near Chicago, America, 1920s
    Redavis,

    You bet. Let us know what you end up doing!

    T.
     
  13. Ecuador Jim

    Ecuador Jim A-List Customer

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Seattle
    I second M. Tatterscratch's recommendations.

    Here's a link to Hats Plus http://www.hats-plus.com/

    Try to find a local restaurant (usually kinda dingy looking), and treat yourself to a Chicago beef sandwich. Take your time, and let them know you're a newbie. They can guide you through whether to get sport peppers, having the sandwich "dipped" or whatever. If you're downtown, you may have a bit of bother trying to find a place, but it is worth the effort.

    Besides a Chicago dog, it's one of the great cheap eats in the city.

    Enjoy!
     
  14. Miss Brill

    Miss Brill One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,199
    Location:
    on the edge of propriety
    If there is a hot dog stand near the intersection of Grand & Pulaski, go there, they had the best food way back in the 1970s. But I think it is gangland now, but it was gangland way back then too.
     
  15. Miss_Bella_Hell

    Miss_Bella_Hell My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,961
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
  16. M Tatterscratch

    M Tatterscratch A-List Customer

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Near Chicago, America, 1920s
    Maybe that's why people become gangstas - for the food!

    Mmm-MMM, yo,

    T.
     
  17. M Tatterscratch

    M Tatterscratch A-List Customer

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Near Chicago, America, 1920s

    Ms. Hell, is right - The Green Mill is an awfully nice setting for hearing live music. Be warned, though, the dance floor is the size of a postage stamp, not very conducive to getting one's swing on. Since I'm not a tippler, I can't vouch for the cocktails, but the people at the bar looked happy.

    For dancing, there's also Fizz at 3220 N Lincoln Ave and Martyr's at 3855 N. Lincoln, too. You could go out to Willowbrook Ballroom, but something about their atmosphere leaves me a little cold, in spite of all the space. You folks may feel differently.

    For an honest-to-goodness vintage time, go out to the Glendora Ballroom when the Illiana Traditional Jazz Club brings in live bands on certain Sunday afternoons. Mind you, you'll probably be the youngest one there, since when I say vintage I MEAN vintage - Most folks are in their late 60s and up, but MAN, can these people DANCE! Couples who have been dancing together all their lives, and it shows. None of the "Hey! Look what I can do!" of younger dancers - Just dancing for pleasure. They're glad to see young folks, too - My girl and I got our Charleston on there when the Prohibition Orchestra raised the roof, and everyone was so polite and courtly and charming, a real-life reminder about what REALLY made the Golden Age golden.

    Oops, they're beginning the Beguine,

    T.
     
  18. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    The (admittedly bar) food at Fizz is delicious too.

    -Jake
     
  19. Corona Smith

    Corona Smith New in Town

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Mr. Tatterscratch's list is one that I can personally vouch for as all of those places are ones of class. I would however, take issue with his support for Japonais, as the ambiance was just a little too...well, my experience there involved several men wearing their blue-tooth headsets. I'll let that sentiment speak for itself. In additon to Mr. Tatterscratch's suggestions, I might also suggest the following.

    For a gourmet hot-dog experience that you'll likely never forget, you must try Hot Dougs: http://www.hotdougs.com/. There'll be a line out the door for sure, but it's more than worth it, especially if you go on a Friday and get to have their Duck Fat Fries!

    You may also want to make a stop at Green Dolphin Street, which is right off Ashland Ave. Great food and great music nightly...and, at least for the time when I've been there, a class-act crowd.

    For additional vintage shopping, I'd say make this location a destination: www.nightanddayvingtage.com. It's right off of Belmont in the Antique Row district, and it's just great. The woman who owns it, Jolie, is an absolute doll and will be more than willing to help you find stuff that you're looking for.

    For nightlife and such, I'd say that on Fridays and Saturdays, the California Clipper is a great place to go. Classic preserved art-deco style, really affordable drinks, good dance floor and guys like me cuttin' the rug with some fine, fine ladies. Also, the Holiday Club is a neat place to check out, as is The Horseshoe. And you do happen to be in luck, as this Saturday, Surf Rock legends The Neanderthals will be playing at the Abbey Pub, along with Los Del Moroccos (Formerly Vincent Black Shadows) and those guys always keep it ACTION PACKED!

    Have fun mate. And if you see a fella in a pair of high-waisted trousers and spectator shoes, with a rockin' pompadour and a gourgeous woman on his arm, stop and say hi...he's probably me!
     
  20. M Tatterscratch

    M Tatterscratch A-List Customer

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Near Chicago, America, 1920s
    Japonais can't sue Mr. Smith for libel, I'm afraid - It is a "trendy" crowd of a very different stripe than anyone likely to be reading this, but they aren't a good enough reason to stay away from the Hot Rock. The best way to avoid these folks is to:

    A - STAY AWAY from the downstairs lounge. The clubbier atmosphere seems to attract these latter-day parlour snakes.

    Be warned - If your table isn't ready, the hostess will blamelessly try and put you down there. However, if you're in good company and feel like undertaking a little character study, it's an absolutely fascinating place - great conversation fodder.

    B - Request a proper table. When one enters, two dining areas can be seen - The Red Room, to the left, offers more traditional dining, while the Green Room, to the left, is more casually arranged, with a central, semi-communal ottoman arrangement and a few proper tables scattered about. The people-watching is better in the Green, but here a proper table is a must to avoid rubbing elbows with undesirables.

    When you call, the hostess may tell you that they can't guarantee you a proper table, but if you're politely insistent on the importance of this, or if you're willing to kick up a quiet but immovable fuss, you will get what you want.

    Armed with these few simple rules, a fireproof smile, and an elevated tilt to your chin, you will have a lovely meal. Don't forget to check your hat, and insist politely that it be handled correctly. We have to train them, you know...

    Blueblood > Bluetooth,

    T.
     

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