Chicago Food touring partner wanted

2012/12/11 08:56:26
Very excited to be headed to Chicago for the holidays.  Nearly 200 places on my list to prioritize for check out(so much food so little stomach).  I will usually hit 6 to 8 places in a day and sample as much as feasible, collecting lots of left overs along the way.  It certainly helps to have at least one partner to share with and the woman will only put up with so much of that.  So I am looking for anyone who would be interested in joining in.  I'm up for anything from hot dog stands to fine dining and with such a long list can be pretty flexible.  Not sure which days I'll be chowing down but there should be several between the 21st when we arrive and our departure on the 28th.  PM me if you're interested or just respond here.
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 09:33:20
By "Chicago" do you mean the city proper, some of the gazillion suburbs, or a combination of both?  If you post some of the places on your list you'll likely get some help with the prioritizing.
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 09:46:38
I can't be in Chicago, but I love the ambition!  Best of luck and happy eating.
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 09:51:54
We are staying on the North side and visiting all over.  Evanston, Downer's Grove.  Figured I'd work out priorities with anyone who wants to join me.  Otherwise I work down my DDD list, then BTIEA and use this site as well as tvfoodmaps. com and my own collection to group places in a local area to hit on any one day.
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 10:03:42
Before anyone asks BTIEA stands for Best Thing I Ever Ate.

I enjoy that show...and TV Food maps is a good app.

Good Luck Warm Beer! I look forward to seeing where you go. I have a trip coming up...with my Sister.
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 14:54:13
Sorry, but we'll be out of town when you're here visiting our city.  One of my favorite things to do is to give a neighborhood foodie tour of Chicago.  Wish I was going to be here to do that.  Alas, I'll be chowing down on Kansas City Barbecue and Fried Chicken while you are eating Hot Dogs, Italian Beef Sandwiches, and Pizza.
As Screaming Chicken mentioned, if you'd like to post some of the places you have in mind, I'd be happy to help separate myth from reality.
Hope you enjoy your visit!
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 15:26:35
Very generous offer.  I usually find the DDD places to be the most reliable.  Here is the list of those I am working from:
90 Miles Cuban Café  Gailwood Cook Shack     Panozzo's Italian Market       
Big And Littles            Garifuna Flava       Rex Italian Foods      
BopNGrill                    Glenn's Diner         Smoque       
Cemitas Pueblo          Hackneys              Taste of Peru       
Chicago Brauhaus      Honky Tonk BBQ   The Depot Diner       
Chilam Balam              Hopleaf Bar          Tre Kronor       
Chuck's Southern Comfort...                   Tufano's       
Dell Rhea's Chicken     Irazu                   Vito & Nick's
DMK Burger Bar          Kuma's Corner     White Palace Grill       
Frosted Mug               Nana           
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 15:51:48
WarmBeer....  there is a Chicago specific website, that you can check many of these places out in their Great Neighborhood program. Buddy posts on that site too but there is much said about a number of the places you list. I am out in the far west suburbs about 45 miles from downtown. We have lots of great places out here and I would recommend Naf Naf in Naperville which is Israeli fast food.  They are right off I-88. Naperville, Westmont, Oakbrook and Lisle have a very rich ethnic culture and places to eat, not DDD but should be.
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 17:15:54
Using your list, here's my input FWIW (I'll only talk about places I've been, or have read consistent comments from people I trust) :
90 Miles Cuban Café-Good, not great Cuban sandwiches.  I'm an occasional customer, based more on convenience of location than quality of food.
Glenn's Diner-Neat little place with very good seafood.  We capped off a Contingent tour here a few years ago.  Everyone was very happy with the food.  Be sure to try the "Shrimp-cargot"; Glenn's take on escargot, but made with shrimp instead of snails.
Smoque-Hands down the best North side 'Que Chicago has to offer.  Everything is good, but the brisket is the standout meat.  Second best would be the sausage which they import from a Texas manufacturer.  Excellent vinegar based slaw, and be sure to get the Mac & Cheese.

Cemitas Pueblo-Fantastic!  We led another Contingent tour last fall that included Cemitas Pueblo.  We ordered a bunch of different sandwiches and split them up.  I'd lean toward the Atomica and the Al Pastor.
Hackneys-Haven't been here in years decades.  This used to be the go to place for the best Burgers in the north 'burbs.  Hackney's still has its charms, but there are plenty of other places to great Burgers these days; Paradise Pup in Des Plaines, for one.  The main reason to go now, IMHO, is for the onion loaf appetizer.
Taste of Peru-We did a family dinner here last summer.  Seven people made it possible to order a bunch of entrees and apps.  One big stand out that I highly recommend is the Aji de Gallina; shredded chicken in a walnut cream sauce.  Wow!  They have an extensive menu (fortunately with pictures of most dishes), so the more people you can get to join you, the more dishes you'll get to try.
Honky Tonk BBQ-Read good things; never been.
The Depot Diner-See above. 
Tre Kronor-Ditto.  Although, I know my daughter and son-in-law (abe_froeman & Mr. Maki, here on Roadfood) have been and loved it.

Chuck's Southern Comfort...-Another one I've never been to but read good things about.  You should check out the LTHForum's "Great Neighborhood Restaurant" listings.  You'll get some good information on a lot of the places you're looking at, plus many that the media aren't yet aware of:
There's also a version complete with a map:
Dell Rhea's Chicken-A Route 66 landmark.  Very good fried chicken, but once you've had Stroud's in Kansas City (which I will be doing), it's hard to be objective about fried chicken from anywhere else.
Irazu-An old favorite.  Excellent Costa Rican food.  I always go simple; Arroz con Pollo, you can't go wrong.  Also be sure to try the Strawberry Lime Iced Tea.  It would be better if you had it on a hot summer day, but I think you'll still enjoy it during the Chicago winter.
Vito & Nick's-The defining South side pizza.  Also the nexus for discussion on what constitutes a "real" Chicago Pizza; Pan or thin.  Never been, but hear good things from fanatical fans.

Kuma's Corner-Good Burger, but severely over-hyped.  If you're not into very loud Thrash Metal Rock, tattoos & piercings, or if you're not interested in following a long list of rules, skip Kuma's.  There are plenty of good-to-great Burgers in this town that don' t require so much effort.
White Palace Grill-A classic!  If you're looking for a late night diner with good-not-great food but loads of ambiance, White Palace is the place.
Hope that helps.
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2012/12/11 17:17:12
Re:Chicago Food touring partner wanted 2012/12/11 17:44:15
WOW - thanks for all the input.  As anyone who has tried a food tour, you can spend days, even weeks reading all the varied opinions, not to mention making sure of the hours, days closed (don't care to count how many times I've showed up at a place only to find it closed).  
Already been to Paradise Pup on a previous visit, in fact that visit was the place that got me started doing food tours.  
The biggest help would be to know the most overrated places to avoid and why (most people agree more on the dogs than on the top winners) and also if any of the good ones have unusual hours (like lunch only etc.) or a special item only on certain days.  Just curious, what kind of rules do they have at Kuma's corner.  Sounds rather odd.  
Keep it coming - much appreciated.