Weekend in Chicago

Rocky Enfield
2013/04/16 16:50:04
My wife and I will be in Chicago this coming weekend (April 19-22) .  We will be staying at the Intercontinental on Michigan Ave.  I have thoroughly checked the various restaurants that have been reviewed on Roodfood and have some definite possibilities but thought I would ask for some additional input.
I would like some suggestions within walking distance of the hotel.  Here are the leading contenders so far.  I believe on Saturday morning I will be standing in line for some of the treats from the Donut Vault.  I am thinking about driving to Red Hen Bakery on Sunday morning.  Saturday we will be going to a White Sox game and then afterwards I am considering driving out to Urban Belly.
Sunday has us going to see Big Fish in the theater district at 2.
So I need suggestions for Friday dinner, Friday evening entertainment (I am thinking a late night snack at Billy Goat since our hotel is practically on top of it).  Maybe a Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast if I decide I don't feel like driving. 
Based on another active thread Miller's Pub is a strong contender for lunch before the show on Sunday but open to other suggestions around the Loop.
While price is not a huge concern I always love a good value
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/16 22:54:10
Test to see if I can post before I go to all the trouble of writing a reply...
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/16 23:26:30
Well, it comes up in duplicate, but at least it comes up.  My posts wouldn't even take for a couple of days.  And the "Posts Since Last Visit" feature still doesn't work.  There's a lot of work to be done in order to clean up the mess of this latest "upgrade".
Anyway, If you're going to be down at Comiskey (OK, fine, U.S. Cellular field, but I don't have to like it),You should consider a stop at 35th Street Red Hots.  I believe it is owned by the same guys who own The Wiener's Circle and Red Hot Ranch up north.  Excellent Chicago Style Dogs and amazing tail off fried shrimp.  Just pop 'em and eat 'em.  They're located right down 35th Street, fairly easy walking distance from the ballpark.
Also on the southside, not too far from the park, and worth a visit, is Ed's Potsticker House.  Don't be fooled by the name.  The real star of the menu is the Scallion Pancake Stuffed With Smoked Pork Belly.  I think the actual name on the menu is "Pancake Northern Style", but I'm not sure.  Ask for the pancake stuffed with pork and I'm sure the waiter will know what you want; it's such a popular menu item.
Just two days?  My condolences.  There's a lot of good eating you're not going to get to.  Are you sure you really want to go to the Sox game and Big Fish?  You could probably squeeze in at least four more restaurants in the time you'd just be sitting there watching one bunch of guys running around in circles, and another bunch of guys singing songs.
Have a great trip!
35th Street Red Hots
500 W. 35th St.
Chicago, IL 60616
(773) 624-9866
Ed's Potsticker House
3139 S. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 326-6898
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/16 23:27:36
When my posts come up double like that, do I get twice as many posts added to my total?
Rocky Enfield
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/17 15:47:13
Hey Buddy thanks for the tips.  Got to say that I like the sound of Ed's Potsticker House! 
I seem to recall a market in the Loop area where you can by some food...maybe the Frnech Market or something like that.  Do you know anything about that?
Rocky Enfield
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/17 15:54:59
Hey guess what thought the magic of Google I found the Frnech Market  Now do you by chance have any personal experience there?
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/17 16:06:17
Never been, but I believe chicagostyledog has been there.  Also, you would do well to check LTHForum.com for more info on the French Market, Ed's, and Chicago restaurants in general.  Especially check out their GNR (Great Neighborhood Restaurant) forum for a long list of Roadfood-worthy joints you'll want to consider.
Filet Mignon
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/17 17:13:25
Good advice Buddy, lthforum.com is the best for anything Chicago, especially the GNR. 
Filet Mignon
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/17 18:56:15
Agree with Buddy's selections and will add a few...all within walking distance.
Breakfast - Xoco (Rick Bayless' casual breakfast spot - watch the hours for breakfast), Firecakes (as good as Donut Vault and around the corner from Xoco)
Lunch - Purple Pig - almost across the street from you, owned by Jimmy Banos of Seven on Heaven fame...and fortune!
Snack - Wow Bow - steamed buns in the center lobby of Water Tower Place.  Get 'em hot, escalator up 2 floors and enjoy the seating area.
Dinner - Lawry's - more formal and RPM, great Italian...if you can get in!
There's a few more....enjoy!
Rocky Enfield
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/19 14:26:01
The problem with Chicago is there are so many great eating options and so little (and $$$).
CTD and Buddy
You have given me some great options.   I have to say that I am seriously considering dumping the Donut Vault for XOCO.  Having enjoyed meals at Topolobampo and Frontera I am a fan of Rick Bayless and the breakfast sounds fabulous!
If we make down to Watere Tower a snack at Wow Bow will be a must!
Ed's has crept up to near the top of the list.
Following Buddy's advice I checked out lthforum and found the Pleasant House Bakery.  Having lived in England for 3 years I am a huge fan on English meat pies so that looks like a definite possiblity.
I will check in after the weekend and let you know where we ended up and what what we thought.
Filet Mignon
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/19 17:08:32
Have a great trip and we look forward to your report! The weather isn't so great this weekend but the food is always great!
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/21 02:27:20
They won't be too bad off down in the city, kland.  If they were out by our respective rivers, Fox and Des Plaines, their weekend would have definitely been ruined.
Rocky Enfield
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/22 10:13:47
Well my wife and I had a wonderful weekend in Chicago although the food didn't end exactly as I had planned (somehow it never does  ).
Friday night we got in later than I had hoped so we struck out lloking for someplace to eat and after wandering around a bit we circled back to the Purple Pig but at 8 on a Friday night the wait was 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Being it was 9 EST we were famished and didn't want to wait.  So we down to lower Michigan and had double cheezborgers at the Billy Goat Tavern.  Were they the best I ever had, no.  Am I glad we went , yes.  It is truly a Chicago tradition and one we were glad we took part in.
We wandered down Michigan to Water Tower Place and I decided to have a little snack at Wow Bao.  I had spicy Kung Pao chicken (exploded w/flavor as soon as you bit into it) and one BBQ pork (also real good).  I tried one of their fresh made ginger ales.  Apparently I just really do not like ginger ale because I did not like this at all.
We did a little shopping and on the way back to the hotel stopped in Garrett's for a bag of Chicago Mix popcorn to munch on in the room as we wound down.
For breakfast on Saturday we took CTD's suggestion and went to Xoco.  We had a delicious meal!  My wife had the Chorizo and egg Torta with a cappucino while I thoroughly enjoyed huevos rancheros and an aztec hot chocolate.  I like a big breakfast and I new I would be hungry later so I asked one of the servers if I could get an order of chicharrones to go.  She came back and said they usually don't serve them until 11am but the manager made an exception and she brought them out.  They made for a very satisfying mid day snack.
After some more shopping and buying tickets for the evenings entertainment we headed out to see the White Sox play the Twins.  It was a beautiful day at the ballpark (although cool being in the 40s).  For maybe the first time ever at a professional ball game I didn't eat a single thing.  I was saving myself for dinner because on a whim we made reservations at Brazazz (a Brazilian steakhouse).  It waa very good.  My favorite proteins (I think I tried all but 1 of the 15) were the shrimp and the leg of lamb (both we very well seasoned and cooked to perfection).  If you have never tried one of these establishments they can be a bit overwhelming but you have to pace yourself. 
After dinner we wandered some more then went to comedysportz for some really fun and funny improv.  We would both go back again.
As we didn't get back to the hotel until 2am our time we slept in and relaxed Sunday morning and decided we just wanted some quick and simple for our breakfast/lunch.  We went across the street to the Corner Bakery Cafe for an ok meal.
Another trip to Garrett's to take home some treats to the kiddos and it was time to check out of the hotel and head over to the Oriental Theatre to see the matinee of Big Fish.  This was a really great musical!  One we both truly enjoyed.  It is only in Chicago until May 5.  We would highly recommend this show.  If you decide to go you go to BroadwayinChicago.com type in the promo code thankyou and receive a discount of $20 per ticket.
I decided we needed something to sustain us for the trip home and stopped by the Pleasant House on 31st St.  I have Buddy Roadhouse to thank for this.  His tip to check out lthforum and the GNR section led me to this gem.  I went with the idea of getting a pork pie (one of my favorites from my time in England) but they were sold out" />.  I instead ordered two Scotch eggs and two cornish pasties to go.  While I waited I chatted with the manager about their operation and discover that they have 4 gardens in which they grow their own micro greens and soon will be growing most of their vegetables for the restaurant and anticipate selling to other area establishments.  I received my order and we took off for home.  After waiting for it cool enough to be able to handle while driving we dove in.  The scotch eggs we very good and tasted just as I remembered from England.  The cornish pasties were absolutely world class!!!  The crust was so flaky it was incredible.  I have eaten cornish pasties all over England, in the UP and this meat pie was one of the best I have ever had.  I encourage to try this place out.  It is a tiny local establishment that is doing things right.  We cannot wait to go back next time we are in Chicago and the manager told me to call ahead and he would make sure they had a pork pie waiting for me.
Filet Mignon
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/22 10:36:56
Nice choices RockY!  Glad you enjoyed the weekend.  I've got Pleasant House on my radar and will make a visit in the near future.  I've heard nothing but good things!
To bad on the Purple Pig, it does fill up alot...I have found mid-afternoon is best, after lunch but before happy hour starts.
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/22 13:49:36
Thanks for the Thank You, Rocky!  Sounds like a weekend most Chicagoans would envy.  Too bad the White Sox and all that cultural stuff got in the way of the truly important stuff: The Food!
Hope you'll come back for a focused culinary pilgrimage sometime soon.  As you already know this town is a Roadfooder's dream.
Rocky Enfield
Re:Weekend in Chicago 2013/04/24 14:11:39
Get them off the radar and get there as quick as you can.  The Pleasant House is worth a special trip.  If fact, my & I were talking today about her bringing our children up to UIC for a swim meet (I have a prior commitment that day) I told her she had to stop by and pick up a pork pie for me.
If it were up to me we would eat in Chicago non-stop but it's not.  I live by one simple rule....."Happy wife, happy life" so I have to throw in the things she enjoys as well.
I wife and I are very well matched except for this one little area.  I LIVE to eat and she eats to live.  She gets a tad bit perturbed if I put too much emphasis on the food part.  Of course, she does enjoy the end result when we come across a real gem like the Pleasant House. 
A recent addition to my bucket list is to go on one of the Roadfood Eating Tours.  I would have to leave my bride at home and then I could fully enjoy the non-stop
sampling.  Until the day comes that I can cross that off the list I may have to settle for sneaking into a contigent event