Chicago

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Chicago

Postby MWB on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:13 am

Heading there in a couple of weeks. Any recommendations on restaurants and things to do? Planning on the Shedd Aquarium and the Science Museum for sure. Family trip with daughters ages 7 and 10.
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Re: Chicago

Postby eddysnake on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:32 am

Not sure how long you will be staying, but outside of Chicago, there are some really cool Sand Dunes. There are a couple different sites and I don't remember which were better, but I do know that they are awesome, especially for young kids:

http://www.indianadunes.com/

http://www.thinkdunes.com/

Riding the elevator up to the top of Sears Tower was always pretty cool too, if it's a clear day, you get a great view.

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Re: Chicago

Postby shafnutz05 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:35 am

I have relatives in Chicago, but have never had the chance to make the trip out there. I need to remedy that.
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Re: Chicago

Postby columbia on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:37 am

MWB wrote:Heading there in a couple of weeks. Any recommendations on restaurants and things to do? Planning on the Shedd Aquarium and the Science Museum for sure. Family trip with daughters ages 7 and 10.


I'd give you some advice, but the 7 & 10 year old rules me out as a good source. :pop:
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Re: Chicago

Postby shmenguin on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:38 am

our "First dance" song at our wedding. i'm not kidding.
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Re: Chicago

Postby danisu21 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:43 am

i love chicago. but both times i have been there, have been to perform and i was drunk literally the entire time. i think the only time we left the hotel was to search for food or stumble down navy pier.
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Re: Chicago

Postby IrishEyes on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:45 am

The Museum of Natural History is super awesome, I highly recommend that.

Other than that, the only other thing I did in actual Chicago (and not of the suburbs) was tea at the Drake Hotel. Not sure the 7 and 10 year olds would appreciate that too much.
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Re: Chicago

Postby shafnutz05 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:46 am

danisu21 wrote:i love chicago. but both times i have been there, have been to perform and i was drunk literally the entire time. i think the only time we left the hotel was to search for food or stumble down navy pier.


Perform?
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Re: Chicago

Postby eddysnake on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:04 am

shmenguin wrote:our "First dance" song at our wedding. i'm not kidding.
Spoiler:


That's awesome, Chicago is a class act!

MWB,

check out Legoland, it is good times.

http://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/chicago/en/index.htm
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Re: Chicago

Postby canaan on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:06 am

http://taphousegrills.com/

my brother and his partners own a couple of restaurants out there.
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Re: Chicago

Postby shafnutz05 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:07 am

MWB wrote:Heading there in a couple of weeks. Any recommendations on restaurants and things to do? Planning on the Shedd Aquarium and the Science Museum for sure. Family trip with daughters ages 7 and 10.


My cousin is an environmental dude and worked at Shedd Aquarium, recommends it.

http://www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org/

^Might be a little kidsy for a 10 year old
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Re: Chicago

Postby Digitalgypsy66 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:17 am

I took a river, locks, and lake tour when I was there. It was pretty cool. Drank some Leinenkugel Ale, because I could. :lol:

Chicago's great. I need to get back there...
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Re: Chicago

Postby KennyTheKangaroo on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:19 am

hot dogs hot dogs hot dogs hot dogs


italian beef italian beef italian beef
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Re: Chicago

Postby PenguinSteve-o on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:31 am

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
Actually I didnt like Chicago at all.
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Re: Chicago

Postby MWB on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:54 am

Thanks for the feedback. We're there for 4 days, so we'll probably just stay in the downtown area. Legoland is on the list and so is Natural History. Tap House looks good.
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Re: Chicago

Postby danisu21 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

shafnutz05 wrote:
danisu21 wrote:i love chicago. but both times i have been there, have been to perform and i was drunk literally the entire time. i think the only time we left the hotel was to search for food or stumble down navy pier.


Perform?


croatian folk dancing festival
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Re: Chicago

Postby llipgh2 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:07 am

I would recommend the John Hancock Building over the Sears tower. Much better view.

The Navy Pier is fun in the summer, and the big Ferris Wheel should be operational.
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Re: Chicago

Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:30 pm

Chicago is one of my favorite cities.

I've been there a few times.

Don't eat at Pizza Due. You would think it was just as good as Pizza Uno since they were both started by the same person, but Due sucked. I've heard Uno is really good though.

Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse was very good as was Shaw's Crab House.

I also ate in the bar area at Frontera Grill which is owned by Rick Bayless, who won Top Chef Masters. The food was good but not amazing. You need to book a reservation in advance to sit in the restaurant area.
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Re: Chicago

Postby columbia on Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:32 pm

Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:Chicago is one of my favorite cities.

I've been there a few times.

Don't eat at Pizza Due. You would think it was just as good as Pizza Uno since they were both started by the same person, but Due sucked. I've heard Uno is really good though.

Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse was very good as was Shaw's Crab House.

I also ate in the bar area at Frontera Grill which is owned by Rick Bayless, who won Top Chef Masters. The food was good but not amazing. You need to book a reservation in advance to sit in the restaurant area.



Yeah...the Frontera grill is nothing special.
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Re: Chicago

Postby MWB on Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:40 pm

Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:I also ate in the bar area at Frontera Grill which is owned by Rick Bayless, who won Top Chef Masters. The food was good but not amazing. You need to book a reservation in advance to sit in the restaurant area.


Yeah, wife already tried making reservations there, but wasn't available.
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Re: Chicago

Postby tifosi77 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:00 pm

When you all say 'natural history museum' do you mean the Field Museum? I missed that on our trip there last fall, and I still regret it. We went to the Art Institute, which was plenty cool, but I had wanted to go to the Field Museum since I was a kid.

As far as restaurants go, one of my all-time favorite restaurant meals was at The Purple Pig in the Magnificent Mile area of Michigan Ave. This place cooks my favorite type of food to eat and cook - what I like to call 'high-class farmhouse fare'. For example, they have an entire section of the menu devoted to 'smears'; rich, high-fat things you spread on toasted crusty bread like pork liver pâté, lardo and bone marrow. Their menu changes frequently ('seasonal' means more than summer, fall, winter, spring), so a lot of the dishes we had in October are not available now. It's not the least expensive place you could ever go, but it was given a Bib Gourmand award in the 2011 Michelin Guide for Chicago (as was Frontera Grill, haters :P ) which is a recognition for restaurants who deliver exceptional quality food for under $40 for two entrees.

I've also heard really good things about The Girl and The Goat restaurant, tho I've not eaten there myself. But I've read enough consistently high remarks about it that it is now on our to-do list for the next time are in Chicago. Similar style of food as The Purple Pig.

If that's not your speed, Rick Bayless has a newer restaurant that's devoted to Mexican street food. Place is called Xoco, and to give you an idea what you're in for there they make their own chocolate in-house by grinding their own cacao beans. (Remember, hot chocolate was once the drink of choice among Europe's rich in the colonial days, because explorers reported that the native Aztec and Mayan royals drank it as a sign of wealth and power. Then coffee came along and screwed everything up.)

Had deep dish at Giordano's. Do not recommend. The filling was great, but the dough was badly undercooked and gummy.

For general sightseeing, we took a river walk and then booted around Millennium Park and hung out at the Bean and Frank Gehry concert band shell. There was some sort of fashion exhibition going on when we were there that I found mind-numbingly boring, but the Spousal Unit seemed to quite enjoy herself.

All in all, I absolutely loved Chicago and would go back at the drop of a hat.
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Re: Chicago

Postby IrishEyes on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:18 pm

tifosi77 wrote:When you all say 'natural history museum' do you mean the Field Museum? I missed that on our trip there last fall, and I still regret it. We went to the Art Institute, which was plenty cool, but I had wanted to go to the Field Museum since I was a kid.


Yes. At least, that's what I'm talking about. I forget what the "official" name is.
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Re: Chicago

Postby columbia on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:19 pm

I lived there for two years and never had a decent slice of pizza.
I guess I like my pizza to be...well, pizza and not a piece of lasagna on crust.
YMMV.
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Re: Chicago

Postby Moe Wanchuk on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:57 pm

http://www.giordanos.com/
http://www.alsbeef.com/
http://www.portillos.com/portillos/
http://www.chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com/ (This joint makes pizza pot pie, and has KILLER salads)
If you go to Giordano's, try the spinach stuffed one. For Italian beefs, order hot dipped, hot dogs with everything.

You can check out this site too. Ask in the forums.
http://www.roadfood.com/

Navy Pier is fun, you could go to a game at Wrigley. If you want to try a lot of different foods, there's a big park in one of the mexican parts of town with soccer fields. Last time I was there, there must've been 50 food trucks.
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Re: Chicago

Postby Dan H on Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:25 pm

During the warm months, there's some sort of festival at Grant Park most weekends, it seems. In any event, you can plan part of an afternoon walking through Grant Park and nearby Millennium Park. It's within walking distance of the museums, Michigan Ave, the Navy Pier, etc.

Second City comedy club is fun, although not for small kids. Dining and entertainment options here are numerous, though, and you're more likely to be led to something you like by researching on Yelp or Google Maps than by random message board recommendations.

Re: pizza, there are two polar-opposite pizza capitals of the United States, New York and Chicago. In general, New York specializes in thin crust pizza. Chicago specializes in deep dish or stuffed. I prefer Chicago pizza, and have found that it's much easier to get really good pizza here than anywhere else. Your mileage may vary. I still think half of the little hole in the wall pizza joints here have lousy pizza, but that's a much better ratio than Pittsburgh, where there's Mineo's, which is okay, and, uh... you get my point.

But, don't skip Grant/Millenium park, if only because it's easy, free, and your kids will probably enjoy running around outside and splashing in the fountain after spending hours in the nearby museums.
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