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Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Quick request for opinions/input!

We still have one undecided meal left for this trip: Tuesday dinner around 5 pm, just before we leave (flight departs O'Hare at 8:30). Lula Cafe was a possibility until we found out they're closed on Tuesdays. So, our current choices are:

GT Fish & Oyster
Quartino
Table Fifty-Two

Any recommendations for one of those places over the others—or something else entirely? We're open to any kind of cuisine, and though we love small plates, we're fine with standard plates too... just looking for a dinner that won't take too long (gotta catch that flight!) and is relatively close to our hotel in Magnificent Mile/River North area.

Jul 07, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Went to Sable last night. Only one dish really blew us away, but overall, we enjoyed our experience and would recommend Sable. Here's a breakdown of the dishes we had:

Fried cheese curds with spicy ketchup: Very good. Not revolutionary, but delicious and addicting. The spicy ketchup was also very tasty. The curds tasted like they might have been sitting out for a few mintues before being delivered to our table (they didn't have that sizzling "just fried" heat or taste), but it's fine—we thoroughly enjoyed them.

Sweet corn creme brulee: Absolutely spectacular. Loved. It was just unique enough without being over-the-top crazy, with the perfect balance of sweet (but not too sweet) + salty. This dish kept tasting better the more we ate it. We both agreed we'd return to Sable for the sweet corn creme brulee alone! And it's somethig we may not have ordered had it not been specifically mentioned by Chowhounders, so thank you!

Fresh fettucine pasta: Good. This was one of yesterday's specials, consisting of fresh fettuccine, bacon, baby fennel, pea shoots, egg yolk, and parmesan cheese. We enjoyed it, but didn't think it was anything special—just a tasty pasta. It's possible that our standards were raised after that amazing sweet corn creme brulee, however!

South Indian vegetable curry: Good. We liked this dish, but probaby would order other items from the menu next time.

Warm sticky toffee pudding cake: Didn't really care for this. We agreed it was almost too sweet, with not a whole lot of flavor other than... sweet. And the bourbon ice cream definitely tasted strongly of bourbon, of which neither of us are fans—on the upside, if you love bourbon, you might love this dessert!

Again, we're glad we went to Sable and would definitely stop by again to get the sweet corn creme brulee and try some other dishes. Thanks for the recommendation!

Jul 07, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Going to Sable tomorrow and will be sure to report back!

Jul 05, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Went to Fat Rice today--got there at 5:50 and ended up getting seated right when they opened! Great start to a great meal. Will do a full report after the trip (when I can type on a real computer and not just my phone), but we loved Fat Rice. So glad we went--would definitely return. Thanks for the tips.

Jul 05, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Yikes, how bad is Chicago summer rain? We looked at the weather forecast, but figured that the "rain" days would be like summer rain in New York—sudden and short. But could it actually be hot and rainy all day in Chicago? Sorry for the dumb question... we're coming from California, and we're not used to summer rain! I'd like to know what to expect/pack—would just an umbrella be OK, or should we pack our raincoats?

Jul 03, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Good to know! It looked like the Pizano's Loop location is pretty close to where we'll staying, but now we can look at both options and go to whichever is closer. Thanks!

Jul 03, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Will call Fat Rice, and perfect—we didn't realize the L ride was so short. I had mapped it on Google Transit, which indicated that the trip would take 35–40 minutes... anywhere from 10–25 minutes is no big deal! Thank you.

Jul 03, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Those are great points. We don't mind going to eat early, but it would be better to avoid all those long lines and crowds if possible. Now I'm considering switching our Friday and Monday itineraries, so that we do the Museum of Science and Industry/Robie House on Friday and Museum Campus on Monday. I'm guessing that MSI might be a bit less crowded on Friday than Museum Campus? Then, perhaps we can still aim for dinner at Girl and the Goat on Monday and Fat Rice on Friday. So:

Friday, July 5:
- Bus to Hyde Park area

- Museum of Science and Industry

• LUNCH at _____________ (possibly Medici)

- Robie House tour


- Bus to Logan Square (arrive around 5:30–6 pm)

• DINNER at Fat Rice


Monday, July 8


- Bus to the Museum Campus area

• BREAKFAST at The Bongo Room

- Spend the day at Adler, Shedd, and Field

• LUNCH at Kim & Carlo's Hot Dog Stand
- Bus to Girl and the Goat

• EARLY DINNER at Girl and the Goat (show up at 4:30)

- Return to River North area and walk around, possibly relax at a coffee shop

- Drinks at the Signature Lounge at the 96th Floor

Jul 02, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Yes, good point, and thank you! I think we've decided that we'll go to Purple Pig another day—most likely for a late lunch on Sunday as nsxtasy suggested, or if we decide to do Publican/Next in the same day, perhaps an early dinner on Tuesday before we leave for the airport. Although I do want to try Lula Cafe as well. Chicago has too many delicious restaurants, I tell you. Not a bad problem to have...

Jul 02, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Well, we will certainly be sure take the L to Logan Square now. Thanks for the tip!

Do you think we'd have a long wait even if we got to Fat Rice around 5:45 on Friday? And would you recommend any particular dishes there? After looking at the menu, we were most interested in the linguica, po kok gai, and piri piri chicken, but I'd love some feedback from someone who's actually eaten there.

Is there anything interesting to do in the Fulton Market area? Since our Sunday is still mostly open, perhaps we should have lunch at the Publican, then stay in Fulton Market until our late dinner at Next...

Jul 02, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

We will definitely get some Garrett Popcorn—sounds like a perfect piece of Chicago to bring back for co-workers. My office always appreciates something to eat.

And thank you for your confirmation on the Museum of Surgical Sciences. My friend stumbled across it online just last night, and we both thought it sounded neat and worthy of a visit. Now I'm even more excited about it!

Jul 02, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

Thank you!! Your suggestions are so helpful. I think we just may follow your idea of having a late lunch at Purple Pig on Sunday. I also think that Fox & Obel sounds absolutely perfect for our Navy Pier day—I had seen mention of F&O in other places and wanted to check it out, but for some reason, I thought it was located outside of the downtown area. So happy to realize that it's close to Navy Pier. That's just the kind of dinner/snack we were hoping for that night (tasty, quick, grab & go).

Thanks again!

Jul 02, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Please critique our itinerary: leaving for Chicago in two days!

A friend and I will be visiting Chicago for six days beginning July 4, and of course, much of our trip will revolve around food. We'll be staying in the Loop for the first three nights, then River North for the last two nights, and relying exclusively on public transportation—so we're not looking to venture too far, though we're certainly willing to travel for a good meal. We're 29 & 30 and just want to eat good food, whether it be high-end or hole-in-the-wall. After extensive research, our tentative itinerary is listed below. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

I really appreciated the format posted by TeacherFoodie at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9065... was extremely helpful in planning my own itinerary—so I'm posting in the same format. TeacherFoodie, if you're reading this: thank you!

----------------------------------------

Thursday, July 4:
- Arrive at O'Hare around 1 pm, take L to the Loop
- Check in at hotel in South Loop
• LATE LUNCH at Pizano's in the Loop
- Walk around the Loop, visit the Rookery if open
- Walk to Navy Pier, walk around
* We want to eat a light snack at/around Navy Pier, just to tide us over until we go over to The Purple Pig for a late dinner. Is there anywhere halfway decent in the area?
- Fireworks
• LATE DINNER at The Purple Pig

Friday, July 5:
- Bus to the Museum Campus area
• BREAKFAST at The Bongo Room
- Spend the day at Adler, Shedd, and Field
• LUNCH at Kim & Carlo's Hot Dog Stand (so we won't need to leave Museum Campus—and we want to try a real Chicago dog anyway!
)- Bus back to the Loop, relax a while
- Bus to Logan Square (arrive around 5:30–6 pm)
• DINNER at Fat Rice
* We really want to eat at Fat Rice, but it is somewhat out of the way. Worth it? And if so, is there anything to do in the Logan Square area? We may want to walk around before or after our meal to check out another part of Chicago.

Saturday, July 6:
- Bus to Lincoln Park area
• BREAKFAST at Green City Market (our other option was Lincoln Park Farmers Market, but Green City seems to be better for prepared food and tourists like us—true?)
- Lincoln Park Zoo
• LUNCH at Slurping Turtle
- Walk around Millennium Park
- Visit Art Institute
• DINNER at Sable (have reservation)

Sunday, July 7
- Check into new hotel in River North area
• BRUNCH at GT Fish & Oyster (have reservation)
- Walk around Magnificent Mile
• LATE LUNCH at _____________
* Our Sunday is currently pretty open, so if there's a great place for lunch or a must-do activity that we should try, please let me know!
• LATE DINNER at Next (this is a definite!)

Monday, July 8
- Bus to Hyde Park area
- Museum of Science and Industry
• LUNCH at _____________ (is there a good lunch option located within walking distance to MSI and the Robie House?)
- Robie House tour
* We may walk around Hyde Park after the Robie House tour—recommended? What is there to see in the neighborhood?
- Bus to Girl and the Goat
• EARLY DINNER at Girl and the Goat (don't have reservations, so we'll show up at 4:30)
- Return to River North area and walk around, possibly relax at a coffee shop
- Drinks at the Signature Lounge at the 96th Floor

Tuesday, July 9
• BREAKFAST at _____________
- Museum of Surgical Sciences
• LUNCH at Frontera Grill
- Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
- Walk around and shop for gifts
• EARLY DINNER AT _____________
- Take L to O'Hare at 6 pm (flight departs at 8:30)

----------------------------------------

And finally, some other places we're interested in trying that haven't yet been scheduled onto our official itinerary include:

- Jam
- Hoosier Mama Pies
- Doughnut Vault or Do-Rite Donuts
- Publican
- Batter & Berries

Please let me know if you have input on any of these places. And all comments on our itinerary—whether we should shuffle activities/meals around, forget about certain places, add in others—are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much! (And thanks for reading this LONG post.) We can't wait to visit your amazing city.

Jul 02, 2013
mackrelmint in Chicago Area

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay thread - 1st quarter 2011 [old]

Good to hear! I have a box of the coffee cake mix in my pantry; hope it measures up like the ones you've tried. I think I'll need to scoop up the banana bread mix on my next visit.

Jan 19, 2011
mackrelmint in Chains

Great Food Truck Race

Ewilensky, that's the first I'd ever heard of "The Great Food Truck Race." Thanks for the heads up. Any idea as to whether they've already filmed the first episode? If not, I want to attempt hunting these food trucks down!

Jul 13, 2010
mackrelmint in Food Media & News

An Austin, TX chowhound needs suggestions in Gaslamp district

Ah, unfortunately, the Trolley "downtown zone" was eliminated last year. You now have the option of purchasing either a one-way fare of $2.50 or a day pass for $5 (which is definitely what you'd want to purchase if you're riding the Trolley more than once in a day) regardless of area.

Jul 11, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Barrio Star

Anyone know if the lunch prices are a bit more reasonable than the dinner prices?

Apr 12, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Barrio Star

Did that level of pricing seem pretty typical for Barrio Star, even on the lunch menu?

Apr 08, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Barrio Star

Has anyone been yet? If so, I'd love to hear your impression and any recommendations. I'm planning to go for lunch next week.

Apr 07, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant

Thanks. I wasn't aware Barrio Star had already opened. Anyone know what their hours are—are they open for lunch?

Apr 06, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant

Good to know. Thank you, mjill.

Apr 06, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant

I don't think it's opened yet (unfortunately). If anyone knows the exact date it'll be opening, please post!

Apr 05, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Unique Pizza Toppings

I love a Parmesan/mozzarella, mashed potato, and bacon pizza.

Apr 04, 2010
mackrelmint in General Topics

Korean BBQ Taco Truck Coming to San Diego?

Looking at their Twitter page now—it actually seems that this wasn't an April Fool's joke. Could be good!

Apr 04, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Churros El Tigre and La Fachada- SD

According to Yelp, the new Churros El Tigre cart is operated by the La Palapa market, not the original owner. I haven't been to the cart since it returned, but a friend of mine stopped by about a month ago, around 6 pm. Said the churros were tasty. Hope that helps.

Apr 04, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego

Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant

Yes.

Apr 04, 2010
mackrelmint in San Diego