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David Berg meats??

Yes, I took a tour of the Vienna Beef factory, they make the David Berg hot dogs. Does anyone know a hot dog stand in Chicago (preferably North Side) where I can get one? They are great.

Nov 21, 2012
mmeesme in Chicago Area

Thanksgiving Dinner Chicago... Looking for info on past experiences

We are a couple with a 17 year old, and I just made reservations for the Thanksgiving buffet at The Chicago Firehouse, http://www.chicagofirehouse.com/speci.... When I tried to use OpenTable, it said no reservations left, but I called and they had a little room, so maybe you'll luck out, too. Can't say whether the buffet is good, I've never been there, but the menu sure looks nice and with a finicky teenage eater, it's nice when they can go back for seconds on what they like! Good luck and good eating to you...

Nov 10, 2012
mmeesme in Chicago Area

anniversary dinner in Chicago

I second the thumbs-down for Fish Bar. I thought it was very overpriced for very mediocre food and I left hungry.

Jul 29, 2012
mmeesme in Chicago Area

anniversary dinner in Chicago

How about Riva's? http://www.rivanavypier.com/restauran... A little expensive, but went recently and the halibut was to die for. Also, ask for a table with a view, you won't be disappointed, some nights have fireworks around 9 p.m. (is it Wednesdays and Saturdays, I think? Double-check if you're interested). They have valet, which is important, a lot cheaper than general parking at Navy Pier. Also, while not a seafood restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi in Lincoln Park, http://www.monamigabi.com/home/ , is SUPER romantic (if it's a nice evening, you can sit on the patio), reasonably priced for a fancy restaurant, they have very nice fish specials (Dover sole on Fridays) and pretty much the best mussels ever, IMHO (though, sorry, I see you don't eat shellfish). I know it's where I'd like to be taken for an anniversary...I've spent two of them there, one of them was a vow renewal! Bon appetit and hope you enjoy the city!

Jul 29, 2012
mmeesme in Chicago Area

Affordable caterer or other party plan B?

Dear friends, I wanted to update: we decided to go with Mon Ami Gabi even though we would have to have it earlier in the day, because we decided to go with consistency of food quality and service, plus, the woman there has been a total pleasure to work with: stress free! While it may not be a gala, we also are glad to host an event that is actually within our budget and it will be a lovely day! Meanwhile, my husband and I have been on several nice dates because of your suggestions. Thank you again!

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Mon Ami Gabi
2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614

Feb 14, 2011
mmeesme in Chicago Area

Affordable caterer or other party plan B?

Wow, these are more great ideas, thank you! Will check these out. Please keep those ideas comin'...I still have a couple weeks to investigate options.

Jan 22, 2011
mmeesme in Chicago Area

Affordable caterer or other party plan B?

Oh, thanks to all of you for these wonderful leads! I so appreciate your taking the time to reply. Gives me hope! I'll check 'em all out, and thanks to all who add on with more ideas...

Jan 19, 2011
mmeesme in Chicago Area

Affordable caterer or other party plan B?

Please help me, Chowhounders! I live on the north side and was so excited to have an anniversary party this fall with about 75 guests at the lovely Mon Ami Gabi restaurant in Lincoln Park, but alas, I'm afraid that plan will fall through because the hours we wanted our event would require us to buy out the restaurant which was way out of our budget. So we are thinking of a plan B, renting out a park district building, the Columbus Park Refectory, and we also looked at Maxim's, both were a relatively decent deal for the space, but both required us to hire an outside caterer from a "Preferred Professional" list. I just got a quote back and was pretty floored by $100 a person for a buffet. We started out with a total budget of 4k, then sighed and fretted over 7k, but spending 8K on food before space rental and anything else is too much for us, we're not looking to have a wedding, just a memorable, no-stress time with an equally memorable meal. We are big "foodies" and as planning progresses, the food seems to fall into the background, and I don't want that to happen.

We were going to check out The Tavern in Libertyville, just because their dining room looked so unique (haven't tried the food yet), but it seems a few seats shy of our guest total, and I'm gun-shy to ask what they charge per person. Does anyone have any ideas for caterers or other options for celebration? We really did not want to go for Italian or Polish food, which unfortunately nixes out a lot of affordable options.

Pardon my ignorance; eloped to city hall, so I never planned a party this size. Maybe I'm not being realistic, but I figure where there's a will and an online discussion board, there's a way. Creativity welcomed, advice appreciated. SOS! I would really rather not cook on my anniversary. :-)

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Mon Ami Gabi
2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614

Jan 18, 2011
mmeesme in Chicago Area

HELP-Wedding nightmare...

Oh! Also look at Prairie Moon Restaurant in Evanston,
http://www.prairiemoonrestaurant.com/...
I've been to events there, and it is definitely somewhat casual but still very nice. You can't really tell by the website, but they have a lovely spacious area, a tasty, eclectic menu with southwestern flair, but very Midwestern/prairie flavor in decor. I know they do a lot of events as well, I've been to a couple, they "clean up nicely" for their special affairs. Just right outside the north side of Chicago, the menu is less than $30 a person, and it is surrounded by hotels for out-of-town guests. They have a nice bar right there with a lot on draft (to my understanding, I don't drink), maybe instead of BYOB folks can buy their own drinks.

You can also check out reviews for all of these places on Yelp.com.

Jan 08, 2011
mmeesme in Chicago Area

HELP-Wedding nightmare...

Hi, I'm planning a big family party, too, and recently looked into a couple of restaurants that are lovely and might suit your needs:
- Campagnola in Evanston has a second floor, http://www.campagnolarestaurant.com/p...
- You mentioned you like ethnic food, Le Colonial is so elegant and I've eaten there so many times, the Vietnamese food is excellent: http://www.lecolonialchicago.com/
- Very funky venue: Catalyst Ranch, http://www.catalystranch.com/
- Not sure if it's in your budget, but check out New Leaf, http://www.anewleafchicago.com/eventg..., you'd have to have it catered. Went to a party there once, very modern, and they are floral experts!
- Also, Chicago Park District Special Event venues can be surprisingly economical to rent, and some are really gorgeous and unique: http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/perm...
but be careful, you have to pay for extras (caterers, security, valet, insurance, etc.).

I'm going for a Lettuce Entertain You for the very reason a previous poster mentioned: I don't want any aggravation, I want to deal with people who are experienced. So far the people have been wonderful to work with, very accommodating, and as far as the guests go, I think everybody more or less likes the food at these places; we'll personalize with flowers, music and friends. It sounds like you've already been through enough, I hope whatever you choose is smooth sailing. Good luck!

Jan 08, 2011
mmeesme in Chicago Area