m

Mizer's Profile

Title Last Reply

Help!! Does anyone know of a dinner and dancing (not latin; big-band) restaurant/supper club in Chicagoland?

Well, if dinner doesn't need to be in the same place as the dancing, then Courtright's is across the street from Willowbrook Ballroom. I seem to remember that Courtright's one of the few places awarded four stars from Phil Vettel of the Tribune...

Oct 31, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Help!! Does anyone know of a dinner and dancing (not latin; big-band) restaurant/supper club in Chicagoland?

The first place I'd suggest is the Willowbrook Ballroom: http://www.willowbrookballroom.com

I have no idea whether it's even open anymore, but it's worth checking. I don't know where you are in NWI, but it's less than a 30-minute drive from Munster/Highland.

Oct 30, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Anything better than Aurelio's pizza near west burbs?

That sounds like something cut/pasted from a Giordano's ad and IMO has no basis in reality. I have been to Giordano's dozens of times over the past 20 years, and something happened to them about five years ago. The once-tasty ingredients were now bland and institutional, and the never-that-good crust had an off, freezer-burned flavor. Places that were once busy were now almost empty, and I remember a large, notable location in Naperville closing their doors a couple years ago. I haven't had a Giordano's pizza in about a year, and just in case things have changed now that they're in bankruptcy, I'll try one again soon. Hopefully I can get someone else to pay for it...

Malnati's is OK, but it's too expensive for its quality. You're paying for a name, and I'd prefer to only pay for the pizza.

As for your opinion of Aurelio's, what is your sample size to make such strong statements? Statisticians will tell you that it's pretty tough to make sweeping statements such as yours with a sample size of one.

I'll say for the record that my favorite style of pizza is the South Side "tavern style" at places like Vito & Nick's and Aurelio's. It sounds to me like it's your least-favorite style. If that's the case, how about your telling people that? And to avoid any hint of hypocrisy, my least-favorite style is "Neapolitan". I have trouble with a pizza whose edges are burnt and whose center is a mass of amorphous goo, and most of the time that's exactly what you get. It's a style whose cooking process requires the pizza being small (maybe 10" diameter at most) with minimal toppings, and at that point, it's no longer something I would ever want.

Aug 21, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Anything better than Aurelio's pizza near west burbs?

We understood your complete dislike of Aurelio's from your equally-negative post above.

I happen to enjoy Aurelio's pizza, but like any successful-and-expanding chain, quality varies from location to location. Even so, I highly doubt whether any produce a pizza as bad as what you've said in your two posts.

Now if you want some truly revolting pizza, go to Giordano's. I'm amazed it took so long for them to go into Chapter 11!

Aug 20, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Lombard Area week of Aug 15

Labriola Bakery Cafe would fit your needs quite well, and since you said Greek Islands and Parker's are near your hotel, it is near your hotel as well. The website has downloadable menus: http://www.labriolacafe.com

When you return from your trip, please let us know what you tried!

Aug 11, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Pizza Worth Eating?

I thought I made it clear that the dropoff at Uno's occurred before the franchising, which was long before your dining there "over the past few years".

I didn't make a suggestion to go to Midlothian. I only pointed out that to get a pizza that tastes like Uno's from the '70s, you need to go to Midlothian, because such a pizza no longer exists within the Chicago city limits. And about it not being helpful...I guess I'm the type of person that prefers to let the readers decide which comments are helpful and which ones aren't.

Jul 17, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Pizza Worth Eating?

>Anyone with a nostalgic view of the old Gino's will be very disappointed.<

I agree. The old Gino's on Rush St. is nothing like it was in the '70s...when it was so good and so popular that they opened a second restaurant on Superior, and called it Gino's East because it was east of Michigan Ave.

And if you want to taste a pizza like what came out of Uno's in the '70s, you have to go to Louisa's in the SW suburb of Midlothian, because you're not going to find it at the Uno's downtown. They may have kept the same recipe from the time of the franchising, but the quality dropped long before the franchising.

If I were interested today in such a pizza in the downtown area, I would probably go to Malnati's or Pizano's. Louisa's would be the closest to what you remember from the '70s, but it's quite a ways from downtown.

Jul 17, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

In-N-Out Burger sucks (moved from L.A. board)

For you, the beef seems to be secondary to the toppings, and that's fine. But for me, the beef is paramount (it's why I order a burger!), and the quality of the beef is much better at Steak n Shake. But honestly, you can't compare the two chains. Steak n Shake is set up as an old-fashioned diner with your burger served on a real plate with real silverware, and it's technically not fast food.

I think the closest comparison in the Midwest to In n Out is Culver's, and I would take a Culver's burger over In n Out every time. Again, it's all about the beef...which brings us back to the first post in this topic, talking about the quality (or lack thereof) of the beef on an In n Out burger.

Jul 06, 2011
Mizer in Chains

Primehouse review - Mediocre at Best

Let's see here. The two steaks are $97. The salads are $20. The sides are $27 (assuming the gnocchi is the $20 menu option and not a special side for the night). That's $144 total. With tax and 20% tip, you're at $192, or $96/person -- and that price does not include any beverages. If they each had a glass of wine, it's over $100/person.

Apr 24, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Aldi food store now in Queens NY

If by "third world countries" you mean France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Canada, and the USA, then I agree with you. Those countries are the source of the vast majority of food sold at Aldi-US.

Aldi-US and TJ's are in different divisions of the same parent company, but they share purchasing, warehousing, and distribution wherever possible. You can find many TJ's products at Aldi if you know what to look for, and the price at Aldi will be 20-40% less.

Apr 17, 2011
Mizer in Chains

Best LUNCH on Sunday in Naperville

Pssst...read my post again.

I don't care about chain vs non-chain. I only commented about the inconsistency, and then made a suggestion for shopping/dining which WAS consistent.

If the OP wants to shop at chain-but-non-conglomerate-owned stores, they can visit Casey's in the same strip mall as TJs, the Asia supermarket across the street from H-Mart, or the Michael's and Garden Fresh stores not far from the Whole Foods on 75th. For non-chain dining, my first choice would be Fabulous Noodles in Lisle, about a mile east of H-Mart.

Apr 12, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Best LUNCH on Sunday in Naperville

I find it amusing that you want non-chain, locally-owned for lunch, but are shopping at conglomerate-owned chain stores like Whole Foods and TJs. But anyway...here's a suggestion. There's an H-Mart in Naperville that may satisfy some of your shopping needs, and its attached food court may satisfy your lunch needs as well. Here's a link to get you started:

http://www.hmart.com/company_new/shop...

Apr 11, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

In-N-Out Burger sucks (moved from L.A. board)

Yep. If only In N Out would ditch the factory-ground high-fat fresh patty and start using a frozen patty of higher-quality meat, there would never be a comment comparing them to Burger King. Everybody knows that cut, blanched, IQF fries are light-years better than watery, fresh-cut potatoes. And lettuce is always better when it's not so watery from washing that it makes the burger soggy.

What worked 50 years ago, with smaller crowds of people willing to wait for a quality product, doesn't work today. That's why I call it a gimmick. Corners have been cut to accommodate serving lots more people who want their food immediately, if not faster. I would prefer to see In N Out make one of two choices: keep the same price point and start using good quality frozen patties and fries, or go to a higher price point, keep their current business model, and do it the RIGHT way -- the way it was done when the model was originally created.

Apr 05, 2011
Mizer in Chains

In-N-Out Burger sucks (moved from L.A. board)

I've been to quite a few county fairs and have had fries of the type you mentioned. We definitely have different ideas of what constitutes great fries. If those are what you consider great fries, then I can easily see why you like the fries at In N Out. And I hope you can see why I do not.

As for Culver's, the butter taste is in the bun, not the patty, which is why I specifically said Culver's burger PATTY was better-tasting than at In N Out. The closest Culver's is a 12-hour drive from you, and you say you're in the midwest? Based on the following map, I guess we have a different idea of what constitutes the midwest as well!

http://culvers.know-where.com/culvers...

Apr 05, 2011
Mizer in Chains

In-N-Out Burger sucks (moved from L.A. board)

I'm in the midwest and have been traveling to California on business for the past 25 years, and have had my fair share of In N Out meals. The In N Out of 25 years ago was a much, MUCH better chain than the one today, and very much worthy of the best praises I've read in this thread. However, times have changed, and burgers that I once truly enjoyed have been replaced with miniscule discs (reminiscent of the old Wendy's "where's the beef?" commercials) and mostly condiments. Yes, the meat is fresh, but it's not close to the quality it was years ago, and it's hard for me to understand the praise given to the burger of today. And to "rockandroller1", if you're from the midwest, I suggest you locate the nearest Culver's if you want a better-tasting burger patty than what's now being served at In N Out.

Fries still suck no matter how they're cooked -- normally limp and slightly oily, and dried-out and mealy when well-done. That's what happens when you make fries the way they do. It's a gimmick that has worked for decades, so...it isn't going to change. It is what it is.

Seems to me that the model which worked well in 1986 is not working that well today. In N Out is at a crossroads, and it's unlikely they can expand much more using the current business model without destroying the brand. Given the very noticeable drop in quality in the past few years, it could be argued that they have already expanded too much.

Apr 04, 2011
Mizer in Chains

My wife wants to watch baketball...really.

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/scorebo...

The game has a 5:09PM Chicago-time tip-off. I don't think you will need to worry about your dinner...barring something like a triple-overtime, the game will be over by 7:30PM.

Mar 28, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Chicago Hot Dogs or Greek Places in the West Suburbs?

I thought the definition was pretty clear, which may be why no one replied to it in almost three years!

The Northwest Tollway is NOT the Kennedy. That's why the definition of west suburbs includes BOTH DuPage County, and the Cook County suburbs south of the Kennedy. If it extended to the Northwest Tollway, then there would be no need to include DuPage County in the definition.

Also note the next sentence for the NW suburbs, which specifically states north of DuPage County and west of the Tri-State, and re-affirming the meaning of the previous sentence.

No big deal really...I'm just clarifying things that I thought were clear.

Feb 05, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Any recommendations Oak Brook vicinity?

I'm not "pre-judging" Wildfire, Mon Ami Gabi, and Antico Posto at Oakbrook Mall. I've dined at all three at least five times in the past year or so, and in the case of Mon Ami Gabi, much more. The problem I have with all three is that I get a cattle-call, almost Disney-esque feeling to my experiences there. Food is always consistent (good but never great), and service is always very good -- albeit designed to get you in and out as soon as possible. Antico Posto is IMO the best of the three service-wise, Mon Ami Gabi the best food-wise.

The reason I'm there so often is because its location is convenient for business lunches and dinners.

It's interesting you mention decor. It is in this area that I base my "Disney-esque" comment. Wildfire is the best of the three in this regard.

As for Carlucci's, it is indeed a chain of, I believe, three restaurants. But that's where the similarities with the restaurants at Oakbrook Mall end...

Jan 26, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Any recommendations Oak Brook vicinity?

I guess we're two different people, then. I would not send a visitor to a restaurant in a shopping mall when, as you said, there are equally-good (and in the case of Carlucci's, better) restaurants nearby. Don't get me wrong...Antico Posto, Mon Ami Gabi, and Wildfire in Oakbrook Mall are all good restaurants. But they have a corporate, almost-Disneyesque feel to them -- even Antico Posto, which is the best in this regard. Can't speak for Reel Club since I've never been there.

I also like the idea of Labriola Cafe -- in addition to lunch or casual dinner, it would be a good place for breakfast, and to pick up some things for eating on the road.

As for Vie, I noted the $$-$$$ requirement, which is why I didn't include it in my list. But I must add...while its price range is $$$-$$$$ (probably closer to $$$$), it's worth every penny!

Jan 25, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Any recommendations Oak Brook vicinity?

For Italian in that area, I'd suggest Carlucci's. It's just west of the corner of Finley and Butterfield in Downers Grove. With the construction on 22nd Street, you're probably better off taking I-88 to the Highland Ave exit get there...your hotel is very close to the westbound entrance of I-88. The 22nd Street construction will also come into play for Giordano's, Redstone, and Harry Caray's, as all three are on 22nd/Butterfield (going west, 22nd turns into Butterfield).

Parkers' Restaurant is also in the area, but I haven't been there since it was rebranded from Parker's Seafood Grill. It was an excellent restaurant in its previous incarnation...

Jan 24, 2011
Mizer in Chicago Area

Aldi

I used to drive past Aldi's US headquarters in Batavia IL on a weekly basis. Many times I would get stuck behind trucks that I saw leaving the complex. Being a curious person, sometimes I would follow a truck if it was going in the same direction I was. And on a few occasions, the truck's first stop was...a Trader Joe's a couple miles away! While Aldi and Trader Joe's may be independent divisions, it would appear that a a minimum, they share warehousing and distribution operations in the Chicago area.

Has anyone else tried Aldi's limited-availability Route 1 candies? I had some fun with guests and had a bowl of the dark chocolate covered cherries out, along with a bowl of the comparable Trader Joe's product. Well, they're not comparable...they're IDENTICAL.

Dec 27, 2010
Mizer in Chains

Any decent lunch spots near south (way south) Chicago?

That location is not in Chicago, it's in either Alsip or Oak Lawn - I'm not sure which. (Actually you don't need "west" or "south" in the street names either - 115th is south, Cicero and Pulaski/Crawford are west.)

I'm sure there are many notes here about Palermo's, Vito & Nick's, and Top Notch Beefburgers, all three of which are in the vicinity of where you're working.

Dec 05, 2010
Mizer in Chicago Area

Driving from Michigan to Moline Quad Cities IL via I-94 and I-80

Here's a place just off I-80/94 in Indiana where you can get good food and nationally-famous beer:

http://www.3floyds.com/brewpub/

Oct 15, 2010
Mizer in Great Lakes

Lunch places along I-55 between Bolingbrook & Chicago

Then I definitely recommend Dell Rhea's.

http://www.chickenbasket.com/

Oct 14, 2010
Mizer in Chicago Area

Lunch places along I-55 between Bolingbrook & Chicago

Katy's is a 10-15 minute drive from I-55, and a lot more if you're unlucky and get caught by a train on the (very busy) Burlington Northern tracks that run through downtown Westmont.

If Chinese is of interest, Chinese Kitchen (just south of 63rd on Cass) would be a much better alternative.

Oct 14, 2010
Mizer in Chicago Area

Lunch places along I-55 between Bolingbrook & Chicago

Since you're asking about lunch, this is a mid-day drive. And a mid-day drive between Chicago and Bolingbrook should take about 45-50 minutes. So there's probably no need to stop for lunch!

However, if you still want to stop for lunch, the northbound exits at Lagrange Rd, rt83, and Cass Ave hold the most promise. I'd probably stop at Dell Rhea's, which is on a stretch of the original route 66. Take rt83 north, turn right at the first stoplight, make an immediate right, and follow the road to Dell Rhea's.

Oct 13, 2010
Mizer in Chicago Area

Bridal Shower location in South Suburbs

http://www.popolanosrestaurant.com/

It should meet your needs for a private room and a cost of $25/person. Their Lansing location is on Torrence Ave, about a half-mile south of the I-80/94 exit ramps.

Oct 02, 2010
Mizer in Chicago Area

Lunch near the Hyatt-Lisle on Monday?

Allgauer's is very good and about a ten minute drive, half of which will be to get to westbound Warrenville Road. If time is important, why not just stay at the Hyatt? Their restaurant, Chatfield's, is pretty good (Allgauer's is better), and certainly more convenient.

Jan 29, 2010
Mizer in Chicago Area

New to the South side suburbs---What's the BEST of the BEST?

You might want to read the last sentence nsxtasy wrote as well. Willowbrook is a west suburb, 25 miles from the "sout side". Burr Ridge is large geographically, spanning two counties, and I suppose it could be called either a west suburb or southwest suburb. Note that they're suburbs, not 'hoods.

Anyway. Completely agree about Vie, though would add that it is among the best restaurants in the entire Chicago area, not just the suburbs. Courtrights...when on it's fabulous, but in the past couple years it's been more off than on (at least for me). Great wine list, though, with lots of gems at very fair prices.

A great thin-crust pizza sounds good right now. I think I'll head over to Lemont Lanes. ;)

Nov 27, 2009
Mizer in Chicago Area

Anything interesting in Oak Brook/Lombard area?

I guess it depends on your definition of "huge distance". Getting from the Embassy Suites to Vie would take about 20 minutes assuming no traffic and no road construction. But there will be traffic, and there is a LOT of road construction in that area. You're probably looking at a 30+ minute cab ride, which at suburban rates would be roughly $60-$70 round-trip. The OP would be better off renting a car from Enterprise for the day...but even then, there's the 30+ minute drive in an area that's unfamiliar to the OP, congested, and littered with road construction detours.

Much closer to the Embassy suites are interesting places like Katy's Dumplings on Cass/Midwest in Westmont, Greek Islands behind Yorktown Mall in Lombard, and Labriola Bakery Cafe on Butterfield/22nd in Oak Brook.

Oct 10, 2009
Mizer in Chicago Area