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Single bottles of beer in Chicago

My friends and I are going to do a blind tasting of the best micro beers from around Chicago. We would like to save some money by purchasing single bottles of the beers rather than six-packs. Do you know of a shop that sells singles of beers from Three Floyds, Great Lakes, Two Brothers, Bell's, etc? Thanks for your help

Nov 04, 2009
sharris76 in Chicago Area

Urban Farming in Chicago

There is a city farm but I don't know much about it:

Jun 12, 2008
sharris76 in Chicago Area

Need fun, delicious dinner near the Mart

Coco Pazzo is good (I've had lunch but not dinner). But (in my humble opinion) Carnivale is overhyped.

Avec would be good for a large group. Great chef, family style.

Jun 12, 2008
sharris76 in Chicago Area

Lunch at nicer restaurants

You simply cannot miss Blackbird for lunch. Get the porkbelly sandwhich. I keep posting it on every thread, but it's true. It's the best thing I've ever eaten. If they ever stop making it, I don't know what I'll do.

Coco Pazzo is another fun lunch place where I might not eat dinner:

If you want good views of the city, go to the Hancock Building -- but avoid the observation deck, which you have to pay for. Instead, go up to the bar and order a drink. Great views and a drink for less than the cost of the observation tower. They also have a decent lunch menu (but nothing spectacular; it's about the view, not the food).

Jun 12, 2008
sharris76 in Chicago Area

Dinner recs for a 1st timer

Check out answers to this post:

The blue line will get you straight from O'Hare to a lot of great places, including Wicker Park/Bucktown, where you can walk to Spring for the special dinner:

If it wereme, I would try Blackbird or Avec for the $60 dinner. Same owner, very different cuisine and atmosphere, but Avec is great for a group. Family style service.

Jun 12, 2008
sharris76 in Chicago Area

IF YOU HAVE 3 DAYS in Chicago Where would you eat?

There are more detailed explanations on some other posts, but here is the short list of can't misses for Chicago cuisine:

Maiz (cash only, great, authentic Mexican, not expensive. They have huitlacoche -- corn smut, which is apparenlty considered a delicasy in Mexico).

Blackbird (go for lunch and get the porkbelly sandwhich)

Hot Dougs (mentioned elsewhere in this thread)

Schwa (call asap and try to get a reservation. They have a smaller tasting menu if your budget is an issue)

There is a place in China Town that has soup dumpings -- which are apparently very hard to come by: Lao Shanghai

If I wanted a first class experience, I would skip Alinea or Moto and go to Tru (but personally, I am not a huge molecular gastronomy fan and I didn't love Alinea). I also don't care for Everest -- but if you like classic, heavy french food, you will like it. I haven't been to Charlie Trotter's, so I can't speak to that.

Jun 11, 2008
sharris76 in Chicago Area

Visiting Chicago this summer - where to eat???

You must have lunch at Blackbird, and you must order the porkbelly sandwhich. Trust me. It's a religious experience.

If you can get a reservation for dinner at Schwa, do so. They have a smaller tasting menu if money is an issue.

You'll find incredible, authentic and inexpensive Mexican food at Maiz. (You will have to take a bus or cab there. It's a few miles west of downtown, but worth it) There is no web page but reviews can be found on Yelp: They only take cash.

I agree that you can't miss Hot Doug's. Again, you will need to take public transportation, but it's so worth it.

Cold Comfort Cafe in Wicker Park has a huge selection of cheap sandwhiches and the BEST tuna fish sandwhich in the world. It's a very small location, but if you can overlook that you will get a great lunch. You'll also enjoy walking around the neighborhood and window shopping after lunch.

As for bars, try to get to the California Clipper late Friday or Saturday night. If fact, you could walk there after a late dinner at Maiz. It's just across the street. This is a neighborhood classic, and I guarantee you'll never see another bar quite like it. They always have really cool, unique music. I think a movie was recently filming there, too.

Have fun!!

Jun 11, 2008
sharris76 in Chicago Area

If you had two days to cram in all of Chicago, where would you eat?

Forget Topolobampo. If you're going to spend a lot of money, go to Tru. The food is phenominal -- innovative yet classic. The service is like synchronized swimming. Many may disagreed, but I enjoyed it more than the French Laundry or Alinea.

If you want truly great Mexican food, go to Maiz in Humboldt Park. They make their own corn tortillas. The food is fantastic, authentic and inexpensive -- sort of like Mexican tapas. My husband absolutely loves the huitlacoche (corn smut) -- which I have never seen elsewhere. They also have only a very small bar selection, but great, fresh margaritas. Maiz does not have a website, but you can read reviews on Yelp:
They only take cash and are not open for lunch. Another plus -- the owner, Carlos, is just a great guy.

If you can get a dinner reservation at Schwa, you should try. Depending on how soon you're coming, you may not be able to. It's a very small place.

If you can stick around for lunch on Monday, you must have lunch at Blackbird. Order the porkbelly sandwhich. Your life will never be the same. Trust me.

I've been in Chicago for five years, and authentic deep dish is great, but don't waste your time on it if you're only here for a couple of days. There are so many more unique and wonderful things to try.

Jun 11, 2008
sharris76 in Chicago Area