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25.10.14 0408
The W - Random - One Night in Chicago
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The Goon
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.95
I'm scheduled to go for a couple of days of training in Chicago in mid-April. I'm staying/training at the Hyatt Regency McCormick, which looks to be a fairly central spot as far as things to do.

I've never been to Chicago before, so I'd like to take advantage of my night off. A brief search reveals about 1000 things I'd like to do, but if there's one or two things I should absolutely do, what should they be?
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samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.38
I wasn't very impressed by Chicago except for when I finally got legit Chicago style pizza. It's one of my fondest food-related travel memories. So I would suggest having that for lunch or dinner. Or both.



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theremin
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Since: 31.1.12

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
I've got plenty of recommendations.

Tell me more about what interests you, and when you are going to be here.

(edited by theremin on 29.3.12 1856)
Teppan-Yaki
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Since: 28.6.02

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#4 Posted on
Here's what I'd do if I had the time/chance - since they'd be things I've missed doing in Chicago:

You can go to North Pier and see if Battletech is still there; that was always a fun time. You're not too far away from Water Tower Place for shopping (well, most of Michigan Avenue is shopping). Since samoflange alluded to it, Pizzeria Uno is off of Michigan (I forget which street). Very good pizza.

Also, you could hit the nearby museums as Shedd and the Field Museum are close. Museum of Science and Industry is in Hyde Park and is the favorite out of the three of mine. Plus - if you were more adventurous and had time, Hyde Park has really good Thai restaurants on 55th Street. There's also the Valois, which is an experience in itself and I need to put on my one-more-time-Bucket list.

Hope that helps! Have fun!
Sec19Row53
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.67
I'd go for Gino's East for Chicago style pizza.
Mike Zeidler
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Since: 27.6.02

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.41
Either Giordano's (my favorite) or Lou Malnati's (which I've never had, but the Chi-town people I work with all swear by) is the best Chicago-style pizza.

(My wife, who generally loathes Chicago style "too much sauce!" loves Giordano's despite herself)



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theremin
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Since: 31.1.12

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
Lou Malnati's is my favorite, cause I love the crust.

There are three fantastic places to eat that I would highly recommend.

Kuma's Corner - One amazing hamburger.
http://www.kumascorner.com/

The only problem, it's so popular (and very small), so there's always huge wait times. We just went there this week at 8:30pm, and it was an hour and a half wait. If you're someone up late, they're open till midnight or later every night. I highly recommend the Kuma burger. Bacon, Cheddar and a Fried Egg on a Pretzel Roll. That's three animals on one bun!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16v3w9lCsYk


Hot Doug's - Hot Dogs, Brats, Polish's and amazing sausages.
http://www.hotdougs.com

I haven't been lucky enough to stop in here on a friday or saturday, when they have duck fat fries.

Every week they have a game of the week (this weeks is a mixture of Antelope, Buffalo, Elk and Venison) and they always have interesting toppings and sauces.

I think if I was there this week I'd be getting this:
Hot Sauce Chicken Sausage with "Buffalo" Mustard and Smoked Blue Cheese drizzled with Honey, and probably a brat too. I generally don't like brats, but I love theirs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvV4M2THP9s


Superdawg - one of the 1,000 places you should see before you die
http://www.superdawg.com/

Opened in 1948, this is a classic drive in. I went here 100's of times as a kid and this place is so nostalgic to me. Yet the real truth is, they make the best hot dogs I've ever had. You should keep in mind, I generally take my dogs plain, so I'm not talking about how they prepare it, or their toppings. This place makes their own hot dogs. Also, unlike the other places, there's not much in the way of waiting here, although they are also open late.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO4xl_Ehc28



Do you have an interest in anything besides eating??

By the way, I'm 90% sure that battletech is closed. Most of north pier is kind of a ghost town since navy pier opened up.


The Goon
Boudin blanc
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.95
It's funny the turn this thread has taken, as I wasn't thinking about food at all, and I probably couldn't tell one slice of pizza from another. If the opportunity presents itself to try some famous Chicago pizza, I'll certainly take it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find anything special in that regard.

From doing some more research, I'm leaning toward going on a Shore Line cruise through Chicago, and getting some nice pictures of the architecture and learning a bit about the history. It looks like from there I would end up at Navy Pier, where I can buy some baubles for the family.

Alternatively, the Chisox play only a couple of miles away from the hotel, and they're home to the Orioles while I'm there.

Back in my single days, I would take an extra couple of days while there and do some sightseeing, but alas, I have to get back home.
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.09
Battletech has been closed for a decade now.

If the weather is clear pay the overpriced drink cost and have a cocktail at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building.

Check out Millennium Park, with the Cloud Gate sculpture and the face fountains.

Go to a play at Steppenwolf, one of the best theatre companies in America.

If you go to a Sox game make sure to buy tickets in the lower level or Club level seating. The concourse has a bunch of statues and other things worth checking out, but you can't go down there if you have an upper deck ticket. Cheap seats are usually easy to come by through Stubhub.

I like the boat tours that go out of Navy Pier since they cruise the lake and you can see the whole skyline at once. The tall ships are nice because they're so leisurely.

I know you weren't thinking about food, but the food scene in Chicago right now is ridiculous, and pretty much anything you like there's someone doing it at a very high level, and is really worth looking at.





2007 and 2008 W-League Fantasy Football champion!
theremin
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Since: 31.1.12

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
OH! OH!

I've taken a couple shoreline cruises, and cruises that go out into the lake, but if you're really interested in the architecture and history, take the actual architectural cruise that goes on the river. You get much closer to the buildings, and they tell you a lot about the designers, etc.

The one I took, you actually could park at Navy Pier, but you boarded a little to the Southwest.
thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.24

    Also, you could hit the nearby museums as Shedd and the Field Museum are close. Museum of Science and Industry is in Hyde Park and is the favorite out of the three of mine.



    Check out Millennium Park, with the Cloud Gate sculpture and the face fountains.



    If you're really interested in the architecture and history, take the actual architectural cruise that goes on the river. You get much closer to the buildings, and they tell you a lot about the designers, etc.


Just wanted to agree with these. I'm terrible with recommending things to check out, but everyone who tries these are usually happy they did.



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theremin
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Since: 31.1.12

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
I didn't really address the museum issue.

If you want to stay near the hotel, I'd generally go with the Planetarium over the Aquarium and the Field Museum. The Aquarium is, imho, way too expensive.

Your best bet, tho, is definitely the museum of science and industry. Anything in the omnimax theatre will blow your mind. Don't miss the Coal Mine or the U-505. Duck into Yesterday's Main Street for an ice cream sundae.
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.09
    Originally posted by theremin
    OH! OH!

    I've taken a couple shoreline cruises, and cruises that go out into the lake, but if you're really interested in the architecture and history, take the actual architectural cruise that goes on the river. You get much closer to the buildings, and they tell you a lot about the designers, etc.

    The one I took, you actually could park at Navy Pier, but you boarded a little to the Southwest.

The river tours are more informational. The lake tours are more relaxing and I think more aesthetically pleasing since you're able to see everything in perspective.

I didn't really say much about museums because it sounds like he will only have the evenings to do stuff, so the museums can be tough to get to at that point.

Also, I always recommend checking out Aviary for drinks/snacks. Pricey, but amazing.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.64
Buy yourself a nice bowl of Tortilla soup*

*only two other people will find this amusing.




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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.06
Most of the recommendations made I would also suggest.

I don't know what you dig, but you're relatively close to the aquarium and field museum and planetarium. I dig all those places, especially the field museum. You're also close to the science and industry museum (short cab right) and the Art Museum (also a cab) and they are fun museum, if you dig that sort of thing.

I love the architecture of the downtown buildings, so that's something I would suggest too - there's a place at Adams and Lasalle called the Rookery that is worth a look. You can ride the El around downtown and see that (it's why they call it the Loop). It's about a block away from the Quincy El station.

Seeing places like the Marina Towers, The Willis Tower - and othericonic places you have seen in TV shows and movies in fun and riding the El around is a cheap way to see a lot of them.

I am mostly moved out - don't go back up much, but MY food suggestion would also be Malnatis, and I would also suggest Ricobenes (that's close anyway) and there used to be one at Lake and Wabash. But it looks like that's closed. They have sort of a breaded beef sandwich I love. There's one on 26th street, again, not too far from where you're staying. And Al's Italian beef - many locations, all great.



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Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.37
Welcome home, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Infantry, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, WI Army National Guard! Job well done in Iraq!

Lou Malnatti's. The ONLY pizza.

Also, don't overlook the tours of the Sears (OK, "Willis") Tower, and especially the John Hancock Building. Very well done, and the views are spectacular.

One of 'em has David Schwimmer...I won't tell you which one. :-)





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The Goon
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 11 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.95
Thanks for all the info, folks. I'll have to play it by ear that night - time I'm out of the training, weather, etc, but my plan is to take one of the river cruises and hope for a nice sunset to get some pictures of the city and its architecture.

I have heard Malnati's mentioned to me by a number of sources so I'd better make a point to stop in for some pizza. There appears to be a location only a few blocks from the conference center/hotel.

Back in the day, I would always tack a day or two on trips like this for the sole purpose of seeing and doing everything. Alas, the wife and kid put an end to that.

    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Buy yourself a nice bowl of Tortilla soup*

    *only two other people will find this amusing.


...but it was very amusing! I still look for Tortilla Soup on the menu when I go to new places.
Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 2 days
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.56
I've spent a fair bit of time in Chicago lately (well, the western suburbs of Naperville, Lisle and Warrenville).

- Lou Malnati's butter crust is the way to go
- Your craft beer options are solid. If you can find anything by 3 Floyd's, drink it. Don't even ask what it is, just drink it. Two Brothers and Half Acre make some great beer as well.
- Check if the Chicago Wolves of the AHL are still playing. They play in Rosemont, so you can relive any WM2 memories you may have (such as the Bulldogs winning the tag titles there).
theremin
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Since: 31.1.12

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


    Originally posted by Bullitt
    I've spent a fair bit of time in Chicago lately (well, the western suburbs of Naperville, Lisle and Warrenville).




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