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 Taste of Chicago

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euclid

  • Total Posts: 191
  • Joined: 7/12/2006
  • Location: Chardon, OH
Taste of Chicago Sat, 05/23/09 4:07 PM (permalink)
   Yes, I did a search on Taste  of Chicago. The results were meager and all negative. Not inspiring. That being said, I will be attending in June and do wonder if it is as truely lousy (post 2006) as they (5) reported.
   It hardly seems possible that so many quality restaurants could offer up such a disaster when they are under such scrutiny by so many?
   Anyway, I would appreciate any positive experiences that any of you may have encountered. I mean really, State Fairs are crowded but can be fun and certainly the food is sometimes amazing.
   I would provide the Web address but it's a block long. Google Taste of Chicago and you will find the list of participating restaurants. Many of which have graced the pages of Roadfood.
   Thanks in advance.
 
#1
    ann peeples

    • Total Posts: 8317
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    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
    Re:Taste of Chicago Sat, 05/23/09 5:14 PM (permalink)
    I am sorry to report that having attended this event, it wasnt that good-long, and I mean long waits for the food, and while some of the restaurants are top notch, the food was mediocre at best.I hope you get some positive responses.This is just my opinion.And believe me, I love Chicago food...
     
    #2
      PapaJoe8

      • Total Posts: 5504
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      • Location: Dallas... DFW area
      Re:Taste of Chicago Sat, 05/23/09 5:26 PM (permalink)
      One year I went to the Field Museum and then to the Taste thing. I had a great time! I have a great time almost anywhere though. The food??? I got full.
      Joe
       
      #3
        mjsneddon

        • Total Posts: 230
        • Joined: 5/25/2007
        • Location: Mattoon, IL
        Re:Taste of Chicago Sat, 05/23/09 10:31 PM (permalink)
        I have had an interest in attending for quite a while.  The reason that I have not hinges on the only negative comments I have heard about it - the huge crowds!  I could be wrong but I have to think that for an event to draw such large numbers of people year after year, there must be something quite positive about it.
         
        #4
          The Travelin Man

          • Total Posts: 3699
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          • Location: Central FL
          Re:Taste of Chicago Sun, 05/24/09 12:39 AM (permalink)
          I attended Taste of Chicago in 2007.  I can't find where I wrote anything bad about it - but, I am pretty sure that I did. 

          There was a TON of people there...all of whom seemed to have the inclination that they were the ONLY people there (people walking around an event with 100,000 people per day with double-wide strollers banging into other's feet, etc.).  The lines were outrageously long for anything popular.  It was blisteringly hot.  The food was pretty expensive - small portions for mostly small dollar amounts - but, still expensive.

          A savvy Roadfooder could easily work their way around the city to some of the finer places and make a much more enjoyable day.  I made the mistake of not heeding the advice of everyone who told me not to go.  If all you can find are negative reviews from in the places you normally rely on for suggestions there may be a good reason.
           
          #5
            Jim Ross

            • Total Posts: 314
            • Joined: 9/30/2000
            • Location: Iowa City, IA
            Re:Taste of Chicago Mon, 05/25/09 4:39 PM (permalink)

            ......  A savvy Roadfooder could easily work their way around the city to some of the finer places and make a much more enjoyable day..........

             
            When I worked in downtown Chicago,  my team loved going out for lunch during Taste.   Not to Taste though,  that was the time to go to our favorite downtown restuarants that usually had big crowds or waits.   
             
            #6
              kland01s

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              • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
              Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 9:40 AM (permalink)
              Get the list of restaurants that are participating and go to them at another time. The Taste offers scaled down  versions of only a few of a restaurants menu items and not always their best ones, just whatever holds up to being served from a tent.
               
              #7
                euclid

                • Total Posts: 191
                • Joined: 7/12/2006
                • Location: Chardon, OH
                Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 2:10 PM (permalink)
                Well, it's certainly a majority that advises to avoid the Taste. My next plan is to review participants, search them on Roadfood and devise a game plan for going to the restaurants during Taste week. There is a wealth of Posts re:Chicago, so it will require a bit of research but enjoyable.
                   That being said, if you had only one chance to eat at 6 Roadfood joints in Chicago in three days, lunch and dinner, what would you eat and where? No steak joints or fancy, just your own Taste of Chicago.
                   As the Travelin Man says, if I rely on your suggestions, then I should listen. Thanks in advance! euclid
                  
                 
                #8
                  The Travelin Man

                  • Total Posts: 3699
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                  • Location: Central FL
                  Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 3:57 PM (permalink)
                  Well, I guess the first thing that I realized in trying to plan for six meals in Chicago is that there is just too much food and way too many choices to narrow things down to six meals!  Chicago has some delicacies that are surely "only in Chicago" foods - from the ubiquitous "Chicago-style hot dog" to the somewhat more hidden breaded steak sandwich; chicken vesuvio to shrimp de jhonge; from deep dish pizza to...well...deep dish pizza!  On top of that, there are some restaurants that are great to hit - if only because they are in Chicago.  Plus, I don't know why you chose to eliminate breakfast as an option, but Chicago is a strong breakfast town.  So, I skewed your rules should anyone else stumble upon this thread, by adding a three-day breakfast recommendation and a slot for one snack each day.  Rather than set out as a three-day itinerary, I will just list breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.  I also have some "honorable mention" spots - and some will immediately call me out for not including a hot beef sandwich or deep dish pizza on my itinerary.  Hey...you can't please everyone, so ya gotta please yourself.  For an out-of-towner, I think I could make the case for a pretty good three-day meal plan with this....

                  Breakfast #1 - Yolk - 1120 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605 (copied from something I wrote a while ago - sorry, no photos)

                  (Not reviewed on Roadfood.com)

                  Located in the South Loop (on Michigan between 11th and 12th). This was a 5-star breakfast with 2-star service (at about a 4-star price). We chose to go on a Sunday early afternoon on a GORGEOUS day for people to be out and about, so the place, obviously, was pretty crowded. When we arrived, there was a serious gathering of people outside waiting for tables. We were told that there would be about a 30-minute wait, which was about what our pre-determined limit was going to be. Honestly, the weather was so nice, it wasn't hard to wait in the nearby outside area, where they have a dog bowl filled with water for the neighborhood folks out with their pets.

                  We were seated after a 28-minute wait (how they get that close, I will never know). We got a good table, geographically, as it looked out the window onto Michigan Avenue, but the table was extremely cramped, and there was no way that I was getting my fat behind between the table and the window. I think that they expected a couple to sit next to one another there. Fortunately, (a) my friend and I are very much on the same page regarding same-side restaurant seating being a no-no; and she could easily squeeze her significantly more svelte behind between the window and the table.

                  As busy as the place was, the server greeted our table relatively quickly, if not particularly enthusiastically. She offered coffee on the spot, but we decided to both be particularly difficult and ask for decaf and hot tea. She returned with drinks, and we ordered off of their rather expansive breakfast menu. We both had omelettes - she the Denver, and I had a bacon-cheese; both came with a choice of potatoes or fruit (a nice offering, really); AND a choice of breads, including pancakes, toast, English muffins, etc. I opted for the fresh fruit and the pancakes. For $8.95, there was a goodly amount of food there.

                  The wait for food was interminable - and not just because we were pretty hungry. It took about 25 minutes for the food to arrive at our table (good thing I am good company!). In the meantime, I will say that I saw some stunning looking plates of food hit the other tables. In particular, I was told that the cream cheese-stuffed french toast is fabulous! The skillets and fritattas looked good, as did the pancakes - again, the menu is pretty large for a breakfast/lunch place.

                  My omelette was excellent, and while I did not try it myself, my friend said that her's was also really good. They are sizable (again, for the price, they oughta be). The eggs were fluffy, and there was just enough bacon to give it taste, without it being a plate of bacon with some eggs scrambled around it. The cheese was melted on top, but not inside, which is actually the way I like it. The primary taste was of the eggs - which, if you name your place "Yolk" probably ought to be the case, no? The accompanying pancakes (2) were very good - fluffy, but with texture. I believe they were served with real maple syrup, too, but I may be mistaken. The fruit was a right-sized portion including canteloupe, pineapple, watermelon, and orange slices. I would have loved some strawberries, but I really can't bitch. I didn't quite the finish the pancakes and it was a struggle to put away the last five or so bites of the omelette.

                  The bill for the two of us (two omelettes, one coffee, one tea) came to nearly $24, plus tip. So, if you are ready to drop $30/2 for breakfast, this could be the place - but, don't look for the quick turn service of Mom's Diner, either. The food, overall, trumps the wait and the less-than-stellar service, which seems to echo the reviews from Yelp and others.

                  Breakfast #2 - Cozy Corner Diner and Pancake House - 2294 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago (also copied from something I wrote a while ago, but this time there are pics!)

                  Roadfood review


                  Located in a somewhat gritty Chicago neighborhood, this place is a winner. They have the 'Roadfood' article from the last book photocopied and framed right by the door. When I mentioned that was how I found out about the place, I was encouraged to take as many photos as I wanted - "you could help make us MORE famous," I was told.

                  I'll do what I can.

                  When I travel, I don't often do breakfast out at restaurants, and here I am on back-to-back days in Chicago.



                  Between the neon and the faux '50's signage decor, the place is a throwback. At most places, the row of photos beneath would be a representative sampling of the "famous" (Channel 12 News anchorman and what not, for most places) faces that have been by, but I think here they are just photos of random famous people.



                  My breakfast entree consisted of these delicious banana and strawberry pancakes.  The bananas were cooked into the batter, and the strawberries were fresh fruit - not the compote that some places use. It does look like they added a touch of sugar, just to keep things moving along, but it was not syrupy, which I hate. I could have been satisfied with just that order and been done. But no....



                  ...the Sterns recommended the hash browns, so I had to have them. Unfortunately, the picture looks better than the actual potatoes. Don't get me wrong, they were good, but I like them a little crispier (probably could have asked for them to be done that way). I ate less than half of them, though, as I was just plain stuffed.

                  Excellent breakfast - highly recommended. Total cost was about $12 (pancakes, hash browns, hot tea, tax and tip).

                  Breakfast #3 - Ann Sather
                  - 909 W Belmont Ave, Chicago

                  Roadfood review



                  This is a Swedish restaurant that has a number of outposts in the Chicagoland area.  I recently went for breakfast and my biggest problem was deciding which item to order of the - again - vast breakfast menu.  Fortunately, buffetbuster was with me on this trip, so we did what any two good Roadfooders would do - we ordered three meals split between the two of us!

                  Some of the meals are served with excellent cinnamon rolls - so, we knew that one of the meals we ordered had to include these:





                  The other meals consisted of a bacon and eggs (need some protein!), Swedish pancakes with lingonberries, and potato pancakes with homemade applesauce.  I normally HATE applesauce - mostly because it has the texture of baby food, and I hope that I am done eating things that are strained for a few years.  This applesauce had some serious chunks in it - kind of like Mom's mashed potatoes when she didn't quite get out all of the lumps - but, in a good way!

                  Honorable Mention - Lou Mitchell's - 565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago

                  <message edited by The Travelin Man on Tue, 05/26/09 7:09 PM>
                   
                  #9
                    The Travelin Man

                    • Total Posts: 3699
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                    • Location: Central FL
                    Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 7:02 PM (permalink)
                    Lunch #1 - Hot Doug's - 3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

                    (no Roadfood.com review available)

                    Writing about Hot Doug's breaks one of my cardinal rules of making recommendations - I've never eaten there before.  But, for what it's worth, I regret it.  During my last visit, I really wanted to get there - it just didn't work out.  Others, however, rave about the duck fat fries (available on Fridays and Saturdays, I believe) and their collection of exotic encased meats.  You can satiate your need for a Chicago dog here, but you can also get a little more exotic with your meat choices, as well.  My plan is to make it to this place the next time I am in town.

                    Lunch #2 - Uncle Johnny's Grocery - 500 W 32nd St, Chicago IL 60616

                    Roadfood review





                    This ain't any kind of fine dining.  As a matter of fact, there is only a handful of menu items and only one communal bench on which you may sit to eat.  Other than that, it is a great place to pick up some provisions for a picnic or to go and eat somewhere else.  Yep...it's true.  It is a grocery store - but, it is a grocery store that makes some fine sandwiches.



                    To say that their menu is short would be an understatement.  In addition to the above, they also have daily specials which rotate.  The thing to order here, though, is the breaded steak sandwich. 



                    While this was my first experience with a breaded steak sandwich, I am told that this specimen is the best around!



                    I don't usually consume fizzy beverages, but was told that Uncle Johnny's offers some wonderful, locally produced flavored sodas that are worth a shot.



                    I tried the black cherry, which I found to be quite pleasant - and not too fizzy!  These sell for all of a buck.  What a bargain.

                    Lunch #3 - Johnnie's - 7500 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park

                    Roadfood review



                    Pay no attention to the man organizing the food on the table.  You'd think he was lining the stuff up to take pictures or something!

                    There are a handful of things on Johnnie's menu - maybe a touch more than Uncle Johnny's (no relation, of course), but, for my money, I would aim for the Italian combo (Italian sausage, charred, with Italian beef and peppers). 





                    You want to (sort of) wash it down with a homemade lemon ice.  How do I know it is homemade?  Well, for one...no artificial yellow coloring to make the ice look yellow.  More importantly, I pulled an enormous chunk of raw lemon out of my ice!



                    Honorable Mention - Al's or Mr. Beef; Billy Goat Tavern; Hackney's on Harms
                    <message edited by The Travelin Man on Tue, 05/26/09 7:51 PM>
                     
                    #10
                      The Travelin Man

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                      Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 7:02 PM (permalink)
                      Dinner #1 - Harry Carays - 5700 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL 60638

                      Roadfood review

                      OK...I know that you said no steakhouses or anything high end, but I will get you out of Harry's for a reasonable nickel.  Yes, they serve $50 steaks - but, the reason that I think you should go is the "only in Chicago" meal, Chicken Vesuvio.  The bone-in version is on their menu for less than $20.  Beyond that, nothing is MORE Chicago than Harry Caray - sports fan or no.  Their is an incredible collection of Cubs memorabilia lining the walls and the bar area - but, even a non-sports fan (I suppose that there are one or two of them left around) would not feel out of place and would still get a great meal.

                      Dinner #2 - Twin Anchors Restaurant and Tavern
                      - 1655 N Sedgwick St, Chicago, IL

                      Roadfood review

                      For some people being "off the tourist path" is important.  If you are one of those people, I suspect that Twin Anchors may be right up your alley.  As a matter of fact, dinner here was suggested by a friend who has no knowledge of this web site, but found it in her Chicago edition of the "Not for Tourists Guidebook."  It is located in the trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood, so know that parking will be a nightmare - but, those stealing the parking spaces will be the folks who live there!   We ate there for dinner one night and found the place packed with Cubs fans post-game.

                      They have a well-stocked bar with numerous beers on draft.  It is known as the place that Sinatra went for ribs when in Chicago and there is a lot of Sinatra stuff on the walls.  I ordered the barbecued ribs - which are not like those found at 'que pits throughout the south, but rather those slathered in sauce and finished on charcoal.  Nonetheless, they were still tasty.

                      This is a great place of true Chicago neighborhood history.  Two thumbs up.

                      Dinner #3 - Glenn's Diner - 1820 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

                      (no Roadfood review available)

                      I joined the Chicago fall meet-and-eat at Glenn's in the fall.  It is not your typical diner fare.  It is a quirky, funky place specializing in seafood - but, with enough other things on the menu to make a landlubber happy!  We ate there just a few weeks before Glenn's was featured on a Food Network episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.



                      They have a menu...but, I am not sure that anyone in our group orderd off of it.  Why?





                      An impressive collection of specials to say the least!  Six months after the meal, I can barely remember what I ordered, let alone what others ordered, but I recall the shrimp kargot appetizer being very popular and the shrimp in the shrimp cocktail appetizer were large enough to feed two or three people - each!

                      I went with the French onion soup and the pretzel-crusted walleye, which may be one of the finest pieces of seafood I have ever had the privilege to consume.





                      I think that this would make a fine dinner pick - and wouldn't break the bank.

                      Honorable Mention - Edwardo's (or the deep dish pizza of your choice....mine is Edwardo's)
                      <message edited by The Travelin Man on Tue, 05/26/09 8:37 PM>
                       
                      #11
                        The Travelin Man

                        • Total Posts: 3699
                        • Joined: 3/25/2003
                        • Location: Central FL
                        Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 7:02 PM (permalink)
                        Snack #1 - Garrett's Popcorn Shop - 670 N Michigan Ave, Chicago

                        If you spot this sign in the window as you stroll down the Magnificent Mile, you've stumbled upon one of the excellent snack ideas in all of Chicago.



                        Many folks say that THE thing to get is "the mix" - which is cheese and caramel crisp.  Personally, it just ain't my bag.  I would rather have just plain caramel crisp. 



                        They crank through this stuff throughout the day, so you are always inclined to find some fresh waiting...just waiting for you!

                        Depending on how you route your trip, Garrett's can be conveniently located to Yolk and/or some of the other places that I have recommended (if I recall right).

                        Snack #2 - Margie's Candies - 1813 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

                        Margie's was the post-Glenn's dessert option on the fall Chicago Roadfood meet-up.  It is literally right across the street from Glenn's - making for a nice one-two stop. 



                        I don't know that summer is the most appropriate time for a nice cup of hot chocolate (though, I am one who ALWAYS thinks it could be the right time for a cup of hot chocolate), but it was perfect in November, for sure!



                        In addition to making their own homemade ice cream, they also make homemade chocolates and other candies, as well.  I could have spent an hour or more in the store - not to mention more than just a few dollars!



                        Snack #3 - Superdawg - 6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646

                        I don't know that any visit to Chicago would be complete for me without at least a stop at this venerable Chicago institution. 



                        Of course, over the last three days you have filled up with all kinds of stuff, I can't imagine what you would possibly get here.  You could always have room for an extra hot dog or burger....but, I will stick with a classic shake.  That would make a good snack for most!
                        <message edited by The Travelin Man on Tue, 05/26/09 8:58 PM>
                         
                        #12
                          The Travelin Man

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                          Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 9:01 PM (permalink)
                          Well, there you have it.  That would be my three-day "Taste of Chicago" and I would think that you would have a much better experience and not walk away cursing the entire city!

                          Since you mention "Taste" - does this, by any chance, mean that you are going to be in town for Independence Day?  If so, the fireworks at Grant Park are spectacular, but (if I am not mistaken), I am pretty sure that Chicago celebrates the Fourth on the third - and get there early to scope out a spot.
                           
                          #13
                            carolina bob

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                            Re:Taste of Chicago Tue, 05/26/09 9:24 PM (permalink)
                            Travelin Man, you did good! I am quite impressed. But Johnnie's over Al's and Mr. Beef???
                             
                            #14
                              PapaJoe8

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                              • Location: Dallas... DFW area
                              Re:Taste of Chicago Wed, 05/27/09 8:34 AM (permalink)
                              Great post TTM!

                              Has anyone else been to the Field Museum? Those two "out of the darkness" lions who killed all those folks in Africa are worth tha trip.
                              Joe
                               
                              #15
                                buffetbuster

                                Re:Taste of Chicago Wed, 05/27/09 8:39 AM (permalink)
                                One of the cool things about Ann Sather was that in just making conversation, we told the waiter we were ordering three breakfasts and were going to split them up.  When our plates arrived, they already split them up for us, which made things much easier.  They took great care of us.  Really good food, too!
                                 
                                #16
                                  Nancypalooza

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                                  Re:Taste of Chicago Wed, 05/27/09 9:34 AM (permalink)
                                  I just fainted over the pretzel crusted walleye--that's a gorgeous piece of fish.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    The Travelin Man

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                                    Re:Taste of Chicago Wed, 05/27/09 10:27 AM (permalink)
                                    nocarolina - I usually hesitate to recommend places where I have not personally been.  I think it is a little disingenuous - and akin to "false advertising."  That said, I do recognize that these are highly thought of places which would warrant consideration, so I listed them in my afterthoughts category.  Also, much like any "Top 10" burger list or such, there is no definitive answer.  If you asked me to make three days of eating in Chicago, I think the three breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks would be a pretty good representative sampling of the city - at all price points, too.

                                    Buffetbuster - I actually meant to say exactly what you said in my write-up.  I told the story to another friend about how the plates arrived with the meals split up - I still couldn't believe the guy just picked up on our conversation.

                                    Nancypalooza - It was delicious.  I wonder how often thet have that as a special - because I would be inclined to go back and get it again.  I also thought that it would be salty - but, not at all.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      euclid

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                                      Re:Taste of Chicago Wed, 05/27/09 3:14 PM (permalink)
                                      The Travelin Man, you are the man! I am humbled and grateful for the wonderfully helpful advice. Much more than I ever expected or contemplated!
                                         I will be with my middle daughter in Chicago,who happens to be computer literate, so I shall do a trip report with pictures. Least I could do.
                                         I have to get the logistics down so I can follow your map and do hope to discover a Roadfood  treasure to report  in small repayment of your generosity.
                                         Thanks to all and to The Man!
                                       
                                      #19
                                        The Travelin Man

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                                        Re:Taste of Chicago Wed, 05/27/09 3:49 PM (permalink)
                                        No worries, euclid.  If I can save someone from daring Taste of Chicago, then I am a happy guy.  Besides, it was an excuse to get together a semi-trip report from my last few outings to Chicago.  I have been taking pictures there the last three times I went, but this is the first that I really posted (m)any of them.

                                        I am sure that you realize that there are a TON of excellent Chicago options - and these are but a few suggestions.  I hope to read your report upon your return.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          carolina bob

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                                          Re:Taste of Chicago Wed, 05/27/09 4:58 PM (permalink)
                                          TTM, I was unaware that you hadn't been to Al's or Mr. Beef. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            euclid

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                                            Re:Taste of Chicago Thu, 06/11/09 3:19 PM (permalink)
                                            Travelin Man, euclid here. AS we quickly approach our assault on Chicago and on the final stages of our logistics, are any of your suggestions located in areas that may be, well, uncomfortable? I ask this only because my daughter, after reveiwing your suggestions, felt that some of the neighborhoods may not be hospitable. I might add, she has only been a Chicago resident for a short while and of course has not had the opportunity to explore every neighborhood.
                                               Please let me qualify this before anyone takes offense. This is a simple question requiring not a lot of thought as to why the question was asked but rather to respond, if true, that the entire dining experience was pleasant. I dislike having to qualify my comments/questions but one can take a beating here right quick if not careful.
                                               This qualifier is not directed to you Travelin Man. It is merely to provide cover if ambushed. Thanks again for your help. euclid
                                             
                                            #22
                                              The Travelin Man

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                                              Re:Taste of Chicago Thu, 06/11/09 3:56 PM (permalink)
                                              No worries.  I understand your question completely.  I find myself sometimes either driving to or sitting in a restaurant and I begin to wonder what on Earth I am doing there.  This is often a result of me being completely unaware of my surroundings.  But, I am also a male traveler, who usually walks around "like a New Yorker" - with my head up, giving the appearance that I would not be an easy mark.  I sometimes have to filter some of my suggestions to my female co-workers who are always more conscious of their surroundings - and surely don't like to find themselves in areas that are less-than-desirable.

                                              In going back through the list of places that I recommended, I can say that I do not recall feeling any sense of discomfort anywhere.  I was generally welcomed (I tend to find Chicago a pretty friendly city) - even in the places where I don't....ummmm.....look like everyone else.  In trying to put a more curious eye on things, I would say that Cozy Corner is definitely in a very Hispanic neighborhood.  It is blue collar, for sure, but - again - I never felt the least bit uncomfortable there.  Uncle Johnny's Grocery is in a working-class neighborhood, as well, but we ate outside on their lone bench during the day.  I am not sure how the neighborhood gets at night, but I surely didn't feel uncomfortable during the day.  If I recall correctly, Uncle Johnny's was the spot that was nearest to Comiskey Park (or Corporate something-or-other Field now).  The immediate area surrounding the ballpark has a long-standing reputation as being not all that great.  We did not experience any part of that....again...during the day.  I have not been to Hot Doug's, so I am not sure about the neighborhood there, but I don't recall others giving me any warnings. 

                                              Most of the other places are in what I would consider somewhat upscale areas (for a big city).  I witnessed people walking their dogs, jogging, families arriving for meals, etc. near Ann Sather, Johnnie's, Yolk, Glenn's Diner, etc.

                                              Admittedly, I am not from that area.  Being from NY gives me some sense of fearlessness - but, I think this is pretty objective.  Perhaps some of the native Chicagoans can chime in on anything that I may have missed - or with that kind of local information that outsiders are not particularly privy to!
                                               
                                              #23
                                                euclid

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                                                • Location: Chardon, OH
                                                Re:Taste of Chicago Thu, 06/11/09 4:55 PM (permalink)
                                                Travelin Man, euclid here. Thanks for your, as usual, helpful insights. I look forward to this adventure with my daughter and nothing that you have suggessted would disuade us from visiting any of the venues. Thanks again. euclid
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  The Travelin Man

                                                  • Total Posts: 3699
                                                  • Joined: 3/25/2003
                                                  • Location: Central FL
                                                  Re:Taste of Chicago Thu, 06/11/09 5:47 PM (permalink)
                                                  I suspect  that you will have a wonderful time in Chicago.  I will likely be on the road, myself, that week - but, I look forward to hearing about your trip.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    BigCanuck

                                                    • Total Posts: 7
                                                    • Joined: 6/15/2009
                                                    • Location: Palatine, IL
                                                    Re:Taste of Chicago Mon, 06/15/09 4:56 PM (permalink)
                                                    Hey all, New to RF, but finiding this site just amazing - i travel a fair bit for work but know this is going to come in handy!  I live in the Chicago area and have made the journey into "The big smoke" for The Taste a couple of times now.  I have to admit, im not a big fan.  The crowds are one thing, but i feel that for the amount of money you go through for tickets vs the size of the portions that are given out (slightly bigger then the samples you get at the supermarket on a Sat. AM)  just doesnt make it worth it.  the last tiem i was there i think i dropped $50 and left hungry.
                                                     
                                                    There are too many great places in Chicago to eat, and eat for a reasonable price.   Many have been mentioned in this thread already - Im a HUGE Johnnies fan - incase you're in the burbs, there's one just off of 90 on Arlington heights Rd, just north of the express way.   Only been to Anne Sather's once, but was heartily impressed.
                                                    Another "fav" for "Comfort Food" style eats is SILVER CLOUD - 1700 N Damen Ave
                                                    Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 489-6212  Where else can you get a side of "Tater Tots" with your meal?  The Turkey Sandwich with all the Thanksgiving fixins is a must.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      The Travelin Man

                                                      • Total Posts: 3699
                                                      • Joined: 3/25/2003
                                                      • Location: Central FL
                                                      Re:Taste of Chicago Sun, 09/13/09 12:20 AM (permalink)
                                                      This thread came up in a search for something else and I remembered that I didn't recall hearing about euclid's trip.  If you are still out there in Internets-land, please tell us all where you went!  I think I may need a Chicago fix of my own soon!
                                                       
                                                      #27
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