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Chicago in September. Places to eat and things to do.

Chicago in September. Places to eat and things to do.

Old Aug 7th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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Chicago in September. Places to eat and things to do.

Hi all--
I will be tagging along with my husband to Chicago for 4 days in early September. Hubby will be attending a conference so I will be left to my own devices during the day. Looking for ideas of things to do and reasonable restaurants for good food. We will be staying at the Peninsula (hotel paid for by hubby's company but not meals). We like good live music(jazz, blues, reggae), and comedy. We are in our late 30's. Also what is a good river cruise to take? Thanks.
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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Chicgal,

Does the Architecture Cruise take you out on the lake or does it stay on the river?

John
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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I've taken that architectural cruise twice and it stayed on the river. LOVED IT and would do it yet again.
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:25 PM
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The Chicago Architecture Foundation river cruise stays just on the river, there are others that go on Lake Michigan and I think there is one that does both but I wouldn't recommend that one as it takes a while to get through the locks.
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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Thumbs up for the Architectural Cruise. It's great. Bring a jacket for the ride as it gets cold outside. You want to sit on the top of the boat outside for the best view.

Also, check out the 1/2 price show tickets at the visitor's center across from the John Hancock Tower. I recommend seeing whatever is playing at the Steppenwolf Theatre. You can also get discount tickets to Second City, etc.
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 07:49 PM
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Check this out.
It's the official Chi-Town Website
www.877Chicago.com

Don't miss the Millennium Park
http://millenniumpark.org/home.htm

Visit the Art Institute. Right next to Millinneium Park by the way.
http://www.artic.edu/

Try to see a Cubs baseball game (it's like Cricket, only different)in the best place in the world to see one.
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/m...chc&m=9&y=2004

Visit Greek-Town for Fantastic Greek Food (The Greek Islands is my favorite)
http://www.greekislands.net/?

Have a real Deep Dish Pizza Chicago Style! Pizzeria UNO
http://www.pizzeriauno.com/

Have Baby Back Ribs at a Chicago Landmark, where Frank Sinatra and the Boyz hung out while in town; Twin Anchors on Sedgewick,
http://dinesite.com/info/rstrnt-53308/??&t=0

Try a Chicago Style Hot Dog with all the trimmings; Gold Coast Dogs (Cheap!)http://www.hollyeats.com/GoldCoastDogs.htm

Meat Meat Meat Meat Meat Meat Meat
Great Steaks; Gene & Georgetti's
http://www.geneandgeorgetti.com/

Have a Great Time, Chicago's a Great Town to visit, especially in September.
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 09:01 PM
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Hi Chicgal, London was fabulous, 8 days of sunny weather, theatre and palaces! Perfect way to spend my birthday week

Did you see the story on the Architecture Cruise and the raw sewage? Someone told me that over lunch, glad I didn't know about it before I did the Thames cruise-yuck!

I hear Batman is in town filming, someone saw Batman running down the street by our building today :0)

Zainab, give us some idea of what kind of food you are looking for, Chicago has a good restaurant for every type of cuisine.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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Thanks for the birthday wishes, I had a taste for steak frites so we headed down to Mon Ami Gabi for dinner after a private boat ride out to the dunes in the afternoon. A great way to spend one of the nicest days we've had so far this summer.

Zainab, if you are looking for a restaurant close to the Lincoln Park Zoo, Mon Ami Gabi is a reasonably priced French bistro (entrees $15-$20)near there, only open for dinner though but we've visited the zoo and had an early supper before. I had the delicious Steak Bordelaise, some French onion soup and a bananas foster crepe. Needless to say, they had to carry me out to the car!

Hopefully someone on the cruise got a picture of the tour bus, they are currently investigating a band that was in town that day who's driver is denying it.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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Ok, the Architecture Cruise is in for Saturday afternoon. Now... how about the dinner cruises on the lake? I went on one about 10 years ago during a business meeting and I remember the view being awesome. It looks like the Odyssey cruise is the top end one these days from what I can see. Does anyone have any recent experience with them and if so did you think it was worth the $250 it will cost for two?
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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Kristi,

Mon Ami Gabi is a national chain. There are too many excellent restaurants in Chicago to recommend a chain.

I know many of the Pizza places have multiple locations, but most are local. Maggianos Little Italy is now another chain.

Curious
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 11:51 AM
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Curious, I have to disagree with you. Just because a restaurant has multiple locations does not make it a bad restaurant nor one that visitors to Chicago should avoid. Mon Ami Gabi only has 4 locations, I believe, so it's not like I suggested a national franchise that most people could eat at in their home town. Have you ever tried Mon Ami Gabi, Curious?

And if you're going to knock "chains" out of the picture, you'd have to knock out Heaven on Seven, Rosebud, Tuscany, Greek Islands, Emilio's Tapas, Portillo's, Carson's, Wildfire, Big Bowl, Shaw's, Joe's Stone Crab, etc. all of which have multiple locations (some in other states besides IL) but are fine affordable restaurants depending on your taste and your budget. Should visitors to Chicago not eat at those either?
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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Chicgal,

Actually what I'd really like is a nice evening cruise on the lake with a good dinner and time to hang out on the top deck (presuming good enough weather) with a glass of wine and the dramatic skyline as a backdrop. From what I can see via the web, Odyssey seems to have the greatest chance of fitting the bill and is only slightly more expensive than Spirit of Chicago (http://www.chicagotraveler.com/boat_tours).

Then again, I could be way off... it's hard to really tell from just a website.

John
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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John, I haven't been on the Odyssey but I have been on the Spirit of Chicago which is more of a party boat, limbo contests, loud music, etc., so that boat does not sound like what you want. People seemed to be more elegantly dressed for the Odyssey cruise. BTW, Saturday night will be the most expensive night, if you go on a Friday or Sunday it's a bit less expensive.

http://www.odysseycruises.com/chicag...s_pricing.html

I also thought the food on the Spirit of Chicago was just OK so didn't really think it was a great value but that was a couple of years ago.
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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Kristi,

Yes, I have eaten at Mon Ami Gabi in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel. Very unimpressed.

While your list is very impressive, it still leaves several hundred, if not a few thousand, non-chain type restuarants. Chicago, along with New York City and San Francisco, are restaurant meccas. Why settle for second best. Might as well recommend The Cheesecake Factory.

Curious
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Curious, quality and atmosphere can vary from location to location, perhaps the one in Vegas is not as good as the one in Chicago, but not having been there, I can't say for sure. The reviews for Mon Ami Gabi in Chicago on Metromix are mostly positive and everyone I know that has been there has liked it.

I guess I just don't agree with your "chain" bias, if a place is good, why does it really matter how many locations it might have as long as the person is giving a recommendation for a specific restaurant? Some of my favorite restaurants in Chicago have multiple locations, some only have one. I just happened to mention this one because I was just there and had a wonderful meal.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 04:31 AM
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Wow, guys. I really appreciate all your helpful and detailed replies. Chicago sounds really interesting and I am really excited about my trip. I'm even trying the almost impossible feat of getting tickets to see Oprah while I am in town.

Chicgal-- Thanks so much for taking the time to provide such thoughtful and detailed responses to those on the forum visiting Chicago. I'm sure you make a big difference in making their trips much more enjoyable. In response to your earlier question, I will be in Chicago between 9/9 and 9/12.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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Hey Kristi--

Thanks for the info. My husband and I like pretty much all kinds of food as long as it tastes good. More specifically, we love American, Mexican, Italian, and Thai. We have never tried French food. What would you suggest for a great steak, great hamburgers, Chicago's famous deep dish pizza? Any other recommendations are appreciated.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 07:12 AM
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Chicgals' suggestion for heading up to Lincoln Square for Oktoberfest is a good one, I am planning on going this year and friends tell me it's a blast. I just saw in the paper this morning that Berghoff is not having one this year because of insurance costs.

http://entertainment.metromix.chicag...-65457,00.html

Since you will be on your own and probably sticking near downtown, I'll give you my opinion on the best in the central area

Pizza-everyone has their personal favorite, if you want deep dish, Lou Malnati's on Wells St., Gino's East at 633 N. Wells and Pizzeria Uno usually are the most recommended. My personal rec is Lou Malnati's, it's not as crowded as the other two and their pizza is great.

Burgers-most people will tell you Billy Goat's or Ed Debevic's but in the same breath tell you that the food's not that good they just go for the atmosphere. The best burger I've had downtown is at Boston Blackie's, there's two locations in the city, 164 E. Grand and the other over by Union Station.

Thai-I really like Big Bowl, 2 locations at 6 E. Cedar and 60 E. Ohio, and also Star of Siam at 11 E. Illinois.

Italian-there are so many places to choose from, I have heard good things about Bice 158 E. Ontario, Spiaggia 980 N. Michigan is usually ranked as the best (and most expensive!) Italian place in Chicago, Cafe Spiaggia at the same address is a little more affordable. My favorite is Rosebud on Taylor St. but that's a way out of the center. There are also locations near the tourist areas at 70 W. Madison (theater district) and at 720 N. Rush.

Steak-I have not eaten at two of the most well known places, Morton's or Gibson's, as their prices are pretty high but I have had good meals at Wildfire on Erie (love their horseradish encrusted filet), Lawry's on Ontario (but you both have to want to eat prime rib as that's pretty much all they serve) and the Chicago Chophouse on Ontario (only been for lunch, their dinner menu is pricey as well).

Mexican-Adobo Grill up near Second City gets good reviews, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo (celebrity chef Rick Bayless' restaurants) are good but very busy, expect to wait at Frontera Grill as they don't take reservations, Topolobampo is more expensive but does take reservations.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 05:52 PM
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I've tried but always failed to either get a reservation at Topolo ... or walk up table at Frontera. Awfully hard. Last weekend when we were in Chicago we got a reservation at Salpicon instead. A small wonderful upscale Mexican whose chef used to be with Rick Bayless, etc.
MUCH less of a hassle.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 10:53 PM
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Hey guys......

How 'bout getting a chat room?

That way we won't have to read your inane babble.
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