Breakfast was at a small diner near the Board of Trade. No bigg deal, wish I had known about Ceres at the time 🙂
Lunch was once again preplanned, but was able to find a slightly better place in the Tower than the day before and had what they called a Cuban Sandwich. All things considered, worlds better than the day before, but neither authentic (unpressed french bread, no plaintain accompaniement, etc etc) nor notably good.
After my group won the end of session quiz (winning long sleeved Chicago shirts for our efforts and brownie points for our manager) we had a short cocktail meet and greet, and I got to try (and I know this isn’t a Chicago thing) Guiness for the first time. I’m not much of a drinker, but the bartender was happy to give me a small 2-3 oz sample. Just by its color, I was expecting a very bitter/harsh beer, made worse by the fact that it was served more or less at room temperature. I was pleasantly suprised at the smooth taste and the fact that it seemed ‘right’ to drink it unchilled.
My coworker Scott and I then headed over to the Berghoff, getting there about 8, a half hour before they closed. I was really, really impressed….prices were in the 10-20 dollar range yet they had a maitre d and a lot of wide open space. Scott started out with one of Berghoff’s whiskeys, produced in-house, and pronounced it wonderful. I was equally impressed with ordinary looking sliced bread that was put on our table before we ordered — very tasty and full bodied. Both Scott’s combo sausage plate and my roast pork were wonderful and very filling. If I went back, I’d order one of the schnitzels or another german specialty. ONe suprise for me here: much of the menu was specifically NOT german….there were a number of italian dishes which jibed a bit with the italian scenescapes that were painted on the walls of the large open dining room.
Let me add to Clothier’s ‘sameness’ post. Glenn.. Yeah your comment on the Italian dishes rings true. maybe it is a case of me having a set of expectations that has developed over the years about Italian dishes. I know what I like, and can measure those subtle differences against the standard I have established. I am not an expert on Italian foods…but I sure know what I like and that works in those cases. With the Greek food, my experiences are few and far between, so those subtle differences that might be noticeable to one who eats it more often, are not recognized by my BBQ smeared palate.
Each of us has areas of’specialization’ when it comes to ‘foodiness’. When it comes to Greek, I like some of the things I have sampled, but haven’t yet developed the skill(or standard) to recognize good from mediocre.
I agree with glennpan, Carson’s is not what it once was. There are much better places to get ribs or a steak.
I am not sure that I understand the menu similarity issue of Greektown. Yes, many of the restaurants have the same core dishes. But isn’t that like complaining that Little Italy has too many similar pasta dishes among its restaurants?
Each of the restaurants in Greektown have their specialties that they do better than the others. For Instance, Santorini’s specializes in seafood dishes and do them better than its neighbors. Rodity’s has a garlicky vinegary eggplant salad that is outstanding and can’t be found elsewhere in Greektown. Athena’s lamb with artichokes is better than the other places, and they have the best baklava.
BTW, I was at Carson’s for ribs last year and can tell you that they have gone wayyyy downhill. Definitely would not recommend. I think that they are staying open on past reputation alone.
The overall experience was quite good at Weber Grill. The place probably wouldn’t make my top 20 places in Chicago, but that is more of a complement to the dining landscape here rather than an indictment of Weber.
All I said was that their ribs were not good. Their lamb chops were outstanding. I really liked the roasted vegetable spread that was served with the rolls.
What’s Carson’s Like these days? We used to go there every trip to the city. We visited the one on N. Wells. Like the ribs, but the Club Steak was the item I liked best. AND the Goldbrick Sundae… Oh Yeah, They had a mild Anchovy salad dressing that was outstanding also.
I’ll vote with you on the "sameness" of many menu items in the Greektown service. We go for the Ouzo and the dancing and service. The usual dinner food is more a ‘fun’ thing, kind of like a Luau rather than dinner elsewhere.
Got an address on Weber’s? 🙂
Glenplan: sorry to hear about your experience at Webbers. I was there about 7 months ago and they did a great job for me. I sincerely hope they are not lowering their standards. Their approach seemed like a great idea.
I have used a Webbers grill for many years.
Paul E. Smith
Might have something to do with the Greek thing….
As a native Chicagoan, I agree with many of the above posts:
Lou Mitchell has the best omelets in town. Make sure you try the homemade orange marmalade.
Berghoff is excellent.
Greek town has many good places including Greek Islands & Rodity’s.
Italian beef is the best at Al’s on Taylor (open late) or Mr. Beef on Orleans (lunch only.)
Excellent steak at Gene & Georgietti if your expense report can handle it.
Kaufman is a good Jewish deli but being in Skokie makes it a real schlep. Try Askenaz on Cedar just off of State Street.
For a sweet treat, try the smores at Mr. Kite at 1153 N. State around the corner from Askenaz.
My favorite lunch is at Manny’s. Everyone raves about the corned beef which is very good. But I prefer the roast beef. It is the only place I know where you can get a carved roast beef sandwich.
Hope it helps.
I hope you are enjoying our city. if you are trying to stay downtown, Lou Mitchell’s as others have mentioned is your best bet. If you have a car and move around, Richard Walker’s Pancake house is probably the best breakfast in the area. Kaufman’s has fantastic bagels, and is a fine choice to carry some out.
And since everyone else is chiming in with evening spots, I may as well too. Greektown is probably the best dining value in the city. Located on Halsted from about 100 South to 400 south, you practically can’t go wrong. Rodity’s, Athena’s, Greek Island’s, Santorini’s, are all good.
BTW, I ate at the Weber Grill last week, and it is pretty good. Very good lamb chops, crappy ribs though.
Another good place for breakfast is my brother’s house in Skokie. He lives near Kaufman’s Bagel & Deli and will make you the best lox & bagel sandwich on the north shore. Too bad you can’t cab it to Manny’s Coffee Shop & Deli off Roosevelt & Jefferson for a nice hearty hot pastrami on rye.
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