Hi Roadfood Friends,
I will be coming to Chicago on a business trip February 2-4, 2020. We are hosting a dinner party at our home on Sunday the 2nd so I will be late coming to town. Probably 10pmish, I am thinking of hitting MingHin on Archer for late night dim sum. I will be in meetings at the Hilton on Michigan Ave until 4pm and then thinking about dinner.
If anyone is available I would love to meet for dinner someplace. I am open to suggestions but some of the places I am considering are Ricobene’s, Maany’s or Pequod’s.
My meeting on the 4th is over at noon so I am debating for lunch between Bari, Calumet Fish Factory and Ruby’s Fast Food. Sort of leaning towards Ruby’s after our trip there when Buffetbuster was in town. I really want to try their buffet, everything that we had was so good.
While in town I want to hit Firecake Donuts as a tribute to our friend Greg and also either Hoosier Mama or Bang Bang Pie shop.
Your input would be greatly appreciated.
I could potentially meet you anytime you’re available during the time frame you’ve indicated.
A few thoughts about the places you’ve mentioned:
1. I’ve included Ricobene’s and their Breaded Italian Steak Sandwiches on the last couple of private tours I’ve given, and gotten lukewarm (at best) feedback both times. Although it’s a kinda cool place in an “interesting” neighborhood, I will not be bringing out of town guests there anymore. You are welcome to go on your own, but be prepared for disappointment and indigestion.
2. Manny’s has been a topic of discussion lately among some of the Illinois members of The Contingent. I think we’re in agreement that Manny’s sandwiches, although eye-poppingly huge, leave something to be desired in terms of quality. We’ve been spoiled by McBob’s Corned Beef in Milwaukee, which I realize does you no good on this trip. If you’re hellbent on grabbing a Corned Beef Sandwich, I’ll try to do a little research and find a good one for you. Unfortunately, the heyday of Chicago’s Great Jewish Delis has passed.
3. If you’re going to visit Pequod’s, go to the original in north suburban Morton Grove. That’s the location started by founder, and Chicago Pizza Legend, Burt Katz. The outpost on Clybourn Street is just an overly loud sports bar that happens to serve that same Pizza.
4. Bari is a good pick, although NOT for their Italian Beef Sandwich, as suggested by Roadfood reviewers, and “Food localization experts” (???), Maggie & Trevor. Bari was part of our research while organizing 2015’s Great Chicago Style Hot Dog and Italian Beef Crawl. We found their version to be far inferior to many we tried, and they ultimately didn’t make the cut.
OTOH, they do make some great subs, using bread baked right next door at D’Amato’s Bakery. In fact the whole neighborhood is pretty darn interesting. There’s a newish Fried Chicken joint, Crazy Bird, run by an old friend of mine, that might be worth checking out. Unfortunately, Terry’s Toffee, purveyor of gourmet toffee and other confections, has moved to a different area.
If Italian Beef sandwiches are high on your to-do list, there are many better choices to be found in the city and suburbs.
5. Calumet Fisheries and Ruby’s are both excellent choices, although you may want to call ahead to Calumet to make sure they’ve got their signature Smoked Shrimp in stock. We got snookered on the same Crawl mentioned above. Led a parade of two dozen people all the way to 95th street only to find out they were sold out. Even so, there are plenty of other good choices on the menu.
If you’re going to make that trek, you might as well make stops at Lem’s BBQ and Brown Sugar Bakery on 85th Street. The only drawback to both Lem’s and Calumet is that neither has any indoor seating. No problem during pleasant weather, but particularly daunting in February. Last time I took a group to Lem’s, the folks at Brown Sugar were kind enough to let us take over their limited seating and chow down. Naturally, we made some serious purchases of Baked Goods to repay their generosity.
6. You won’t go wrong at any of the Pie/Doughnut shops you mentioned.
If you give me a better idea of your availability and Roadfood interests, I can put together a run that will make you happy.
I am also considering Carnitas Uruapan, what are your thoughts on that one.
I just want to try things that you can’t get in Elkhart. Which opens it up to almost everything good.
Buddy I trust your tastes buds (anybody that can make sauce that good can’t be bad). So anything you suggest, I am game for.
Not ignoring you Rocky; apparently, my last reply didn’t stick. I’ll try again.
Carnitas Uruapan is first rate! Great Carnitas, wonderful urban atmosphere, attentive service. Just like Whole Hog BBQ, be sure to get a mix of inside and outside meat. Count me in for a visit.
Ok how does dinner at Caranitas Uruapan sound for Monday night? I have no plans after the meetings so whatever time works for you is good with me. Feel free to choose a desert spot after the carnitas.
I think that on Tuesday I will hit a pie spot, then Lem’s and Calumet Fisheries. I believe that will put me in the right area to head on to Indiana.
I think that my hotel should be a short walk to the Firecake Donuts on Hubbard so I will go there either Monday or Tuesday morning before the meetings. I am sure the donuts there will be far superior to the continental breakfast they are supplying at the Hilton.
Just one problem with your plan: Carnitas Uruapan is only open until 6pm. You’ll need to get out of your meetings fairly early if you want to enjoy a leisurely meal.
Give me a better idea of your work timing and we can figure it out.
Also, might be a little nippy out for Lem’s and Calumet. Not saying we can’t make it work, but those stops would be better saved for warmer months.
If my meeting on Monday ends at 4 and let’s say I get out and on the road by 4:30. According to google maps I should be there in 17 minutes. Let’s say I make it at 5, do you think we will have the opportunity to have an enjoyable meal there without feeling rushed?
I wasn’t sure how late your meetings would run. Getting there a little before 5pm will be fine.
Same question for Tuesday; what time will you be free? That could significantly affect where we end up before you head home. Chicago, in the dead of winter, after dark, is not the best time to visit two places with no indoor seating.
We can still send you off with a full belly and a Roadfood inspired smile on your face, but I need a better idea of your schedule.
See you soon!
P.S. Looks like ChiBears15 will be joining us on these outings. Who knows, this could turn into major Contingent shindig.
Tuesday my meetings end at noon. I would like to be heading home by 4 local time.
I am depending on your local knowledge to keep me from going into “trouble” areas.
Sure glad that ChiBears15 may be joining us. The more the merrier 😁
Rocky, have you not been paying attention for the last 15 years? “Trouble Areas” is my middle name. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you, and ChiBears15 will take pictures of it and post them on Instagram.
Carnitas Uruapan is a lock for Monday evening. I think our best bet for Tuesday is to play it by ear, depending on the weather. Neither Lem’s or Calumet Fisheries has indoor seating. I can handle the cold, but if it’s raining or snowing, we may want to consider other alternatives.
Any other wish list places you’d like to explore? Uncle John’s BBQ is an LTHForum favorite, and recipient of a Great Neighborhood Restaurant Award. And they definitely have indoor seating. Ever been to Schoop’s Hamburgers? Granted, they’re just barely over the border on your side, but they make a fine version of the lacy-edged Smashdown Burger.
CB15 suggested a visit to Vito & Nick’s, one of Chicago’s top rated Tavern Style Pizza joints. They’re on the south side, so it moves you toward Indiana from downtown, although it will take you a bit further west. We’ll look into other options as well. We can’t have you jumping on I-80/90 with an empty stomach.
Along about February 1st, we should move this conversation to regular email to quietly discuss details. I’d send you a PM, but ya know, the powers that be have made that FREAKIN’ IMPOSSIBLE!!!
No worries, we’ll figure it out.
I just found this thread after my return home from Europe last night. Unfortunately, I will be tied up around that time with concerts and getting ready to leave for Florida for another CSO tour, although I’m leaving a few days early to get a head start.
I just thought of something, I will not have access to email. Text or call 574-320-6633.
That will be the best way to get in contact with me.
I’ve made note of your contact info. Now, please delete it all so the whole internet doesn’t start calling and texting you. Although from the way things are going here, it’s not likely anyone is bothering to look.
If I only knew how, I would delete. But I doubt anybody wants to bother me.
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