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June 02, 2008

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My wife just got back from Chicago and enjoyed Bin 36. She made a point to try deep dish pizza and did not like it at all. And she was looking forward to it big time. She is a balance person with pizza and felt it to be way over the top with cheese (abount an inch). And her favorite part, the dough, was yellow, flaky, and tasteless. She felt sick afterwords. If you want to try deep dish Lou Malgnati's, Gino's East, or the original Pizziria Uno or duo are your best bets.
She did, however, LOVE a dumpling place in back lobby of the Rennaissance Hotel on West Wacker Drive. And the 96th floor of the John Hancock building is a lounge that offers the best view of Chicago for the price of a drink. Highly recommended.
Dan

One more thing, if you need a break from the grape, the Goose Island Brewery is in Chicago and makes excellent beer. Look for it on draft all over town. I like their Honkers Ale, India pale Ale, and their Double IPA (if your tough enough Lenn).
Cheers!

Tough enough? Come on man, you know that I like my beer as hoppy as it comes. I'll definitely be checking out the brew scene when I'm in town.

Thanks for the other recos...but I can't take Emilie's deep dish pizza experience to heart. She didn't like Primanti Brother's either. Maybe she just doesn't like blue collar, hearty fare!

She loves Pats Cheeses Steak in Philly, pulled pork sandwitches, cheeseburgers, and grew up eating Buffalo wings. I'd say that is blue collar.
Don't forget to try a loaded Chicago Hot dog or a dipped beef sandwitch.

Then explain the disdain for the Primanti Brothers sandwich! EXPLAIN!

I just asked Em why she didn't like Primanti's and I don't know if your Pittsburgh pride can handle the reply.

Regardless of her reply, I'll choose to blame it on her Utica-raised palate.

I hope she is enjoying her Bud Light, or would it be Pabst, tonight.

Your officially on somebodies, how should I say this, 'List'.

I'm on many editions of that list my friend. A great many.

Deep dish? Yeah. There are lots of great ones, they've been mentioned. Real Chicago means hot dogs, though, and the gourmand goes to Hot Dougs on California & Roscoe. Since you won't have a car you could take a city bus or cab it, but the gourmet sausages on buns with stupendous toppings are well worth the trek. Mmm.

Hot dogs area really the thing to get. My wife is from Chicago and most Chicagoans I know are ambivalent about pizza. I love Hot Doug's but it's not necessary to go there on a first visit short trip. I'd go somewhere more traditional. One option I know everyone likes is the Weiner Circle, about 3.5 miles from the convention center (I believe it's 6 miles to Hot Doug's, which is only open for lunch -- Weiner Circle is open laaaate). Make sure to get the hot dog with everything and some fresh cut fries.

Also, for breakfast or lunch, I cannot recommend Lou Mitchell's enough. You can walk there in 15 minutes from the Convention Center. Bring an appetite.

I LOVE Chicago, the sights alone are intoxicating. That city makes my head spin. You're a lucky duck!

After dinner, make sure to fit in some live music--there's awesome blues out there. I'm not even a big blues fan, but seeing a live performance in Chicago had me cheering!

For Chicago style pizza Geno's East & Giordano's. To be honest, I'm an ex-new yorker I'm not a big fan of it. Two slices and I feel like I'm going to burst. Goose Island beer is great and you can find some awesome stuff from around the globe on tap at the Map Room and Clark St. Ale House.

I travel to Chicago regularly for work - for deep dish pizza in the downtown area I think Gino's East is the best. The crust has a generous amount of cornmeal and there's always a slight sour to the crust.
Below Bin 36 on Dearborn is A Mano - northern Italian, and like Bin 36 upstairs, has a very good food/wine match up.
While you're there, buy wine! Binny's on Grand is nearby and they have a good selection of rieslings and zinfandels. Chicago prices are the best in the country, I think, and wine stores are numerous. Binny's just opened a new store south of the loop on Jefferson, and Sam's Wines on Marcey both have extraordinary selections.

Hi again,
I'm in Chicago now and I just ate dinner at A Mano, the northern Italian trattoria downstairs from Bin 36 (they have the same owner and wine director.) Great food - antipasti that's interesting, including a delicious mole salumi, an octopus salad with anchovy dressing, and beets and dandelions. This evening I also had gnocchi with rabbit. The menu is paired with a great by-the-glass wine list, especially good for me because I travel for work and dine alone. My only complaint is that a few dishes are a bit salty.

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