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Joseph
05-28-2010, 08:56 AM
Some of you who know me know I am not only a Reds fan, but also a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. As a result of marrying the greatest woman on earth I will be fortunate enough to attend Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals tomorrow night at the United Center in Chicago.

I have never been to Chicago, nor has she, so much like some of my Redszone brethren have come to you to ask for sites to visit and places to eat when traveling to foreign [to them] cities, I come to ask the same thing [and praise my wife for the trip which is required via marital law].

Where is a really good place to eat not terribly far from the United Center or on the southeast side of town? I'll be driving up from Louisville so stopping anywhere along the way i no big deal, i just don't plan to go much beyond the United Center. Any places I should try to visit?

Thanks in advance

westofyou
05-28-2010, 09:10 AM
http://www.giordanos.com/chicagolocations.html

Chip R
05-28-2010, 09:38 AM
Some guys from another message board were talking about Chicago hotels but the subject changed a bit into things to do. Some of their comments:


Save $40 on the archetectural river cruise, go to the Sears Tower, pay $8 a person and take the water taxi to Navy Pier. Same cruise, (actually a little longer) and it is $8 a person rather than $26. It is called "shoreline taxi." They also have a nice trip from the Pier to the Museum campus thats cool too for only $6.

Another place to find nice dining is Texas de Brazil. Its a brazillian steakhouse that is worth every penny of the $50 per person price tag. However, Sunday through Thursday you can sign up on their website and get a 20% off your total bill coupon. Eat at a really nice restaurant in the River North area for $80. I know it sounds like a lot but when you look back you will be happy.



Don't worry about Taste. It's only busy if you're staying near Grant Park. If you go, it's very crowded, with a few good musical groups. However, it's also full of tourists and suburbanites. Most city residents avoid it. If you're looking to do something a little more "native" so to speak, check out the street fairs going on during your visit: http://chicago.metromix.com/events/a...339943/content. The St. Jahosephat Summerfest is a good example of something a little more neighborhood like that attracts a lot of northside dwelling single people like myself. Also, check out the Gay Pride Parade if you're in town that weekend. It's good people watching and entertainment. Both events are more northside"ish" than Taste, semi-near Wrigley, and hence aren't afflicted by any Taste related congestion . The Pride Parade, however, does attract a few hundred thousand people, it's just stretched over several blocks.

Lastly, get out to the lakefront. Renting a bike and hitting the trail would be a great way to spend an afternoon, followed by beverages and live music at Castaways on North Avenue Beach. Also aquatic and HIGHLY recommended, the guided architectural tours of the Chicago River and lakefront. It's fascinating history, and the views of the loop from the river are unmatched. These are done via boat and they're docked along the river downtown near Michigan Ave. Tours of that type also leave from Navy Pier. Just make sure you're taking a guided tour and not a Water Taxi.


Go to the Hancock Tower instead of the Sears, there is the 96 or 98th floor rest/bar. Elevator ride is free. You also don't have to leave the magnificent mile.

If you are going to a brazilian steak....go for fogo de chao. But if you are going to spend steak house money, hit up one of the a REAL steak house.



Tomato - toemaatoe. Just my opinion, but take the architectural cruise. All the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) offers you is a view. The architectural cruise is guided and offers historical info on the buildings and areas you're seeing. My friends and I boat on Lake Michigan all the time - the view from the river NEVER gets old. You'll learn a lot about the city that way. There's a ton of history in Chicago that is fascinating, if you're into that kind of thing. Hell, you could go boating with us, but I'd only be able to explain 20% of what you'd see/hear on the architectural cruise. However, the upside is you'd enjoy all the adult beverages you care to consume.


Definitely go to Navy Pier. Your wife will love it. Ride the big Ferris Wheel there. Take the El somewhere just for the experience.

Roy Tucker
05-28-2010, 09:43 AM
I second the architectural cruise up the Chicago River and on the lake. Very cool.

redsmetz
05-28-2010, 09:48 AM
http://www.giordanos.com/chicagolocations.html

I second this about Giordano's - very good. Uno's pales in comparison. There's one about a half block from my daughter's apartment. Yum.

Park you car and walk and take the El. Great way to get around.

Hoosier Red
05-28-2010, 11:41 AM
Leave some time on the way up or back for Portillo's restaurant in Merrillville IN(Just past Crown Point on I-65.)
www.portillos.com

Italian Beef Sandwich dipped in the meat gravy. Don't worry you can thank me later.

BuckWild03
05-28-2010, 12:51 PM
Leave some time on the way up or back for Portillo's restaurant in Merrillville IN(Just past Crown Point on I-65.)
www.portillos.com

Italian Beef Sandwich dipped in the meat gravy. Don't worry you can thank me later.

There is also a Portillo's downtown (Clark & Ontario) and they have excellent hot dogs as well. Great place!

Patrick Bateman
05-28-2010, 01:03 PM
Your a lucky man Joe.

I got to see the Hawks over New Years in Chicago. Stadium is really nice, the atmosphere is a lot of fun. I'm pretty jealous of you right now.

Homer Bailey
05-28-2010, 01:14 PM
Agree with all things posted here so far. Fogo De Chao is flat out amazing and Portillo's is a money Hot Dog/Burger spot.

As far as areas near the arena, a bar you MUST go to before the game is West End (Corner of Ada and Madison). I can't imagine how packed it'll be before a Hawks game, but if you're a Hawks fan, it'll be worth it. Huge crazy Blackhawks contigent there, and its a short walk to the arena. Food is good, and the atmosphere is amazing.

Be careful with the train advice given here, as there are no train stops near the United Center, but there are buses in the area.

The water taxi is a great idea, as the city view from the river is truly amazing in the summer time. I take the water taxi to and from my office when I'm on a downtown client just for fun.

If you're around for the weekend, check out Navy Pier for sure, and maybe North Avenue beach to catch some rays. Supposed to be great weather this weekend.

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any more questions.

Kingspoint
05-28-2010, 04:41 PM
Go Blackhawks!

Chip R
05-28-2010, 05:18 PM
Go Blackhawks!


And take the Cubs with you!

Red in Chicago
05-29-2010, 03:30 AM
http://www.giordanos.com/chicagolocations.html


I second this about Giordano's - very good. Uno's pales in comparison. There's one about a half block from my daughter's apartment. Yum.

Park you car and walk and take the El. Great way to get around.

I'm actually in San Francisco tonight so didn't see this until now. Hope you skipped Giordanos because it really isn't very good. Chicago style (deep dish) pizza isn't what it's cracked up to be.

westofyou
05-29-2010, 09:05 AM
I'm actually in San Francisco tonight so didn't see this until now. Hope you skipped Giordanos because it really isn't very good. Chicago style (deep dish) pizza isn't what it's cracked up to be.

No it is that good... and if you want to try the SF version I suggest you get over to Oakland and try Zachary's the best deep dish pizza in the world.

RedsManRick
05-29-2010, 10:56 AM
Chicago style pizza is definitely a hit or miss sort of thing. It really is a pizza pie.

If you have the money, there are a number of great places in the Fulton Market area, such as Moto and 160 Blue.

BillDoran
05-29-2010, 11:46 AM
Leave some time on the way up or back for Portillo's restaurant in Merrillville IN(Just past Crown Point on I-65.)
www.portillos.com

Italian Beef Sandwich dipped in the meat gravy. Don't worry you can thank me later.

I heartily suggest an Italian Beef before you leave town, but I personally recommend Al's Beef (http://www.alsbeef.com/). Tops in the city for me. Not sure where you're staying but there's one fairly close to the United Center.

And if you want some upscale Mexican(ish), I recommend Rick Bayless's restaurants (http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/) in the Loop. Probably too late for a reservation at Topolobampo, but Frontera would probably be able to seat you.

Go Hawks.

Joseph
05-29-2010, 12:41 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions on food and places to go folks. I'll let you all know how it all went and hopefully celebrate a Hawks win.

Kingspoint
05-30-2010, 01:03 AM
Is it a good guess there's a celebration going on?

BuckWild03
05-30-2010, 12:35 PM
Is it a good guess there's a celebration going on?

I'll be honest. Last night was the first hockey game I've ever really watched. It's an exciting thing for Chicago, since the Bulls dynasty, and the White Sox fluke of a season a few years ago, the city hasn't had much to cheer about when it comes to their sports teams.

Joseph
05-30-2010, 12:44 PM
I've never had a better time at a game of any kind save maybe opening day 2005 with the walk of home runs and all. Especially a game in which my team performed as poorly as the Hawks did last night [despite the win]. A lot of dumb penalties, the defensemen couldn't clear a puck to save their lives last night, Niemi was rattled all game.... yet somehow they came out ahead in the end.

As for the city itself, Chicago seems like a good place to go spend some time in which we fully intend to do at some point, but getting out there and being a new place with an electric atmosphere for a play off of any kind is something I hope we are all experiencing here as Reds fans very very soon.

I'll try to get some pictures up here soon, but for now I'll leave any Blackhawks fans with this:
YouTube - Blackhawks Chelsea Dagger (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bieSkYOC8RM)

[would have posted the video, but I thought some might take offense]

BuckWild03
06-15-2010, 05:19 PM
Is it a good guess there's a celebration going on?

Almost a week after their Stanley Cup victory, I'm not sure people are going to stop wearing their Blackhawks jerseys before next season's opener.

reds44
06-15-2010, 06:25 PM
Almost a week after their Stanley Cup victory, I'm not sure people are going to stop wearing their Blackhawks jerseys before next season's opener.
It's amazing. I went to the parade last Friday, and it was one of the best "sporting events" I've ever attended and it wasn't even a game.

BigPoppa
06-20-2010, 01:10 AM
Me and the Missus were kicking around the idea of a quick 2 or 3 day trip to Chicago just before the 4th. We've never been to Chicago, other than flying into and out of O'Hare. Here's my questions......

1) The cornerstone of our trip is to catch a couple of the Reds games while they are at Wrigley. I know the Cubs' fan reputation, but will we really have any problems while there wearing our Reds apparel ?

and

2) Other than Navy Pier and the Sears (used to be) Tower, what else falls into the "While you're in town, do not miss ____________________" category ?

and

3) Hotel recommendations ? Near Wrigley if possible.

Homer Bailey
06-20-2010, 01:59 AM
Me and the Missus were kicking around the idea of a quick 2 or 3 day trip to Chicago just before the 4th. We've never been to Chicago, other than flying into and out of O'Hare. Here's my questions......

1) The cornerstone of our trip is to catch a couple of the Reds games while they are at Wrigley. I know the Cubs' fan reputation, but will we really have any problems while there wearing our Reds apparel ?

You shouldn't be bothered too much, if at all. Cubs suck, and the fans are much less trash talky when the Cubs suck. If anyone says anything, just say "1908." You'd be amazed how well that works. The bleachers will be worse than regular seats, but I wouldn't sweat it either way.

and


2) Other than Navy Pier and the Sears (used to be) Tower, what else falls into the "While you're in town, do not miss ____________________" category ?

I'm not sure what falls in the do not miss category, but off the top of my head, get some Chicago Dogs (Portillo's is a great place), or some Italian Beef (Al's Beef), hit up some Wrigleyville bars before the game ($5 for a can a beer, can't beat that price), check out the Chicago Art Museum downtown, see the Bean/Milleneum Park, take the boat architectural tour, ride the 'el, etc.

Restaurants that I love:

Tango Sur (Argentenian steakhouse near Wrigley at the corner of Southport and Irving Park I believe. It's BYOB, pretty affordable steak platters ($25ish), great atmosphere.

Uncle Julio's: Very classy Mexican place near my apt. Awesome environment.

Fogo de Chao - Brazilian steakhouse, awesome.

Half Shell - hole in the wall, dive place that has excellent seafood.



and


3) Hotel recommendations ? Near Wrigley if possible.


I honestly don't know of actual hotels near Wrigley. I know that I used to drive by the Abbott Hotel, which looks like an old time hotel, but I'm not even sure it's open for business anymore. Your best bet is to stay downtown, and take the red line to Addison for the games at Wrigley.

Let us know if you have any more questions.

redsfanfalcon
06-20-2010, 08:43 AM
I know it's been a few years, (over 10) but I am pretty sure the Reds still stay at the Westin. I remember sitting in the lobby as a high school kid, hearing a voice that sounded very familiar...I turned around and it was Joe Nuxhall.

redsmetz
06-20-2010, 09:10 AM
As for hotels near Wrigley, I wouldn't worry about it. Find a hotel either in the city or out in the 'burbs and take the train to the game (and wherever you're going in Chicago). We basically park our car when we visit our daughter and use the El nearly the whole time. Very easy to do and lots of fun, really.

BTW, I'm not advocating staying in the suburbs, I love the city and would definitely look for someplace in town. We just happen to have our neighbor's daughter and son-in-law a mile and a half from our daughter and we crash in their spare bedroom. This 4th will be second time they've headed out of town and we have the place to ourselves (and their parking spot!).

RedsManRick
06-20-2010, 10:38 AM
Me and the Missus were kicking around the idea of a quick 2 or 3 day trip to Chicago just before the 4th. We've never been to Chicago, other than flying into and out of O'Hare. Here's my questions......

1) The cornerstone of our trip is to catch a couple of the Reds games while they are at Wrigley. I know the Cubs' fan reputation, but will we really have any problems while there wearing our Reds apparel ?


It won't be a problem unless you're in the bleachers. Cubs fans might not be the brightest fans, but they're usually just out for a good time.


2) Other than Navy Pier and the Sears (used to be) Tower, what else falls into the "While you're in town, do not miss ____________________" category ?

Millenium Park. You can walk it in a few hours, but don't miss the bean, gardens, etc. If you're so inclined, it's right next to the Art Institute, one of the countries best art museums.

Also consider taking the architectural boat tour. It's reasonably priced and gives you a real unique view of the city.



3) Hotel recommendations ? Near Wrigley if possible.

I'd just stay downtown. There's a much bigger selection of hotels there and the Red line will take you to within a block of Wrigley in 15 minutes.

JaxRed
06-20-2010, 11:47 AM
In the old days, the Museum of Science and Industry was a must

Chip R
06-20-2010, 11:49 AM
In the old days, the Museum of Science and Industry was a must

Field Museum is a great place to go as well as the Shedd Aquarium.

Reds Fanatic
06-20-2010, 11:57 AM
As others have mentioned there are several great museums. I would also recommend the view from the Hancock Observatory at the top of the John Hancock Center.

Chip R
06-20-2010, 12:08 PM
I merged Joseph's thread with this one since they cover as lot of the same ground.

Red in Chicago
06-20-2010, 01:11 PM
Me and the Missus were kicking around the idea of a quick 2 or 3 day trip to Chicago just before the 4th. We've never been to Chicago, other than flying into and out of O'Hare. Here's my questions......

1) The cornerstone of our trip is to catch a couple of the Reds games while they are at Wrigley. I know the Cubs' fan reputation, but will we really have any problems while there wearing our Reds apparel ?

I've never had any problems wearing Reds cap and t-shirt. However, I would avoid the bleachers.

and

2) Other than Navy Pier and the Sears (used to be) Tower, what else falls into the "While you're in town, do not miss ____________________" category ?

Navy Pier is very "touristy". Others have said this already, but Millenium Park is a must. Since you'll be in town just prior to the 4th, get to Grant Park for the Taste of Chicago. It will be crowded, but it's still a great place to walk around, get a few small samples of local food, and people watch. Walk off the calories along the lakefront. If you like popcorn, get over to Garretts. Architectural tours along the river are great. Lincoln Park zoo is not as nice as Brookfield, but admission is free and is right off the lake if you want to head out to the beach for a bit. View from Hancock building is better than Willis Tower, but I haven't had a chance to go out on the new glass skydeck yet, which seems pretty cool.

and

3) Hotel recommendations ? Near Wrigley if possible.

Can't help you with near Wrigley, but Hyatt on Wacker and Intercontinental on Michigan Ave are both nice.

SandyD
06-20-2010, 06:45 PM
Last summer, the Art Institute was free after 5pm on Thursday evening. And they had outdoor movies in the park ... on Tuesdays I think?. I saw Psycho on a trip last August with thousands of others who were lounging around on blankets passing around hummus and crackers and drinking wine. It was fun. Those are things to think about, if you're there on those days.

Millenium Park is wonderful to walk thru, too. The bean is cool, and so is the fountain with the faces. Watching the kids play in the water was fun.

I took the architectural river tour, too. Very intersting.

I love Chicago.

nmculbreth
06-20-2010, 10:50 PM
I'll second the recommendation of the Hyatt Regency on Wacker. The last time I visited Chicago I booked my room through Priceline and ended up getting a room at the Hyatt Regency for $62 per night, after taxes. The room was very nice and the hotel was nicely situated between the Millenium Park area and the magnificent mile. My only complaint was the fact that the hotel charged $50 per night for parking but we ended up parking at Navy Pier for $24 per night and taking a cab to and from the hotel.

In terms of attractions, I'd highly recommend the Museum of Science and Industry.