July 26, 2011

Chicago - what and where to eat

Everybody in Chicago told me to try 2 of the city's staples: the deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati's and Garrett's caramel popcorn. So off I went! We tried Lou Malnati's on Friday night without reservations and there was an hour and a half waiting list (the concierge at my hotel told me that you have to make reservations for almost all restaurants in Chicago). I didn't wait but I went back the next day for lunch. I don't like eating pizza for lunch but that was the only way of not facing a huge line (we got a table 20 minutes later). It is a very simple, informal and small place. The famous deep-dish is nothing more than a thick dough topped with tons of cheese and tomato sauce. It was a little bit heavy for my taste. It was tasty, but I prefer a regular pizza. If you wanna try it (it is very typical so I think you should) here is a catch: the pizza takes about 45 minutes to bake but you can go to the pizzeria, put your name on the waiting list and order the pizza in advance (no worries, they do that all the time). So when you get your table, your pizza will be ready in 15/20 minutes.
Garrett's popcorn: I also stayed in line for a while, but since I love caramel popcorn, I dind't complaint and ate the whole bag! (the smallest size is more than enough for two! And they also have other flavors like cheese)
But if you had no pleasure eating typical dishes, don't worry! You will surely find a very good restaurant. Chicago has endless options ranging from delis to fast food to bars and grills.
Now, here are two personal tips: go to David Burke's Primehouse at The James Hotel for dinner. The food is great and it is a nice environment (during the day is quieter but the food is also nice). Have a drink at the Bar and Grill Ralph Lauren. The bar is super cozy, classic, chic decor and friendly waiters. I recommend it! If you have time (we, unfortunately, didn't), stay there and have a meal. It's a little bit expensive but I saw some of the dishes they were serving and they looked delicious!

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