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Chicago trip report

Bob W | Dec 13, 201011:42 AM

In addition to seeing a very entertaining football game, brother Lurker W. and I had some good chow in Chicago this past weekend.

Lou Malnati's: No need to say much about Lou's. The pizza (buttercrust, spinach, olives, and mushrooms) was very good. We over-ordered a large Malnati Salad. It was huge. Also, I found the dressing to be unexpectedly sweet. A lot of people were getting this salad so it must be popular but next time I'd try the antipasto salad.

Xoco: We got the breakfast special -- empanada, churro, cup of hot chocolate. I got the aztec hot chocolate, which has chile and allspice in it. Very unusual. Next time I'd just get the authentic. The empanadas were really good (the accompanying salsas were great), and the churro was good.

Eggsperience: Seems like an Original Pancake House clone. Food was decent, coffee was just ok, but they do leave the pot on the table.

Portillo's: Again, no need to say much. We enjoyed the italian beef, Chicago-style hot dogs, and onion rings very much. Really good localized junk food.

Gilt Bar: The highlight of the weekend. This gastropub near the Merchandise Mart has really good food and drink. Among the highlights were the luscious roasted bone marrow appetizer, and the equally luscious pasta with mushrooms and truffles. Oh yes, the luscious coconut cream pie too! The place had a really nice, comfortable vibe, and was packed when we left.

Heaven on Seven (Rush/Ontario): Yes, somewhat touristy, but the food was pretty good (fried green tomatoes and omelets). Also, the potatoes (red-skin homefries) that accompany the omelets were very flavorful. Good chow for a football game in blizzard-like conditions.

Berghoff Cafe, O'Hare. I happened upon this place late on Sunday so perhaps they deserve a pass, BUT... my corned beef sandwich (yes, carved to order) was one of the driest sandwiches I have ever had in my life. I had to take a drink of water after every bite.

I also note that the River North area has an amazing concentration of eateries. I could stay for a week and eat a different good place for every meal. A great food town!

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Heaven on Seven
600 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

XOCO
449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

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