Restaurants & Bars 13

A Loop Lunch

malcarne | Oct 30, 2003 09:10 PM

I vaccillated on the question whether to post or not---this is certainly a trifle on the Chicago scene:

I intended to try the To Pho restaurant in the Loop. It certainly smelled good. Unfortunately, lunchtime traffic filled every table and a line already waited to order(and partially to presumably sit). If I can help it(outside of, obviously, streetcarts) I don't care to eat standing up. My dining partner suggested Marshall Field's 7th Floor. I've had good experiences there before. They make a (imho) pretty darn good steakburger and hamburger. It may take an inordinate amount of time(for medium...I'd love to order rare or med.-rare, but, alas most places balk in this day and age)even when there's a relatively short line, but the end product is juicy, flame-crispy, one of the better regular burgers I've had in the city. It's 7-8 bucks(which might put a diehard off) but absolutely worth it. The coleslaw it comes with is of the milky, KFC variety and varies wildly in quality from dishwater tasting, bland, to perky, creamy, tangy. The dishwater appellation is offputting and I only experienced THAT once...I'm a coleslaw afficianado(not necessarily the milky version) so I'll try to enjoy any type. We didn't get burgers this time. We went to the soup station. My dining partner got a mushroom soup with maple cream. The maple was undetectable but the mushroom component was so creamy, rich, grainy, earth-essence yummy. I ordered the New England Clam Chowder(out of sheer perversity, I suppose, for one is frequently admonished not to seek New England Clam Chowder in the Midwest). What started off rather bland(possibly due to a hangover-dulled palate) became refreshingly peppery, potatoey, and warming. It only lacked in a preferred overabundance of clams(tho' there were enough for this diner). Both soups came with a curious little pretzel roll. Unexpectedly, but enjoyably so, gummy on the outside. A tad dense, tho' not unappreciably, throughout the interior. They paired admirably with the soups. I don't know what the general consensus on the board is in regards to Marshall Fields' foodcourts(I can't abide the basement one). On occasion the 7th floor fits the bill.

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