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Son's Navy Graduation Need Recommendations in 2 Locations around Great Lakes & Chicago

RIfoodie29 | Jun 24, 201809:52 AM

I will be in the Great Lakes/Deerfield IL area for 4 days and then in Chicago Proper for 3 or 4 days and I need some recommendations. I am going to my son's Naval Boot Camp Graduation and then will be spending some time with him so I am trying to tailor the recommendations to what he is likely to want to eat.

Over the years Chicago Area Chowhounders have given me absolutely amazing picks:
1. Boka - One of the top 3 to 5 meals of my life (thanks everyone)
2. Mexique - Another top 10 meal of all time (helped convert my boss into a foodie).
3. Purple Pig - I visit every time I come
4. Fat Rice - Did the tasting menu which was good but I think I will try to just pick dishes next time. Loved the vibe.
5. Dusek's was the biggest disappointment of all the recommendations. I think it failed for me because we split small plates between too many people and it was after Mexique which was so great.

So you all have made me a Chicago food lover with these great picks!!! Thank you thank you. Here is what I am looking for:

A couple of place up near Great Lakes IL/Deerfield ILL that my son might like:
1. Gastropub (he loves a great burger)
2. Awesome Pizza shop he loves pizza
3. Great barbeque place
4. Maybe a good steak place.
5. Awesome place for breakfast.
6. Other must haves in the area

A couple of places in Chicago in case we make a day trip. I am thinking I may go back to Fat Rice and give it another shot and I will likely also hit Purple Pig but if you have other recommendations. Preferably something that hits these criteria:
1. Not seafood or Italian (we are coming from RI and we do pretty well with those out here).
2. Not requiring you to dress formally, preferably casual would be great. He will likely be in Navy fatigues and the rest of us in shorts if the weather is good.
3. Maybe and affordable steak place
4. Maybe a great deep dish place (I love Lou Malnati) but if you have an alternative recommendation.
5. If a celeb chef has a casual outpost I would love that.
6. If there are any James Beard winning places that have a casual vibe that would be great.
7. Someplace I will likely be able to get into.

Can wait to see what you all come up with on both fronts.

I know this is a food forum but if you could recommend a couple of must do's in Chicago that would be great.
1. I have done the architecture tour and loved it. If you could recommend a preferred one.
2. Anything else would be appreciated for things to do recommendations

Thank you in advance you all have been so incredibly helpful over the years. I have truly come to love Chicago and the food scene there!!

The Purple Pig,
Fat Rice,
Dusek's Board & Beer
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