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First time visit - itinerary - any comments?

Frank | Apr 25, 200611:00 AM

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to identify as many "must" restaurants for my visit the first week in September. Some background: I am a private chef here in San Francisco and I appreciate good food over everything else but I am NOT a snobbish foody. I am just as comfortable at a whole in the wall pizza place as I am at a 5 star restaurant. We'll be staying at the Sofitel Water Tower. I don't mind travelling and am in fact looking forward to becoming very familiar with the "L". Here goes nothing:

Pizza: Pizzerias Uno and Due - Wabash and Ontario or Lou Malnatis

Mexican: Topolabampo (This one is a definite. I have all of Rick Bayless' cookbooks and like his style of Mexican cooking (me being Mexican myself)

Hot Dogs: Hot Dougs; Byron’s – before Cubs/Giants game

Steak: Gibson’s

French Bistro: Café Zinc (a must category for my girlfriend who is a francophile. Looking for a great steak frite)

Russian Tea Time: For a break during our visit to the Art Institute of Chicago

Breakfast: Ina's on Randolph; Wishbone on Washington or Tempo on State Street (We want a nice place to have a leisurely breakfast). I would also like to find a nice place for a Sunday brunch.

Deli: Manny's

Greek: Santorini’s

Upscale: Spring (I really don't want to bust the vacation budget on Charlie Trotters). I would like to find a restaurant that will allow me to visit the kitchen.

All comments will be appreciated and I promise a long and exhaustive trip report when I get back. Thanks all.

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