I just returned yesterday from a great weekend in Chicago replete with memorable chowhound experiences. I spent quite a bit of time on this board prior to my trip (even posted a "where to go?" message) and just want to thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions and ideas that you throw out there day after day.
My first Chicagoland eating experience took place at Superdawg, where I ate a superdawg and the crinkle fries that go with. Delicious! What a hot dog should be!
Saturday night we ate at Blackbird, which I had read about in some magazine (or maybe from an article in the NY Times?) before going out to Chicago. I was not disappointed with what I found. In fact, the meal was lovely in every way. I really enjoyed it - dishes were executed extremely well and while the place was hedging towards trendy, there were very nice touches, like the amuse-bouche (poached salmon w/grapefruit in a vinaigrette - so tender, it practically melted on my tongue), the flowers, excellent desserts, etc. Service was a little jumbled feeling but very friendly, in fact, the owner was extremely nice and told us about some good loungey places to check out after dinner.
Sunday morning we headed to the Maxwell St. market and feasted on all manner of street food, tacos, churros, juices. I was searching throughout for that rice pudding empanada (at least that's what i think it was) but i never found it...so there's something to look for on my next visit.
so i missed out on the italian beef but I think that I ate quite nicely all weekend long. Thanks for the tips!