I'm just back from a short trip to Chicago and thought I'd share some of the places we ate. My sister and I drove up from Indianapolis. She was headed to a college friend's bridal tea/bachelorette party and I was just along to play in the city. It was a short trip, without a lot of time for destination dining, but I thought I'd put my comments out there just in case they're helpful to someone else.
Saturday: We were in a hurry, because she had to be at the tea by 4pm and I was going to the 2pm show of Jersey Boys, so lunch was a quick sandwich at the PotBelly Sandwich works on State St. It was good, filling, and quick, in spite of the line. They had live music going on while we were there, so that was kind of fun.
After the show, I was on my own, so I wound up at Fox and Obel. I had a delicious grilled skirt steak salad for dinner, followed by an amazing coconut cupcake from their bakery for dessert. I love Fox and Obel, and it was a great place to dine alone, as I had so much fun people-watching out the window.
My sister and her friends met me at the hotel later and we had cocktails at Fulton's on the River. I didn't eat anything here, but it was a lovely place to sit outside and be on the river. We then went to Market in the West Loop, which seemed to be a very happening spot, as it was packed, with a line out the door. Due to the bridal party status, we were whisked up to the rooftop bar without a wait. It was packed up there, but the view of the Sears Tower and the skyline was amazing. I'm not a big bar-hopper, but this seemed to be the place to go. However, it also seemed like one of those places where they want you to be grateful that they let you in to enjoy their fabulous atmosphere, so if we hadn't been with a group, I probably would have been very put off by the attitude of the staff.
Sunday: Breakfast was at the Bongo Room in the South Loop. We got there just after 9am when they opened, and were seated immediately. Even if we'd had to wait, I think it would have been worth it! The pancakes were pretty amazing. My sister had the four berry white chocolate pancakes and I had lemon-ricotta with coconut and gingersnap butter. Both types were heavenly. We split an order of bacon and hashbrowns. The hashbrowns were very good, also, as they were diced red potatoes cooked with rosemary. They made a nice contrast to the sweet pancakes.
We were so full from breakfast that we didn't think we'd eat again, but late that afternoon, while visiting a friend in Lincoln Park, we had a late lunch/early dinner at Minnie's on N. Halsted. Minnie's was fun because everything was small. The whole menu is basically slider-style sandwiches, but there are about 12-14 different kinds to choose from and every one that we sampled was good. I had the grilled cheese, the cheeseburger, and the chicken salad. All of them were good, but the chicken salad was outstanding, with grapes, nuts, a little curry...very tasty!