When we were last in Chicago, we ate at Soul Kitchen and had a great time; the food was inventive and tasty, and the atmosphere was pretty funky.
Any suggestions on similar sorts of places, not necessarily for food type (although good quality would be an asset) but for atmosphere? We're staying on Grand, but we'll be mobile.
Try La Cumbamba (see many threads below).
I've now been twice (again last night) in the last 3 weeks, and it's been a trip both times. In fact, William, the owner, remembered me from several weeks ago ("you were the 4 yuppies at the table in the middle, right?") *Sigh* I guess he was correct, though I'm loathe to classify myself as such...
He's an extremely charming host. You don't mind that you had to wait for your main course for 30 mins.
Expect a long wait for food in between courses, and expect to be bewildered at times, not knowing what is going on. There's no menu anymore, and he brings out whatever he's cooking that night (it's been delicious grilled chicken both times I was there). But just relax, enjoy yourselves, and enjoy the atmosphere. Try and go on a weeknight if possible (less crowded), and eat outside if you can (the inside can be really warm and stuffy due to lack of AC and circulation).
I think you'll enjoy it. Plus it's not far from Soul Kitchen, so you'll remember the neighborhood a bit. As I paid the bill and asked for change, he handed me a wad of bills from his pocket and asked me to make change myself. He then disappeared to cook some more. He handed me a bunch of complementary food to go on the way out.
It's quite, quite an experience. And very good food.
2311 W. North Ave.