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Chinatown Pheonix Recommendations and...

Hi, I'm a Northwest (Oregon) chowhound on a conference trip March 8-11, staying at Hilton on Michigan. I've poked through the archives and have some ideas but looking for advice both general and very specific. Friday night I've been invited to a dinner at the Pheonix in Chinatown, which seems to be known, if at all, for dimsum. Anyone eaten dinner there, any suggestions for non-Americanized dishes? Saturday I'm likely eating alone or with a friend, would like to eat somewhere within walking distance, Greektown maybe OR is there somewhere fairly high-end with a good bar for eating solo at? Sunday I've got most of the morning/day free and wanted to hit a neighborhood for shopping and eating, thinking Wicker Park, but sorely tempted to hit the Maxwell street market for mex. What do you think? Thanks in advance.
Mike

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  1. Keep an eye on the weather. They're talking about maybe snow Saturday night into Sunday.

    Greek Town is fairly far walk, over a mile. Not that you couldn't do it, but... it's worth mentioning. For Greek options in Greek Town, see this topic: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/119233

    See this topic for suggestions near the Palmer House Hilton:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/370730

    If you're referring to the Conrad Hilton, then look at suggestions in the South Loop, including ones in this topic:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368426

    Another option is Chicago-style pizza. Giordano's, for stuffed, double-crust pizza, has several locations near your hotel. www.giordanos.com

    Shopping really depends on what kinds of items you like to shop for - apparel, crafts, foods, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Oops! The Hilton hotel you are staying at is called the Hilton Chicago, and used to be known as the Conrad Hilton. I mentioned that you ought to check out the South Loop recommendations in this topic:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368426
      All the restaurants mentioned there are on north-south streets just west of the hotel; the hotel is 720 South Michigan, so those with addresses in the 500's (like Edwardo's, for pizza) are slightly north of the hotel, and those with addresses in the 1100s to 1400s (like Gioco and the Bongo Room) are south of the hotel. Each difference of 800 is one mile, which tells you why the Greek Town restaurants are over a mile and a half away (Michigan Avenue is 100 East, Halsted Street where the restaurants are is 800 West, so you have to walk 1 1/8 mile west, and most are around 300 South Halsted, which is another 1/2 mile north of the Hilton Chicago).

    2. Thanks, that's a help. Shopping/neighborhood-wise I'm just looking for what I can't find in a mediumsize Oregon town, which is pretty much everything :) Really just a cool neighborhood with smaller shops, design, clothing, home etc. and something good to eat!
      Looking forward to the trip, even in March.

      1. For shopping boutique-y etc. I rec. Wicker Park(blue line EL stop at Division or Damen). You are looking for Milwaukee Ave. It's become irritatingly yuppie/gentrified in the past 5 years, but your mileage may vary. Foodwise in WP: Cafe' Absinthe, Scylla, Spring, Luc Thang, Taqueria Leon, Smoke Daddy, Honey 1, Think(avoid the three La Pasaditas...which are trendy for sheer sheepish trendiness than for great eats). And triple-avoid Sultan's Market, again trendy for no reason other than that those who worship it have little experience with real M.E. food...it's hippy steamtable Middle Eastern. There are a ton of resto's I'm leaving out...just walking(and shopping...Reckless Records on Milwaukee is my favorite in the city) around you'll stumble across tons of yummy options.

        1. When going to the Phoenix, put yourself into the hands of either Julie or Carol. Let them know what types of dishes you enjoy and they will discuss what looks good. They do terrific fish and seafood, the duck can be very good, vegetable dishes with tofu or mushrooms, on and on.

          1. I have two Phoenix recommendations, but I'm not sure if they meet your "non-Americanized" test.

            Try the steamed whole fish. The catch itself varies (ask, and they'll tell you what it is) and they'll do it a couple of different ways (again, ask what they'll do or tell them what you want - we like garlic/scallion/ginger/soy, but there are other choices). I've had several types and several preparations and always found them light but very flavorful. We've brought home leftovers from Phoenix many times, but the steamed whole fish is always completely consumed.

            They also have a dish of stir fried green beans with shredded pork (I think it's listed in their vegetable section!) which is always good.

            Another Oak Parker

            1. Thanks for the recommendations, fish sounds great, looking forward to a good meal with friends I haven't seen in a long while. Cheers. mike

              1. Hope I'm not too late to recommend the calamari and the shrimp dim sum. The whole fish was good but too light in flavor and heavy on the pocket book for me. For un-Americanized try the pork belly, fatty goodness, very earthy- but you might have to insist, the waiter didn't want to let my girlfriend, who is Asian, to order it.

                1. P.S. Here's a link to my girlfriend's blog where she discusses Phoenix- http://thefoodieandthefeast.blogspot.... .

                  1. Most definitely not too late, love the pork belly recommendation. Just made it red style for my kids and they seriously went to town on it! mike

                    1. Thought I'd follow up with a Saturday bar with food recommendation, Avec is outstanding and I've walked there from Michigan, though I walk a lot. I've been only twice so far but was excellent both times. Great chorizo stuffed dates and the pork shoulder is earthy and filling, both great with a spanish beer, but honestly I doubt there is a false note on their menu and you'll definitely make some new friends. Hope Phoenix went well, we just had a late lunch there today and were very happy, Saint Alps next door has terrific almond tea by the way.