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Returning to Chicago this month--all my favorites are out of business

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I will be staying at the Doubletree in Skokie (where else?)

So what do I do? I know there are many great restaurants in Chicago, but first here's what I'm missing:

Mexican--La Choza--my all time favorite--long out of business--where do I go?

I used to like Wickline's soups and pasties (not the ones that strippers use).

The Fish Keg for carry out fried chicken--still good? For that matter is White Fence Farms worth the effort?

Love Reza's on Clark--hearing mixed things.

Good German--used to go to The Berghoff--I'm totally confused about its new incarnation. Also liked the long lost Metro Club on Lincoln.

I like Hackney's--on Harms for the ambiance and Lake (?) for the shorter wait.

Chicago hot dog--I was a Poochies man---I know Harvey sold it and opened a new place, but I here the original is actually better.

How about deli? Manny's of course, but anything on the north side--loved The Bagel on Devon, but never in Old Orchard. For that matter how about just a good bagel? There's
no such thing here in San Diego. Used to go to New York Bagel & Bialy on Dempster.

I've always loved Calo's ribs--am I nuts? They did get rid of the antipasto tray they used to give out--oh well.

Ann Sather's for lunch? Or just stick with breakfast?

Thai, Thai, Thai...

Any comments appreciated.

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  1. The new place that Harvey opened up was called Poochies II that later changed to the Wiener and Still Champion.

    Both are good but I prefer the latter with their selections of dipping sauces.

    1. Ann Sather's - stick with breakfast. I went to the one in Andersonville on Mothers Day (way early before the crowds swarmed in) and got an egg white omelette. Very good. Of course the cinnamon rolls are the real treat.

      Reza's is on my 'eh' list. However that could be because we frequent it more often and it could be a case of burn out. If you are craving it, go for it. They have outdoor seating now on the Balmoral side so it's quieter and a nice way to enjoy an evening.

      Huey's Hotdog on Balmoral and Clark serves up a mean hot dog and fries.

      If you haven't been to the Hopleaf since you left be prepared to be blown away. It has hit the scene. But the food is outstanding and the beer selection has not been dumbed down.

      Calo's is my all time go to place for pizza and dirty martinis. I haven't had the ribs. But I stay away from that debate! And I'm not sure when you last been to Calo's but they re-did the space and frou-frou'd it up. Not a bad thing but it lost some of the old-school charm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lbs

        I have been there since they went "upscale." The big plus for me was they got rid of the bands that usually played too loud. The worse was the time there was an ugly female drummer who would stop and tell "jokes." I didn't hear all of it but the one part of one joke I caught was, "...and then they totally, utterly raped the sh_t out of her..." Yeah I could do without that and didn't return for about a year.

        Try those ribs sometime--if you like fall off the bone style.

      2. Mexican--La Choza--my all time favorite--long out of business--where do I go?
        -In Skokie... Perhaps you would like Wholly Frijoles in Lincolnwood on Touhy; http://whollyfrijoles.net/

        I used to like Wickline's soups and pasties (not the ones that strippers use). LOL, -Never heard of it.

        The Fish Keg for carry out fried chicken--still good?
        -HECK YES!! Same as ever, I was just there a few weeks ago and had the cities best fried shrimp.

        For that matter is White Fence Farms worth the effort?
        - It's a good old time place, but since since your in Cali, I would compare it to going to Knottsberry Farm... without the great rides and jelly.

        Love Reza's on Clark--hearing mixed things.
        -I think it's still the same as it was, that being said, other places have opened up that make it seem more "run of the mill" then back in the days when they were a new novelty and the hot thing to try..

        Good German--used to go to The Berghoff--I'm totally confused about its new incarnation.
        -Berghoffs is only open for lunch in the downstairs area, gone is the charm of the full dining experience, there is no good replacement in Chicago, Milwaukee is another story though.

        Also liked the long lost Metro Club on Lincoln.
        -Don't know it.

        I like Hackney's--on Harms for the ambiance and Lake (?) for the shorter wait.
        -It's still the same Hackneys, no changes, onion loaf and burgers, Harms or Lake st.

        Chicago hot dog--I was a Poochies man---I know Harvey sold it and opened a new place, but I here the original is actually better.
        -Better is right, Hubs & Big Herm's are still there too.

        How about deli? Manny's of course, but anything on the north side--loved The Bagel on Devon, but never in Old Orchard. For that matter how about just a good bagel? There's
        no such thing here in San Diego. Used to go to New York Bagel & Bialy on Dempster.
        -New York Bagel & Bialy- still good for carry out- late night hours too, lousy deli meats, I've always been a Kaufman's guy; they have better baked goods and the best bagels & deli meats anywhere in the US, just no sit down accommodations. If you need to sit down got to one of these; in Higland Park, Once Upon A Bagel and in Northbrook go to either Max's or Max & Benny's, all three are equal and delicious but about a 1/2 notch down from being as good as Manny's.

        I've always loved Calo's ribs--am I nuts? They did get rid of the antipasto tray they used to give out--oh well.
        -Ribs... that could open a whole can of worms as a discussion here! Personally I would trek to Evanston and get my rib fix at Hecky's BBQ, but that's me.

        Ann Sather's for lunch? Or just stick with breakfast?
        -Breakfast, I've never been impressed with them even for the cinnamon rolls.

        Thai, Thai, Thai...
        Go to the city, hit Aruins.

        4 Replies
        1. re: abf005

          I think this got accidently deleted:
          Ah Hecky's..."It's the sauce."
          thank you for taking the time to write. What's up with this Nuevo Leon place? We have car and will travel...also my sister is in the west Wrigglyville Area.

          1. re: abf005

            Aru(i)n's? Are you kidding? Ol' Mang; for Thai try(mentioned in other threads you participate in): TAC, Sticky Rice, Spoon Thai, Opart, Rosded, Elephant Thai...

            1. re: aelph

              Yes I noted those places too. Arun's always seemed too refined for me.

              1. re: The Old Man

                Do you remember the Kamoosh at La Choza? I've never had that anywhere else. After La Choza closed my fav was Lindo Mexico. Sadly that is now closed too. I'm now looking for a similar Mexican place.

                Regarding Thai. I like Siams House in Niles. On Milwaukee between Howard and Oakton. Also, have been meaning to try an old favorite again: Thai Aree. Also on Milwaukee (3592 N).

          2. theres so many places to eat
            search the net thats what i did

            for a good chicago style hotdog go to SUPERDAWG

            Good german go to the EDELWIESS, im sure its the same as berghoff

            for a mexican and quick fix try BURRITO AND TACO KING, its fast and really yummy all made up in front of you. theres many other mexican places, search the bored here

            for other chicago styles i have had portillos but i think SUPERDAWG is WAY better i swear i have never had a more taster hotdog, besides its a experiance in itself like poritillos