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Chicago for a day

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Some friends, all chefs, are traveling to Chicago for a day to eat in the kitchen at Charlie Trotter's. We are looking to fill up the rest of out day and night. We are landing at noon and not eating diner until 9:15 so we have lots of time before and some time after diner. Any suggestions would be great. We are looking for good places to go and experience real Chicago.

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  1. "Real Chicago", now that's a tall order! And to even scratch the surface it would take you many days if not months and multiple stomachs for you to even come close! Hell I've lived here most of my life and feel like there is so much more left to discover and I try to eat out daily.

    To me, the "real Chicago" is its neverending and unpretentious assortment of amazing blue collar foods; pizza - 3 kinds; deep (Ricobene's), stuffed (Bacino's), and thin (Barnaby's, Vienna hot dogs (Gene & Jude's), the pub burgers at most bars, a genuine Italian beef at Al's on Taylor or Johnny's on North, Maxwell St Polish sausage and a pork chop sandwiches at the Maxwell St Depot on 31st, the unique Ricobene's breaded steak sandwich, or Manny's Deli for soup, corned beef & pastrami.

    Chicago has some of the best food in virtually every category of food known to man, but its the Mexican food that really shines. And at many of the area Taquerias around town are some of the best food finds in town; go to Las Asada's for tremendous steak tacos or burritos or for a great Barbacoa taco I've always liked the uptown Fiesta Mexicana followed up by a few drinks next door at the Green Mill for live jazz.

    Chicago always has been a big meat city, and if you want to experience some of the best steak anywhere try Hugo's Froghouse/Gibson's or Keefer's just to name two.

    Our Southside Chinatown is very nice, with a ton of both old and new styles of Chinese cuisine, and on the Northside is the Argyle St Chinatown which is more representative of southern China and Vietnam and a few other Asian places.

    Not to be missed is Devon St for the 2nd largest Indian strip in North America, Bhabhi's Kitchen & the J.K. Kabob House are excellent.

    Like I said, this list just skims the surface, have a fun visit an let us know where you landed.