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This Weekend In Chicago Near the Union League Club

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  • mch Nov 5, 2009 07:28 AM
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I'm coming to Chicago this weekend for a wedding and will be staying at the Union League Club at 65 WEST JACKSON BOULEVARD. We need lunch Friday when we land for two people and brunch for a group of us Sunday morning before we all fly home. We are late 20's, love to eat but also remember I need to fit into my dress Saturday night. We are not looking to spend lots of money but we want yummy food. It can be sit down or take out, the best sandwich, the classic burger, a great salad...what ever you think is worth eating in the area. We will already be going to the Signature Room for dinner/drinks and McCormicks & Schmicks for cocktails. We can walk or take a short cab ride if necessary. Thanks in advance for your help-from a hounder in NYC.

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Union League Club
65 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL

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  1. My office is spitting distance from there and my (current) lunch favorite is Cafecito, a Cuban sandwich and coffee bar. It's three (short) streets East and two streets South. If tomorrow's anything like today it'll be a pleasant walk. May be a bit too casual for you but it's quick and delicious. Otherwise, walk South to Printer's Row down Dearborn and there are several options ranging from fancy (Custom House) to pretty cheap and delicious. Flaco's Tacos is in the 700 S. Dearborn block and it's directly across the street from a fantastic mediterranean spot that I'm drawing a complete blank on. Great falafel, mini lamb burgers, and a variety of other options.

    For brunch, the Bongo Room is a favorite. About a 5 minute cab ride South-ish.

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    Bongo Room
    1152 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

    Cafecito
    26 E Congress Pkwy Ste 1, Chicago, IL 60605

    Flaco's Taco's
    725 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605

    7 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      Cafecito is also a favorite of mine when I'm looking for a quick lunch or dinner (black bean soup's good, too, and try the chorizo sandwich if you like strong flavors). But decor is minimal, and not the best place for a long leisurely lunch. My choice for leisurely hamburgers/beer in the area is Hackney's:

      http://www.hackneysprintersrow.net/

      You might also give Mercat a la Planxa a look. They , occasionally, have lunch specials available that make their meals more of a bargain, altho I find the quality (and expense) is heightened for their dinner service.

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      Cafecito
      26 E Congress Pkwy Ste 1, Chicago, IL 60605

      1. re: jbw

        Not here to start a feud, but the mediterranean place across the street from Hackney's is far better than Hackney's.

        1. re: ferret

          I assume you're referring to Trattoria Caterina, and although their salads are quite good, and the food is usually fresh and certainly inexpensive, I think I can categorically state without fear of contradiction that you can purchase a far better hamburger and beer across the street at Hackney's.

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          Trattoria Caterina
          616 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605

          1. re: jbw

            Nope. It bugs me that I've been there a number of times but can't remember the name. It's exactly opposite Flaco's Tacos (West side of Dearborn, 700-block). As i mentioned in my first post they do these excellent mini lamb burgers in addition to great falafel. They also have breakfast.

            And I've done Hackney's to death since I first went to the original nearly 40 years ago. Their onion blob is now a greasy disappointment, although I do enjoy their blue cheese & tabasco chips. The rest of their menu has deteriorated to Chili's/Bennigan's level.

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            Flaco's Taco's
            725 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605

            1. re: ferret

              Believe it's called Mediteraneo (or something along those lines).

              1. re: masha

                Thanks for triggering the memory, it's actually Cafe Mediterra. Here's a quick review (appears the owner has street cred):

                http://www.centerstagechicago.com/res...

                And here's their website:

                http://www.cafemediterra.com/

                1. re: ferret

                  Thanks for the website. I love lamb-burgers, and I'll have to give them a try. I must admit I've never been attracted to Hackney's onion blob, but I've never been disappointed in their burgers either (altho the last time I was there was a cold winter night, so it must've been some months ago. I probably will wait for another cold winter night and if indeed their burgers have deteriorated to the level of fastfooddom, I'll at least be able to drown my disappointment in a couple of hot toddies.)

    2. Mercat a la Planxa is fun (the downstairs bar is small and intimate with interesting concoctions). Upstairs is big, bold beautiful with small plates and a good bar. Right around the corner from you is The Gage cafe. Worth looking into. Excellent gastro pub style food with a twist, beautiful rooms.