Best Dinner To-Go in River North?
I'll be visiting for a short time in October, and, thus, wish to pack my schedule with as many quality meals as possible.
I wondered if anyone could suggest a chow-worthy restaurant in at least walking distance from my hotel, the Westin Chicago River North, where I can pick up food to-go before I catch my flight on a Sunday at 5PM?
XOCO is around the corner from my hotel, but is, unfortunately, closed on Sundays.
Do you plan to bring this food with you to the airport and eat it on the airplane?
Which airport are you flying from, and will you have so much luggage that stopping on the way is not a possibility?
What is your comfort level with eating food at room temperature that was intended to be eaten hot (e.g. deep-dish pizza)?
One possibility is Fox & Obel, the gourmet food store, which has excellent foods that could travel - notably prepared foods, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. But depending on the answers to the above questions, there may be other options.
Another option is to have a nice meal on your way to the airport, so you don't need to eat anything on the plane (except maybe some Garrett's Popcorn that you bought in the terminal at O'Hare).
I do plan to bring the food with me to the airport, O'Hare, to be specific, and eat it on the plane. I'll have the luggage at the hotel desk already, since I'll be checking out that morning, pick up the food, and then walk back to the hotel, pick up the luggage, and grab a cab. I'll only have minimal carry-on anyhow.
I don't mind eating room temperature food. Quality food at room temperature is still better than bad food hot =).
The reason I asked is, you might consider stopping for food on your way to the airport. One such place is Smoque, for barbecue. It's near the CTA Blue Line if you take the el to the airport, and right off the Kennedy Expressway if you go by cab. Depending on the time of day, waits for food can take a while. www.smoquebbq.com
When I'm leaving from O'Hare, I often stop at Wolfgang Puck's in the terminal, sometimes eating there, sometimes getting food wrapped to go. The food is pretty good, and it has the convenience factor too.
And of course, for a snack to go, don't miss Garrett's Popcorn. My favorite is their caramel popcorn with cashews. They make their popcorn right in their store, one in Terminal 1 and another in Terminal 3.
Le Madia is right around the corner (59 West Grand) and makes wonderful entree salads as well as very tasty "Sardinian Flat Sandwiches" on their lunch menu (call them at 312-329-0400 to make sure they can do lunch menu items at the right time for you to pickup on your way)
My office team have been going there a lot recently and really enjoy the food at such a great low price - add an order of their roasted olives too - even if they cool off a bit, they are tasty.
Fox and Obel is always good but you might find them a bit far to walk from your hotel if you are in a travel day rush.
One other slightly odd suggestion - the Nordstrom's Cafe (4th floor) does some genuinely nice dishes, well packaged for take out .. I pick up their pear and blue cheese salad and their Penne Bolognese when the work day has been too intense and the pasta seems to hold it's heat for a decent amount of time.