Art Institute/Wacker Drive
I'm not sure what location you're referring to. The Loop is Chicago's historical and commercial downtown area. The Art Institute is near the southeast corner of the Loop, and Wacker Drive runs along the western and northern edges of the Loop, so they're a good half mile away from each other.
The best time to walk in for a table at Frontera Grill is to arrive about 15 minutes before they open the doors. Otherwise you're taking your chances. You could also try calling them in advance for a reservation; they only accept a handful of them, and leave most of the dining room available for walk-in traffic, but it wouldn't hurt to try.
For deep-dish pizza, Pizano's on Madison is right near the Art Institute, the original Uno and Due are around Ohio and Wabash in River North, and Pizano's on State is further north.
We're staying at the Blackstone Thursday and will walk to and from the Art Institute Thursday and Friday. We'll want dinner on Thursday, and breakfast/lunch on Friday before driving to a weekend wedding in Lake Geneva. I want to spend a minimum of time and money at the assigned hotel. I'm checking the WI boards for Saturday/Sunday midday, unless someone from this forum has a great suggestion?
Back to Chicago on Sunday evening--not sure where we'll stay--and would like a Polish meal before heading home late Monday, but Bayless says there are no good Polish restaurants in Chicago. Hard to imagine, but there you have it. Greek food instead, maybe.
Anyway, sorry for the miscellaneous requests and the confusion! Nsxtasy, I'm a native Chicagoan but haven't been back in awhile. I've been post stalking you and greatly enjoy your posts and recommendations. Thank you!
No good Polish restaurants in Chicago? Nonsense!!! He should stick to his Mexican food. :)
IMHO Podhalanka in West Town is as good as any Polish restaurant anywhere. http://chicago.menupages.com/restaurants/podhalanka And if you're looking for value, it's hard to beat the inexpensive all-you-can-eat buffet of Polish food at both locations of Red Apple. www.redapplebuffet.com
P.S. Thanks for the kind words!