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Nov 19, 2011 06:27 AM

Los Angeles Hound in town for 10 hours? What to do?

Hi there..

Los Angeles Hound arriving ORD second Thursday of December at 5:00 p.m. and leaving from ORD early morning the following day. Want to enjoy the town. I plan on taking the "L to the city center and back. What would suggest that I do? I like ethnic low brow places with lots of character. Also fun drinking spots as well. I will not have a hotel, so is it possible to pull an all nighter ( any places to rest? ) will probably head back to the Airport around 3 or 4 am ( Is the "L" safe at that time ) Just looking for tips, suggestions and whatever from my fellow Hounds in Chicago. Thanks in advance.

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  1. I'd stop at Wiener's Circle on Clark for a Char Cheddar Dog. Not ethnic, but definitely lowbrow. And given your time window it's highly likely you will be cursed at, or witness someone else undergoing the ritual. Part of the dump's charm. There's a good bar right down the street to grab a frosty one or three.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Foodandwine

        Belly Shack, a very lowbrow and wonderful latin/asian fusion joint literally under the el on the Blue Line from O'Hare at the Western Avenue stop. It's BYO, but there's a liquor store on the corner.

        Also, at the Logan Square stop, are Longman & Eagle (gastropub with one Michelin star), Lula's Cafe (organic, gritty and wonderful) and Revolution brewpub.

        Lula Cafe
        2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

        Longman & Eagle
        2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

        Belly Shack
        1912 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

        1. re: chicgail

          Longman & Eagle is also open until 2 am sunday-friday (3 am on saturdays) so if you're looking to kill some time could be a good place - not sure what the scene is like later at night though.

          Longman & Eagle
          2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    1. Good low-brow Middle Eastern can be had at Bab al Salam, in a strip mall about a mile south of the Cumberland stop on the Blue Line.
      5050 N. Cumberland
      Ride in the front car of the El if you do take it at 3 a.m. and want to be safe. That's where the train operator is.

      6 Replies
      1. re: camusman

        To echo the note about the L, I think it would be fine -- but safety/comfort can be subjective. Every station has a security guard at all hours (fwiw) and as long as you stick to the front car, I think you would be fine. A fair number of people are always heading to O'Hare at all sorts of hours, so I don't think you would be the only person on the train.

        It would probably be best for you to head into the city center (Loop, River North, West Loop) and then head back along the Blue Line later in the evening. Between the California and Logan Square stops along Milwaukee Ave., personal highlights include Revolution Brewing (open until 2am; great beer made on-site; very good food, though it's not much more than burgers, pizza, etc. -- albeit really well executed burgers, pizzas, etc.), The Whistler (2am; no food but some of the best cocktails in the city; often live music or at least a DJ), and the aforementioned Longman & Eagle (which also has a couple of hotel rooms -- in case you did want a bed to crash in for a couple of hours before your flight).

        Revolution Brewing
        2323 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

        Longman & Eagle
        2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

        1. re: danimalarkey

          Thanks for the tips so far. If one would start with the city center, what sights would you take in this time of year. I think it is a ggod idea to tour around the city center then work my way back and drink a little.. Large Buldings with sights ( any good ones, the bridges, stores with holiday displays etc ) Thanks in advance..

          1. re: Foodandwine

            You might want to go to Christkindlemarket at Daley Plaza to start. From ORD, it'll take about 45 mins to an hour to get to the Washington/Dearborn stop. It lets you out literally at the front of it. It will be pretty dark at that point so I don't think going to the Hancock or Sears Tower is worth it. But if you think so, take a quick cab or long-ish walk to the Hancock bldg for a drink at the Lounge on the 95th floor. Macy's will be lit up and that isn't too far from the Christkindlemarket. Maybe stop in at Sable for some small plates and cocktails.


            Then I would get back on the Blue Line and hit some of the spots on Danimalarkey posts. I would also suggest hitting up Big Star Tacos for some tacos. You can order from the window and they are fantasic. I love the pork belly ones. Off the Damen Stop.

            Big Star
            1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

            1. re: lbs

              Hi Chicago, will be there this Thursday. What an Italian Meat Sandwich, whould I get one. See the lights, go drinking? any other thougts?? Thanks to all whom have relplied and plan to do so..

              1. re: Foodandwine

                Gosh Guys the Boston Thread was much more active :) Did an all nighter there last week. See the Boston Forum. Tomorrow I will be in your town. Guess I will figure something out..

                1. re: Foodandwine

                  Maybe get a drink at the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. Overpriced, but a great view. Food is okay. On the way back to the train stops, hit the Purple Pig on Michigan Avenue. That place captures your username well.

      2. Trip Report.

        I landed at 5:00 took the Blue Line to Millenium Park to see the Bean, then needed to meet my friends at Wacker and Adams. ( I cross posted to another board where I am involved, the Flyer Talkers really came throught! What a night! ) Walked a little down Michigan Avenue then too the Bus towards 111 S Wacker, our meeting spot. Got a little confused in meeting one our group. There was a mixer in the restaurant in the lobby of the building. Had a sparling wine, red wine, tuna poke and some shrimp ( Thanks to some financial firms mixer, sorry T Rowe Price or whom ever you were ) My buddys Altimia parked outside was awaiting and had to go: This is what we did on our Food and Sight Seeing Evening>>

        Al’s #1 Italian Beef
        1079 W Taylor St
        We had an Italian Beef, dipped, with hot Italian Giardineria (Al's giardineria is the best)

        Widely regarded as Mies van Der Rohe's masterpiece, Crown Hall is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th Century
        Modernist movement. Crown Hall was completed in 1956 during Mies van der Rohe's tenure as director of IIT's Department of Architecture.
        3360 S State Street

        The Union Stockyard Gate, located on Exchange Avenue at Peoria Street

        Barbara Ann’s BBQ – rib tips & hot links, sauce on side.
        7617 S Cottage Grove Ave
        (between 76th St & 77th St)

        Bar DeVille
        701 N. Damen Ave
        Chicago, IL 60622
        (312) 929-2349

        The Violet Hour
        1520 North Damen Avenue
        Chicago, IL

        Red Hot Ranch – Chicago depression dog – fried shrimp
        2072 N Western Ave
        (between Charleston St & Dickens Ave)
        Chicago, IL 60647

        Pizzeria Due
        619 N Wabash Ave
        (between Ohio St & Ontario St)
        Chicago, IL 60611
        Small Deep Dish and a Beer, we were only 2 from 4 now the others had to work in the morning..

        Tried to go to Rosa’s Lounge but it was closed:
        3420 W Armitage Ave
        (between Kimball Ave & St Louis Ave

        Tried to go to BLUES but it was closed
        2519 N Halsted St
        (at Lill Ave)
        Chicago, IL 60614

        Finally got into Kingston Mines
        2548 N Halsted St
        (at Lill Ave)
        Chicago, IL 60614
        Saw James Armstrong on stage

        then drove you to ORD on that crazy icy highway. winter in Chicago !! I Even saw Soilder Field, White Sox Stadium and The United Center when driving around. My friend Willie is available for tours :) Got to ORD at 4:00 a.. just in time for Security to open then off to the United Lounge at 4:30 to await my flight home.. Great time...