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Mar 21, 2012 08:19 AM

Easter Sunday in Chicago? Random Deliciousness (Crisp/Big Star/Urban Belly/XocoSeoul Sassy)....Please help this NYC 'houndress out...

Soooooo Chi-Town Hounds~~~~

I am VERY excited.

Haven't been to the windy city in a decade and am returning with my husband and chowpup in tow. It's our little guy's first time, and he is really excited. He knows how much we love Chicago. We have a Cubs game on Easter Sunday which will be a far cry from our traditional Italian-American celebrations in Queens/Lawn Guyland NY. I'm wondering where we should eat after this game. I am down for something offbeat and casual, but open to anything that could be memorable even if it means having to dress up a bit. I'd rather not though....

On the last few trips we've eaten at Charlie Trotter's, Spiaggia, Gene and Georgetti's, Carson's, Lou Malnatti's, Lou Mitchell's, Ann Sather's, Uno's, Portillo's, Gino's East, Frontera, Topolobampo, the Berghoff, the Pump Room, Garrett's popcorn etc. We always timed our visits to coincide with the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park. This year there will be no "Taste" but I will get over it consdering there's so much other fantastic stuff to explore.

I am thinking Blackbird should be on our short list? I wish we had time for Alinea,but with our 8 year old it would be tortuous. He loves and appreciates food as much as either of us, but the tasting would take too long for his limited attention span.... Would Blackbird be nice for an Easter meal? Should I just go totally casual somewhere near Wrigley after our 1:30pm game? Any thoughts?

I have a random file in my Blackberry entitled "Chicago" and everytime I read/see something that looks good, I write it in for futher research when a trip becomes imminent. I have Crisp/BigStar/Urabn Belly/Franks and Dawgs written down. I will look into them, but on the fly, are any Not To Be Missed (NTBM)?

I'd like to check out Xoco largely because I spent a bunch of time in Mexico City as a kid and love street food type offerings. Im not the hugest fan of Rick's restaurants, but this menu seems nice. Any thoughts?

That's all for now. I think you in advance for any and all suggestions.

All Things Delish~

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  1. Chinatown is always a good bet on Easter Sunday. You have a direct connection there from Wrigley Field via the Red Line.
    I'm assuming your young un has a low spice tolerance, so I won't mention restaurants whose best dishes are spicy.
    Wander around the Chinatown Square mall at Archer and Wenworth Avenues. Good bakeries and sweet shops, plus solid restaurants such as Lao Beijing, Ken Kee, Spring World, Chi Cafe, Ming Hin.

    1. How long will you be in town and where will you be staying?

      2 Replies
      1. re: delk

        We'll be in town for 4 nights and we'll be staying near Grant for my chowpup, he was raised on ma la and the spiciest of Szechuan foods...we live in Flushing, Queens!

        1. re: ZenFoodist

          Well, in that case, add Lao Sze Chuan to the head of my list. Same mall.

      2. I would be sure to be mindful of special holiday-related hours. Xoco and the other Bayless restaurants are usually closed on Sundays/Mondays -- but they might be open for a holiday like Easter (but probably not!). Blackbird is closed on Sundays, too.

        Specifically about Xoco, I think it's fine. A friend of mine just coming off a 2.5 year stay in DF would blanch at the idea of a $12 torta but YMMV. I think it's a great spot for breakfast, if only because the breakfast options are a little more reasonably priced (for me). However, there's never a bad time for churros and freshly-ground hot chocolate.

        I really dig Big Star but I'm not sure what their policy is for children. It's definitely a bar that serves food (rather than a restaurant). But I also know that I've seen children there, too, so long as they don't sit at the bar. I prefer Belly Shack to Urban Belly, but mostly due to how easy it is to get there. Both are BYO, for what that's worth. Franks n Dawgs is very good with a lot of unique options - I have a soft spot for Hot Doug's, though, even if the logistics of getting there are often a bigger headache than is worthwhile.

        I would look into the Publican, especially if you can request an outdoor table (weather permitting) and/or an early table. I think they have done Easter Sunday in the past but a phone call first would probably be best.

        6 Replies
        1. re: danimalarkey

          Publican is indeed open on Easter Sunday. So is AVEC. Apples and oranges based on the menus. Is AVEC well regarded?

          1. re: ZenFoodist

            Avec doesn't take reservations, usually, are they making an exception for Easter?

              1. re: ZenFoodist

                Since you'll be traveling with your son, I'd reserve somewhere, like Publican. I imagine you don't want to wait 1-2 hours at Avec.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Just wanted to thank you all for your suggestions. Our long weekend in Chicago was, as always, phenomenal. We ate at Xoco, the Purple Pig, Portillo's, the Publican, Gino"s East, and Big Star. We also munched on my beloved Garrett's Chicago Mix incessantly. Checked out Wow Bao in Food Life too (I'm from Flushing, Queens so I liked this concept...) Our 8 year old got to run the bases after the game at Wrigley and can not wait to return. Next trip will include Belly Shack, Urban Belly, Bongo Room, Freddy's Pizza on Cicero, Dougnut Vault, Girl and the Goat, and the neighborhood of Pilsen, Franks and Dawgs, and Longman and Eagle. My fave, hands down, was the Purple Pig. Such an inspired menu! Absolutley loved it!

                  1. re: ZenFoodist

                    Good to hear that you had a great time. Sounds like an excellent itinerary.