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3 easy questions

BatMan Apr 19, 2012 12:25 PM

Spending a week in Chicago with the family this summer (wife & kids ages 12, 9, and 7):

Hot Dog: Superdawg or Portillos?
View: Sears Tower or Hancock?
Pizza: Ginos East or Lou Malnati's


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    ferret RE: BatMan Apr 19, 2012 12:29 PM

    Old Superdawg beats Portillos but Portillos wins over current Superdawg.

    Sears Tower's SkyDeck is hella-cool for kids, but I prefer the views from the Hancock (and you can grab a quick (not great) lunch at the 95th with no extra charge for the view).

    Malnati's without a doubt.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ferret
      chicgail RE: ferret Apr 19, 2012 01:21 PM

      What he said.

      1. re: chicgail
        lbs RE: chicgail Apr 19, 2012 01:56 PM

        ditto. Plus Superdawg can be a bit of cluster to get as a tourist.

        1. re: lbs
          ferret RE: lbs Apr 19, 2012 02:21 PM

          Although depending one where the poster is coming from (in terms of both hometown and hotel location) it can be a charming bit of nostalgia for the young'uns (assuming they visit the original).

        2. re: chicgail
          HoosierFoodie RE: chicgail Apr 20, 2012 08:12 AM

          What they said.

      2. a
        aburkavage RE: BatMan Apr 19, 2012 01:28 PM

        Portillo's (hot dog AND Italian beef)

        1 Reply
        1. re: aburkavage
          tiffeecanoe RE: aburkavage Apr 20, 2012 06:33 AM

          agree 1,010% with aburkavage. Pequods is where it's at!

        2. q
          Querencia RE: BatMan Apr 19, 2012 03:31 PM

          Here is my standard advice to visitors re view: the observation decks now charge about $15 admission. The Hancock has a fine restaurant on the 96th floor (Signature Room) that does a decent buffet lunch for about $20 and the view is identical to the view from the observation deck as it's only about a floor different. So for the $5 extra you get the view and lunch. The Signature Room is quite expensive at dinner BTW.

          The Hancock is right on the lake so you get a better view of the waterfront. But the Sears (which is actually called the Willis Tower now) has the new plastic floor you can walk out on, giving the sensation that there's nothing under you, and that is thrilling. Personally, I opt for the Hancock since you can get lunch thrown in.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Querencia
            GourmetWednesday RE: Querencia Apr 22, 2012 07:19 PM

            For children I definitely recommend Sears/Willis, for adults I prefer the Signature Lounge at the Hancock and skip the observatory. Kids like saying they've been to the tallest building in the country, and the experience (and pictures) of being on the ledge can't be matched. The museum aspect at Willis is very child-friendly and the right amount of information to hold interest.

          2. GraceW RE: BatMan Apr 22, 2012 07:28 PM

            My appetite, tastes, and attention span are similar to that of a 12 year old..
            Hot Dog: Superdawg (Well, or Wrigley Field.. if you can get into a game!)
            View: Sears
            Pizza: Lou Malnati's.. I didn't even like pizza growing up, but I would always be ok with pizza there. And if for some reason, you have a non-pizza eater on your hands, their other food is good.

            (If the 7 year old is a girl, you might consider the American Girl Place, although I think their new store is nothing compared to the magical paradise it used to be. Also Navy Pier is kind of a bore, unless you see a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. You might see if you can catch one of the free shows at the Millenium Park Shell. Obviously the Art Institute, and it used to have a ok restaurant, but I believe it closed... also, I am not saying it is gourmet, but your kids might like Food Life at the top of Watertower Place--merely because they get to pick what they want.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: GraceW
              chicgail RE: GraceW Apr 23, 2012 02:42 AM

              I agree with American Girl Place if a small girl is part of the family, but highly recommend that you avoid their expensive cafe that serves stunningly bad food. also, don't bother eating at Navy Pier. Everything there is also overpriced.

              Instead I would second FoodLife in Water Tower Place for a lunch. It is always fun for kids and the food is pretty good.

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