First time at BYOB
My wife and I have reservations at El ideas and Schwa and have never been to BYOB. To complicate matters further we do not drink and have no idea what to expect or what to bring to drink. Typically at restaurants we order diet coke or sparkling water? Any other ideas of what we should bring? Two litter of diet coke or bottle of water? Big gulp? LOL. Any help would be appreciated.
hahaha for schwa i would go ahead and bring the two liter...those dudes won't mind at all. i haven't been to el ideas yet but assume it is a somewhat more formal affair. if it were me i would show up empty handed and just drink the water they provide.
The BYO generally refers to alcoholic beverages (and even then primarily wine). Some establishments lack a liquor license so they'll encourage you to bring whatever alcohol you want. Soft drinks generally aren't considered part of it but it's really up to each establishment.
When I made the reservations at El Ideas I asked what to bring. I was told that tap water/ tea would be available and that anything would be acceptable (Two liter and sparkling water). When I made the reservations at Schwa I did not ask because I was so excited they called me back and have no idea what they have.
Fox & Obel has a really good selection of "fancy" sodas -- generally less sweet and with interesting flavors. One brand is called Dry -- their Vanilla is very good (and, again, not terribly sweet) and I think the Cucumber would match well for a variety of courses. For me, though, their Juniper soda ran too close to dish soap to be enjoyable.
Another brand is called Fentimans. They are naturally fermented (to give it carbonation), but that means they have a tiny amount of alcohol present (I think less than 1% but you should check the bottles to be sure).
Like I said, Fox & Obel is usually well stocked with these options but I've also seen them at better gourmet grocery stores elsewhere in the city (Green Grocer in West Town or Olivia's in Wicker Park/Bucktown).