Sports Weekend in Chicago Need Rec's
Taking a sports themed weekend in Chicago in September with my father in law. Cubs on Friday afternoon, Notre Dame/Michigan on Saturday night, and the Bears/Rams before flying back to NY.
We only get one night in the city, so I would really appreciate any Recs for the following.
1. My Father in Law loves streakhouses, a great steakhouse, preferably not a chain, that is classic Chicago, (E.G. Your version of Peter Lugers) for Friday night.
2. A quick lunch near Wrigley, have seen endless profiles of Hot Dougs, looks close on map, is it worth hype?
3. Saturday is night game, so we have the morning/early afternoon in the City, a good brunch or early lunch spot.
Sunday we will probably just eat at the hotel pre-game, unless you have better ideas.
We are staying at the Best Western Grant Park and plan to walk to Soldier Field.
As far as cuisine, I like everything but with my father in law, it's the basic stuff, Steakhouse, Burgers, Delis, etc., , also Chinese Food.
Thanks in advance.
For steaks, we don't have an equivalent to Peter Luger's (a place that's been around forever and still has the best steaks in town, by consensus). If you want the very best steaks, I'd go with David Burke's Primehouse or Chicago Cut Steakhouse. If you want the old-time atmosphere, you could go to Gene and Georgetti's, but the steaks are better at Burke's or Chicago Cut.
For the quick lunch near Wrigley, if you enjoy creative brunch-type food, I recommend Southport Grocery and Cafe. Bread pudding pancakes! If you prefer lunch-type food, I like Deleece on Southport. Both are a ten-minute walk from the ballpark. I agree with Gonzo that Hot Doug's is not a good idea.
For Saturday lunch/brunch, we have great contemporary Mexican restaurants that you can't find back home. Frontera Grill is in the heart of River North, but they only accept a handful of reservations, and without one, waits for a table at Saturday brunch are typically 90+ minutes; you can avoid the wait by arriving 15-20 minutes before they open the doors (at 10:30 on Saturdays). If you don't mind taking public transit (or a taxi) to a place a few miles away, consider having brunch at Mexique or Mundial Cocina Mestiza; reservations are easy at both places, either by phone or at Opentable.
For breakfast/brunch on Sunday (or Saturday), we have a unique breakfast-focused place just around the block from your hotel. It's called Bongo Room, at Roosevelt (12th) and Wabash. They specialize in creative pancakes, such as pretzel pancakes with white chocolate caramel sauce. Their standard portion consists of three GIGANTIC pancakes, but you can also order a one-third or two-thirds portion size at reduced prices, so you can try different dishes. They get busy on weekends; you can walk right in when they open at 9:00, but by 9:30 you can expect waits of 30-60 minutes.
You haven't mentioned our local specialty, deep-dish pizza, which is delicious and totally unlike anything you can get in NYC. Lou Malnati's is at 8th and State, a five-minute walk from your hotel. Deep-dish takes 30-40 minutes to bake, but to avoid waiting while seated, you can call ahead with your pizza order so it's ready shortly after you arrive.
Have a great visit!
Just an FYI about Hot Doug's it is not all that close to Wrigley (it is more than two miles away) and lines are often over an hour long - so would not fit the bill for a quick lunch near Wrigley. Goose Island (a local microbrewey) is a short walk from the field and has basics such as burgers, but also some slightly more upscale pub fare. Not the best food, but close to the field and should have something for everybody. There is also an Al's Beef nearby; not my style of food, but some like it.