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Nov 9, 2012 09:20 AM

Upcoming trip to Chicago - Saturday Lunch Rec

Hey. Coming to Chicago this weekend. Looking for a lunch suggestion for this Saturday, preferably on the less expensive side, though it does not necessarily have to be a super cheap eat.

In past trips I've had lunch at Xoco, Portillos, an italian sub from Bari, Frank n Dawgs, a nice lunch at North Pond, too. Went pork-wild at Purple Pig. Found the line at Hot Doug's too long before. Dinners Ive had have been at Takashi, Avenues (under Duffy), Avec, Publican and other places

This time around I have dinner lined up at El Ideas and Acadia. Can't really get that kind of experience in Detroit where Im living right now.

Brunch Sunday will be at Publican. Ive been to Sprout, MHenry and Jam. I actually had a booking for The Bristol but I think I will be going to Publican instead and cancelling The Bristol.

Next time back in December will be sweet ... going to Grace and Alinea.

Anyways, just looking for some good lunch suggestions. FYI I have a car.


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  1. Where in the city will you be that day? Downtown, I'd consider Sable (River North) and Piccolo Sogno Due (River North). Outlying neighborhoods, Mexique (West Town), Mundial Cocina Mestiza (Pilsen), Deleece on Southport (Lakeview). If you enjoy breakfast-focused restaurants like M. Henry and Jam, you could try Southport Grocery (Lakeview) or Bongo Room (South Loop, Wicker Park, and Andersonville).

    1. You've hit some great places on past trips. You obviously know what you are doing! ;->
      Just a few other ideas:
      Tacos at Tierra Caliente or La Chaparrita
      Dim sum at Cai or Lao You Ju
      Brunch at Au Cheval or Perennial Virant

      3 Replies
      1. re: camusman

        Thanks for the recs. I was thinking Au Cheval or Perennial Virant brunch. Dim sum is also a great idea given my fiance is Chinese. We are pretty picky and we are going back home to NYC around Thanksgiving and will almost certainly have some dim sum then but we'd be interested. If you had to pick between Cai or Lao You Ju where would you go?

        1. re: prcentauri

          Not been to Au Cheval for brunch but its in my top 5 anywhere for casual dinner. I assume they lighten up the menu for a brunch as it's really heavy for dinner, but oh so good.

          Since you've been to Takashi, you may want to try his casual noodle spot, Surping Turtle.

          1. re: prcentauri

            Lao You Ju is a new place that is showing promise; I'd give it a shot. Recommended dishes are shumai, tripe, chicken feet, BBQ pork crepes, and chive dumplings. Throw in some dry chili chicken from the regular menu. Maybe not XLB, which is not quite in the same league as what you can get in NY.

        2. If you didn't mind heading a few miles north to Andersonville, I'd suggest Big Jones. Great, charming low country/Coastal food from a really enthusiastic and talented chef. I like visiting during the week and gorging myself on their Boarding House Lunch, but the weekend brunch menu is still solid:

          8 Replies
          1. re: danimalarkey

            I was tempted by that place as well but I'm not sure I wanna drive to Edgewater after having just arrived from Detroit.

            1. re: prcentauri

              Where will you be staying when you arrive, so we can have an idea of which places might be conveniently close and which might be too far to drive?

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Near n Michigan ave and Chicago ave

                1. re: prcentauri

                  Here are two choices within a block or two of there and not yet mentioned. Bar Toma is a new, trendy, "neighborhoody" Italian/pizza/barfood place from Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia. And there's always Pizano's, on State, for our delicious local specialty, deep-dish pizza.

                  The previously-recommended Sable is about a ten-minute walk from there, and Piccolo Sogno Due and Slurping Turtle are about a 15-minute walk.

              2. re: prcentauri

                If you've already driven ~300 miles, what's another 8! :D

                That's a very fair point and maybe keep Big Jones in mind for your next visit. They really are great and their approach to updating and refining versions of Southern classics isn't common (not that I've seen -- I could be wrong).

                1. re: danimalarkey

                  I had brunch at Big Jones a few years ago and liked it a lot.

                  Do they still have beignets? I remember enjoying theirs, but I don't see them on their current brunch menu.

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    I was there about three months ago and they served complementary beignets at the start of our brunch, kind of like their version of bread service. They were quite good.

                    1. re: Gonzo70

                      ...the beignets were the highlight of Big Jones. :-)


            2. Ended up going to:

              Lunch - Hot Doug's
              Snack - Floriole
              Dinner - El Ideas

              Breakfast - La Fournette
              Brunch - The Publican
              Dinner - Acadia

              Thanks again for the ideas. I'll probably end up incorporating them into my trip in December!