Sunday early dinner-O'hare accessible-Longman??
My wife and I will be taking a 7:30 pm flight back to L.A. on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We'll be driving in from Bloomington. So there's the option of either going about anywhere early (4pm) and then going to the airport, or just checking in and taking the train back out to somewhere convenientso we can stay somewhere till 6..
I'm leaning toward that latter as it seems like 4pm options are very limited. It looks like Longman & Eagle might be a good fit. It looks good, is near the train, and not many stops from O'hare. It seems like they serve appies all afternoon, so we could get a couple early, then order at 5pm when dinner starts.
My issue is that they don't take ressies. Does anyone know if one could get a table around 4pm on a Sunday? There's a Bear's game that day if that matters and it has TVs. Any other suggestions?
I would not stay in Logan Square (where L&E is) until 6 then take the train to O'Hare for a 7:30 flight on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. You are dealing with one of the busiest airports in the world on one of the heaviest travel days. It is possible you could wait on the platform for a train for 15 minutes, so your 6 pm departure from the restaurant, once you walk to the train and buy a pass if you don't have one, might mean not being on a train until 6:30. It's just not worth it. I'd recommend a late lunch or snacks at your restaurant of choice, get to the airport by 5:30 (5 if dropping off a car), then eating at the airport. I'm especially fond of sandwiches from Rick Bayless' Frontera Fresco, and snacks from Garrett's Popcorn (the Chicago Mix) and Vosges Haut Chocolate.
I agree that there just isn't enough time. It's not only the travel time, for which the above posts outline the problems, but also the extra time it may take to park the car and get through security. The time to get through security will vary, but on one of the busiest travel days of the year, I would plan on walking into the terminal at O'Hare no later than 5:30 for a 7:30 departure. That way even if it takes you an hour to get through security, you should still make your flight. And if you're parking a car, it may take 30 minutes or more to park and get to the terminal; on such a peak day, you should allow for the possibility that the main parking garage is full and you have to park at one of the remote lots, and take a shuttle bus to the terminal. That means arriving in your car at the O'Hare area no later than 5:00. It's possible everything will go smoothly and you wind up with extra time, but it's also possible that such delays would occur, and I assume you absolutely don't want to miss your flight.
I agree with the above post regarding good choices for food at the airport, but you may encounter crowds and long lines at those food places. Incidentally, the Bayless restaurants at O'Hare are called Tortas Frontera, not Frontera Fresco.
You can indeed get lunch or snacks at a restaurant anywhere, including places downtown as well as those along the way. You could go to any of our restaurants that serve a good brunch on Sundays; most such places are very busy up till around 1 pm, but later than that you can often walk right in even if you don't have a reservation. So if you're seated around 2:30-3:00, you could have a leisurely meal, then head for the airport. For example, Jam, the breakfast-focused restaurant in Logan Square, does a great brunch and is open till 3 pm. I also like Lula, mentioned above, which does a nice brunch and is open all day. (FWIW, I'm not a fan of Longman & Eagle, where I had the absolute worst meal I've had in the past five years.) I think it would be easier and save more time by driving to lunch and then going on to the airport, rather than backtracking and depending on the el, which can be very time-consuming, especially on a Sunday when the el trains don't run as frequently.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I forgot to mention that (much to my wife's chagrin) I am a notorious risk taker when it comes to arriving without the largest cushion for flights, including on that day various times over the years. For whatever reason, the United terminal out after 4pm on that Sunday has not been particularly bad. Anyhow though, advice taken, and I can always tweak timing.
Honestly I've done the tortas. Fwiw, I love Frontera Grill and Topo, but the tortas were not that special. Perhpas in part because of the wait and setting, as well as the fact that w live in L.A. where good mexican food abounds. They are great for an aiport though.
If I train back to the airport, I will definitely have already returned the car and totally checked-in. Cognizant of the risk, I'm ok getting to the terminal at 6:20. I was hoping for more than olives/nuts as "bar snacks" at Longman before 5pm, so thats a strike against them. I'm warming up to the serve all-day option, though since we want to max. time with family in B'ton, an't really get to Chicago before 3pm.
It's that 4:00 time that makes it difficult. Ordering at 5, even if you leave at 6 may make your timing a little nerve wracking. The train should get you to O"hare by 6:30, but the unknown could be a problem.
Longman and Eagle is awesome, but their dinner menu starts at 5 pm on Sundays. They do have a limited bar menu from 3-5. Unfortunately their website doesn't show what's on that menu. The same with Telegraph, a very fine wine bar around the corner.
At the same stop, you might consider Lula's cafe which takes reservations and serves all day.
I was at Longman a few weeks back when the kitchen closed midday at 3pm. People walking in were limited to olives, nuts and maybe a cheese plate. Longman doesn't have any tv's, though, so Bears-related traffic shouldn't be an issue.
Yusho might be worth checking out, too. It's a little bit North of Longman but they have a great Sunday noodle special (other menu items are available). I don't know if they accept reservations for non-dinner hours, but I don't think they would be necessary. http://yusho-chicago.com/sunday-noodles/
Or to echo chicgail's suggestion, Lula's is great. The menu is somewhat limited between brunch (ends at 2:30) and then dinner (starts at 6pm), but it's still very tasty.