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Back for a visit -- new places to try?

Hi Chowhounds,

Former Chicago resident (left in 2008) who will be back for a vacation over the holidays. I'll be visiting some of my old favorites - Hot Doug's (straight from ORD since he closes the 23rd!), Pequod's/Burts, Publican/Blackbird/Avec, Irazu (Oatmeal-Mamey shake!), Sultan's - as well as trying some places I never got around to when I lived here (Calumet Fisheries, Al's Beef), but I'd like to fit in a couple new places (meals, snacks & beverages) as well. I'll be splurging on Alinea, so I'd like to keep the rest of my dining choices $-$$ish.

Currently considering:
Fat Rice
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Longman & Eagle (& Sunday Donut shop?)
Au Cheval
Hoosier Mama Pie Co.

What do you think of these options, and/or are there any other new-ish places that you'd consider must-eats?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. You didn't say where you are staying. Most of the places you named (except Au Cheval) are in Logan Square or thereabouts.

    Fat Rice - also high on my list, but I haven't gotten in! Even on Tuesday at 6 pm. Very hot. Very small. No reservations. Be there by 5:30 when they open. Or be prepared to to hang around and wait.

    Honey Butter - good chicken. Looks like a bbq joint with picnic tables and benches.

    L&E - one of my faves. Also no reservations and this time of year, they can't even use the patio seating. You might want to consider going for brunch. They serve every day. Or just be prepared to hand out at the bar for a while.

    Hoosier Mama pies are awesome. I've only bought them at the Green City Farmers Market and brought them home. I've not been to their cafe, but I've heard great things about it.

    Au Cheval is also very good twists on comfort food on the West Randolph restaurant row.

    Enjoy Alinea. And them all.

    1. Honey Butter is a favorite of mine and I think is well worth a visit. They recently added lunch hours, too, so that may affect how/when you fit them into your schedule:
      Lunch:
      Wednesday - Sunday 11am-2pm
      Dinner:
      Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 5pm-9pm
      Friday and Saturday 5pm - 10pm
      CLOSED MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS

      For pies, I love, love, love Bang Bang (also in the Logan Square-ish neighborhood). They have a much larger area for sitting than Hoosier Mama though they may offer fewer 'by the slice' options.

      1. Publican Quality Meats - esp for lunch
        Girl & the Goat - I am guessing you might want to do an early or late dinner @ the bar
        Purple Pig - go at off hours to avoid a line

        1. Thanks for the tips!! Looks like I may be doing a lot of waiting. I'll have to remember to bring extra layers for standing idly outside now that I have a weak California disposition :)

          @kathryn Yes to Publican Quality Meats. Definitely hoping to fit one lunch in there. I would love to try Girl and the Goat too if time (and wallet) allows.

          @danimalarkey Will have to try HBFC. Bang Bang looks great!

          @chicgail - I'll be hopping around a bit, staying a few nights in Logan Square, Wicker Park, Gold Coast and Pilsen. I'll also have access to a car for part of the time, so I'm willing to travel.

          1. Two for Pilsen:

            Nightwood, generally terrific
            http://nightwoodrestaurant.com/

            & Dusek's (haven't been yet but it's owned by the people behind Longman & Eagle
            )http://dusekschicago.com/news/