[an error occurred while processing this directive] Mark's Chicago Trip Restaurant Reviews

Chicago Vicinity Restaurant Reviews

Key to Ratings

Recent SF Bay Area Dining Club Outings

Chicago Vicinity Restaurants

I dined at these places when visiting my parents or grandparents. Most are substantially north-west of the city. The majority of these outings were selected either by my parents, who have fairly adventurous palates, or by my grandparents, who do not. This list is not in any particular order.

Whose Recommendation?
Review and Comments
ParentsSolid deep dish pizza. We had one with pepperoni that had been kept under the broiler so long the pepperonis became blackened and acquired a slightly grilled flavor. It worked well. The atmosphere is pub-ish.
ParentsA comprehensive Jewish deli, with dozens of feet of counters featuring traditional Jewish fare to more novel items like chocolate-covered matzoh. We split an order of potato pancakes (with sour cream and/or apple sauce), chopped liver on a bagel, and pastrami on rye. All were very good. The potato pancakes were the traditional size, not the thin ones that some places make nor the hamburger-sized monstrosities confused cooks make. The chopped liver was good and rich and exactly what it should be, I couldn't stop eating despite being stuffed. I finished it all. The bagel on which we piled it was quality as well. And the sandwich was traditional, overloaded with lots of thinly-sliced, warm, meaty pastrami goodness. It quickly disappeared. This place also provides a basket of assorted breads and a bowl of sliced (!) pickles to each table. The latter weren't very good, and was probably the only negative to the whole experience.
Hackney's (Wheeling location)American
GrandparentsAll I can remember is a burger so overcooked it was inedible. And since I eat everything, that's saying a lot. I grabbed some food from my parents' plates and that was a little better but still doesn't make up for the burger.
Cafe FourteenDiner
GrandparentsA diner with friendly waitresses who remember their customers. Has an amazingly cheap three-course option. The appetizer salads are so large, one could stop eating then and take the rest of the meal home for leftovers. Yes, everyone winds up with lots of leftovers. Although the chicken parmesan I had was fairly tasteless, the food I stole from my parents' plates (a fish dish and a pasta dish) was better, making this a fairly respectable diner. And the selection of quality desserts in the glass case -you get one with your dinner- is commendable, unmatched by nearly every restaurant to which I've been.
Russian Tea TimeRussian
MineAll I can remember from my visit in 2005 is a classic beef stroganoff, nicely creamy and with good quality meat. Well executed. We also had quite buttery pirogies (technically "dumpling combination" as listed on the menu). And, according to the receipt, we also had some form of meatballs. The restaurant is fairly fancy.
Pita InnMiddle Eastern
ParentsI went here when it wasn't even a proper meal time and I wasn't that hungry. It's a simple counter joint. I had a "lamburger." Served as three patties in a pita, it was so tender and delicious I had to have another.

Key to Ratings

Ratings are on a scale of 1 (worst) to 4 (best). Ratings are based primarily on the quality of the food, but value (price) factors in also. In detail, In other words, 4s are places you would rave about; 3s are places you'd be happy with if a friend suggested it or you might suggest it yourself; 2s and below are places where you'd offer better suggestions if someone proposed going there.

Occasionally ratings have a plus (+); or a minus (-). This is a modifier to show how the restaurant compares with others of a similar numerical value.

Key to Reviews

I write all the reviews. I take full responsibility for the bad writing you'll see here. The opinions are also mine solely, though the reviews do attempt to reflect those of other people that also went to the restaurant. If you disagree, I'm sorry. That's why the reviews are on a wiki page. Add some comments expressing your own opinion.

Copyright © 2006 Mark Pearson. Contact me: e-mail my first initial followed by my last name AT cs.stanford.edu.