I love Chicago for a lot of things and one of the things I love best is the food. I mean lust look at me and you can see why. Also, Maria and Dan are always eating, having a beer, or drinking coffee so I need to do quite a bit of research. When we visit we hit many good places and this year it seemed like we were eating on Clark street everyday. I'll talk about a few of them here.
Starting out with the last place we went to is the Goose Island Brew Pub on Clark, less than a block from Wrigley Field. Visit them at http://www.gooseisland.com/ When I eat there I like the Stilton Burger which is a half pound of pepper crusted beef covered in roasted garlic and Stilton cheese and served on a pumpernickel roll. Make sure you try the fried pickles too and a nice cold Rye PA. Goose Island is a favorite of the Hart family as well and Maria and Dan celebrated their fifteenth wedding anniversary upstairs in a private party room.
Another cool place is way up north in Andersonville called Hamburger Mary's. Their site is http://www.hamburgermarys.net/ This place is full of kitsch. I had the Blue Boy Burger. We ate outside and watched the people go by so we didn't get the full effect. Inside there are some great old movie star pictures. Overall very nice.
Down closer to the city, and right across the street from where the Saint Valentine's Day massacre occurred is the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Restaurant. This is the place Rachel Ray features on TV and we had to wait an hour and a half for tables as a result. Their web site is http://www.chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com/I had a sausage oven grinder which was delicious and a pizza pot pie which is a deep dish pizza cooked upside down, then flipped onto your plate. Very good.
We didn't eat here but just down the street from Hamburger Mary's is the Hopleaf Bar. http://www.hopleaf.com/ They literally have hundreds of beers available and they specialize in Belgians. Very crowded at night.
Not on Clark was the Grafton. http://www.thegrafton.com/ There it was the Grafton burger with bacon and blue cheese. Another half pound of heaven.
Also not on Clark is the Chicago Bauhaus on North Lincoln. http://www.chicagobrauhaus.com/ Try the bratwurst with red cabbage as a side. Good old world flavor and charm.