This year my firm’s annual practice advancement conference (Signator PAC) was in Chicago.  Because neither Heather nor I had ever been to the city, we took advantage of the opportunity to get away and explore! As some of our readers know, Chicago is a foodie town so we went with plenty of recommendations on places to eat. Here are some of the best places we discovered:


1) Portillo's - We were told was a great lunch spot that offered the Chicago classics.  I don't think we even talked while we were eating except for saying "Wow" over and over!  Everything was amazing.  This is where we got our first Chicago Style hot dog - which surprised us to be very tasty!  We didn't quite know what to think when we saw a tomato, pickle, peppers and relish on a hot dog but we enjoyed it!  Also, while at Portillo's we shared the Italian Beef Sandwich with Hot Peppers....absolutely delicious.  Best roast beef sandwich we have ever had.  We saw where the sandwiches can be shipped to your house and we are strongly considering this because we don't know if we can wait until our next trip to Chicago!


2) Gibson's - We were looking for a nice steakhouse to have dinner one of the nights we were in the city and Gibson's was highly recommended to us by 5 people. The restaurant is highly sought after so we highly recommend getting a reservation.  We were lucky for a cancellation and were able to be fit in for a late dinner.  We went there on our last night in Chicago and as we were walking in it felt like we just stepped back in time to the 1920s.  There was a gentleman playing the piano in the bar with everyone standing around him singing.  The atmosphere is very classic with white table clothes and all the smells of a wonderful steakhouse floating in the air.  The wine list is very impressive with many selections.  We shared the Crabmeat and Avocado appetizer which was pretty underwhelming but good.  We did get a salad course (Heather’s favorite: wedge salad!). Because of the size of the steaks, we shared W.R.'s Chicago Cut steak as our entrée- cooked perfectly. We accompanied our steak with the double baked potato and the brussels sprouts that are cooked with bacon and maple bourbon butter.  To finish our meal, we enjoyed the Texas pecan pie with vanilla ice cream which was absolutely delicious and worth the trip.  It is worth going to Gibson's just for the desserts and to see the generous slices of cake and pie that they bring to your table.  This was seriously one of the best steakhouse meals that we have ever had.


3) Lastly, we had to relish in some of the Chicago style pizza! When you travel to Chicago, the Italian influences are very apparent.  The pizza is one of those influences and it did not disappoint.  There are plenty of pizza parlors for you to try the trademarked deep dish pizza.  We decided on Lou Malnati's Pizzeria that was about a mile away from our hotel.  We ordered the Malnati Salad and the Malnati Chicago Classic Deep Dish pizza.  All of which completely satisfied our Chicago pizza craving.  One thing we quickly noticed is that the locals preferred one of three pizzerias: Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Gino’s. I doubt you can go wrong at any of them.


As I stated before, we had a great time in Chicago.  It is an amazing city with lots to offer anyone who decides to visit.  We cannot wait to visit in the future and enjoy all of these foods again!