What you should have seen in Chicago
20 June, 2012
Industry icon Ian Neill is a regular visitor to the NRA show in Chicago—but he’s not one to stick to the tried and tested restaurant route when searching out fun and exciting places to eat out. Here’s his top five tips for where you perhaps should go the next time in town—if you missed them this time around.
1) Hot Doug’s
Styled as The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium. Hot dogs and sausage are the name of the game here and they are great. Located in unassuming corner premises in the aspirational and arty Logan Square area, they have lines out the door. The charming Doug mans the counter making sure you get your “encased meats” just the way you want them. www.hotdougs.com.
A yakitori restaurant. The door is open, the grill is hot! Unique in that Yusho is bringing great design and style to the same aspirational area, as Hot Doug’s of Logan Square. It’s the place to be for cool grilled stuff. www.yusho-chicago.com.
There are many cool burger bars in Chicago, however DMK located north of Lincoln Park is one of the coolest. The burgers are good, but the exciting thing about DMK is the way it “smudges” the line between bar and restaurant. It can be whatever you need it to be. www.dmkburgerbar.com.
4) Tortas Fronterra
A wonderful innovation at O’Hare Airport from the ever creative Chicago doyen of Mexican food Rick Bayless. Primarily serving tortas (griddled Mexican sandwiches) and molletes (open-faced sandwiches) with an imaginative variety of fillings. Huge commitment to provenance with extensive listing of suppliers. www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/tortas.
5) Cantina Laredo
A large and impressive downtown location bringing a wonderful south western flavour to the streets of Chicago. I think this is Cantina Laredo’s first in Chicago and plants a significant flag in the ground for authentic Mexican cooking in the Midwest. www.cantinalaredo.com.
Ian is former chairman and ceo of Wagamama and now chairs both Peach Factory and Las Iguanas, as well as being a non-exec with Jamie’s Italian.
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