US Cellular Field – Chicago

7 09 2009
  • 333 W. 35th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60616
  • (312) 674-1000
  • Website
US Cellular Field on W. 35th Street in Chicago.

US Cellular Field on W. 35th Street in Chicago.

Most guys use their bachelor party as an excuse to go to a strip club.  Most of my friends fit into that generalization as well.  Strip clubs aren’t really my thing, so when my brother asked what I wanted to do for my bachelor party, I didn’t hesitate and said I wanted to go to a White Sox game. 

US Celluar Field is on West 35th Street on Chicago’s south side.  No one I know actually calls the place US Celluar Field.  Most people refer to it simply as “The Cell.”  The old timers still call it “Comiskey” (the original name was Comiskey Park named after the old park and owner Charles Comiskey).  The Chicago media likes to use the name “US Comiskular” (combining US Cellular and Comiksey).

The “new” Comiskey Park was opened in 1991.  They were a year too early.  New Comiskey was built as the ball park of the future.  It had clean lines.  A symmetrical shape and it was quite sterile.  There was really no character.  One year later, when Camden Yards opened, Comiskey’s futuristic styling was already a thing of the past.  The retro look is what actually took off and every ballpark since then has been designed after the success of Camden….not Comiskey. Read the rest of this entry »





Wings Around The World – Chicago

7 09 2009
  • 510 E. 75th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60616
  • (773) 483-9120
  • Website
  • Menu
Wings Around the World on E. 75th in Chicago.

Wings Around the World on E. 75th in Chicago.

Back in May when J and I got engaged, the first thing out of my brother’s mouth was, “Where do you want to do the Bachelor Party?”  I chose a baseball game.  I knew right away what I wanted to do. 

Like every other time that I go somewhere with a group of people, my goal is to bring as much local flavor to the party as possible.  We decided on pizza for after the game, but we needed some tailgate food.  BBQ was thrown around as was hitting up a bar near the park, but I eventually found a wing joint not too far away that got rave reviews on Yelp.com and Google.  It had been voted best wings in Chicago and I believe I saw the place on a Travel Channel show (although I can’t remember which one).

Wings Around the World is on 75th Street at South Eberhart Avenue.  It’s strictly a carry-out place with a small store front along the commercial district in this particular neighborhood.  My brother called on Friday to see if we needed to pre-order since we were putting in a pretty large order.  The guy he talked to said no, just call right at noon when they open. 

I was already at J’s parents, so the van of guys picked me up a little after noon in the south suburbs.  Bad news whenI got in the car.  My buddy K had been calling non-stop since noon and there was no answer.  I grabbed my brother’s Iphone and started looking for a backup plan.  Read the rest of this entry »





Honky Tonk BBQ – Chicago

16 06 2009
  • 1213 W. 18th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60608
  • (312) 226-7427
  • Website
  • Menu
Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicagos Pilsen neighborhood.

Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

Since we were in the wedding planning mood, J and I decided to practice for our honeymoon by going out for BBQ….guess where we’re going for the honeymoon 😉 )  Last week, I put a post on Chow.com asking for a good place to eat before a White Sox game.  One of the places suggested was a BBQ place a few miles north of The Cell.  Unfortunately, the game is at 3:00 but the restaurant doesn’t open until four.  I showed the website to J and she suggested we go for dinner one night.

Honky Tonk BBQ is on 18th Street near Racine Avenue in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.  We happened to luck out and the one parking meter directly in front of the restaurant was open, so we pulled in and fed the meter.  The restaurant is in a very unassuming building that looks like it’s the back side of the grocery store on the corner.  The door looks more like a service door than the main entrance, but the address was right and there was an “open” sign lighted in a window, so we assumed the door was right.  The steps up are pretty steep and the last step is a doozy if you’re not paying attention.

The restaurant is divided into two rooms.  There’s a few tables and a take out window when you walk in.  To the left right is another dining room that is a little bit larger with more tables.  We weren’t quite sure of procedure.  I went to the window and picked up a paper menu, but J noticed the menus on the table.  Someone in the kitchen told us to take a seat and a waitress would be right with us. Read the rest of this entry »





Rosie’s Drive-In – Oak Lawn, IL

15 06 2009
  • 10235 S. Cicero Avenue
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60453
  • (708) 636-7717
  • Website
  • Menu
Rosies Drive-In on South Cicero in Oak Lawn, IL

Rosie's Drive-In on South Cicero in Oak Lawn, IL

I’ve been in the Chicago area for three days now.  I’ve had two pizzas, but no Italian beef.  J and her mom got up to go do some wedding planning that I didn’t need to be there for, so I slept in.  When I got up, I was hungry.  I wanted an Italian beef…..bad.   J’s parents have recommended a little place just around the corner.  They have Italian beef and it was close, so that’s where I went.

Rosie’s Drive-In is on South Cicero Street at 103rd in Oak Lawn.  It’s not a Drive-In in the traditional sense.  There are no speakers in the parking lot and no car hops.  It is a small building that does most of it’s business with carry-out and drive thru. 

Since I hate drive thrus, I chose to park my car and go inside.  To my surprise, there was seating inside the building.  I didn’t think it looked very big from the outside, but there are a handful of tables so you can actually sit an eat.  Since J’s parents live right around the corner, I chose to take my sandwich with me.  Read the rest of this entry »





Soldier Field – Chicago

14 06 2009
  • 425 E. McFetridge Drive
  • Chicago, IL 60605
  • (312) 235-7000
  • Website
The entrance to Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, in Chicago

The entrance to Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, in Chicago

I’m not a huge football fan.  At least not the pro game, so I don’t go to a lot of games.  I have been to one game at the “New” Soldier Field and one game at the “Old” Soldier Field.  I’ve almost seen more concerts at the venue than I have football.  Still, being a Chicago sports fan, I could write a whole blog just on the look of the building.  I’m not one of those people that think sports teams need to stay in a building because of it’s “historical” significance (I’m looking at you drunk frat boys on the northside).  As a fan, I like to be comfortable if I’m paying top dollar to see a sporting event and most of all, I want to see the show.  After having seen games at both the old and new configurations of Soldier Field, I can tell you, the new one blows the old one away.  Still, it’s an eyesore in a beautiful Chicago skyline.

Soldier Field from the 18th Street pedestrian bridge in Chicago

Soldier Field from the 18th Street pedestrian bridge in Chicago

Soldier Field is located just off of Lakeshore Drive on the south side of Chicago’s downtown.  Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was very vocal about keeping the Bears in Chicago, but there’s was no place to really put a new stadium.  The historical society was adamant about not letting Soldier Field being torn down.  Since historic preservation laws only prevent the exterior from being destroyed, the designers on the new Soldier Field gutted the place and landed a spaceship on top of the existing stone structure.  Technically, the old walls and columns that defined the building are still there, but they are overshadowed by the monstrosity that was set on top of it.  From a visual standpoint, it’s the ugliest sports stadium in the country.  The historic designation was eventually stripped and Chicago was left with a pimple on the supermodel-like face that is the skyline. 

The inside of the stadium is a much different story.  I remember the old Soldier Field as being archaic and uncomfortable.  If you sat in the end zone, you felt like you were a mile away from the action.  It was cold, uninviting, and uncomfortable.  While the new stadium look awful, it is a much more enjoyable place to watch a game or see a show.  Read the rest of this entry »





Grace O’Malley’s – Chicago

14 06 2009
  • 1416 S. Michigan Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60605
  • (312) 588-1800
  • Website
  • Menu
Grace OMalleys on South Michigan Avenue near 14th Street in Chicago.

Grace O'Malley's on South Michigan Avenue near 14th Street in Chicago.

If we’re going to go to a concert in Chicago, you know I’m going to find someplace nearby for a pre-concert meal.  J and I were meeting my brother and his wife near Soldier Field for the Kenny Chesney concert.  Both of us decided to take public transportation due to the horrendous parking around Soldier Field.  My brother took the Metra Electric Line from Univerity Park and J and I took the El Orange Line from Midway.  Both trains have a stop near Roosevelt Street.

From the train stops, Grace O’Malley’s is less than a half mile walk south on Michigan Avenue.  For my brother and his wife, it was a horrible walk.  It was pouring rain.  By the time J and I got off the CTA, the rain had stopped.  I had made 1:45 reservations and had everything been on time, we would have arrived just before the reservation.  Instead, some punks decided they were going to tag our train while it was stopped at the 35th Street Station.  The conductor had to get out and chase them away.  We were sitting in the station for ten minutes while all this went on. 

My brother and sister-in-law got to the restaurant and got our table just as were were turning down Michigan Avenue.  It was a little over a two block walk for us, but we found Grace O’Malley’s on the west side of Michigan Avenue in the middle of the 1400 block.  Read the rest of this entry »





KFC Offers To Fix Potholes

1 04 2009

I thought for sure this was an elaborate April Fool’s joke, but most of the articles I could find on the topic were from last week.

The fast-food chain has sent off a letter to the nation’s mayors, offering to patch their potholes for free. The company will leave behind a stenciled brand on the patch informing people the road has been “Re-Freshed by KFC.”

“In honor of our “Fresh Tastes Best” campaign, we want to come and Re-“Fresh” your roads!” KFC president Roger Eaton says in the letter. “Every patched pothole comes with the Colonel’s very own stamp of approval.”

I find this sad on two levels.  First, it’s sad that these cities can’t do what they’re supposed to do on their own.  This story in the Chicago Tribune says the city was working with a marketing firm already when they found out about KFC’s offer.  Second, it’s really sad that advertising continues to take over our lives.