Special Report | May 2013 | By Laurel Nakkas

2013 NRA Show Guide

Page 8
Restaurant operators learn valuable tips at restaurant industry's largest show.
National Restaurant Association

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Chicago Dine-out Guide

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Smoque BBQ

3800 N. Pulaski Rd.

Distance from McCormick Place: 10.5 miles

With mentions in the New York Times, Gourmet, Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and on the Food Network—as well as having received Michelin Bib Gourmand awards for good food at a good value—Smoque BBQ is a must-try for any barbecue fan visiting Chicago.

Smoque BBQ offers pulled pork topped with a peppery sauce; tender Texas-style brisket, ribs, chicken, and sausage; and, as any good BBQ establishment should have, sides including mac and cheese, cornbread, brisket chili, coleslaw, and BBQ beans. Smoque BBQ is open every day except Monday.

Portillo’s Hot Dogs

100 W. Ontario St.

Distance from McCormick Place: 3.9 miles

Portillo’s started off as a simple hot dog stand in 1963. Fifty years later, this authentic and long-loved Chicago-area quick-service chain has grown to more than 30 restaurants in Illinois, with units in California and Arizona, as well.

Portillo’s menu includes hot dogs and chili dogs (without ketchup, as Chicagoans would have it), burgers, salads, award-winning ribs, and Italian beef. Portillo’s chocolate cake is another item that’s received a lot of attention, as it’s sure to satisfy any diner’s sweet tooth.

Gene’s Sausage Shop

4750 N. Lincoln Ave.

Distance from McCormick Place: 11.5 miles

Gene’s Sausage Shop is a butcher’s shop, grocery store, bar, and rooftop garden, all in one. This 40-plus-year-old European market features more than 30 varieties of sausages prepared in a full-service butcher’s shop, with choices such as Polish, Alpine, and Kabanosy sausage and Smoked Rib Belly.

If sausage isn’t your thing, shop for European groceries or enjoy imported and domestic beer or wine at a picnic table on the rooftop garden. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays and to 8 p.m. every other day.

Little Goat

820 W. Randolph St.

Distance from McCormick Place: 4.2 miles

“Top Chef” winner Stephanie Izard is well known in Chicago for her restaurant Girl & The Goat. Izard opened two additional casual concepts in late 2012, modeled after the first: Little Goat Diner and Little Goat Bread.

At Little Goat Bread, expect to find bread of all sorts in bagels, sandwiches, pastries, or on their own. Next door at Little Goat Diner, Izard serves up breakfast specials like Biscuits and Gravy, along with sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups, dinner specials, and desserts.

Restaurant operators learn valuable tips at restaurant industry's largest show.

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