Cool downtown eateries: one guy’s review
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 17:08
For my first review of local eateries, I’ve decided to take on the dichotomy of the dining experience around the loop; fast paced and filling versus reservations and a waiter. I’ve taken this step not knowing exactly where our student body stands with dining etiquette in and around downtown, but as for me, I’m prone to large portions at low prices and in the proper environment for complete inhalation, so I’ll start with that.
Through my time at Roosevelt, when I’ve been completely depleted of energy and enthusiasm, I’ll saunter slowly under the el tracks down Wabash to a joint at 24 E. Adams St. by the name of Haifa Cafe. This small, Mediterranean and middle eastern lunch line cafe doesn’t limit itself to the standard gyro and falafel, but bears all the essentials to a full balanced, colorful arrangement of tabouleh, chicken shawerma, turkey, kabobs and various oil and cucumber based salads.
The seemingly endless list of lunch and dinner specials is overwhelming, but minding the fact that nothing will run you over $7.99 for an entree and two sides should put you at ease (and eventually into a satisfied stupor). They do breakfast too, with fresh juice, coffee and tea. Student discounts run at 10 percent and with a group of 5+ you’ll receive an extra $1.50 off.
Now I’m going to mention City Winery at 1200 W. Randolph Street because it’s new, close to downtown and hosts various music and comedy shows. The food and drink prices are really no place for anyone in the vise of college living expenses, but ideal if you’re really looking to strut your stuff and lay down a few bills-- or if mom and dad want to take you out (where you’re still free to strut your stuff). I became aware of City Winery because I noticed their hosting Lewis Black for four straight nights in a row. Those tickets ran at about fifty dollars a pop, but the setting (as I have just recently experienced) is intimate and worth it. I was stopped by the winery to see a Motown legend and I was warmly and cordially greeted (as opposed to herded through security and prompted to strap on a “21+” manacle)
I was then led to a reserved seat at a communal table. I joined kind strangers and ordered fries at around $12. The stage could not be more than 5 feet from the floor and it was definitely more of a lounge setting than any concert hall.
Where do you love to chow-down on the Magnificent Mile? Tweet and give your own review with @RUTORCH on Twitter.