Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chicago Resturant Deals and Steals

Eating out in Chicago doesn't need to be expensive, especially in these times. There's many restaurants where you can eat on the cheap or even for free. In fact if you go to certain restaurants on the right day you can find yourself a deal.

Here's a big list of restaurants that offer dining deals, happy hour, or buffets around Chicago to save you some money.


Brasserie Joe- Happy hour 5-7pm every Tuesday
59 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60610

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The Buzz- Free buffet from 5-6pm with free salsa lessons from 6:30-7:30pm
308 W Erie St Bsmt
Chicago, IL 60610

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Golden Buddha Chinese Restaurant- Don't be put off by entering through a lobby of an office building as they offer free appetizers every Friday evening.

312 W Randolph St Chicago, IL 60606

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Mezito Latin Bistro and Wine Bar- Free tapas on Tuesday from 5-10pm

710 N Wells St,
Chicago, IL

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Big Chicks- This popular GLBT spot in Uptown offers a free full Sunday brunch buffet from 3-4pm. Salad, pasta, sandwiches, and deserts are included.

5024 N Sheridan Rd,
Chicago, IL

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Celtic Crown-
Free pizza 5-8pm on Fridays

4301 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

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Franks'- Free food on St Patrick's Day and Fat Tuesday

2503 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

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Full Shilling Pub- This Wrigleyville bar offers free food Fridays 5-7pm during Cubs games

3724 N Clark St,
Chicago, IL

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Clybar- Free pizzas from 5-8pm on Fridays

2417 N Clybourn Ave,
Chicago, IL

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McGee's Tavern and Grille- Free pizza at Midnight on Fridays

950 W Webster Ave,
Chicago, IL

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North End- This Lakeview sports bar has Sunday buffets during Bears season. GLBT

3733 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60613

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Sedgwicks- Free Friday buffet at 10:30pm Saturdays around midnight.
1935 N Sedgwick St
Chicago, IL 60614

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West Side

Cleo's- You can get your late night free food fix with free appetizers Saturday 11-1:00 am at this Ukrainian Village spot

1935 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

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The Map Room
1949 N Hoyne Ave
(between Homer St & Armitage Ave)
Chicago, IL 60647

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International night, 2 drink minimum strictly enforced on Tuesday night. Local from around the world chefs gather at this Bucktown spot to cook ethnic dishes from their country.

Free samples around town

Fox and Obel- Offers free samples of food everyday, free wine samplings Thursday and Friday evenings from 5-8pm and Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm

Godiva Chocolates- Free samples on weekend (double check website to see upcoming offers)

Trader Joes- Free samples offered everyday

Whole Foods- Samples offered weekend afternoons

Happy Hours

Cucina Paradiso

814 North Blvd
Oak Park, IL 60301

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Half price wine bottles every Monday and $5 signature martinis every Wednesday
Enjoy $3 appetizers at the bar only Tuesday

Cafe Selmarie

4729 N Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

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Enjoy a three-course meal for only $20 every Thursday Night at Cafe Selmarie. 4pm until closing.

Sushi X

543 W Diversey Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

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Half price on all sushi rolls Sunday through Wednesday from 5:00pm - 7:00pm.

Mirabell Restaurant & Lounge

3454 W Addison St
Chicago, IL 60618

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Drink specials Monday thru Thursday

Va Pensiero

1566 Oak Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Turquoise Cafe Review

2147 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60618

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Short Review:
My new neighborhood favorite. This is a great neighborhood spot for some good Turkish food in a nice dining atmosphere in a great area.

Long Review:

Just got back from a good spot in Roscoe Village for with a laid back Mediterranean cafe feel to it- Turquoise Cafe. This place is a neighborhood favorite based on how quickly it filled up by 7pm on a cold Monday night- during a very bad recession too.

The atmosphere is my one of favorite types of atmospheres- small, intimate, low lighting, white table, clothes, framed art on the wall, large selection of wine and champagne stocked behind the bar, and lots of full tables with happy people talking and laughing. It already got two points by the time I walked up the hosts booth. Most of the waitstaff is Turkish which makes it very authentic. It has a nice Euro/ Mediterranean vibe about it. On to the food.

They menu is mainly focused on Turkish dishes but there are some Italian and Greek dishes on there also. It has a very nice selection of Mediterranean fare.

We started out with mussels steamed in wine. They were so good I could have made a meal out of them on their own.
Despite being at a (mostly) Turkish restaurant I decided to go a little Italian tonight and order the Osso Buco. It was very good and came with Polenta with shaved Parmesan cheese.

My dining companion had Rack of Lamb. The lamb was just as good- if not better than lamb I've had in Greektown. And the roasted vegetables which came with the dish, delish! I ate what she couldn't finish and was grateful for it.

Unfortunately, I didn't have desert since we were full but we will definitely be back soon as this is now my favorite spot in Roscoe Village. Too bad I came in the Fall, I would have liked to sit outdoors and dine al fresco.

4.5 out of 5 stars

BTW, our tab came out to about $50 for the two of use for dinner so while I wouldn't put it in the expensive category it may be a place to save for special occasions in this economy but definitely worth the visit for any occasion.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Greek Islands' Review

200 S Halsted St
(between Adams St & Quincy St)
Chicago, IL 60661

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There are so many good places to go for Greek food in Greektown but after multiple visits to the one in Oak Brook and Chicago the Greek Islands is one of the better Greek restaurants in Chicago. Plus, there is free valet parking.

Went for lunch to Greek Island's because they get extremely busy during the diner rush hours and strolled in for some authentic Greek eats. The place was busy despite my plans to avoid the crowds. I was half expecting that though.

When we got a table and they must have a wait staff of 50 people or more. You'll find both family-style and individual catered plates on the menu. Tons of appetizers and main course selections.

We opted out of the flaming Saganaki and the accompanying "Opah!". They were going off all around us and we weren't impressed by the pyrotechnics anymore. But at $5.50 it is a deal and a sight to see if you have never been or have out-of-towners.

Their Avgolemeno soup (lemon soup) was thick 'n creamy - texture-wise, just the way I like it, however it was a bit bland on that day and not full of the explosive lemon flavor I'm use to. The Gyros was a plate-full. I always order the lamb, that's one of meats of Greece.

It is usually tender and juicy, this time it was good as usual. It comes with garlic roasted potatoes which are very good.

All and all a nice meal at Greek Islands was had. But the only thing which takes away from the experience is the rushed service. The servers tend to bring out entrees when your finishing up your appetizer. They may be trying to hurry people in and out or there may be too many servers hovering around each table.

Nonetheless, if you want some pretty good Greek in a busy restaurant close to the hussle and bussle of Downtown than Greek Island's is the place.

Overall rating 3.5 out 5