I hate chain restaurants. Whenever I travel, I do everything I can to steer clear of chain restaurants that are found in every bad suburb in the US. Places like Olive Garden, Chili’s, Applebee’s and Sizzler do not make the list of restaurants I visit. Trying a local restaurant gives you a better feel for the area you are visiting than a heartless chain.
Chicago is home to a restaurant group called Lettuce Entertain You – a restaurant group that operates dozens of establishments in 6 states. There are 32 restaurants in the Chicagoland area and 26 in Chicago proper.
I’ve been a big fan of the Lettuce group – not a chain, as Lettuce has many different restaurants and concepts and isn’t just the same old thing situated in or next to every-mall-USA. I’ve worked with the Lettuce Team the past two years to plan my company’s holiday party and they were great.
For 2013 I have decided to eat at and review every single Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant in Chicago. A couple of rules I have set for myself. I will:
- …not tell my contacts at Lettuce when and where I will be dining. I don’t want any special treatment – no comped food, no reserved seat, no chat with the chef. I want a regular meal that anybody off the street would get.
- …review my immediate meal and compare it to previous meals I’ve eaten at the restaurant.
- …only review a restaurant after I’ve been in 2013 – no reviews based solely on prior visits.
- …not review the same restaurant if it has multiple locations – one and done.
- Big Bowl
- Bub City
- Cafe Ba Ba Reeba!
- Foodlife / Foodease
- Frankie’s 5th Floor Pizzeria
- Frankie’s Scaloppine – 2/7/2013
- Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab
- L. Woods Tap and Pine Lodge – 1/19/2013
- M. Burger – 2/8/2013
- Maggiano’s Little Italy
- Mity Nice – 1/10/2913
- Mon Ami Gabi
- Nacional 27
- Osteria Via Stato
- Paris Club
- Pizzeria Via Stato
- R.J. Grunts
- RPM Italian
- Shaw’s Crab House
- Wow Bao