Chicago – Grand Lux Cafe
It’s the Christmas season and I found myself in Chicago for a one day project management seminar by the David Allen Company. I drove up the night before and did a little sight-seeing before dinner.
I wanted to go to the Purple Pig but the waiting list was too long especially given the Chicago lake front weather (and the outside waiting area) so I resorted to a family favorite and our preferred dish right down the street.
The Grand Lux Cafe (owned by the Cheesecake Factory) is located on the south side of Michigan avenue right above the Ann Taylor store. One thing I love about Chicago (and big cities in general) is how they make use of every available square inch of real estate (out of necessity). You really have to look around or you’ll miss things.
The Grand Lux has several dining areas, one of which is a large round room overlooking Michigan Avenue. It’s the prime place to sit and worth a short wait to experience it.
Since I was dining by myself it was easy to get a spot at the bar. After ordering a 312 (one of my favorite Chicago beers) I quickly glanced at the menu. Since I already knew what I wanted I decided to look for any new additions.
The bartender delivered a large basket of freshly baked multi-grain wheat bread and plenty of butter and I placed my order for the “Shaking Beef” entree.
The Shaking Beef dish contains thinly sliced Beef tenderloin, Red/Green onions, Sauteed with a spicy marinade and Served with steamed rice. The dish, curiously enough, comes with a small ramekin of citrus (lemon?) juice. It’s not listed on the menu but it complements the beef and onions very well.
On this visit the beef was tender and very flavorful and had a nice char on the edges. The green onions were nicely Sautéed as well. The red onions, however, were VERY strong. I like onions so for me to say this tells you something. I could taste the onions 2 hours later even after brushing my teeth.
After the beer, bread and beef i was full. I almost ordered the New Orleans Beignets (they are OUTSTANDING) but that would have pushed me over the edge and into a food coma.
For $29.36 before tip I think that was a solid meal in a city full of great places to eat. I’m glad I had a stand-by place because with the low temperatures and blowing wind I did not have a lot of time to wander around looking for a place to eat.