Those of you who know my background have probably been wondering why I haven’t posted anything Chicago related when I did go to a university in Illinois. Thinking back on my college years, I realized I rarely had an opportunity to eat in downtown Chicago. If you didn’t know, I studied at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I love and miss my Alma mater. The campus is beautiful and huge. The school sits on the two towns of Urbana and Champaign– that will give you an idea of how big this campus is. It is also home to around 40,000 kids. I remember my Econ lectures would be comprised of 300 kids. But of course, probably less than half would fill up the auditorium. I miss every bit of it- from stepping on crunchy leaves during the fall, even the mushy muddy snow on the quad during the winter.. I know someday I’ll go back for a visit! 🙂
One of the downsides of my 4 year college experience at this university though was the fact that it was 3 hours away from Chicago. The campus is located in Central Illinois, literally in the cornfields. Through the years, I learned to love the rural life. Heck, it actually helped me focus on my studies since I wasn’t exposed to the potential distractions of city life and the temptations that came along with the lifestyle.
I was only able to dine in Chicago’s fine restaurants on special occasions, usually when my family would come visit. Since I wasn’t able to document each visit I had made to the city, I’ll only share my latest experiences. Probably too recent that one of them starts right after my graduation ceremony last May 2010.
Now, this place is actually not in downtown Chicago. It is in one of the suburbs of Chicago. The story: my dad and eldest brother flew in for my graduation. My younger brother who attends the same school has just moved out of his dorm and has filled my apartment with his things. The original plan was for all of us to go back to the suburbs where my uncle lives the next morning to bring back my brother’s things. Dad changes his mind and decides to go back right after the ceremony, have a late dinner so we could avoid paying for a night at one of Champaign’s hotels. The restaurant chosen: Chicago Prime Steakhouse.
If you remember my Peter Luger post, I’ve already shared that I’m not the biggest fan of steak. I’m somewhat of a fan and with that I mean that I eat it but am very picky. We were starving at that point when we got to the restaurant. After a 3 hour or so drive back and having just attended my graduation that afternoon, we were ready to eat just about anything.
ON TO THE FOOD: I will skip all the frills of the place (ok, it was a very classy American type of restaurant- very reminiscent of old Hollywood) and move on to the feasting. Check out their menu here.
Appetizer: Oysters Rockefeller. Cajun Scallops. These were gone in 10 seconds. The scallops were ginormous and juicy.
Entrees: Steak Steak Steak and Ribs
Dad was really craving for some ribs so that’s what he ordered. I have to say that these were one of the best ribs I have ever had. Really juicy and tender with just the right balance of tang and sweet from the sauce. This was definitely slowly cooked to perfection.
The steaks. I ordered the Filet Oscar. My eldest brother had the Steak and Cake. I believe the lil’ bro had the 16 oz. New York Sirloin (judging from the cut and size in the picture).
Steak review: the meats were cooked well. It wasn’t the melt in your mouth sensation that I’ve encountered before but this came pretty close. All the sides that came with the main entrees were also generously seasoned. Overall a good dining experience.
Chicago Prime Steakhouse
1444 E. Algonquin Road