Join Me In The Windy City

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Last week a DDF member invited me (and several other guys) to join him in an SPG suite at the Yankees/Cubs game in Wrigley Field that he won in a Starpoints auction.

I’m way behind in writing trip reports, but I’ll give the gist of this one quickly. I burned some miles (gotta love short-haul Avios awards!) and took a day trip to Chicago for my first visit to The Friendly Confines.  Had breakfast with my grandparents in Northbrook and then it was off to meetup with several other mileage fanatics that had flown in for the day from Miami, NYC, and Toronto.

Milt’s is less than a mile from Wrigley Field and we got to dine with Jeff Aeder, Chicagoan of the year, and owner of Milt’s.  Great guy and he’s got his hand in a million different projects at once, but still has time to enjoy an afternoon Cubbies game. Love that!

At that point I’m already involved in 3 of my passions, travel, kosher food, and baseball.  Jeff is involved with a project  called Milt’s Night Out where people can donate tickets to sports games, shows, or concerts, get a tax-deductible receipt, and a family going through any kind of hardship gets a free meal as well as the tickets.

In fact all of the profits from Milt’s are donated to charity, the only kosher restaurant in the world that operates like that as far as I know.

Anyway we got into discussing kosher food (of course) and we talked about Mendel Segal, who (makes a killer BBQ sauce that I hope to be sold on Amazon shortly,) runs the Kansas City Vaad and the annual KC Kosher BBQ competition there that I’ve judged in 2012 and in 2013.

Long story short, Milt’s is hosting the 1st annual Chicago Kosher BBQ Competition and Festival (with advisory help from Mendel) and I’ll be one of the judges.

It will be from 11:30am-4pm this Sunday at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. If the KC BBQ contests are any indication, this one will be lots of fun for all as well.

My taste buds can’t wait.  If you see a bearded 29 year old fellow looking like a stuffed turkey from having judged dozens of plates of smoked chicken, ribs, and brisket come and say hello 😉

And ask me about my flight yesterday from Kansas City to Cleveland where I made a complete fool of myself. You’d think after having flown on 70 some flights with my kids over the past couple years that I’d know every airline regulation down pat.  But a little humility is always a good thing as I learned a new brand new one on that flight.

Guess I’ll just have to write up a trip report triple-header once I get back from Chicago next week.

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43 Comments On "Join Me In The Windy City"

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You’re making my hungry…
What was you bad experence and regulation that YOU didn’t know???


Well, the clue is that it had something to do with kids 😉


I was flying from MIA TO LGA a few weeks ago and they made us check in our city mini double stroller because it was heavier than 20 lbs so we walked holding a baby and a 2 year old all the way to the plane! Is that the regulation you are talking about?


American is notorious for that rule, but that one I’ve heard of before.

I travel with a Chicco carseat attached to an Uppa Baby Vista for Talia and a Cosco Scenera carseat attached to a GoGoBabys for Rafi so that we don’t have that issue.


The suspense is killin me 🙂 what was the reg?!


I’m really thinking about surprising the wife and flying out there. Prob is I’m not finding flights going back… 🙁


There were Avios flights both ways earlier this week,

There’s a first class Avios return flight to EWR, but that’s a 22.5K redemption.

You can use 25K Delta miles for a round trip though.
Or use 7.5K Avios there and 12.5K AMEX transferred to Flying Blue for the return at 7:30pm from ORD to LGA.



Any idea why there is no kosher stand at Wrigley? I was going to go to the afternoon game last week and was quite surprised to find that there is no Kosher food at Wrigley or US Cellular.


It’s not fair to drop a bomb and then leave us all hanging 🙂

Anyway, just to let you know that I am really waiting for all those trip reports. It changes my mood for the day… I like seeing creative ideas and on-the-ball people. Keep up the spirit!


Car seat for baby must be in the window seat?


Jeff actually intended to open a hot dog stand at Wrigley but after too much red tape he abandoned that and opened milt’s!


Getting warmer but that one I know well.


I learned recent that on a small plane that has a row of two seats and a row of single seats, the lap child can only sit with the person sitting on the aisle seat of the double seats. My baby screamed because she wanted to switch from my wife to me and back and the stewardess gave us a hard time about it.


There is no kosher food at Wrigley because every inch of the park is maximized for profits. The kosher stand would have to be closed for about 27-30 games each year due to shabbas and yom tov, occupying space on the concourse. It should be noted 30 games a year is not that much since the Cubs are very makpid to only play on erev shabbas on Fridays.

Of course is also a lot of politics and an SEIU union involved too but trust me I vended food and beer there along with 50 other Orthodox guys from 1998-2005 and we could never arrange this stand.Perhaps, one day. The United Center even has one now for Bulls and Hawks games.


I was just in Northbrook,Il myself. Is there a place to get a Kosher breakfast besides your grandparents place? or any meal?


As for Comiskey or US Cellular Field. I’m assuming Reinsdorf would push back and say they have Best Kosher hot dogs available but that’s a weaker reason.


No 2 lap children in one row? Or no lap child in the side with 2 seats?


Not only that, but on United ERJ-145s there are only a few rows where you can sit with the lap child at all.

But that I learned early on in my travel with kids days.

Taboun just opened there, but that’s not a breakfast place.

Nope. I don’t travel with lap children anymore anyway for safety and for comfort reasons.


@DK: as a seat vendor for over 10+ years at both stadiums its the Chicago way. 3rd biggest city and we still can’t get a kosher food stand. I blame Reinsdorf and Ricketts.


It’s really ironic because chitown has such a great kosher scene but if you want a kosher dog at a ballgame you’ll find one in Cleveland but not Chicago.


@Dan the end of my story was about thirty seconds after takeoff the angry flight attendant gets out of her seat and says to us “Do whatever you need to do to keep that baby quiet”. We were on the connecting flight after a red eye across the country. The baby screamed the whole flight. Not a fun flight.


Yup, FAs will do anything to keep babies quiet.

Our flight home this week was great though, both kids slept for nearly the entire 2.5 hour flight in their car seats!


Waiting for the full trip report on this one 😛

Dan Fan

I was at one event With you last year , i am not racist or anything but I was the only muslim in a jewish crowd, i hope thats not an issue since i am a big fan of yours and willing to come and meet you any where, what do you say Dan? Coming to a synagouge will not be an issue for people how manage the event? By the way you are a great person in person

kosher in chicago

This is a tough town to do business. Corruption galore. Also, no real kosher restaurant downtown , or the Loop. Imagine mid town and downtown Manhattan withno kosher eateries.
Only one breakfast option anywhere, Emma in Skokie.


@Dan:Thanks. Dundee is about 5 minutes away from my mother-in-laws place.


Let’s re-open that popular discussion about whether there should be a dedicated section on a plane for infants, and, whether they should be allowed in business class.


@Dan: 2 and 1/2 hour flight? From Chicago to Cleveland? Our flight from MKE to LGA was 1 hour and 45 minutes. Did the pilot have the meter running or did you take the “scenic route”?


@Dan: Woops. I see Kansas to Cleveland now.


maybe it the regulation that only a car seat is allowed on takeoff not a booster seat.



@Dan Fan:
Won’t be an issue at all, please come over and say hello!
Also I’m assuming it won’t be inside the synagogue but in their parking lot as I’ve never heard of an indoor BBQ competition!

@kosher in chicago:
Listen, you’ve got Milt’s and Shallot’s, 2 world class eateries.
That’s 2 more world class eateries than Miami has!


What about a dedicated section for drunk adults too?

Yup, and it was a prop plane.

Nope, don’t use boosters yet anyway.


Welcome to the Windy City!


If you wanted to watch Professional baseball in da Chi-town you are going to have to go to a White Sox game.


No babies in the “exit row” in F?



I’m well aware of no babies (or anyone under 15) in the exit row, but you’re getting warmer.
All 4 of us actually got upgraded, but I had to call to downgrade 2 of us because there’s just 1 non exit-row of 2 seats in first class on the Q400.


Any of these?
1. that the car seat is required to face forward, even for a baby under a year old. This rule has no safety logic and means that most infant seats, which are designed only to face backwards, cannot be used at all.


2.If you have more than one car seat, you cannot have a person in between them. The two car seats have to be installed next to each other. Perhaps there can be an empty seat between them but another passenger can’t sit between them, not even the parent.



#1 isn’t true. All US airlines allow forward and rear facing car seats.
Some foreign airlines only allow forward facing, but I ran into that issue early on in by baby traveling days:
2. We always just put the carseat by the window.


Will there be free sample? I am on a budget!


You should have made the trip a few days earlier to catch another Indians @ White Sox game


You can not move or switch between cabins while flying in different classes. Even if it’s switching babies between mom and Dad?


So I must have met you Pesach 5759 with your grandfather, uncles and aunts in that “posh” basement shul


@kosher in chicago:
what about the MetroKlub @Crowne Plaza on Madison 11-15 M-TH?


Need to be in Chicago Labor Day Weekend. Any hotel recommendations for Lakeview area?


@dan I’m taking a vacation to isreal in November iyh…do you have any ideas on hotels that are nice (up north and down south) but won’t make me go broke?