Published by admin on 13 Jan 2012

ROAD FOOD FRIDAYS TOP 25: #9 The Weber Grill – Chicago, IL

So, just imagine that you got 20 or so of your closest friends who are top notch grillers and put them in a big room with the big kahuna of all exhaust systems making food that gives you the best of American grilling.  This is the Weber Grill in Chicago.  As far as the quality of food for the price paid, it just doesn’t get much better than this.  There are only four locations, but the one you want is the State Street location in downtown Chicago.  The Weber has the feel of a local pub, and it has some great happy hour specials from $3 and up M-F from 3-6 PM.  We had great fun in the bar a few years ago when we were in town for a trade show and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.  Great fun after a long day on the convention floor!

What are the best eats at the Weber?  The burgers are good, especially the Wisconsin cheeseburger and the French Onion burger.  But the best eats are the barbequed items.  I recommend the sampler platter which can include either two or three of the following items:  Smoked BBQ Chicken | Black Angus Meatloaf | House Smoked Sausage | Beef Brisket | Weber’s BBQ Ribs | Pulled Pork.  Also good is the half BBQ chicken and the beer can chicken which is a specialty of the house with a closely guarded custom spice.  Steaks, especially the prime rib, are another focus, and everything is cooked on a big batch of indoor Weber grills. The taste is pretty awesome!

I try to go to the Weber Grill every time I am in Chicago, and the food and atmosphere are consistently great.  We went to the Weber Grill the last time in the spring of 2011 when we were there on vacation over Memorial Day weekend.  We took the daughter of our VP and her husband J.D. out for dinner there.  Ann is a fun person, and her husband J.D., with whom we had never really spent much time, was great to get to know.  He has a successful career in marketing, but was a sportscaster in his younger days, and still does a podcast that is available on iTunes about sports, mostly football.  Search for “Twenty Minutes and Two Beers In” on iTunes.  Ann and J.D. were the perfect types of people to take to the Weber.  It’s not a place for serious business meals or really even for families with younger children as it is always fairly crowded, but for couples or singles looking for a fun evening that is not really crazy; it can’t be beat.  Great atmosphere, great food, good times.  It doesn’t get much better than the Weber.

The term “roadfood” is trademarked by Jane and Michael Stern of, and is used by permission.  They are the founders of the roadfood movement.  Check out their books on Amazon, and head out on one of their food tours!

Weber Grill Restaurant



Published by admin on 23 Sep 2011

ROAD FOOD FRIDAYS TOP 25: #15 Portillo’s Hot Dogs


We had a client in Chicago who required that we spend a week on site in the western suburbs doing some work with their staff.  Mary Beth, one of our staff, and I made the trip together.  Mary Beth rarely traveled for the company, and asked me where we were going to eat in Chicagoland.  She mentioned that she liked seafood, and suggested Joe’s Crab Shack.  I told her that while Joe’s was fine, the place nearby where we were staying that I needed to take her to eat was Portillo’s.  She assumed I was the biggest cheapskate in town.  ” It’s a hot dog place,” she said.  I told her that if you wanted a really high end meal, we should not go to either place, but, for basic grub, I always liked Portillo’s.

Portillo’s is another road food spot that started out as one location, but has grown into a chain and mail order business based on the success of the one location.  I have to say that their Chicago dog is my personal favorite hot dog.  The poppy seed bun, the pickle on top of relish, onions, et al makes this the perfect road food!  Now at almost 50 locations, almost all in Illinois (one In Merrillville, IN, and two in California for some reason), Portillo’s really has gone beyond road food status and is on it’s way to becoming another Sonic or TGI Fridays, as it’s menu has expanded into many other foods and beverages.  Good for them, but don’t lose the charm.  If you go to their home page, there is a nice video about the founding of their company, repeated in print elsewhere on the site.  To me, Portillo’s has still retained the charm and quality food so far; Amazing, considering the number of locations.  Mary Beth even had to admit that she liked it better than Joe’s Crab Shack!  The jury is out as to whether or not she stills thinks I am a cheapskate for taking here there.


The term “roadfood” is trademarked by Jane and Michael Stern of, and is used by permission.  They are the founders of the roadfood movement.  Check out their books on Amazon, and head out on one of their food tours!


Portillo's Hot Dogs

Published by admin on 14 Jun 2010

MSN IRCE Trade Show Update, Chicago Good Times, Prize Winners, and More

MSN staff had a productive show last week at the annual Internet Retailers Convention and Expo for 2010 in Chicago.  Thanks to almost 100 of you who expressed an interest in working with Marketing Support Network!

All of us at MSN really enjoy Chicago.  We especially enjoyed being at Giordanos ( Wednesday night when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.  Tuesday night the five of us and two guests enjoyed the Weber Grill (  Very fun time and great food.

Our two prize winners at IRCE were Kathryn Petralia of Kabbage, who won the first prize of an Apple IPad, and Althea Balwah, Vice President of Sales for Check 21, who won the second prize: a $100 Starbucks gift card!  Each will be contacted by someone from our marketing department to arrange delivery of their prize.

We’d love to hear about your experience at IRCE 2010 in the comments below.