and politicians. (Check out the wall of photos that includes ev eryone fr om Tommy
Lasorda to D olly Parton.) The bar is a Chicago classic, and the cuisine is I talian. The
traditional pasta dishes, Tufano's lemon chicken with potatoes and orange r oughy with
broccoli are always good bets. On the weekends, go for the homemade ravioli and cav a-
telli. On Friday, regulars choose the seafood salad.
1073 W. Vernon Park Place. & 312/733-3393. Highchairs, boosters. Reservations not ac cepted. Menu
items $7-$13. Cash only. Tues-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 4-11pm; Sun 3-9pm. Subway/El:
Blue Line to UIC/Halsted.
3 WEST LOOP
Much of the stretch of Randolph Street just west of the Chicago River—once known as
the Market District—is about the “ scene.” And when trav eling with kids, making the
scene ranks pretty low. But you might want to make a trip to the West Loop just to dine
at Wishbone or to experience Greektown, filled with cheap eats and noisy , boisterous
restaurants wher e kids blend right in. I n general, though, the West Loop feels like a
neighborhood in transition; it's home to some of the city's coolest restaurants and clubs,
but not much else.
Transportation to the West Loop is easy—it 's about a $7 cab ride fr om M ichigan
Avenue or a slightly longer trek by bus (no. 8 or 9) or El, with stops at Halsted and Lake,
a block from Randolph Street's “restaurant row.” The walk from the Loop is pleasant and
secure in the daytime, but at night I'd take a taxi.
Wishbone BREAKFAST/CAJUN/SOUTHERN This Southern-style restau-
rant has much to r ecommend it for families. F irst, it's a homegr own restaurant, not a
chain, with a casual ambience. Second, children can be kept busy looking at the large and
surrealistic farm-life paintings on the walls. The food is diverse enough that both adults
and kids can find something to their liking, but ther e's also a menu gear ed just to chil-
dren. The sprawling, loft-style space is quir ky enough to be fun (plenty of folk ar t), but
still relaxed and attitude free.
Known for Southern food and big-appetite br eakfasts, Wishbone's extensive, reason-
ably priced menu blends hearty, home-style choices with healthful and vegetarian items.
Brunch is the 'Bone's claim to fame, when an eclectic crowd of bedheads packs in for the
plump and tasty salmon cakes, omelets, and r ed eggs (a lo vely mess of tor tillas, black
beans, cheese, scallions, ancho chile sauce, salsa, and sour cr eam). Brunch can be a mob
scene, though, so to avoid a long wait, try lunch or dinner; offerings run from “yardbird”
(charbroiled chicken with sweet red-pepper sauce) and blackened catfish to hoppin' John
or hoppin' Jack (the vegetarian variation on the black-eyed-pea classic). Variety is Wish-
bone's strong point: E very entree comes with a choice of sides, so diners can mix and
match to their hearts' content. The restaurant provides outdoor seating in nice w eather.
There's a newer location at 3300 N. Lincoln Ave. ( & 773/549-2663 ), but the original
location has more character.
1001 Washington St. (at Morgan St.). & 312/850-2663. www.wishbonechicago.com. Kids' menu, high-
chairs, boosters. Reservations accepted, except for weekend brunch. Main courses $5-$10 breakfast and
lunch, $6-$15 dinner; kids' menu around $7. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon-Fri 7am-3pm; Tues-Thurs 5-9pm;
Fri-Sat 5-10pm; brunch Sat-Sun 8am-3pm.