Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse


Right in downtown Chicago is a great little restaurant that shows what is great about being in the big city. On my way to Wisconsin this past fall I spent the night in Chicago. Without even thinking I was walking around town wearing a Green Bay Packers hat. I never really took any heat except when I was eating dinner. That may be because I picked Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse to eat at. This great little restaurant/bar is located just off the Chicago River on Kinzie in downtown Chicago. As soon as you walk in you are greeted by the bust of Harry that is shown to the left. What makes this place so great is the atmosphere while you are eating. I was there the day that the Cubs sale was finalized so I missed seeing Frankie O the bartender doing his weekly bit for Comcast Sports Net. They filmed the show earlier that day so of course I just had the locals to talk sports with. Sitting in the bar you can talk sports until you are sick to your stomach. Beware though. These people are passionate sports fans.

Another great thing about Harry’s is all of the memorabilia that is on display. In addition to the bust as you walk in they have all kinds of artifacts from Harry’s career along with other Chicago sports celebrities. As you walk into the main dining area you see two Hall of Fame baseball jerseys on each side of the entrance. The jersey on the right is the famous #23 of Ryne Sandberg, and on the left is the black and white #72 of Carlton Fisk. Both jerseys are autographed, and have been in place for years. I probably spent 30-40 minutes just walking around looking at everything. One of the highlights of the tour is the famous Bartman ball. We all know the story about how Steve Bartman cost the Cubs the World Series. We all also know that Alex Gonzalez actually did that booting the ball later that inning. Nevertheless the ball has become famous. In 2003 Grant DePorter bought the ball in an auction for the Harry Caray Restaurant Chain. After much public debate the ball was blown up in 2004. The next year the ball was boiled in water, and the steam used in pasta sauce. So now you may have eaten pasta that had remnants of this ball in it. I am a ball collector so of course I wanted to see the ball. It is located just to the right of the Caray bust as you walk in. Budget some wandering time into your schedule if you decide to eat here.

As far as the restaurant goes it is very good food. I have eaten at Harry’s several times, and I have never been dissapointed. The prices are a little steep, but you get what you pay for. The last time I went I spent $25, and walked out very full. you may come in for the sports, but you will leave full. If you are in Chicago give this place a try. You will be glad that you did.

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