Yes, our favorite IT Pro evangelists, Joey Snow and Rick Claus are back with the first episode of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show for 2015. And when I say the first, I mean the very first episode. TechEd, the conference that was near and dear to my heart is gone, but it lives on in Ignite, the mega conference for Microsoft IT Pros.
This is the first of 14 episodes, most of them on a weekly schedule. You won’t want to miss a single episode as they will be a big part of your preparation for your week in Chicago come May. Rick and Joey are going to give you the scoop on Ignite including what it is and why you should go. They’re going to talk about the sessions, the Expo, the training, the keynote, the city, and yes, the parties. It’s also your chance to ask them questions. Not live of course, but you’re invited to ask questions in the forums and on Twitter. This is your conference, and they want to know what you want to see and hear and do.
In this episode Rick and Joy show us around Chicago and make some stops at some Chicago must-do places. The locations they cover in this episode include:
Gino’s East Pizza (http://www.ginoseast.com, @GinosEast) – A great place to go for Chicago style deep dish pizza. I personally favor thin crust pizza (the best of which can be found just north of Chicago in my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin, but that’s a topic for another day), but if you’re in Chicago, you can’t go wrong with a slice while you’re here. And a slice, maybe two, is probably going to be enough. Small they aren’t.
Portillo’s Hot Dogs (http://www.portillos.com/portillos, @PortillosHotDog) – If you’re in Chicago, and you don’t get a Chicago style hot dog or an Italian Beef sandwich, then you may as well stay home. Portillo’s is a must-do when I’m in town. For me, it’s the Italian Beef, and I always get it dipped. That means they take the sandwich and dip it in the delicious juice from the beef. It’s messy, but so good. Level up and get the combo which takes the beef sandwich and adds a sausage. Forget the diet and just do it.
The Berghoff (http://www.theberghoff.com, @BerghoffChicago) – Classic German restaurant and a Chicago institution. Opened in 1898 as a saloon for men only, the Berghoff survived Prohibition and became the full-service restaurant that continues to serve classic German-American fare. I have to admit I have not been here yet, in all my visits to Chicago, but I need to correct that in May.
CH Distillery (http://chdistillery.com, @CHDistillery) – Chicago’s first and only vodka distillery & cocktail bar. Farm to table doesn’t just apply to the food on your plate. Here it applies to vodka. Grown in Illinois. Distilled in Chicago. They have a small plates menu to go along with your beverage. It doesn’t do much for me, but I’m sure it’ll prove popular with Ignite attendees who favor vodka.