Where Trisha Yearwood Should Eat in Chicago

She'll Play Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, With Garth Brooks

Trisha Yearwood is about three weeks away from kicking off a major tour with her husband Garth Brooks. So I think it’s safe to say that pretty soon, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks will not be home for dinner.

And after reading the September issue of Woman’s Day , it sounds like it’s going to be hard to get Yearwood out of the kitchen.

She tells the magazine how important family dinners are. “I’m always fighting hard to make sure family meals don’t get lost in the shuffle, because cooking for the kids means I have one more dinner at home with them. We’re all so busy these days that sometimes the family meal gets shortchanged,” Yearwood said. “Having all of us under one roof? That’s like heaven.”

She says that even though Brooks’ older girls, Taylor and August, are in college now, they live close enough to be lured in with Yearwood’s cooking. “If I send out a text that says, ’Hey, it’s veggie night,’ they’ll show up. They know it means I’m roasting all their favorite vegetables and probably serving a meat loaf, too,” Yearwood said.

It sounds like Yearwood and Brooks are used to having a chaotic life. “First of all, we’re musicians, so there’s no ’routine.’ All those years of three girls and their activities? Even with only one (Allie) still at home, there are a million things going on every night,” she said. So maybe this upcoming tour won’t be such a huge disruption after all.

But just in case, I’ve made a list of places near the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois — the first venue they’ll be playing starting on Sept. 4 — that I think Yearwood and Brooks should put on their must-try short list:

Villagio: Some of the finest Italian dining, and the bruschetta is always free.

Harry Caray’s: You have to eat here when you’re in Chicago. I think it’s the law. The Holy Cow burger is their biggest and best, and might just make the Brooks’ feel like they’re back in Oklahoma.

Portillo’s: Ordering can be a little overwhelming if you’ve never been, so allow me to tell you exactly what to say: “I’ll have the Italian Beef, dipped, with sweet peppers, plus an order of cheese fries and a small chocolate cake shake.”

Tortas Frontera: Technically, this is a Mexican restaurant. But they have a short rib sandwich — the Pepito — that feels almost Southern. Same goes for the Cochinita Pibil, which is their take on a pulled pork sandwich.

Hugo’s Frog Bar: Two words: Crab cakes. The best ever. And they come with spicy mayo. They’re so good, you may want to order them as your appetizer and again as your dinner.

The Brown Sack: Seriously great chili about 20 minutes away from the venue. And Yearwood always talks about how much her husband loves chili.

Pine Grove: It’s not much to look at, but this old-school breakfast place would be perfect for the Brooks’ to have coffee, a short stack, and read the reviews from the concert the night before.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.