Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicago Food Highlights

J. and I took a weekend trip to Chicago.  We had limited time, about 30 hours or so in city.  So I had three food-related goals:

1) Have a Chicago-style hot dog
2) Eat at a Chicago steakhouse
3) Try deep-dish pizza
So here goes!

First stop, Chicago-style hot dog.   I had done some research on Chicago-style hot dogs before the trip and well, it turns out I don't like pickles, hot peppers, mustard, onions, or anything that goes in a Chicago-style dog.  But I was still determined to try a hot dog in Chicago.  So after a turbulent flight and landing, and checking into the hotel, we stumbled upon this place:

It had a sign claiming to have been "voted #1 hot dog in Chicago", so this place was as good as any other.  I found out that this is a local Chicago chain.  Its founders are two brothers that traveled the nation in search of hot dogs in every city.  Hence the name "America's Dog."   On the menu, they have a different hot dog representing a different American city.  So I had the Memphis Dog, which had pulled pork and coleslaw....

It was pretty tasty, even if it's not a "Chicago-style" dog in its own right.  But I had a hot dog in Chicago, so that makes it a Chicago dog, right?

To be fair, J. had a real Chicago-style hot dog, which he enjoyed. 

Next stop, eat a a Chicago steakhouse.  While exploring the downtown area of the city, we came upon Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse.  J. informed me that Harry Caray was a famous announcer for the Chicago Cubs, and a Chicago personality. I had no idea.  But the filet mignon was nice and juicy, and cooked medium-rare just the way I like it. 

Also, another neat tidbit about the place is, if you drink at the bar (we did in the afternoon before dinner), they give you complimentary (and highly addictive) house-made potato chips!  

The next morning, we took a walk off the well-beaten path to the Maxwell Street Market.  I had read about this weekly Sunday market from the Paupered Chef and learned that it was essentially a flea market, but with really good food. So I knew to not be put off by rows and rows of tables selling used merchandise from baby clothes, to power tools, to knock-off sports jerseys.  (Incidentally, J. bought a Chicago Bears jersey, while I got myself a pair of knock-off DG sunglasses.).  Here are the cheese enchiladas we had for breakfast:

The vendors, spoke little English, and we ate off of a paper bowl on bright green plastic tablecloths (as you can see in this picture).  So you knew it had to be good.  This wasn't one of the my three goals, but I was glad we made this stop!

But no trip to Chicago is complete without Chicago-style deep dish pizza...

This pizza came from the Exchequer Pub. On the day we were there, their exhaust fan was broken, so they had a limited menu, mainly pizza, which worked out quite well for me.  You can't see it too well from the picture, but there was pepperonis, sausage, and bacon in this pizza.  Also don't be fooled by the size in the picture.  This was  A LOT of food.  The pizza was about 10 inches in diameter and about 3 inches thick.  J and I shared it for lunch, and still had some leftover to bring with us on the plane.  (Which I ate at the airport since our flight was delayed.  It's still good cold, despite its brick-like consistency)

So that concludes our whirlwind food tour of Chicago!

Note:  As always, I was not compensated by any of these businesses to make this review. 


mollyjade said...

It sounds like you had fun! My mom grew up in Chicago, and a trip there always includes a stop at Superdawg. You have to check out the characters on their logo.

Cheryl said...

Hahaha, the characters are great! Will have to check it out the next time I am in Chicago!