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What was your favorite Chicago food as a kid?

What was your favorite Chicago food as a kid?
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  • Post #31 - June 10th, 2019, 7:00 am
    Post #31 - June 10th, 2019, 7:00 am Post #31 - June 10th, 2019, 7:00 am
    jnm123 wrote:Check out the name on the shack. On the side you can't see, they'd serve piping hot fries in small paper bags out the window. Great stuff after a summer day at Oakton Pool.
    corner hut.jpg

    I concede. Great photo.

    The owner was definitely a curmudgeon -- he'd sold, or let someone else run it, during the mid 80's, but wasn't happy with the results and returned with the sort of fanfare we gave to Burt's Place, on a smaller scale.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #32 - June 10th, 2019, 8:09 am
    Post #32 - June 10th, 2019, 8:09 am Post #32 - June 10th, 2019, 8:09 am
    The Purple Cow at 104th and Western and of course a Southside Chicago childhood is never complete without a trip to the original Rainbow Cone (and waiting in the line) https://www.rainbowcone.com/
    Last edited by Food Nut on June 11th, 2019, 9:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.
  • Post #33 - June 10th, 2019, 10:27 am
    Post #33 - June 10th, 2019, 10:27 am Post #33 - June 10th, 2019, 10:27 am
    Purple Cow definitely!
    Rainbow Cones
    The Little Corporal on Wacker, great Reubens
    Mammy's Pancake House in Loop. Huge tower of dozens of flavored syrups.
    Davidsons Bakery in Loop, Cheese Flakies.
    My folks used to go out on date night to either the Ivanhoe or Club El Bianco.
  • Post #34 - June 10th, 2019, 2:06 pm
    Post #34 - June 10th, 2019, 2:06 pm Post #34 - June 10th, 2019, 2:06 pm
    I grew up on the Great West (Vest) Side so long ago that most places I remember no longer exist, but here are a few memories.

    Like Chicago Hot Dog, I loved Kayo Chocolate Drink growing up.

    While still in grade school I was able to eat out on my own once in a while. My mother would give me a little money and I walked to Abe's deli on the corner of Pulaski and Wilcox where I'd have a hard salami on rye washed down by a chocolate phosphate.

    Another early memory is of my mother taking me to a local Chinese place -- the Midwest Inn in the 3800 block of west Madison -- where my usual order was Chow Mein. They made it with crispy noodles and white sauce -- I still have the occasional craving for it that way -- I'm repulsed by versions with brown sauce.

    Once in High School my horizons widened and, thanks to friends, I had hot dogs at Jimmy's Red Hots (4000 W Grand Ave). It was the first time I had a hot dog with sport peppers, which was a shock then.

    It was also in high school that I was introduced to RIBS. After a party in the South Shore neighborhood we went to Rib Hill on South Jeffrey. I thought I had found Nirvana! I'm sure it was nothing compared to what's available today, but for a rib newbie it was profound.

    Once I reached driving age my world expanded and would sometimes get Italian Beefs at Carm's on Cicero Avenue. It was just south of the Congress (now Eisenhower) xway. Carm's later moved to Hillside, but closed a few years ago. It's not related to the Carm's on Polk Street.

    My first pizza memory was at a restaurant on North Avenue (I think it was just west of Western) where I discovered bacon pizza. I must have had pizza before that, but the bacon was special.

    Another distinct memory was when my father bought his first new car since before the War. It was 1955 (I was 13 years old) and he got a Chrysler. He decided to celebrate and took the family for steaks at Barney's Market Club on West Randolph Street. It was famous for it's slogan "Yes Sir, Senator" because founder reputedly couldn't remember names and greeted everyone with that expression. I remember the steak I had was good, but not great.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #35 - June 10th, 2019, 2:54 pm
    Post #35 - June 10th, 2019, 2:54 pm Post #35 - June 10th, 2019, 2:54 pm
    We didn't go out very much when I was a kid-we couldn't afford it! But I do remember two places that we did go once in a while. I grew up in Mt. Prospect and we would walk to The Golden Point to get burgers and fries. http://www.roadarch.com/16/5/goldenpoint.jpg
    And we also lived close to The Red Balloon https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/44534135/ which I think became an Aunt Jemima's Pancake House - on Rand Road in Mt. Prospect.
    When my husband and I were dating, we would go to Ignatz & Mary's on Milwaukee in Northbrook. They had a great relish tray!
  • Post #36 - June 10th, 2019, 3:12 pm
    Post #36 - June 10th, 2019, 3:12 pm Post #36 - June 10th, 2019, 3:12 pm
    jnm123 wrote:A couple more, brain synapses working better--

    Very early on, I'm thinking 1960-62, my dad would pick up my mom at work in downtown Evanston and we'd have dinner at Cooley's Cupboard on Orrington. Nice place, almost hipster/Beatnik-ish. Always ordered a hamburger.


    I loved Cooley's Cupboard when I was a youngster. It was the first place I ever saw petit fours -- and to a child, tiny little individual cakes were very alluring. My grandmother lived in Evanston, and Cooley's Cupboard and the Dominion Room, both in Evanston, were my favorite "dress up" restaurants when I was still in grade school. (And the Dominion Room gave me what is still one of my favorite desserts: strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar.)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #37 - June 10th, 2019, 4:37 pm
    Post #37 - June 10th, 2019, 4:37 pm Post #37 - June 10th, 2019, 4:37 pm
    George R wrote:Once I reached driving age my world expanded and would sometimes get Italian Beefs at Carm's on Cicero Avenue. It was just south of the Congress (now Eisenhower) xway. Carm's later moved to Hillside, but closed a few years ago. It's not related to the Carm's on Polk Street.

    Yeah,Cicero & Arthington. Carm's was a frequent Sunday family excursion for us from the north side. Beef sandwiches were $.35 and sausage sandwiches were $.30
  • Post #38 - June 10th, 2019, 5:42 pm
    Post #38 - June 10th, 2019, 5:42 pm Post #38 - June 10th, 2019, 5:42 pm
    Cicero & Arthington sounds right. I don't remember sandwich prices, but $.35 is about right.

    Another Carm's memory is summer evenings when the black Chevy crowd would be there revving their engines and trying to be cool.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #39 - June 11th, 2019, 8:44 am
    Post #39 - June 11th, 2019, 8:44 am Post #39 - June 11th, 2019, 8:44 am
    Moved to area in '79. From the UP where we did not have a wide variety at the time. Of course, we had many good things like fresh fish, wild game, wild berries, pasties, etc... Moving here was a food revelation though and made me a hunter of good food. Main impacts were.
    - Italian Beef, Gyro's, and Chicago Dogs
    - My first real corned beef sandwich at a "Mom & Pop" store in Skokie on Crawford and maybe Birchwood or Jerome. Kept it in a Nesco behind the counter and sliced the rye behind the counter. My thought after the first bite was, man I have been getting cheated not having such a delicacy.
    - Zuppa De Pesce..... at Vic Gianotti's in Franklin Park. Seven seafood delights in a tomato, wine, garlic sauce over linguini. Again, where has this been all my life. I was a voracious eater. I brought some home and my wife couldn't believe it, thought I was sick. There was that much. I brought her there later on to prove it.
  • Post #40 - June 11th, 2019, 9:33 am
    Post #40 - June 11th, 2019, 9:33 am Post #40 - June 11th, 2019, 9:33 am
    We also rarely went out except for pizza at Vito and Nick's (my parents went on dates there) or the Barnaby's on the Southside. Also, for special occasions you could not beat the freshly fried donuts and fried chicken at the Branding Iron on 95th in Oak Lawn which was attached to a bowling alley. Thanks for the wonderful reminders/memories Chicago!

    Trib article about the bbq at Branding Iron
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/ ... olumn.html
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.
  • Post #41 - June 11th, 2019, 12:28 pm
    Post #41 - June 11th, 2019, 12:28 pm Post #41 - June 11th, 2019, 12:28 pm
    Growing up in Oak Park, Sunday nights were frequently our "take-out" nights. Amato's pizza and White Castle were regulars, largely because they were inexpensive. I remember occasional super-special meals out at the Millionaire's Club, which maybe was located in or near Winston Plaza?
    -Mary
  • Post #42 - June 11th, 2019, 2:21 pm
    Post #42 - June 11th, 2019, 2:21 pm Post #42 - June 11th, 2019, 2:21 pm
    The olive burger at Lockwood Castle on Devon and Caldwell. And a second (or third) for those cubed ice cream scoops at Cock Robin in Skokie, particularly the butter pecan!
  • Post #43 - June 11th, 2019, 3:34 pm
    Post #43 - June 11th, 2019, 3:34 pm Post #43 - June 11th, 2019, 3:34 pm
    "as a kid" would go back too far, and probably all be things my mom and dad made, like Malayan dinner, sukiyaki, egg foo young, waffles with egg gravy. Back to my 20-somethings...in the late 1970s or early 1980s:

    Cheesecake from Country Maid Bakery in downtown Northbrook. Cake style (consistancy of pound cake) but cream cheese flavor, plus additions like chocolate chips. berries, more that I don't remember. I've never found one available commercially, and my attempts to make my own were only so-so, and only plain, adding chocolate chips or berries caused failure. Note that since I don't really need the calories, I have not made a whole lot of effort to find or make this. One discussion said Philadelphians called it New York Style, and New Yorkers called it Philadelphia style or something like that. My then girlfriend called it New York Style. In Chicago, I've seen New York style refer to either cake or creamy versions.

    Stuffed pizza from Caravelle on Waukegan in Northbrook. When Nancy's won the (first?) Chicago Guide pizza contest but was judged "too much garlic", Caravelle was, IMHO, exactly Nancy's with less garlic.
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #44 - June 11th, 2019, 7:36 pm
    Post #44 - June 11th, 2019, 7:36 pm Post #44 - June 11th, 2019, 7:36 pm
    Fun...

    Didn't realize Kayo was a regional thing, but Grandma Kay (see what she did there) always had it stocked in her fridge. Often employed to wash down Friday night sliders.

    Atomic cake every birthday, for sure. Probably from Ingram's when they were in Worth.

    Pizza at Louisa's, though the chunky tomatoes and thick crust were not my thing as a little guy.

    Party cut was from Pizza Pete's on LaGrange in Orland, always loved that.

    As I admitted recently on the Cheesy Beef thread, Italian beef from Pop's with cheddar (sauce) and Hot Mix. Many other things there too, tamale boats, char grilled chicken sandwiches, Vienna Polishes.

    Chi-dogs were sacrament and usually reserved for visits to the homeland at Janson's (or was it Snyder's?)

    Greektown was a big deal, saganaki, avgolemono, and gyros at Greek Islands or Rodity's with the Vallas family.

    Factory cone gyros anywhere I could get them when I had my own spending money.

    And Peppo's subs loaded with guts ditching lunch in high school.

    Pizza puffs, fresh cut fries, and minimalist dogs came in my 20s at Wicker Park Dog.
  • Post #45 - June 12th, 2019, 7:23 am
    Post #45 - June 12th, 2019, 7:23 am Post #45 - June 12th, 2019, 7:23 am
    Markauf wrote:The olive burger at Lockwood Castle on Devon and Caldwell. And a second (or third) for those cubed ice cream scoops at Cock Robin in Skokie, particularly the butter pecan!

    What about the Queen burger, containing a spread of olives and cream cheese (sometimes mayo)? Both SueF and I remember seeing it on multiple menus as kids, but it seems to have disappeared as a "thing"
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #46 - June 12th, 2019, 7:50 am
    Post #46 - June 12th, 2019, 7:50 am Post #46 - June 12th, 2019, 7:50 am
    JoelF wrote:
    Markauf wrote:The olive burger at Lockwood Castle on Devon and Caldwell. And a second (or third) for those cubed ice cream scoops at Cock Robin in Skokie, particularly the butter pecan!

    What about the Queen burger, containing a spread of olives and cream cheese (sometimes mayo)? Both SueF and I remember seeing it on multiple menus as kids, but it seems to have disappeared as a "thing"


    The olive burger was a big thing at Jack's on Touhy, but I didn't take part until high school when I could drive. Olive burger and gravy fries at 2AM. Mmmm!
  • Post #47 - June 12th, 2019, 1:48 pm
    Post #47 - June 12th, 2019, 1:48 pm Post #47 - June 12th, 2019, 1:48 pm
    My Mom loves olive burgers. Whenever one is spotted on a menu that will be Mom's selection, "I haven't had one since high school." Believe me, she has quite a few since high school, but she just loves saying it.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #48 - June 12th, 2019, 1:59 pm
    Post #48 - June 12th, 2019, 1:59 pm Post #48 - June 12th, 2019, 1:59 pm
    I had never heard of them until I visited Flint, Mich. a few years back. They have a local chain called Halo Burgers and olive burgers are one of their trademark burgers. I tried one, a bit salty but not bad. No hurry for another.
  • Post #49 - June 12th, 2019, 2:39 pm
    Post #49 - June 12th, 2019, 2:39 pm Post #49 - June 12th, 2019, 2:39 pm
    I enjoyed olive burgers at the Hot N Now chain as a kid. The Michigan City outpost, to be exact.
  • Post #50 - June 12th, 2019, 3:16 pm
    Post #50 - June 12th, 2019, 3:16 pm Post #50 - June 12th, 2019, 3:16 pm
    I'm going to ask a stupid question. I didn't like olives until my late teenagerhood, and I somehow have never gotten around to having an olive burger. Can someone describe what it is like from the fine establishments they've had it at? Is it just a bunch of chopped olives, sliced olives, or is it an olive spread of some sort? What kind of olives? What are the rest of the standard toppings on an olive burger? Should I assume this is a burger that is normally served without lettuce and tomato?

    Now, I'm sure there's a lot of variations, but I'm curious what makes a more-or-less typical one from the Chicago area.
  • Post #51 - June 12th, 2019, 5:06 pm
    Post #51 - June 12th, 2019, 5:06 pm Post #51 - June 12th, 2019, 5:06 pm
    Hi,

    What I have observed in Mom's plate are a lot of chopped green olives with pimentos.

    I think an olive spread would be a good alternative, especially if this was a high demand item. Since Mom gets these at Greek diners with many offerings, I just imagine they chop some up on demand.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #52 - June 12th, 2019, 7:49 pm
    Post #52 - June 12th, 2019, 7:49 pm Post #52 - June 12th, 2019, 7:49 pm
    The iteration I enjoyed was the "ad burger" at the Chicago Advertising Club (my dad was in advertising) -- chopped olives and blue cheese. Yum.

    Another visit to the Ad Club with dad was my first experience of Shrimp de Jonghe. Fun food memories.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #53 - June 13th, 2019, 9:07 am
    Post #53 - June 13th, 2019, 9:07 am Post #53 - June 13th, 2019, 9:07 am
    I didn't know that Pee Wee Herman worked at Fluky's!

    CSD
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #54 - June 13th, 2019, 10:16 am
    Post #54 - June 13th, 2019, 10:16 am Post #54 - June 13th, 2019, 10:16 am
    Binko wrote:I'm going to ask a stupid question. I didn't like olives until my late teenagerhood, and I somehow have never gotten around to having an olive burger. Can someone describe what it is like from the fine establishments they've had it at? Is it just a bunch of chopped olives, sliced olives, or is it an olive spread of some sort? What kind of olives? What are the rest of the standard toppings on an olive burger? Should I assume this is a burger that is normally served without lettuce and tomato?

    Now, I'm sure there's a lot of variations, but I'm curious what makes a more-or-less typical one from the Chicago area.


    The olives are generally chopped or sliced, but a tapenade might work as well. The challenge is keeping the olives on the burger while eating. I've found that melting a slice of provolone helps to keep all the olives on board and complements the flavor profile too.
  • Post #55 - June 13th, 2019, 10:39 am
    Post #55 - June 13th, 2019, 10:39 am Post #55 - June 13th, 2019, 10:39 am
    Fun thread idea. My favorites from the early 80s - stuffed sausage at Giordano's, Ribs n Bibs, chicken parm at the Hickory Pit, ice cream bars at Dove, the nachos at Nuevo Leon, and ice cream from Mitchell's.
  • Post #56 - June 14th, 2019, 5:56 pm
    Post #56 - June 14th, 2019, 5:56 pm Post #56 - June 14th, 2019, 5:56 pm
    As a kid I can't remember ever going to a restaurant even fast food. A few of my favorites were :
    1. My brother, 7 years my senior worked at a Drugstore in Hillside on Taft ave. It had a soda fountain in the back where he would make me my favorite Green River.
    2. A Sat. night treat was a Coke or a Pepsi. Rest of the week was Hi C.
    3. Another weekend treat was when my mother would find Anchovy tins on sale. My father would open a couple of tins (rolled with capers) and we would each get a toothpick and dig in.
    4. Absolute favorite, my mother was Sicilian and on a few Saturdays a month I would go with her to my grandparents house when my grandfather came home from work after noon and we would have a spread of Salamis, Prosciutto, Capicola, Sharp provolone, olives, bread etc. this is still my favorite 60 years later.
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #57 - June 16th, 2019, 12:47 pm
    Post #57 - June 16th, 2019, 12:47 pm Post #57 - June 16th, 2019, 12:47 pm
    lougord99 wrote:A McDonalds hamburger from the original McDonalds on Waukegan.


    The original was in Des Plaines on River Rd I believe.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #58 - June 16th, 2019, 4:00 pm
    Post #58 - June 16th, 2019, 4:00 pm Post #58 - June 16th, 2019, 4:00 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:
    lougord99 wrote:A McDonalds hamburger from the original McDonalds on Waukegan.


    The original was in Des Plaines on River Rd I believe.


    You are correct. I’m bummed.
  • Post #59 - June 16th, 2019, 5:57 pm
    Post #59 - June 16th, 2019, 5:57 pm Post #59 - June 16th, 2019, 5:57 pm
    I thought of another one: our family tradition of eating Brown's Chicken on Christmas Eve.

    'Original' is a tricky thing here, especially during the very earliest years, but the first McDonalds' were operated in California by a couple of brothers named McDonald. The Des Plaines store was the first opened by Ray Kroc who would buy the name and concept from the brothers and go on to make the company into what we know today.
  • Post #60 - June 16th, 2019, 6:03 pm
    Post #60 - June 16th, 2019, 6:03 pm Post #60 - June 16th, 2019, 6:03 pm
    Shakey's Pizza.
    "FIVE DOLLARS! That is IT, young man! And don't bother asking for more after we're done with the pizza. Make it last!"

    Giordano's Stuffed.
    When I was a kid...Holy Crap. That was the pinnacle of gluttony.

    Waking up to Ribs And Bibs leftovers after my parents had a late night feast after us kids went to bed. The sauce stained round cardboard pizza tray on the dining room table was a dead giveaway that breakfast was gonna be killer.

    Manny's after shoe shopping at Chernin's

    Maxwell Street chop or polish - back when it was a whole different story.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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