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Chicago-style Foods Explained with Pictures

Chicago-style Foods Explained with Pictures
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  • Chicago-style Foods Explained with Pictures

    Post #1 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:04 pm
    Post #1 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:04 pm Post #1 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:04 pm
    Yesterday, this guy posts on Facebook his "Chicago-style Foods Explained with Pictures."

    I took exception to his preposterous claim (one among many) that elotes were a Chicago thing. He pretty much immediately blocked me, which is fine, as there's no point in arguing. Here's a link to his screed:

    https://drloihjournal.blogspot.com/2019/12/chicago-style-foods-explained.html?fbclid=IwAR2klocJCPm5jiNLpwT-IdCu1ZfuIxzWodsrFCQ7W8ZND9X-Atl8l5DNP0o

    What do you think?
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:17 pm
    Post #2 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:17 pm Post #2 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:17 pm
    Reeks of a Millennial. Virtually everything here is a misunderstanding. I hate to see how this poster would handle the regional Thai, Latino, Chinese cuisines of Chicagoland.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #3 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:19 pm
    Post #3 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:19 pm Post #3 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:19 pm
    Was this your comment? :)

    Unknown
    Monday, December 02, 2019 10:22:00 AM

    I am confused by this article - is this about food that originated in Chicago, evolved into a particular style or are just popular? While they may be popular in Chicago elotes most definitely did not originate in Chicago. Elotes are a street food/snack food from Mexico. Is there a particular way of preparing them that makes them uniquely Chicago style? Also too regarding saganaki - it did not originate in Chicago. The flambeing part at the table seems to have originated in Chicago but to say Saganaki originated in Chicago is not true.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #4 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:29 pm
    Post #4 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:29 pm Post #4 - December 2nd, 2019, 7:29 pm
    Love me a good french fry sandwich.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #5 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:07 pm
    Post #5 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:07 pm Post #5 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:07 pm
    He forgot the Jibarito (although you could argue it was technically not invented in Chicago but it's a Chicago thing in a way).

    Also yeah, Elotes is not a Chicago thing specifically.
    2019 Chicago Food Business License Issuances Map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AGfUU ... sp=sharing
  • Post #6 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:13 pm
    Post #6 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:13 pm Post #6 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:13 pm
    marothisu wrote:He forgot the Jibarito (although you could argue it was technically not invented in Chicago but it's a Chicago thing in a way).

    Also yeah, Elotes is not a Chicago thing specifically.

    Supposedly it was created at Borinquen Restaurant.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jibarito
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #7 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:28 pm
    Post #7 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:28 pm Post #7 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:28 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Love me a good french fry sandwich.


    Yes, stunningly uninformed. I've made French fry sandwiches at home (chip butties in memory of my Liverpudlian ancestors), but I have never seen one sold in Chicago. It's possible sometime, somewhere, a French fry sandwich was sold in the city, but to present it as a recognized Chicago-style food is unsupportable.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:47 pm
    Post #8 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:47 pm Post #8 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:47 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Love me a good french fry sandwich.

    Yes, stunningly uninformed. I've made French fry sandwiches at home (chip butties in memory of my Liverpudlian ancestors), but I have never seen one sold in Chicago. It's possible sometime, somewhere, a French fry sandwich was sold in the city, but to present it as a recognized Chicago-style food is unsupportable.

    I’ve only enjoyed them at home too. Never seen them anywhere else. Maybe on a hotdog?

    How about the St Paul Sandwich? I know you’ve mentioned it. Have you seen that locally?
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #9 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:58 pm
    Post #9 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:58 pm Post #9 - December 2nd, 2019, 8:58 pm
    Gale writes, "Also called "Egg Foo Young on Bun" on the west coast, can be found in many Chinese restaurants in St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis Metro East in Illinois and over time, the sandwich migrated north into the Chicago area and is still served in many local Chinese restaurants."

    I've lived in Chicago area all my life and I've never seen a St. Paul sandwich on a Chinese restaurant menu. I've made them at home with leftovers; I like them; they are not Chicago originals, and they're not served in any Chinese restaurants I know of.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #10 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:01 pm
    Post #10 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:01 pm Post #10 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:01 pm
    marothisu wrote:He forgot the Jibarito (although you could argue it was technically not invented in Chicago but it's a Chicago thing in a way).


    Where was it invented if not in Chicago? Not challenging, just curious about alternative origin stories.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:13 pm
    Post #11 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:13 pm Post #11 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:13 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Where was it invented if not in Chicago? Not challenging, just curious about alternative origin stories.


    The Jibarito is definitely a Chicago thing in my opinion. I only used the word "technically" in my post because there have been sandwiches in Puerto Rico that existed before this that used plaintain instead of bread. The inventor of the Jibarito at Borinquen did know about that.

    That's kind of splitting hairs though. I personally consider the Jibarito a Chicago thing and it's crazy this article never mentions it.
    Last edited by marothisu on December 2nd, 2019, 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    2019 Chicago Food Business License Issuances Map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AGfUU ... sp=sharing
  • Post #12 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:18 pm
    Post #12 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:18 pm Post #12 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:18 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Love me a good french fry sandwich.


    Yes, stunningly uninformed. I've made French fry sandwiches at home (chip butties in memory of my Liverpudlian ancestors), but I have never seen one sold in Chicago. It's possible sometime, somewhere, a French fry sandwich was sold in the city, but to present it as a recognized Chicago-style food is unsupportable.


    I am not sure if this is his reference, but on the South Side I have been told white bread sandwiches with fries and barbecue sauce are the relevant neighborhood equivalent of gravy bread to Italian beef - off menu nosh at a cheaper / mercy price, perhaps more of a thing of decades past, but specifically recalled by someone to me when I mentioned gravy bread.
  • Post #13 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:29 pm
    Post #13 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:29 pm Post #13 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:29 pm
    Santander wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Love me a good french fry sandwich.


    Yes, stunningly uninformed. I've made French fry sandwiches at home (chip butties in memory of my Liverpudlian ancestors), but I have never seen one sold in Chicago. It's possible sometime, somewhere, a French fry sandwich was sold in the city, but to present it as a recognized Chicago-style food is unsupportable.


    I am not sure if this is his reference, but on the South Side I have been told white bread sandwiches with fries and barbecue sauce are the relevant neighborhood equivalent of gravy bread to Italian beef - off menu nosh at a cheaper / mercy price, perhaps more of a thing of decades past, but specifically recalled by someone to me when I mentioned gravy bread.


    That seems like a definite possibility; I've never seen it, but it seems likely that a neighborhood place that has fries/bread/sauce would offer it to people in need. Seems likely this would be, as you suggest, off-menu. Next time I'm at a Southside BBQ joint, I will ask if they ever sell French fry sandwiches.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #14 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:47 pm
    Post #14 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:47 pm Post #14 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:47 pm
    I am following several of the authors groups on Facebook and he is more of a historian rather than a foodie.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #15 - December 3rd, 2019, 9:57 am
    Post #15 - December 3rd, 2019, 9:57 am Post #15 - December 3rd, 2019, 9:57 am
    Was the original post updated? I see jibarito on there now, and I see elotes with a mention to enjoy them either in Chicago or on a Mexican beach. It's certainly not just a Chicago thing, though, as I've had them in California, as well. I didn't get the sense from the article that these were "Chicago only" things, but things strongly associated with the street food scene in Chicago.
  • Post #16 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:02 am
    Post #16 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:02 am Post #16 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:02 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:I am following several of the authors groups on Facebook and he is more of a historian rather than a foodie.


    I don't have a problem with people writing outside their principal area of expertise (I do it all the time), but I think the primary problem with this piece is an initial failure to clearly set out the parameters for the kind of food he's writing about. What's he listing? Food that originated in Chicago (e.g., Italian beef)? Food that's popular in Chicago but originated elsewhere (elotes)? Food that may be offered in Chicago but on such a limited scale that it's almost distracting to list it (French fry sandwich)? Food that someone once ate in Chicago (St. Paul Sandwich)? You can't make an intelligible list and include all these kinds of "Chicago foods."
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #17 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:08 am
    Post #17 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:08 am Post #17 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:08 am
    Christopher Gordon wrote:Reeks of a Millennial. Virtually everything here is a misunderstanding. I hate to see how this poster would handle the regional Thai, Latino, Chinese cuisines of Chicagoland.


    I grew up with Neal, he is a year or two older than myself. He is a Boomer, not a millennial.

    Panther in the Den wrote:I am following several of the authors groups on Facebook and he is more of a historian rather than a foodie.


    Yes, he is a historian, although if you can question the origin and validity of what he is posting you can question how accurate and historical it really is.

    I have seen Neal post of this site before, maybe if he sees this he can answer.
  • Post #18 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:18 am
    Post #18 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:18 am Post #18 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:18 am
    Binko wrote:Was the original post updated? I see jibarito on there now, and I see elotes with a mention to enjoy them either in Chicago or on a Mexican beach. It's certainly not just a Chicago thing, though, as I've had them in California, as well. I didn't get the sense from the article that these were "Chicago only" things, but things strongly associated with the street food scene in Chicago.


    I dunno. There are a lot of items on the list (Chicken Vesuvio, Shrimp DeJonghe, Breaded Steak, Deep Dish Pizza and others) that would rarely if ever appear as "street food."

    And good eye, this listing is being constantly modified, which is a good thing.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #19 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:56 am
    Post #19 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:56 am Post #19 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:56 am
    French fry sandwich is never on the menu but it's definitely where fries, sauce, and white bread are headed from a Harold's (or any other local fried chicken spot) order.
  • Post #20 - December 3rd, 2019, 11:13 am
    Post #20 - December 3rd, 2019, 11:13 am Post #20 - December 3rd, 2019, 11:13 am
    gnarchief wrote:French fry sandwich is never on the menu but it's definitely where fries, sauce, and white bread are headed from a Harold's (or any other local fried chicken spot) order.


    Like the St. Paul Sandwich, the French fry sandwich is likely largely a DIY food item. On lists like this, you have to wonder whether it's appropriate to include such non-store-bought items as this sandwich... and the famous peppermint pickle combo of Chicago's Southside. I made one for lunch last week; Carolyn judged it "Truly awful."

    Peppermint pickle.jpg
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #21 - December 3rd, 2019, 12:27 pm
    Post #21 - December 3rd, 2019, 12:27 pm Post #21 - December 3rd, 2019, 12:27 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    Santander wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Love me a good french fry sandwich.


    Yes, stunningly uninformed. I've made French fry sandwiches at home (chip butties in memory of my Liverpudlian ancestors), but I have never seen one sold in Chicago. It's possible sometime, somewhere, a French fry sandwich was sold in the city, but to present it as a recognized Chicago-style food is unsupportable.


    I am not sure if this is his reference, but on the South Side I have been told white bread sandwiches with fries and barbecue sauce are the relevant neighborhood equivalent of gravy bread to Italian beef - off menu nosh at a cheaper / mercy price, perhaps more of a thing of decades past, but specifically recalled by someone to me when I mentioned gravy bread.


    That seems like a definite possibility; I've never seen it, but it seems likely that a neighborhood place that has fries/bread/sauce would offer it to people in need. Seems likely this would be, as you suggest, off-menu. Next time I'm at a Southside BBQ joint, I will ask if they ever sell French fry sandwiches.


    Another place I remember mention of a Chicago-style (potentially one-off) french fry sandwich is PIGMON / Sula-cited erstwhile Polk & Western Hot Dogs offering. This is not what is pictured / cited in the picture blog but I kind of dig the spud Jim Shoe vibe.
  • Post #22 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:05 pm
    Post #22 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:05 pm Post #22 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:05 pm
    Santander wrote:Another place I remember mention of a Chicago-style (potentially one-off) french fry sandwich is PIGMON / Sula-cited erstwhile Polk & Western Hot Dogs offering. This is not what is pictured / cited in the picture blog but I kind of dig the spud Jim Shoe vibe.


    Thanks for the link Matt; and thanks to Sula for documenting and PIGMON for so picturesquely describing this "delicious hunk of shit."

    Based on comments to the Sula article, it seems that something like a Chip Butty is served at other locations, but by some of the reasoning here, even Gene & Jude's serves "fries in a sandwich" as there are fries embedded in most dog orders I've received there.

    When compiling lists of "Chicago original foods," it's tough to know what to do with one-offs. Superdawg, for instance, is a Chicago original, but the Superdawg is sold only at the one location. Regarding the list that is the subject of this thread, Mr. Gale includes Lorena's Sandwich from Sarki's Café in Evanston, but if you're going to list every special sandwich or other food that is served exclusively at any Chicagoland restaurant, you're going to have a very, very long list of mostly one-offs, which seems close to pointless.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #23 - December 3rd, 2019, 3:10 pm
    Post #23 - December 3rd, 2019, 3:10 pm Post #23 - December 3rd, 2019, 3:10 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Yes, stunningly uninformed. I've made French fry sandwiches at home (chip butties in memory of my Liverpudlian ancestors), but I have never seen one sold in Chicago. It's possible sometime, somewhere, a French fry sandwich was sold in the city, but to present it as a recognized Chicago-style food is unsupportable.


    Only places I've seen French fries on (or in) sandwiches in Chicagoland is a couple of Middle Eastern places, where fries are sometimes among the many things stuffed into pita bread. Other than that, like you, it conjures images of the British invasion (even saw Gordon Ramsey make one once, on one of his home-cooking shows).
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #24 - December 3rd, 2019, 3:23 pm
    Post #24 - December 3rd, 2019, 3:23 pm Post #24 - December 3rd, 2019, 3:23 pm
    Patio Beef on Taylor has a Potato Sandwich on the menu. It's fries in gravy bread, which is admittedly different from the fries on Wonderbread pictured in the guide.
  • Post #25 - December 3rd, 2019, 6:34 pm
    Post #25 - December 3rd, 2019, 6:34 pm Post #25 - December 3rd, 2019, 6:34 pm
    In the next few weeks I will be driving through the southside.

    I may stop at...

    Lem's Bar-B-Q
    311 E 75th St, Chicago

    ... and ask, point blank for a Fries Sandwich.

    More soon...
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #26 - December 3rd, 2019, 6:38 pm
    Post #26 - December 3rd, 2019, 6:38 pm Post #26 - December 3rd, 2019, 6:38 pm
    thetrob wrote:Yes, he is a historian, although if you can question the origin and validity of what he is posting you can question how accurate and historical it really is.

    I have seen Neal post of this site before, maybe if he sees this he can answer.

    Seem like he had little tolerance for David’s suggested corrections.

    I’ve heard he runs a tight ship on his Facebook groups.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #27 - December 3rd, 2019, 7:45 pm
    Post #27 - December 3rd, 2019, 7:45 pm Post #27 - December 3rd, 2019, 7:45 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I dunno. There are a lot of items on the list (Chicken Vesuvio, Shrimp DeJonghe, Breaded Steak, Deep Dish Pizza and others) that would rarely if ever appear as "street food."


    You're correct. "Street food" was the wrong term; I just had elotes on my mind.

    As for the peppermint pickle, I believe I've also seen that associated with St. Louis.
  • Post #28 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:52 pm
    Post #28 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:52 pm Post #28 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:52 pm
    Binko wrote:As for the peppermint pickle, I believe I've also seen that associated with St. Louis.


    Wouldn't surprise me. Was reading about it yesterday, and John T. Edge has said it came up from the Delta to Chicago (and probably St. Louis).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #29 - December 4th, 2019, 11:27 am
    Post #29 - December 4th, 2019, 11:27 am Post #29 - December 4th, 2019, 11:27 am
    Cynthia wrote:
    Only places I've seen French fries on (or in) sandwiches in Chicagoland is a couple of Middle Eastern places, where fries are sometimes among the many things stuffed into pita bread. Other than that, like you, it conjures images of the British invasion (even saw Gordon Ramsey make one once, on one of his home-cooking shows).


    I've seen a few places that have fries as *part* of the sandwich filling - almost all of them channeling Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers. Lucky's Sandwich Company in Lakeview may be one of the better known ones if only for the combination of its proximity to Wrigley Field and having been featured on "Man vs Food" some years ago.

    Can't say it's my thing but clearly some people do enjoy a massive load of starch *in* their sandwich so it's scratching some people's itch.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #30 - December 4th, 2019, 12:11 pm
    Post #30 - December 4th, 2019, 12:11 pm Post #30 - December 4th, 2019, 12:11 pm
    Kman wrote:Can't say it's my thing but clearly some people do enjoy a massive load of starch *in* their sandwich so it's scratching some people's itch.

    I think it might be all that some people can afford?

    In this season of giving please consider donating to organizations that provide for the homeless.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat

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