LTH Home

What was your favorite Chicago food as a kid?

What was your favorite Chicago food as a kid?
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 3
  • What was your favorite Chicago food as a kid?

    Post #1 - June 7th, 2019, 7:41 am
    Post #1 - June 7th, 2019, 7:41 am Post #1 - June 7th, 2019, 7:41 am
    Hi all!

    What was your favorite Chicago food growing up? Maybe it was a specific dish at a specific restaurant or a Chicago classic you could get around the city (deep dish, polish, pizza puff, etc.). What brings back fond, mouth-watering memories for you and where did you get it?

    And if you aren't from Chicago, I'd love to here about your local hometown favorite as well!

    Mine: The atomic cake. I grew up in NWI and for many many years, my birthday cake was always the atomic cake. We lived close-ish to the east side, so it was easy for my parents to pick one up at Calumet Bakery. I LOVED it! Haven't had one in years, but I salivate thinking about it.

    (New to this group, and not sure if I categorized this correctly. Admins, if I didn't, please let me know.)
    “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” ―Erma Bombeck
  • Post #2 - June 7th, 2019, 11:53 am
    Post #2 - June 7th, 2019, 11:53 am Post #2 - June 7th, 2019, 11:53 am
    Davidson's bakery made the best banana layer cake I ever had. My dad would pick one up on his way home on Fridays and I'd make a significant dent over the weekend. Especially good with a side of cold milk.
  • Post #3 - June 7th, 2019, 1:07 pm
    Post #3 - June 7th, 2019, 1:07 pm Post #3 - June 7th, 2019, 1:07 pm
    Maier's Bakery in Evanston made a great chocolate log roll. Same as spiny.....great with a glass of cold milk chaser.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #4 - June 7th, 2019, 2:49 pm
    Post #4 - June 7th, 2019, 2:49 pm Post #4 - June 7th, 2019, 2:49 pm
    Maurice Lenell pinwheels. Growing up, my mom did medical transcription for a doctor at home at night. He gave her a big tin of cookies every year for Christmas. I miss those cookies.
  • Post #5 - June 7th, 2019, 3:07 pm
    Post #5 - June 7th, 2019, 3:07 pm Post #5 - June 7th, 2019, 3:07 pm
    Fanny's
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #6 - June 7th, 2019, 4:50 pm
    Post #6 - June 7th, 2019, 4:50 pm Post #6 - June 7th, 2019, 4:50 pm
    Dressel's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake
    &
    Kayo Chocolate Drink in the bottle

    CSD
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #7 - June 7th, 2019, 5:55 pm
    Post #7 - June 7th, 2019, 5:55 pm Post #7 - June 7th, 2019, 5:55 pm
    Our family didn't eat out too much. However, maybe once or twice a year, we'd go to Superdawg and it was a hot dog candyland for this youngster.

    My grandfather was a fan of My Place For on North Clark so we'd sometimes go there and I'd get fried smelts. There was a decades-long gap between when I'd last had them there and before I'd have them anywhere else.
  • Post #8 - June 7th, 2019, 6:25 pm
    Post #8 - June 7th, 2019, 6:25 pm Post #8 - June 7th, 2019, 6:25 pm
    chicagostyledog wrote:Dressel's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake

    CSD

    Monica Kass Rogers website LostRecipesFound.com, she has a DIY Dressel's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake.

    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 #9 - June 7th, 2019, 7:20 pm
    Post #9 - June 7th, 2019, 7:20 pm Post #9 - June 7th, 2019, 7:20 pm
    #1: Hot dog and fries at The Hut in Skokie. It's where I got my taste for the neon green relish. We lived just a few blocks from there until I was 4, and my grandmother lived on the same street.
    #2: Cock Robin Ice Cream in Skokie. Practically around the corner from the Hut.
    #3: Apple Pancake at Walker Brothers in Wilmette -- a rare treat

    Other items such as Carson's Ribs I swear I ate as a child, but they didn't arrive in Skokie until the 70s; Malnati's pizza I fell in love with as soon as I had it, but it was probably as a tween too. I will admit a fondness for the Maurice Lenell pinwheels and butterscotch stars, but nothing else in the assortment... and SueF makes a much better pinwheel that actually tastes of chocolate.
    Last edited by JoelF on June 8th, 2019, 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - June 7th, 2019, 7:32 pm
    Post #10 - June 7th, 2019, 7:32 pm Post #10 - June 7th, 2019, 7:32 pm
    JoelF wrote:#2: Red Robin Ice Cream in Skokie. Practically around the corner from the Hut.

    I believe #2 should be Cock Robin.
    Last edited by Dave148 on June 8th, 2019, 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #11 - June 7th, 2019, 8:11 pm
    Post #11 - June 7th, 2019, 8:11 pm Post #11 - June 7th, 2019, 8:11 pm
    Great thread, so open ended.

    I'll give my general memories of what I can recall as a kid.

    I grew up in the heart of the South Side. 59th and Kedzie. 1975-1990. Colony theatre, Gerties Ice Cream (I was a soda jerk there), a great place to grow up.

    Very working class, eating out was a privilege, not a rite.

    We would have Pizza Castle from 55th on regular splurge days, and Little Joe's on 63rd every once in a while. You folks talk about Vito and Nicks tavern style pizza, for us V&N was for birthdays and Christmas Eve, ALWAYS on Christmas Eve. V&N was our special celebration place.

    Other events as a kid had B&B catering from Archer (anyone recall that?) as well as places like Snackville Junction for food delivered via train.

    59th and Kedzie means we grew up with Nicky's hot dogs at 58th and Kedzie. The original home of the Big Baby. I know it has been nitpicked to death over which location has the best version, but in the 1970's, I had access to the only version. I could tell you all about how Nicky's was in the 5700 block, next to the auto repair place and the hair salon school, but those got bought out by McDonalds expansion and Nicky's moved into the former Winchells donuts next to Meyer foods.

    And when I went to Nicky's and ordered a hot dog with everything, it was hot dog, mustard, ketchup, relish (non-neon), chopped white onion, and pickle spear.

    No neon green relish, no tomato, no celery salt.... I don't know where there garden drag started, but it wasn't at Nicky's

    Thanks for the thread
    Bill-Aurora
  • Post #12 - June 8th, 2019, 6:38 am
    Post #12 - June 8th, 2019, 6:38 am Post #12 - June 8th, 2019, 6:38 am
    It's weird what first comes to mind, like for whatever reason, Sara Lee stuff, in the thin trays that were always a pain to deal with, like you would stick the knife through the metal, that memory jumps out from this thread. And all the places with great memories--Wolfy's, Little Louie's, White Fence Farm, Buffalo, Lockwood Castle, Tonelli's, Arvey's and their ceasar salad, Booby's, OMG Boobies. Yet, when I think about it, the answer comes Vienna corned beef.

    For one thing, there's memories of my grandfather taking me to Manny's way back in the day; for another, corned beef was what we ate at family gatherings the schivas, the hanukkah gathering that oddly enough always happened on Christmas day (corned beef and an envelope from my great-grandfather, how can it not be a happy association); there always was a tray but everyone hit the corned beef first.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #13 - June 8th, 2019, 8:37 am
    Post #13 - June 8th, 2019, 8:37 am Post #13 - June 8th, 2019, 8:37 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    chicagostyledog wrote:Dressel's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake

    CSD

    Monica Kass Rogers website LostRecipesFound.com, she has a DIY Dressel's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    I purchased a Dressels's Chocolate Fudge Whipped Cream Cake at Wolf's Bakery in Evergreen Park last summer and it immediately brought me back to my childhood. It was fabulous! I called this morning and they're still available at $23 (worth every cent).

    https://patch.com/illinois/oaklawn/busi ... da1b0339a1
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #14 - June 8th, 2019, 4:27 pm
    Post #14 - June 8th, 2019, 4:27 pm Post #14 - June 8th, 2019, 4:27 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    JoelF wrote:#2: Red Robin Ice Cream in Skokie. Practically around the corner from the Hut.

    I believe #2 should be Cock Robin.

    Fixed
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #15 - June 8th, 2019, 4:52 pm
    Post #15 - June 8th, 2019, 4:52 pm Post #15 - June 8th, 2019, 4:52 pm
    We had kind of an eclectic mix of favorites when I was growing up. On Sunday's, we'd often stop at Mary's Cupboard (same building as Michael's in Winnetka) for spaghetti with garlic bread (pretty exotic back in the day) and minute steak sandwiches. Dad loved Greek town and mom loved China town, with arni pilafi and pressed duck my personal favorites. As for sweets -- Peacock's Dairy Bar in what used to be called No Man's Land (now part of Wilmette). Peacock's had the best ice cream -- and I can remember how eagerly we waited for peach ice cream each year (which they only had when peaches were in season).

    And, when I got a bit older (high school) and was heading out with friends more often, added Hackney's onion loaf and Walker Brother's apple pancake to the mix.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #16 - June 8th, 2019, 4:59 pm
    Post #16 - June 8th, 2019, 4:59 pm Post #16 - June 8th, 2019, 4:59 pm
    Almost forgot: House of Chan. We ordered a couple of times a month from this little carry-out place in Wilmette, run by an ambitious young many named Bob Chinn. Today, he's best known for the Crab House in Wheeling, but when I was a kid, he was the many most commonly responsible for dinner when we had unexpected company or a big celebration.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #17 - June 8th, 2019, 9:20 pm
    Post #17 - June 8th, 2019, 9:20 pm Post #17 - June 8th, 2019, 9:20 pm
    Cynthia wrote:Almost forgot: House of Chan. We ordered a couple of times a month from this little carry-out place in Wilmette, run by an ambitious young many named Bob Chinn. Today, he's best known for the Crab House in Wheeling, but when I was a kid, he was the many most commonly responsible for dinner when we had unexpected company or a big celebration.

    I wonder if that was where my mom's first cousin got Chinese takeout from when she lived in Wilmette (near the Edens and Lake), my first exposure. Beef with peapods, shrimp with lobster sauce were what I remember.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #18 - June 9th, 2019, 7:46 am
    Post #18 - June 9th, 2019, 7:46 am Post #18 - June 9th, 2019, 7:46 am
    Maybe because we didn't get out much--4 boys only five years apart will lead to consistently bad behavior out in public, so my dad just said forget it--I'll just mention what I remember as treats from those days:

    (Joel already took my Corner Hut & Cock Robin memories. You will be visited soon, Hyman Roth... 8) )

    On Fridays during Lent--a Whaler fish sandwich from Burger King was wonderful. In those days, they were as big as a Whopper.

    Neighborhood pizza, which was tavern-style & crispy. Pinocchio's on Main in Skokie and Biasetti's on Touhy in Lincolnwood come to mind. Fennel sausage-laden and greasy/good.

    Usually too expensive for my dad to splurge, but ribs from Wesley's at Dempster and Crawford in Skokie was my first foray into ribdom, with the caveat that Dad wanted to see clean bones or you didn't get another. This is a practice--for better or worse--that I passed down to my daughters.

    Baskin-Robbins--we always called it '31 flavors'--for chocolate chip ice cream or (in season) pumpkin pie flavor, which I thought exotic.

    And believe it or not, we considered it a real treat when the unmistakable aroma of chicken from Kentucky Fried wafted in, after my mother had had a bad day with us kids and told my dad no way on 'God's green earth' was she going to cook for 'those hellions'. Hmmm, a great meal for being bad. No wonder I'm screwed up...
  • Post #19 - June 9th, 2019, 8:25 am
    Post #19 - June 9th, 2019, 8:25 am Post #19 - June 9th, 2019, 8:25 am
    jnm123 wrote:Maybe because we didn't get out much--4 boys only five years apart will lead to consistently bad behavior out in public, so my dad just said forget it--I'll just mention what I remember as treats from those days:

    (Joel already took my Corner Hut & Cock Robin memories. You will be visited soon, Hyman Roth... 8) )

    On Fridays during Lent--a Whaler fish sandwich from Burger King was wonderful. In those days, they were as big as a Whopper.

    Neighborhood pizza, which was tavern-style & crispy. Pinocchio's on Main in Skokie and Biasetti's on Touhy in Lincolnwood come to mind. Fennel sausage-laden and greasy/good.

    Usually too expensive for my dad to splurge, but ribs from Wesley's at Dempster and Crawford in Skokie was my first foray into ribdom, with the caveat that Dad wanted to see clean bones or you didn't get another. This is a practice--for better or worse--that I passed down to my daughters.

    Baskin-Robbins--we always called it '31 flavors'--for chocolate chip ice cream or (in season) pumpkin pie flavor, which I thought exotic.

    And believe it or not, we considered it a real treat when the unmistakable aroma of chicken from Kentucky Fried wafted in, after my mother had had a bad day with us kids and told my dad no way on 'God's green earth' was she going to cook for 'those hellions'. Hmmm, a great meal for being bad. No wonder I'm screwed up...

    Now the truth comes out.... 8)
    Did ya ever go to Chicken Unlimited on Dempster back in the day? I seem to recall enjoying both that and the KFC on Main and Skokie Blvd.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #20 - June 9th, 2019, 9:21 am
    Post #20 - June 9th, 2019, 9:21 am Post #20 - June 9th, 2019, 9:21 am
    Dave148 wrote:Now the truth comes out.... 8)
    Did ya ever go to Chicken Unlimited on Dempster back in the day? I seem to recall enjoying both that and the KFC on Main and Skokie Blvd.


    Did that place turn into Chicken In The Rough? Or vice versa? It was 1968-69, had a really cool logo, they gave out stickers, and a father of a buddy owned the franchise.

    Can't remember if the food was any good, but it was gone within a year or two.
  • Post #21 - June 9th, 2019, 9:35 am
    Post #21 - June 9th, 2019, 9:35 am Post #21 - June 9th, 2019, 9:35 am
    A McDonalds hamburger from the original McDonalds on Waukegan. I was so excited when i could finally eat a whole one.

    Also, carryout egg foo young. No idea where we picked it up from.
  • Post #22 - June 9th, 2019, 10:54 am
    Post #22 - June 9th, 2019, 10:54 am Post #22 - June 9th, 2019, 10:54 am
    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.

    My best friend Sam who lived down the street had parents that divorced around 1965. His dad would show up take the kids on Saturdays for an outing, always to something educational like one of the museums, and I'd be invited along. BUT...as a rule, we'd have to start out with lunch at Fluky's on Western. And we'd dig the hot dog gum as much as the dogs themselves. Learned about sport peppers on those trips!
    cooleys.jpg Early Cooley's Menu circa 1942

    fluky's.jpg Early Fluky's
  • Post #23 - June 9th, 2019, 11:32 am
    Post #23 - June 9th, 2019, 11:32 am Post #23 - June 9th, 2019, 11:32 am
    Pressed Duck from the Dragon Inn on Halsted in Glenwood. (Not Glenview)

    Also, fried chicken from Chicken Unlimited- they were everywhere.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #24 - June 9th, 2019, 3:37 pm
    Post #24 - June 9th, 2019, 3:37 pm Post #24 - June 9th, 2019, 3:37 pm
    jnm123 wrote:(Joel already took my Corner Hut & Cock Robin memories. You will be visited soon, Hyman Roth... 8) )

    Note, I said Hut, not Corner Hut. The original Hut was a little further west, a tiny shack that my father could barely stand up straight in. When they built the Corner Hut, there was briefly a record store in the original's location. It was my dad who taught me to love all things hot dog stand, from fresh cut fries to Italian Beef or the Combo to Pizza Puffs.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #25 - June 9th, 2019, 4:09 pm
    Post #25 - June 9th, 2019, 4:09 pm Post #25 - June 9th, 2019, 4:09 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    jnm123 wrote:(Joel already took my Corner Hut & Cock Robin memories. You will be visited soon, Hyman Roth... 8) )

    Note, I said Hut, not Corner Hut. The original Hut was a little further west, a tiny shack that my father could barely stand up straight in. When they built the Corner Hut, there was briefly a record store in the original's location. It was my dad who taught me to love all things hot dog stand, from fresh cut fries to Italian Beef or the Combo to Pizza Puffs.

    You two need a time out!
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #26 - June 9th, 2019, 8:39 pm
    Post #26 - June 9th, 2019, 8:39 pm Post #26 - June 9th, 2019, 8:39 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:Almost forgot: House of Chan. We ordered a couple of times a month from this little carry-out place in Wilmette, run by an ambitious young many named Bob Chinn. Today, he's best known for the Crab House in Wheeling, but when I was a kid, he was the many most commonly responsible for dinner when we had unexpected company or a big celebration.

    I wonder if that was where my mom's first cousin got Chinese takeout from when she lived in Wilmette (near the Edens and Lake), my first exposure. Beef with peapods, shrimp with lobster sauce were what I remember.


    I think House of Chan is a common name for Chinese restaurants. But the one Bob Chinn ran was on Green Bay Rd., not far from the Wilmette Library.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #27 - June 10th, 2019, 6:31 am
    Post #27 - June 10th, 2019, 6:31 am Post #27 - June 10th, 2019, 6:31 am
    JoelF wrote:
    jnm123 wrote:(Joel already took my Corner Hut & Cock Robin memories. You will be visited soon, Hyman Roth... 8) )

    Note, I said Hut, not Corner Hut. The original Hut was a little further west, a tiny shack that my father could barely stand up straight in. When they built the Corner Hut, there was briefly a record store in the original's location. It was my dad who taught me to love all things hot dog stand, from fresh cut fries to Italian Beef or the Combo to Pizza Puffs.


    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 CORNER Hut circa 1960
  • Post #28 - June 10th, 2019, 6:46 am
    Post #28 - June 10th, 2019, 6:46 am Post #28 - June 10th, 2019, 6:46 am
    Match point jnm123!
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #29 - June 10th, 2019, 6:54 am
    Post #29 - June 10th, 2019, 6:54 am Post #29 - June 10th, 2019, 6:54 am
    As Joel has said, whether it was the original on Oakton/Keating or when they moved it to where the Sunoco station is in the picture at Oakton/Kilpatrick (I'm thinking around 1970?), it was really your quintessential Chicago dog, whether we knew it at the time or not.
  • Post #30 - June 10th, 2019, 6:57 am
    Post #30 - June 10th, 2019, 6:57 am Post #30 - June 10th, 2019, 6:57 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 later, expanded Corner Hut would go up on the right edge of that photo, on the other side of the building, and set back from the street. It too is gone.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more