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what to eat in chicago (signature dishes)

what to eat in chicago (signature dishes)
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    Post #1 - May 8th, 2008, 9:26 pm
    Post #1 - May 8th, 2008, 9:26 pm Post #1 - May 8th, 2008, 9:26 pm
    Hi guys,

    this is my first time to be in the LOOP and see the Magnificent.

    I am only staying for one day. Could you please suggest any signature dishes that the wind city offers?

    Thanx
  • Post #2 - May 8th, 2008, 9:59 pm
    Post #2 - May 8th, 2008, 9:59 pm Post #2 - May 8th, 2008, 9:59 pm
    A stuffed or deep-dish pizza and an Italian beef. These are the classics -- though Mexican food is becoming iconic for Chi-town, as is soul food. Of course, you could spend months trying to eat all the food that defines this city. But the pizza and Italian beef are things you don't really find elsewhere.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #3 - May 9th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Post #3 - May 9th, 2008, 10:12 am Post #3 - May 9th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Ditka's Da Pork Chop

    Image

    Mike Ditka's
    (312) 587-8989
    100 E Chestnut St
    Chicago, IL 60611
  • Post #4 - May 9th, 2008, 10:23 am
    Post #4 - May 9th, 2008, 10:23 am Post #4 - May 9th, 2008, 10:23 am
    Chicago has the best Polish food in the Western hemisphere. Try Lutnia for the high end.

    Another signature dish is the Chicago hot dog - "dragged through the garden." Wiener's Circle (especially for late night abuse), and many places on Dempster are a few joints that immediately come to mind.

    Lutnia
    5532 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
    (773) 282-5335

    The Wiener's Circle
    2622 N. Clark St., Chicago
    (773) 477-7444
  • Post #5 - May 9th, 2008, 10:42 am
    Post #5 - May 9th, 2008, 10:42 am Post #5 - May 9th, 2008, 10:42 am
    These dishes are more or less unique to Chicago:

    * Deep-dish and stuffed pizza
    * Italian beef sandwiches (and beef/sausage combos)
    * Chicago-style hot dogs
    * Maxwell Street Polish
    * Shrimp de Jonghe
    * Chicken Vesuvio (a classic version can be had at Rosebud, 720 N Rush St., 312-266-6444)
    * Jibaritos
    * And, while they're not precisely unique to this city, we offer better steakhouses than many other parts of the country

    However, in one day, you aren't going to be able to do more than a few of these. You can maybe get a hot dog and a beef and/or a Polish for lunch and then either pizza or one of the other dishes for dinner.
  • Post #6 - May 9th, 2008, 11:26 am
    Post #6 - May 9th, 2008, 11:26 am Post #6 - May 9th, 2008, 11:26 am
    If you're confined to the Loop and Magnificent Mile area, I'd say grab a beef at Luke's (215 W. Jackson) and grab a deep dish at Uno's, Due's, or Malnati's. Luke's is not first-tier beef, but, in my opinion, is better than average and I can't think of any other beef in the Loop worth recommending. (Yeah, I know, the Loop is a tough spot for good food in general.)

    If you can venture just a little farther afield, grab a beef at Al's and go across the street for a Mario's Italian lemonade (a true Chicago summertime tradition). There's also Maxwell Street Express and Jim's Original on Union, not too far from that area, for Polish sausages and breaded bone-in pork chop sandwiches. You may be pretty full by then, but it's doable.

    If you can get anywhere in the city, the other posts have it well covered.
  • Post #7 - May 9th, 2008, 11:32 am
    Post #7 - May 9th, 2008, 11:32 am Post #7 - May 9th, 2008, 11:32 am
    Go for the deep-dish pizza, either the double-crust "stuffed" pizza (e.g. Giordano's, Bacino's, Edwardo's) or the single-crust "pan" pizza (e.g. Uno's/Due, Lou Malnati's, Pizano's, Gino's East). All of these are excellent representations of the species; with the exception of Uno's, our chains do a great job at maintaining the same consistent quality across their numerous locations. Deep-dish pizza is a unique local specialty, absolutely delicious, and totally unlike the conventional pizza you find elsewhere. You can't get it elsewhere around the country, so enjoy it while you're here. Wherever you go, you can phone ahead with your pizza order to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes while there for your pizza to cook. You can find their menus on their websites.

    When you're in the Loop, you'll find several locations of Giordano's, including Prudential Plaza (just north of Millennium Park) and another on West Jackson, and Pizano's has a location on Madison. When you're on Michigan Avenue, close-by locations include Giordano's on Rush, Pizano's on State, and Gino's East on Superior. The original Uno's and Due are walkable from both the Loop and Michigan Avenue.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on May 9th, 2008, 11:51 am, edited 4 times in total.
  • Post #8 - May 9th, 2008, 11:35 am
    Post #8 - May 9th, 2008, 11:35 am Post #8 - May 9th, 2008, 11:35 am
    Hands down, Italian beef, a beef and sausage combo, or a Chicago style hot dog.

    You can get pizza anywhere in the U.S., in my humble opinion. I would stay away from the chains like Giordano's if you do go for pizza here.
  • Post #9 - October 10th, 2008, 4:08 pm
    Post #9 - October 10th, 2008, 4:08 pm Post #9 - October 10th, 2008, 4:08 pm
    Had my first Italian Beef at Al's on Ontario - dipped with hot relish. Delish.

    :D

    Oh, and the fries are great, too, and I don't like fries.
  • Post #10 - October 10th, 2008, 4:56 pm
    Post #10 - October 10th, 2008, 4:56 pm Post #10 - October 10th, 2008, 4:56 pm
    abqandrea wrote:Had my first Italian Beef at Al's on Ontario - dipped with hot relish. Delish.

    :D


    That's a great place to have your first Italian Beef. Now, as you eat your way through some other top tier beef places (including the Al's flagship on Taylor), you'll appreciate the difference. As good as that beef was, there are others that are head and shoulders above the Ontario Al's. Do a search on "Beefathon" and your find quite a few of them. Enjoy the beef!!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #11 - October 10th, 2008, 7:27 pm
    Post #11 - October 10th, 2008, 7:27 pm Post #11 - October 10th, 2008, 7:27 pm
    To add to the "drag it through the garden" part of this thread, it is all about the condiments.

    If you go to a classic Chicago dog spot, and just order mustard and onions, or chili, you're not getting it. See the nearby Chicago Hot Dogs for Tourists thread for more details, but relish, mustard, pickles, onions, tomato and hot peppers, with a sprinkling of celery salt make it a very different dish.

    Similarly, the Italian Beef just isn't an Italian Beef without peppers. Sweet or hot or both, you're in good shape. The hot version is "giardinera" -- a spicy, oily relish of peppers, olives and other pickled veggies (typically little bits of celery, carrot and cauliflower). You're missing out on a Chicago experience if you don't say "Beef, hot and wet".

    Perhaps you don't like sausage on your pizza. That's because you haven't had Chicago Italian sausage. Especially on the deep-dish pan pizzas typical of Uno's, Due's, Lou Malnati's, Gino's East and a few others, it's a special treat. (Alert: "Uno's Grille" is not Uno's. It's a franchised operation that I believe was sold only part of the recipe. Avoid. Especially at airports)

    Enjoy!
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #12 - October 10th, 2008, 8:51 pm
    Post #12 - October 10th, 2008, 8:51 pm Post #12 - October 10th, 2008, 8:51 pm
    If you're only here for a day, it would consist of the following four meals. For each, i'll list a classic location (more on the touristy side) and my favorite which is probably a bit more off the beaten path and more of a local haunt:

    Deep-dish/Stuffed Pizza - The classic is Uno's. My local recc is Art of Pizza on Ashland.

    Italian Beef - Al's Beef on Taylor - Classic & one of the best.

    Chicago-style Hot Dogs - Pretty standarized & good anywhere, but Wiener Circle is classic for late night runs, but Hot Doug's gets the most cred on this board.

    Upscale Mexican - Rick Bayless started this whole wave in Chicago with Frontera Grill, but my favorite (for price & food) is Sol de Mexico on Cicero.
  • Post #13 - October 10th, 2008, 9:07 pm
    Post #13 - October 10th, 2008, 9:07 pm Post #13 - October 10th, 2008, 9:07 pm
    nr706 wrote:Another signature dish is the Chicago hot dog - "dragged through the garden." Wiener's Circle (especially for late night abuse), and many places on Dempster are a few joints that immediately come to mind.


    what spots on Dempster do you recommend? My favorite was Mages in Skokie, but they're a distant memory. Other than Poochies and Herm's, any others we shouldn't miss?
  • Post #14 - October 11th, 2008, 1:46 am
    Post #14 - October 11th, 2008, 1:46 am Post #14 - October 11th, 2008, 1:46 am
    Ghazi wrote:Other than Poochies and Herm's, any others we shouldn't miss?


    That's pretty much it in Skokie.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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