One of the joys of travel is trying local dishes and restaurants. In early December we spent a few days in Chicago. Here’s the notable food from our trip.
From Frank Lloyd Wright’s home in Oak Park, we walked to Giordano’s, a chain specializing in deep dish pizza. We had a lunch special that includes a personal pizza that can be served faster than the larger pizzas. The thick crust was hard, and there was lots of cheese and sausage. The pizza was inexpensive and fast, but we wouldn’t go back.
That evening we drove to Bob Chinn’s Crab House in Wheeling, a suburb north of Chicago. The early bird special is amazing: soup or salad, rib roast and fish, and dessert for $15. The food was tasty and more than we could eat. The service was very good. The restaurant is huge and very popular. Come early.
The next evening we walked through downtown Chicago after visiting the Art Institute. Just off State Street, we saw Garrett’s Popcorn. We were able to wait in line inside, where it was warm, and we had time to read the menu and see what people order. Of course we tried the Chicago mix: caramel corn and cheese corn mixed together, so you get some of both in a mouthful. It’s good. We munched as we looked at the store windows of the former Marshall Field, now Macy’s. We contained the rest and finished it on the flight home. 🙂
After walking the Magnificent Mile (bright lights and holiday decorations following Thanksgiving), we rode the Metrarail back to Skokie. We had seen signs advertising Italian beef and sausage, and my aunt said they’re a local specialty. We checked yelp and decided to try Portillo’s Hot Dog, despite the Hot Dog in the name. Portillo’s had the highest rating and best reviews, but hot dog joint for dinner wasn’t appealing. Were we in for a surprise! Portillo’s is large and packed with people. They had four registers to take orders. We shared an Italian beef sandwich: moist, thinly sliced beef, like a french dip, but with dry bread. It was very good, so we ordered an Italian beef and sausage sandwich, which adds a sausage. My cousin later told us that their family had conducted a blind taste test of Italian beef sandwiches, and Portillo’s won. We’ll be back!