Local Specialities, Chicago
Chicago is really a foodie paradise and they have many native food concoctions than the new yorkers hehehe and one of this really good native invention is the Italian Beef which I watched from the Discovery Travel Channel so thanks a lot Adam Richman for the info hence I must try this delight before leaving chicago right! Italian beef is a sandwich of thin slices of seasoned roast beef, dripping with meat juices, on a dense, long Italian-style roll, believed to have originated in Chicago, where its history dates back at least to the 1930s. The bread itself is often dipped (or double-dipped) into the juices the meat is cooked in, and the sandwich is typically topped off with Chicago-style giardiniera (called "hot") or sauteed, green Italian sweet peppers (called "sweet").
Fondest memory: italian beef sandwhiches are a meat lovers wet dream hehehe and a sandwhich costs $ 6 an order and is stuffed with lots of sirloin meat goodness and is available everywhere even in hot dog stands in chicago! Italian beef is made using cuts of beef from the sirloin butt or the top/bottom round wet-roasted in broth with garlic, oregano and spices until medium rare or medium. The roast is then cooled, shaved using a deli slicer, and then served dripping wet after a reintroduction to its reheated beef broth; hence the need to use a chewy bread, as a softer bread would disintegrate. Typical bread used is long, Italian style loaves without seeds sliced from six to eight inches in length.
Chicago also has it's own version of the thin crust pizza that rivals the New Yorker Style Thin Crust Pizza hence While in Chicago most pizzerias serve thin-crust pizza, generally in a style characteristic to the city. The crust is thin and firm enough to have a noticeable crunch, unlike a New York-style pizza hence it is another good food trip for foodies like me! The crust is topped with a liberal quantity of Italian style tomato sauce, which usually has quite a lot of herbs or is highly spiced, and typically contains no visible chunks of tomato. Next, a layer of toppings is added, and finally a layer of mozzarella cheese. This pizza is cut into squares, also known as party cut, as opposed to a pie cut into wedges. However, the consistency of the crust and the quantity and choice of the tomato sauce and cheese are what separate this style from East Coast- and Roman-style pizzas, and it makes the pizza from most neighborhood pizzerias immediately distinguishable from that offered by national chains
Fondest memory: I Tasted the thin crust in just one joint in Lou Malnati's in their original store in Lincolnwood and the taste is heavenly! beat that Sbarro's!!!!!
a slice costs $ 3 and the whole pizza (size 18") costs from $ 16 to 26 depending on the number of toppings and again this is available everywhere!
it is a food icon of Chicago hence it is the quintissential Chicago food things to do with a lot of big pizza restaurants (like lou malnati's, giordano's gino's east and pizzeria uno) and smaller joints and hall in the wall offering it and you must not leave chicago without tasting this wonderful and savory plus filling pizza. This pizza is unique because it is far from the roots of an original Italian pizza. It does not include thin crusts or delicate toppings, but rather it is made with a heavy, thick crust and large amounts of cheese, sauce and ingredients. Chicago-style pizza has a buttery crust up to three inches tall at the edge, slightly higher than the large amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce, acting as a large bowl. The term also refers to "stuffed" pizza, another Chicago style. While in Chicago most pizzerias serve thin-crust pizza, generally in a style characteristic to the city, the term Chicago-style pizza is used to describe this deep-dish style of pizza.
This World famous Style of Pizza (sorry new yorkers, it is better than yours hehehe) begins with a thick layer of dough made with olive oil and cornmeal laid into a deep round pan and pulled up by the sides, then parbaked before the toppings are added to give it greater spring; the pan is oiled heavily in order to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust. The crust is covered with cheese (generally sliced mozzarella) and meats, usually in a solid layer or patty, just above the crust. Italian sausage (a Chicago staple), as well as vegetables such as onions, mushrooms and bell peppers are also used. A sauce, usually uncooked, made from shredded or puréed tomatoes is added.
Fondest memory: eating the world famous chicago deep dish pizza in at least three locations, Lou Malnati's, Gino's East and Pizzeria Uno!
it is availabe everywhere and a slice cost $ 3.50 a slice and $ 24 for 1 whole (usually 8 big slices).
While Allan and I were in Chicago celebrating our 44th anniversary, we just had to visit Chicago's Millennium Park [located between Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive, Randolph and Monroe Streets] It just so happened that on August 10-12, 2007, "Great Performers of Illinois" was being presented for FREE. It was presented as a showcase of the State of Illinois's diverse performing arts, foods, wines, and attractions. This is the second year that this activity has been held. It included music, dance, poetry, cuisine, children's program, and storytelling.
You can take a free park tour with Millennium Park Greeters. You could also taste regional foods and wines from Illinois.
There were presentations at origley Square Stage [pop music] and Grant Park Music Festival-Mahler, Symphony No. 5 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
The next day many musical events were planned. One of the most interesting, I thought, was Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln circulating throughout the park so that you could stop and talk to them. [Fritz and Linda Klein].
At the McCormick Tribune Plaza [2-8 pm] they would have Illinois wine tasting.
Sunday was also jam-packed with more events. I noticed that on all three days, they had several events just for children and a huge tent where kids could go to do crafts.
Fondest memory: Photographs:
1. People enjoying the symphony from the Great Lawn. Many brought their own food.
2. Jay Pritzker Pavilion with Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra performing Mahler's Symphony No. 5.
3. So many children were playing at the Crown Fountain...laughing, running, splashing, and we observers were smiling the entire time.
4. Close up of the inter-active Crown Fountain.
5. A reflection on the outside of "Cloud Gate" Sculpture of the buildings across from Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue.
Chicago is a wonderful place to visit. It is an hour from Milwaukee, so in the summer I visit at least four times. Hop on the train and in an hour I am in a city that has the best museums of any city in the United States. Restaurants that are unrivaled and shopping that is out of this world! Michigan Avenue is to Chicago, what 5th Avenue is to New York. The hotels are all reasonably priced and clean.
Fondest memory: I attend the Taste of Chicago festival every year! For further information, consult www.cityofchicago.org
A proper Chicago style hot dog is a Vienna Beef hot dog served in a poppy seed bun with green relish, onions, sport pepers, a tomato slice, a pickle spear, yellow mustard with a dash of celery salt. NO KETCHUP. Ask for it and you will get a dirty look.
Ketchup is of course permissable on french fries.
This beer taste great. I like it, so I drank a lot of it while in Chicago. I recommend you do the same. It's a fruity tart local brew and goes down well. It's available at a lot of places around Chicago.
DRINK BEER! :)
Fondest memory: Getting really drunk in a small pub in my Hotel.
Favorite thing: Stay away from the Giordano and other chain deep-dish pizza places. For the best, I recommend Lou Malnati's River North location (Wells St.). One tier below (but still better than anything else outside Chicagoland) would be the Gino's East and Pizzaria Uno chains. There's almost always a line in the downtown pizza shops. Plan ahead when you're hungry. Deep-dish pizza takes about 30 mins to cook, so find the order taker near the front door and get your order in ASAP.
Favorite thing: This is just a placeholder while I upload all my photos and then organize my tips. Please do not rate this one at this time.