A tradition since 1949. A trip to downtwon Chicago is not complete without a stop at GARRETT POPCORN SHOP. The heavenly scent of freshly popped popcorn literally lures you into their shop. On this day, Thursday December 14, with Christmas just around the corner, it was absolutely crazy in there. I ordered a large "buttery" at $3.95 plus tax. The popcorn was dripping with real butter and was scrumpdillyicious. but I must admit that Kristi's Cheese Corn and Caramel Crisp was simply amazing. Many customers were buying Popcorn in a tin to give as presents for Christmas. Examples of popcorn available in a tin is as follows:
Caramel Crisp - one Gallon - $24.00
Cheese Corn - one Gallon - $25.00
Buttery - one Gallon - $20.00
Caramel Twist and Cheese Corn - one Gallon - $26.00
Pecan Caramel Twist - one Gallon - $37.00
This was quite the summer festival if I've ever seen one! Our TasteFest in Detroit has nothing on this, as you walk miles and miles of booths in Grant Park, all of which have cuisines from restaurants all over the area for the public to try. For $7, you get 11 tickets. All food vendors take tickets only, no cash. Tastes are 3 tickets and meals can go anywhere between 5 and 8 tickets each. Tastes are generous portions however, and we enjoyed doing this at multiple booths, as we were able to sample different restaurants' foods without getting full too fast.
Be patient with the crowds though; it wouldn't surprise me if the entire nation was crammed into the park for this event. Also, wear comfortable shoes.
This event usually goes from the end of June through 4th of July week.
A word about Chicago pizza, if you will. Chicago is known for it's deep dish pizza. It's different that any pizza I've ever had. If you've never had it, my advice is to forget everything you know about pizza and enjoy the unique Chicago deep dish experience.
Being from New York, we consider pizza to be fast food. We want it hot, we want it now. In Chicago, pizza is not fast food-a typical deep dish pizza takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to make. It's also meant to be savored, not just gulped down, which I personally love. The cheese, the tomatoes, and whatever other ingredients you want, make it not just food, but a meal.
Among the famous deep dish pizza restaurants are Lou Malnati's (where we enjoyed a VT meet recently), Uno, Due, Giordano's (I must confess, I'm not in love with their stuffed pizza) and Gino's. Some of the bigger restaurants downtown get very busy-be prepared to wait.
Chicago deep dish pizza is not for everybody's taste, but I'm a big fan-it's deelish. When you come to Chicago, you gotta try it!
I understand that this should be listed under restaurants, but to me this is more than a place to eat, but a place to live.
When you come to Chicago this is a MUST do activity.
Back in the day blues legends like Junior Wells, Otis Redding and of course Buddy Guy could all be seen from time to time playing on the street for some change. Although it has since moved from its original location, the food has still maintained its legendary reputation.
To begin, the food there is so unhealthy, greasy and absolutely delicious it will make you want to eat two of whatever it is you feel like ordering. I highly recommend that you get a polish sausage and a pork chop sandwich (cooked on the bone) smothered in grilled onions.
The place is surrounded with street people selling socks, porno videos and lighters, but please don’t fret, Chicago’s finest are seen patrolling the area quite frequently. I have never heard of anyone having any real trouble with the “fringe element” that literally lives outside the place.
However, as scary and as intimidating it might seem to actually get out of your car and order your food, I believe that we can all agree that it is the ambience that makes it such an interesting place to go and eat
A famous comedian by the name of Bill Hicks used to intentionally schedule layovers at Midway Airport just to make a pit stop and get his polish fix!
Two great places to eat while in Chicago are:
Ron of Japan - A habachi grill
Giordano's - An Italian place-great pizza 730 N.Rush St.