Archive for the ‘City Snapshot – Chicago’ Category

City Snapshot – Chicago

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

OK, I know all you Nick the Foodie readers out there come here for the latest local food chummery and to discover good eats foraged from Bostonian soil. Believe me. I know…but every once in a while I’m going to magically sweep you off your crocs to a different food mecca.

Enter Chicago.

Yes, the windy city certainly blew some amazing grub onto my red circular plate. I could get long-winded myself telling you about it, but I’m going to make my review of the food scene easier to digest than a slice of Gino’s deep dish.

TOP SEVEN THINGS THAT I CONSUMED IN CHICAGO (NOT NECESSARILY IN ORDER OF GREATNESS – THEY WERE ALL GREAT):

1. W.R.’s Chicago Cut 22 oz. Ribeye Steak from Hugo’s Frog Bar (which means it came from Gibson’s Steakhouse because the two restaurants share a kitchen).

Why I loved it: Gibson’s has their own frickin’ grade of beef people…

2. Chorizo and medjool dates wrapped up in smoked bacon bathing in piquillo pepper-tomato sauce from Avec.

Why I loved it: Read above again and check the pic.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Quadruple latte zapped to me from the 80’s while caught in the Wormhole

Why I loved it: Locally-roasted beans, great technique, good machine, and a full-scale Delorean.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Chicago-style hotdog from Portillo’s

Why I loved it: The Chicago hotdog is transcendent glory on a bun. If this is how they did it back east I’d be eating one of these bad boys once a week (even if it meant knocking a few years off my lifespan)

 

 

 

 

 

5. Breakfast burrito from the Bongo Room

Why I loved it: Just a damn good breakfast burrito. Topped with spicy sour cream and melted  cheese

 

 

 

 

 

6. Arctic Panzer Wolf “massive IPA” – an insanely strong, beautiful, earth-shattering IPA from a family-run operation called Three Floyds Brewing in nearby Indiana.

Why I loved it: Just one the most flavorful, crisp, unique IPA’s I’ve had in recent memory. It will put hair on your chest.

7. Everything devoured at Girl and the Goatread sub bullets below:

  • Confit goat belly, lobster, crab, and bourbon-infused sauce
  • Mussels in a fragrant coconut broth and goat-infused croutons
  • Hen of the woods mushroom ragout, sweet potato agnolotti, shroom creme fraiche, capers

Why I loved it: Needs a separate post. Stephanie Izard’s homage to goat and incredibly inventive dishes simply blew me away. This restaurant is worth every word of the hype. Reserve at least a week ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWO SHOCKING TRUTHS:

  1. Deep dish is not all it’s made out to be. At least not at any of the big chi-town joints I scoped out.  It’s just decent food, but not life-changing in the world of pizza. Each spot had the piece of the pie they did well.If you want the best crust go to Lou Malnati’s, if you want the best sauce go to Gino’s, if you want the most baller toppings go to Pizano’s. But overall I found that these deep disheries made a perfect waste of all that cheese by slopping on average mozzarella rather than really making the most of the gooey stuff. Most of the crust is just overwhelming, hard, and not worth struggling to eat. I continue to search for deep dish that will wow me.
  2. I DID NOT go to Hot Doug’s. I know. Heresy. Travesty. Not for lack of trying though – the king of hot dogs was closed because the owner (Doug, I guess) was on vacation. But that gives me reason to come back to this city.

A PARTING BIT OF FOOD-RELATED RANDOMNESS:

  • T-Shirt Deli.I stumbled upon an amazing custom t-shirt joint out in Wicker Park that was fashioned from a former deli. Coolest shit ever. Choose your decal(s), your lettering, and your knit and the friendly staff here will press up a hot t-shirt sub in about 20 minutes. They’ll wrap it in hoagie paper, and even stuff a pack of Jay’s chips in your baggie. Great gift (and they deliver).

    Yup, I'm that cool.