Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Taste of Chicago

I'm back! Chicago was great fun. We did everything we could possibly do in 5 days in Chicago, including seeing snow! Our days pretty much revolved around eating. Each morning we planned where we wanted to eat and how we would navigate the sites around those particular restaurants. After an exhausting 5 days, I think we saw, did and ate everything the Windy City had to offer. Here's a little run-down of the food we sampled:

Pizano's Pizza: We were definitely looking forward to sampling some deep dish pizza, but we decided to check out the award winning thin crust pizza at Pizano's first. We split Mark's Special, topped with tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic. It was spectacular. The deep dish pizza we would try later in the week had big shoes to fill.

Garrett's Popcorn: I adore popcorn. I eat a bowl of it almost every night while watching TV or relaxing on the couch. So I knew we had to hit up this place. We stopped in to get out of the cold while window shopping on the Magnificent Mile. The line was to the door, but moved quickly. We got a small bag each of cheese popcorn and caramel popcorn. I could have eaten their 6.5 gallon bucket it was so good. The cheese was my favorite (I prefer salty snacks), but the caramel was a close 2nd. I'm just happy Garrett's delivers all over the country. I will be taking them up on this offer soon.

Lou Malnati's: Oh my goodness! This pizza was to die for. Lou Malnati's came highly recommended and they were right. The four of us shared 2 small deep dish pizzas, a plain cheese and the Lou (topped with spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes). I could have stuffed myself, but we had to save room for the dessert pizza, a tiny chocolate chip creation, hot out of the oven and topped with vanilla ice cream.

Zeus was a great little restaurant in the heart of Greektown. We met a friend over there on his lunch break and he insisted that Zeus' was the place to eat. I'd never had lamb before, but I figured, "when in Greektown...." For $5.50 each we got a heaping lamb gyro with tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce, a side of fries and a soda. It was enough to make 2 meals out of, but in the spirit of American over-indulgence, I ate the whole thing. The lamb was delicious. I will certainly head back to Zeus' if I'm ever in Chicago again.

Zen Noodle's: On our last day there, we headed out into Bucktown (where we were staying) to try this great little Asian place. Thankfully Katie and I shared because the noodle bowls were HUGE! We split a cucumber salad and the Malaysian Hokkein Noodles--a mix of noodles, onions, carrots, sprouts, chicken and cucumbers.

Vienna Beef Hotdogs: Right before leaving town, Katie brought us to this hotdog stand to grab an authentic Chicago hotdog and fries. Mike got the polish sausage and I got the meal (hotdog, tamale and fries). So good, and such a good way to end our trip.
Goose Island Beer: Before heading to the improv show in Wrigleyville, our friend Mike took us to Goose Island to sample a Chicago-brewed beer. We tried the IPA, the Honker Ale and the Oatmeal Stout, which was my favorite. Too bad we don't get Goose Island down here in FL.

If you're ever headed to Chicago, I highly recommend checking out all of these places. They were excellent and a pretty good deal. Feel free to email me if you have questions about Chicago eateries (or anything else visitor-related).

Bon Appetit!
The Food Whore

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