As a new Illinois transplant from Arkansas, I am “new” to so much…..so many places to see and eat it boggles the brain! So, I thought how fun would it be to chronicle some of our “food adventures” for the blogging world. Let’s call today, Hungry in Illinois Part One.
If you aren’t from Illinois and you ask people about food in the greater Chicago area, you will quickly get “dogs” and “pie” as the foods you must try. Who am I to argue with those that know best?
Portillo’s. Dogs, fries, rings, beef and cheddar…and cake. Started in 1963, it appears this “shack” has turned into a huge business group that I am almost sure puts some type of addictive agent in their dogs. I don’t really care for hot-dogs and I find myself craving them more than I care to admit. The best buns ever! It has won so many food awards that it has retired from competition! The drive-thru is insane. It’s the most efficient operation I have ever seen. Ya’ll know that outdoor ordering you can sometimes get at Chick-Fil-A? Put that on steroids. The line is wrapped around the building pretty much from open to close. Always a crowd inside too. The chocolate cake is super! (Well, I still think mine is better, but for a restaurant cake…it’s tasty!)
I gotta give a shout-out to their rings. So crunchy….never soggy. That, my friends, is reason to go even without the dogs that I’m telling ya…got some addictive agent in them. No…seriously…..that or they put a magnet on your car that pulls your car in without you having any control…sorta like that movie where the spaceship pulls folks in. Let’s just call it “The Force.”
Oh the argument over the best “pie” in Chicago. I’ve had folks get pretty heated in this debate. I’ll be honest. We have only tried one so far. I kept telling myself before we ate that night, “it’s pizza”….really…how much difference can there be in pizza from our trusted Gusano’s to the “revered” pie of Chicago?
Pizza adventure one: We go into downtown Naperville (that folks is a blog of it’s own!) and we were thinking “Lou’s” because that’s what we were told beats the other guy hands-down. Lou, well, you had a two hour wait at 5:30….so we turn the corner and make “Giordano’s” our first “Chicago” pie experience. (One hour wait and larger venue.) We put our name on the list and had already been given a heads up to “pre-order” our pie so by the time our table was ready…the pie would shortly follow. We get our table and the place is PACKED. Lot of regulars and you could tell we were new….it’s almost like we have that new car smell or something…folks sense it. Kim, being all new to the portions of a “pie, ” orders a small salad. Ya’ll yummy in my tummy! Covered in all the good stuff like pepperoni, salami….so yummy…..then the “pie” comes. (Kim realizes the salad was not her best idea….it’s going to be a full tummy night.) Ok…here it comes…..Chicago….you can do pie! You have it down to a science! The best crust ever. The best sauce ever. The perfect ratios on toppings. Seriously…outstanding. Giordano’s….home-run.
We will add Lou’s to our list asap, but I am a Giordano’s fan right now and given the wait is half that of the guy around the corner….well….Lou…you will have to be the “bees knees” to get this Arkansas girl to wait two hours! Just saying…..
We have already eaten at so many yummy places and I cannot wait to tell you about those adventures. Breakfast, steak, desserts…..Chicago area can do food. Still on the hunt for those Blackhawk tickets…..one day…one day…..
Until next time….peace out…don’t get stuck in a moment…and just know…the food journey will continue!