Now that I’m home from Orlando, I thought I’d throw things back to our trip to the Windy City from a couple of weekends back.
Chicago, with the exception of the harsh winters, is very much my kind of town. Any place that boasts pizza and hot dogs as part of its local fare is where I want to be, and Chi-town serves up some of the best. While Brian and I ate most of our meals at catered family events, we did make a point of trying out some of the city’s most notorious restaurants. I don’t care how tourist-trappy these places are, they’re good and very much worth the trip.
As a lover of chili-cheese dogs and onion rings, Portillo’s was my favorite, so let’s start with that.
The “snack” you see before you was devoured not long before we ate a three-course meal, but we knew we needed to fit it in, so we sucked it up and sucked it in for the party.
Wanting to try Portillo’s real claim to fame, I ordered the Hot Dog with everything (mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomatoes, a kosher pickle) minus the sport peppers (Brian’s a wimp). He got the Chili Cheese Dog, and it was one of the best I’ve had, and I’ve had many. Add to that the thickly-breaded onion rings and fun retro vibe, and Portillo’s is a must go. Absolutely.
Of the many Chicago-style pizza joints in the city, we sat down for a meal at Giordano’s at 11am on a Monday. A little early for deep-dish pizza, but Brian’s parents had a flight to catch. And I mean, really, who needs eggs when you can have stuffed pizza pies?
Especially for less than 10 dollars. Go for lunch on a weekday and you can get an individual-sized deep dish pizza, side salad and drink for $8.50 and up. It’s a real steal and lets everyone get exactly what they want. We couldn’t believe our luck. The deliciousness of the pizza was equally hard to believe.
The Oven-Baked Lasagna with hearty meat sauce was also tasty.
And finally, if you some extra cash to burn, consider going up to The Terrace, the 16th-floor balcony restaurant of the Trump International Tower. My friend Brad and I happened to be up there for an interview that we were doing for this story, and thought we’d stay to get a bite to eat.
A bite turned into many, but that should come as no surprise. I ordered the wagyu beef Shrunken Burgers on little brioche buns and recommend you do the same. The potato wedges that came with were superb as well.
Also be sure to order the Shrimp Croquettes made with seasoned shrimp in cheddar cheese béchamel breaded & lightly fried with a creamy cocktail sauce. The bill won’t be cheap, but that’s the premium you pay for spectacular views of Chicago, and it’s well worth it.
That’ll do it for this food diary. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! Mine will be spent trying to pack two weeks’ worth of clothes into a carry-on suitcase and traveling to Berlin. Wish me luck!