I love Chicago. The neighborhoods and public transportation just make me all giddy. Now, let's remember that I'm from St. Louis, so saying I love our neighbors to the north, harborers of those stinkin' Cubs, is pretty bold. But, I just don't think you can compare the two. Overall, STL wins, hands down. But, if we're talking about the city proper only, well, I've got to hand it to Chicago.
One thing to do in Chicago? Eat. Anything and everything.
Food I like in Chicago:
- Portillo's hot dogs with their cute poppyseed buns and snappy little pickles, how could you say no?
- Deep dish. I'm partial to Giordano's, but really anything that involves spicy sausage swimming in melty cheese is A-OK in my book.
- Specialty stores. We just don't have enough in Des Moines. Near Hubs' parents' house is a highly nifty Italian shop wherein I could probably spend an entire paycheck on cheese, salumi and olive oil.
- Taste of Chicago is still going on this weekend and I'll never forget one ear of corn I had there two years ago. For starters, it got points for being organic and roasted in the husk (steam = extra yum in my book). The stand had a huge vat of melted butter (!) and the guy dunked the corn right into it. Then, he asked if I wanted it spicy and I obviously said yes, so he piled on chipotle salt. Heaven. Heaven on Earth dipped in butter, covered in spice.
Sometimes, eating isn't pretty.
- This Italian restaurant downtown stole my heart. Mostly because it had bathrooms straight out of the 1920s with white subway tiles and little dispensers of Borax for your hands. Precious. Also, delicious. Hubs and I went with his family for lunch once and I vowed to return someday when I'm not wearing skinny jeans. The menu has lots of little things perfect for sharing, which I love and Hubs hates (it's not this bad, but it's close).
- I've never been here, but I will someday. And Rick Bayless will live up to the hype, I just know it.
If you have time for two things: You'll probably need a nap after all that food. Or, you could see that bean in the park. I know it's touristy, but that bean is cool.
Chicago, speak up. I only visit the city once or twice a year, so I know I'm missing some good stuff.