Chicago has been my favorite place to eat so far this year!! Comes to no surprise, I had attended the Taste of Chicago a few years ago and anticipated eating some really good food upon return. I was in town for a whole week for a conference, and made a point to fly in 2 days prior to enjoy the city and see what the food scene had to offer. After those two days I knew I’d be stuck with conference food for the next 5 days. I had a short window to get in as many restaurants as I could stomach. I left so many restaurants on the table but I will be back!!!
For breakfast I had to try Ann Sather’s famous cinnamon rolls. It took a bit longer to get to those rolls after I got there. The line was out the door and around the corner. It ended up being a 30 min wait but the freshly made cinnamon rolls were worth the wait!
I also had ham, bacon, egg whites and country potatoes. Delicious breakfast!
Around lunch time I was wondering around Fulton Market and came across Gus’s Fried Chicken. It was right next door to a restaurant called Duck Duck Goat, a Chinese restaurant. I started to go to Duck Duck Goat instead (only because the name was so unique) but I didn’t have a taste for Chinese so I settled for chicken. Later on I found out that the owner of Duck Duck Goat was celebrity chef Stephanie Izard(the first female chef to win Top Chef) I was very familiar with who she was, and had I known at the time it was her restaurant I would have gone in and at least sampled something. I will definitely go back next time I’m in Chicago since I’ll be in the area to get more fried chicken from Gus!!
During my San Diego trip earlier this year I mentioned that the garlic chicken wings form OB Noodle house were probably the best chicken wings I had ever had. I have now found a replacement in Gus’s World Famous fried chicken. What makes it my favorite is that it is so simple! It was so fresh, very lightly breaded and crispy. There was a hint of spice, not from it being rolled in sauce, or drenched in hot sauce and coated with a clunky coating before frying, but somehow the heat was incorporated in that thin crispy crust. SOOO GOOD!!!
My favorite dinner in Chicago was at a small shop called Luke’s Lobster. They specialize in lobster , crab and shrimp rolls. I appreciated the fact that they kept it light with the seasoning, hearty with the large chunks of lobster and no filler. All you could taste was the sweetness of the fresh lobster.
I washed it down with this blueberry lemonade that I particularly didn’t care for. I kept the bottle as a souvenir because up to that point I had never heard of or had blueberry lemonade and thought it was unusually unique with a cute bottle.
I have been a fan of Rick Bayless since I was a little kid watching his cooking shows on PBS. Having always known that he had restaurants in Chicago, and knowing that I would be coming, I tried to narrow down which one of his restaurants I would try. Unfortunately, trying to fit so many restaurants in two days (trying not to over eat at each one to save room for the next) by the time I got to Fonda Frontera I was not hungry, so I settled for dessert!!! I had these delicious freshly made churros with cajeta, an amazing caramel dip. Excellente!! I will definitely be back to one of his restaurants for a real meal.
Give it up for the snacks I had in between these meals!
I got the caramel cashew clusters…very very sweet, took me a few days to finish a small bag.
I ordered the Foot Long Chicago dog at Wrigley Field during a Cubs game…not bad.
This Chicago dog from Portillo’s was the best! Pickles, relish and hot peppers on a hot dog… YUM YUM YUM!
The one and only place that disappointed me was Al’s Italian Beef. I was so upset at how much that Italian beef sandwich tasted like a wet mop dipped in bland au jus. It was soggy (bread didn’t hold up to the juice) flavorless and the meat tasted old. Not sure if it was just the location I visited or if they taste like that at all the locations, but I was highly dissatisfied. I’m now on a mission to find the best Italian beef, Philly? New York? Who has the best Italian beef?