Thursday, August 11, 2011

And Last But Not Least…The Food!

Before heading to Chicago, just about everyone I know had Chicago tips for me.  While there were some tips about sights I needed to be sure to see, most of them were about the food.  Everyone mentioned how much they loved the food in Chicago.  Of course, that was wonderful news.

They were right!  Here are some highlights…

Garrett is the epitome of gourmet popcorn.  When I was first told about a popcorn shop, I didn’t think it sounded very appetizing.  I’ve had gourmet popcorn before – that stale kind that comes in tins around the holidays.  Ehhh, I wasn’t sure I would be impressed.  I was wrong.  Garrett’s popcorn is delicious.  I had the Chicago mix – half cheese popcorn and half caramel – both so fresh they were warm.    
stuff 111_5We couldn’t wait to get it home to try it.  We opened it on the bus and sneakily ate some so the bus driver wouldn’t catch us.

After the visit to Oak Park, we headed back into the city for dinner at the Hop Leaf. 
This place is GIANT and sold every kind of beer one can think of.  Their menu is very unique, combining interesting flavors. 
stuff 343
I decided on the CB&J which is a grown up PB&J that came with stilton mac and cheese.
stuff 344
Up until that night I had never tried frozen custard.  It is like ice cream, but with more eggs in it.  Apparently it’s a Midwest thing.  We headed to Scooters after dinner. 
I had the chocolate.  It was very creamy and very rich.
After the river cruise, we wandered around the city and stopped into Vosges Haut Chocolat – a high end chocolate company based in Chicago. 

692930755_7566c1caa6_b voges
voges2They are known for mixing different flavors in their chocolate like bacon, peppercorns, chilies and other herbs and spices.  
vosges_04 vosges-chocolate-new-york I bought some peanut butter bon bons and a small box of mixed truffles home with me.  The bon bons are gone…the truffles are being savored.

On my last night in Chicago I FINALLY got to try deep dish pizza at Giordano’s.p2200048We ordered a salad to share and our pizza with pepperoni.  Deep dish takes almost an hour to cook, so we ate our salad while we waited, and waited.

It was well worth the wait – so cheesy and so saucy.   
My mouth is watering as I write this.  It was SO good.  Unfortunately, after the weekend’s debauchery, I was only able to eat about three-fourths of a slice.  I wanted more, but just couldn’t do it.  Since then, I’ve been dreaming about this pizza.  I’m going to have to try to make this at home some time.

Everyone was right!  Chicago’s food is delish!


  1. Now you know why the farther East you go, the fatter we get. Now I want pizza for breakfast! m.

  2. Everything sounds so good. YUM! I could totally go for a piece of that pizza right that second. I am thinking of taking the kids to the make your own pizza place again soon. Casey hates pizza though. I thought she might have fun making her own though. We will see : )

  3. @Mark - I want it too. On the flight back to LA there was a father/son who brought a deep dish pizza (in the pizza box)on the plane with them. Luck outs!

    @Becky - I'm sure she'll like making her own.

  4. My absolutely fav thing about traveling is food! So many great restaurants to try and being on vacay is the perfect excuse to belly up to a *new* table :)

    ♥ Cat brideblu

  5. I concur the food is worth the trip alone .... I travel miles for a true Chicago style pizza....

  6. @Cat - Right?!?! That's one of the best parts of a vacation. The first night my hosts cooked for me. That was so nice, but the whole time I was thinking, "What great restaurant am I missing?"

    @3rdnlong - We have a few restaurants here in LA that sell deep dish, but it's not the true Chicago style that you mention. No other thick crust pizza will ever be the same...I've been ruined.

  7. Yum, yum, yum! It all looks so delicious.

  8. I NEED that pizza! Did you get a hot dog too?

  9. Now I have to go and start dinner and I can guarantee that it won't be as good as all the stuff you pictured. Drat!

  10. THIS is what I was waiting for! I want it all!

  11. @Marey and Jlo - A hotdog? What?!?! How long do you think I was there. This was PLENTY!

  12. @Banker Chick - It's hard to come home and cook after eating all that good food prepared by someone else. But to be honest with you, sometimes it's just nice to get home and have a salad and some fruit.

    @Blonde Duck - Yay!

  13. HA, I would be injecting adrenalin directly into the heart muscle with each and every morsel.

  14. I should be pedantic and point out that the pizza you ate was not a Chicago deep dish pizza, but the other famous Chicago stuffed pizza. But don't hate me for that!

    Did you know that you can have a frozen Giordano's stuffed pizza shipped to you??

    May be a lot easier than making one from scratch.

    PS - I am drooooooooling and unfortunately I cannot have one shipped to me :(

  15. @Vince - Isn't that the truth. Thank goodness Chicago is a great walking city. Every time we sat down to eat, we had walked 1-2 miles to get there. :)

    @Hula - There's nothing I love more than when you are pedantic...Seriously? It's not? What's deep dish then...just thick crust. I'm so confused because this is what I get when I look it up. A friend of mine just had Lou Malnati's and they call it deep dish. Please explain...

  16. Well, the deep dish and the stuffed pizza are both "Chicago-style", even the preparation and execution of the crust for the deep dish and stuffed pizza are the same, they even use the same type of deep dish pan.

    The easiest way to explain the difference is that a stuffed pizza has a crust on top (like a pie) and then pizza sauce goes over the top crust.

    A deep dish doesn't have a top crust.

    See what I mean? Pedantic.

    I used to go to this nice pizza joint in Lincoln Park and on their menu it said "We can turn any of our pizzas into a deep dish, just ask!"

    So I asked, but then I would always get some whole song and dance about why my favourite pizza could not be turned into a deep dish, but it could be made as a stuffed pizza... or vice versa.

  17. @Hula - OK, got it! Regardless, it was delish! :)