6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery

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planojim
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2010/03/01 18:13:51 (permalink)

6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery

OK, I know this post would be a lot better with pictures, but I was on sales trip and didn't bring my camera.
 
Hot Dogs:

Jimmy's Red Hots 4000 W Grand (corner of Grand and Pulaski).  I searched Roadfood and couldn't find a mention of this place.  Wow.  I've always been a Gene and Judes guy, but I'm now officially a convert to Jimmys.  Hot dog was a 12/1 Vienna.  But, the fries were out of this world good.  Better than Gene and Judes, and they gave you a lot more.  I couldn't even finish all the fries that came with the 2 hot dogs.
 
Gene and Judes reviewed on this site:  http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=2284  Good as always, although I wish they fried their fries about 30 seconds longer.
 
Poochies, reviewed on this site:  http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/103/poochies  I was a little dissappointed, but to be fair, was there at an off-time, about 4pm.  The fries were good, the char dog interesting, but to me, very meh.
 
Gina's Hot Dog and Beef 1222 w Irving Park Benseville, IL.  Good stuff.  One of the few places that serves a depression style hot dog, but uses the neon green relish.  Close to the airport.  Fresh cuts fries were real good.
 
The Original Maxwell Street http://theoriginalmaxwellstreet.com/  It was on the corner of 294 and Independence.  I actually just stopped in on my way to Jimmy's.  Great polish sausage with grilled onions.  Fresh cut fries were great as well.
 
ITALIAN BEEF
 
I've been to Johnnies in Elmwood Park several times, and consider that the benchmark to compare all other Italian beefs. 
 
Al's #1 Italian Beef.  reveiwed on this site:  http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/2629/als-1-italian-beef I went to the original location on Taylor Street.  I didn't care for the flavor of the beef.  I think the flavor that put me off was nutmeg?  Fries were OK, but not hot, and not fresh.  They put one strip of green pepper on the sandwich.  This place has seen better days, imho.
 
Bostons Italian Beef 2932 west Chicago Ave.  Saw this place on an Food TV episode of "Best things I ever ate"  although I wouldn't classify it as the best Italian Beef I ever ate, it was very good.  I'll put this place on my Chicago rotation for when I return.  Fries were not very good.
 
Connie's Beef 7501 W Grand.  http://conniesbeefelmwoodpark.com/ Very Good.  Had never heard of this place before.  Just happened to stop in while driving past.  Really good italian beef sandwich.  Fries were the frozen kind.
 
PIZZA
 
Vito and Nick's I don't care much for deep dish, so I wanted to try some thin crust.  I went to Vito and Nick's http://www.vitoandnick.com/
I saw this place on DDD.  GREAT thin crust pizza.  Just great.  Old Style beer for $1.50, bottles of Schlitz for $2.  Really thin crust, pieces of sausage in about every bite.  Highly recommend.
 
HAMBURGER
 
Hackney's on Harms, reviewed on this site:  http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/559/hackneys-on-harms   The burger was a little dissappointing..the meat had very little flavor, but the onion loaf was top notch.
 
Breaded Steak sandwich
Ricobene's reviewed on this site:  http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/98/ricobenes  The texture of the sandwich didn't do a lot for me, but the flavor was real good.  Great fries as well.
 
BAKERY in the middle of nowhere:

Swiss Maid Bakery  http://www.swissmaidbakery.net/  I just happened to be in a town called Harvard, IL...it's about 40 miles NW of Chicago.  As I was driving though downtown, there was a sign that said Bakery.  Just had to stop, and wow, I'm very glad I did.  It's been there since 1934....everything was fantastic, and really cheap.  They had a pastry I'd never heard of before called "Swedish Flop".  Crust on the bottom, butter cream frosting in the middle, struessle top.  Fantastic.  They also had something similar to coffee cake, but they called it pie slices.  the squares were about 3"x3", and they had both apple and cherry.  Slices were $.80 each.  Very yummy.  I'm so glad I stopped.
 
again, sorry about no pictures.
 
#1

24 Replies Related Threads

    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/01 18:34:11 (permalink)
    Nice mix of Chicago favorites...thanks for sharing!
    #2
    saps
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/01 18:57:20 (permalink)
    Unfortunately, Hackneys isn't what it once was, and as far as Ricobene's, the breaded steak sandwich has the consistency of a rug.  Can't say I'm a a big Al's fan either.
     
    The Swedish Flop sounds intriguing.  I may head to Harvard this weekend.
     
    Nice report.
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/01 19:34:08 (permalink)
    Really nice report. Thanks.
    #4
    douginvirginia
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/02 06:34:45 (permalink)
    Also want to say thanks for the good report. Pics aren't always needed when the report contains descriptions such as the ones yours contained.
    #5
    carolina bob
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/02 07:20:25 (permalink)
    I enjoyed your report, even though our opinions of some of these places are quite different. I consider the beef sandwich at the original Al's on Taylor St. to be Chicago's best ( and yes, there is a hint of nutmeg in the gravy. ) The burgers at Hackney's are among my favorites, and I don't care for either the texture or the flavor of the breaded steak sandwiches at Ricobene's.
    #6
    signman
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/02 08:37:38 (permalink)
    What is a "Depression Style" hot dog?
    #7
    wanderingjew
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/02 08:44:29 (permalink)
    signman

    What is a "Depression Style" hot dog?


    A hot dog with a dent in in it?
     
    That was just too tempting
     
    PlanoJim- great report.
     
    Connies sounds promising
    #8
    the grillman
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/02 11:29:43 (permalink)
    wanderingjew

    signman

    What is a "Depression Style" hot dog?


    A hot dog with a dent in in it?
     
    That was just too tempting
     
    PlanoJim- great report.
     
    Connies sounds promising


    I had to google this to find out....it's a slightly smaller hot dog served in a plain bun, with mustard, onions, relish, and sport peppers, no tomatoes, celery salt, or pickles.  Kind of like a simpler Chicago dog....Found this out on SeriousEats, another food site.

    Love them Chicago dogs!


    #9
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 10:55:53 (permalink)
    Nice report - thanks the ideas for places to eat.
     
    Carolina Bob,
     
    I've got at least two trips scheduled for this year to NW Indiana and definitely want to visit the original Al's as you have suggested.
    #10
    saps
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 11:55:46 (permalink)
    Buffalo Tarheel

    If you go to NW Indiana, make sure to go by Miner-Dunn for a burger and onion rings.  Great old-school place.  I believe they make homemade strawberry pies in the summer.

    It's on rte 41, just off of 94.

    Miner-Dunn
    8940 South Indianapolis Boulevard, Highland, IN‎ - (219) 923-3311‎

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/profile_photos/125305?photo_id=36500


    #11
    carolina bob
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 12:06:45 (permalink)
     Buffalo Tarheel, just say the word and we'll be on our way to Al's! Last summer I took ayersian and Louis there and they loved it. The burgers at Miner-Dunn are pretty good, even though my preference is for those at Schoop's, a NW Indiana mini-chain.
    #12
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 15:17:04 (permalink)
    Carolina Bob

    The burgers at Miner-Dunn are pretty good, even though my preference is for those at Schoop's, a NW Indiana mini-chain.


    The gang over at A Hamburger Today didn't shar e your love for Schoop's.
    #13
    saps
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 15:33:15 (permalink)
    Seems like the quality varies at different Schoops.  We ate at one at Michigan City last summer, and it was nowhere near as good as the one in Calumet City.

    However, for the whole package, I like Miner-Dunn, with their fresh cut fries, homemade onion rings, and shakes and malts, as well as the old-school dining area.
    #14
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 15:38:05 (permalink)
    saps

    Buffalo Tarheel

    If you go to NW Indiana, make sure to go by Miner-Dunn for a burger and onion rings.  Great old-school place.  I believe they make homemade strawberry pies in the summer.

    It's on rte 41, just off of 94.

    Miner-Dunn
    8940 South Indianapolis Boulevard, Highland, IN‎ - (219) 923-3311‎

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/profile_photos/125305?photo_id=36500




    Saps,
     
    That is a good-looking burger, and I will definitely want to try it this year.
    #15
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 15:39:47 (permalink)
    Carolina Bob

     Buffalo Tarheel, just say the word and we'll be on our way to Al's! Last summer I took ayersian and Louis there and they loved it. The burgers at Miner-Dunn are pretty good, even though my preference is for those at Schoop's, a NW Indiana mini-chain.


    Bob,
     
    Absolutely!  I just have to find the dates for my trips, and I think the first one is in June.  Looking forward to Al's.  Schoop's is a good idea also.
    #16
    Play27
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 16:49:10 (permalink)
    Stupid question, is there any place in O'Hare to get an good Italian Beef sandwich?
    #17
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 19:54:53 (permalink)
    Play27

    Stupid question, is there any place in O'Hare to get an good Italian Beef sandwich?


    *In* O'Hare, obviously, your options are going to be a little limited.  Your best bet may be Gold Coast Hot Dogs?  I guess it depends on what terminal you are in.

    http://www.flychicago.com...hareFoodBeverages.shtm
    #18
    paulde
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 20:53:58 (permalink)
    saps

    Buffalo Tarheel

    If you go to NW Indiana, make sure to go by Miner-Dunn for a burger and onion rings.  Great old-school place.  I believe they make homemade strawberry pies in the summer.

    It's on rte 41, just off of 94.

    Miner-Dunn
    8940 South Indianapolis Boulevard, Highland, IN‎ - (219) 923-3311‎


     
    The burger looks great and so do thoes FRESH (not frozen) fries.  Wish I lived closer.
     
    Paul



    #19
    Louis
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 22:06:21 (permalink)
    That roast beef sandwich that Carolina Bob had me try last summer at Al's # 1 Roast Beef was the most fantastic flavor-packed sandwich I put in my mouth last year.

    #20
    carolina bob
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/04 22:21:27 (permalink)
    Louis, I'm glad that you enjoyed your sandwich at Al's so much, but, believe me, no self-respecting Chicagoan would refer to an Italian beef as a roast beef sandwich ( a roast beef sandwich is what you go to Arby's to get. " /> )   
    #21
    carolina bob
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/05 21:10:36 (permalink)
    TTM, when I lived in Lansing IL, the Schoop's in Munster was the location closest to my place, and I've probably eaten enough hamburgers there to fill a Volvo. I agree that Schoop's fries leave something to be desired ( I rarely bother with them ), but I can't remember ever having a disappointing burger there like A Hamburger Today did. Mine have always had the nice crispy edges that Schoop's burgers are known for. Guess AHT just hit the place on an off day.
    #22
    Play27
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/08 13:15:30 (permalink)
    Thanks! I was hoping for a satellites of one of the really good Chicago places, like in Memphis where you can get Interstate BBQ!
    #23
    erikkoik
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/16 17:08:52 (permalink)
    Gold Coast Dogs has OK Italian Beef Sandwiches. They taste REALLY good after two weeks in Asia while waiting at O'Hare for my connecting flight!
    #24
    IntelligentT82
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    Re:6 Days in Chicago...hot dogs, Italian beefs, pizza, and a great bakery 2010/03/16 17:32:43 (permalink)
    Ohh how I love Maxwell Street Hamburgers and Polishes.  MMM
    #25
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