So, here’s the concept; back in October, 2007, Saveur Magazine ran their issue about Chicago dining, food shopping, and local specialty foods in general. It was the first time Saveur had ever devoted an entire issue to a single city. On their cover they declared Chicago to be their “Favorite Food Town!” Their writers and editors visited 30 different restaurants, all over town, ranging from high end, four star, white table cloth institutions to flat out dives. About two thirds of the places they reviewed are Roadfood-worthy. I have listed them below.
Army & Lou’s-Soul Food, Inexpensive
422 East 75th Street
Borinquen Restaurant-Puerto Rican, Jibarito Sandwiches, Inexpensive
1720 North California Avenue
Burt’s Place-Pizza in the Pan, Inexpensive
8541 Ferris Avenue
Calumet Fisheries-Fried and Smoked Fish and Seafood, Inexpensive
3259 East 95th Street
Carnitas La Michoacana-Carnitas (Roast Whole Hog), Inexpensive
2049 W. Cermak Road
Dodo-Urban Diner, Featuring Breakfast, Moderate
935 Damen Avenue
Donald’s Famous Hot Dogs-Classic Chicago Dogs & Italian Beef, Inexpensive
2325 South Western Avenue
Ed’s Potsticker House-Chinese, Inexpensive
3139 South Halsted Street
Gorditas Aguascalientes-Mexican (Gorditas a specialty), Inexpensive
3132 W. 26th Street
Hecky’s Barbecue-Barbecue, Inexpensive
1902 Green Bay Road
Helen’s-Soul Food, Inexpensive
1732 East 79th Street
Hot Doug’s-Hot Dogs and Specialty Encased Meats, Inexpensive
3324 North California Avenue
Izola’s-Soul Food, Inexpensive
522 East 79th Street
Lem’s Bar-B-Q-Barbecue, Inexpensive
311 East 75th Street
Lindy’s Chili & Gertie’s Ice Cream-Chili, Burgers, Ice Cream, , Inexpensive
3685 South Archer Avenue
Soul Queen-Soul Food, Inexpensive
9031 South Stony Island Avenue
Szalas Restaurant-Polish, Moderate
5214 South Archer Avenue
Zaiqa Restaurant-Southeast Asian, Indian, Inexpensive
858 North Orleans Street
My thought is to pick a date, sometime in the spring, specifically after Daylight Savings Time has kicked in, and visit five or six of these places. I’m posting this now so we will have plenty of time to discuss, debate, and decide which of these 18 restaurants will make up the perfect foodie field trip into our fair city. Bear in mind, based on our last experience touring Chicago, five to six stops is probably the maximum number we can realistically make based on time, energy, and full bellies.
I have listed addresses and telephone numbers so, as you consider where you’d like to visit, you can put together a reasonable geographic selection. Even if you are not overly familiar with Chicago, certain similarities in addresses and location will pop out at you.
I have listed concise descriptions of the cuisine to be found at each of these places so we can put together a good mix with no duplications (unless of course the group feels so strongly about two places that we absolutely must have the same kind of food twice).
At this point, I am not expressing my preferences (frankly I haven’t made up my mind yet either). All of these places will have pluses and minuses in terms of location, being open on the day we decide to schedule this event, ability to service a large group of folks all at once, even the availability of indoor seating could effect the itinerary if we run into bad weather on that day. I’m hoping to generate a lively discussion over the next few months as we hone the list down to the agreed upon essentials.
I had a fantastic time with all of you when we last met up in November. I hope everyone felt the same way and that you’ll give serious consideration to the proposed list above. I know some of you will print out the list and bring it with for discussion when we see each other at Polonez on Sunday, Janauary 25th. It should be a good time.
See you all soon,