OK, I admit I am whacko about food. Here are life's favorites:
CHICAGO in the 50's: King's Ribs. They burned down around 1960, but I grew up eating them. Last time I had them, I was about 8 years old, but I can still remember them. No sauce, dry, but I wish I knew what they put on them to make me remember 50 years later.
CHICAGO in recent years: 1. White castle. Hadn't been back in a decade, but flew into Midway and first stop before going anyplace else was the one around Ogden and Harlem, though any one would do.
2. Bohemian Crystal Restaurant in Westmont. My best friend form high school and his wife took us there for the best Bohemian food I had ever eaten. I almost dream about that place and can hardly wait to return from San Diego.
3. White Fence Farm in Romeoville. Another friend took us here and I had the best steak almost in my life, and my wife still, after 5 years, talks about how delicious the chicken was...crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. We used to get it at the to-go place on Harlem in the 60's but I may not have appreciated it so much back then. NO steak place I have ever been to in the U.S has compared to that steak that night.
4. Cock Robin in Brookfield by the train station. Now closed. I brought a huge bag of burgers back on the plane. We were on the way to the airport and I bought as much as I could carry. I was in heaven for a week!
5. Italian Beef Sandwiches. There was a place on our way to the near north side from Riverside area. I have a picture of it and will try to find out what restaurant really tickled my tastebuds. However, almost ANY Italian Beef in Chicago area flat out beats anything in San Diego.
Champaign, IL, near UIUC: Really, about my favorite thing in the whole world to eat is PAPA DEL'S PIZZA. I was a student when they opened for the first time around the corner from that big bookstore on Green St. I have adored their pizza ever since, and I just read that they ship. I will have to call later this week. No website up and running yet, but they say one is on the way.
Paris, FR: Last time we were there, I had Lasagna Bolognese at the cafeteria on the top (I think) floor of Galeries Lafayette. Topped with a sauce, can't hink of what it is right now, that kind of semi-fluffy cream sauce. OMG, it was sooo delicious.
Zurich, Switzerland: The Kalbfleisch Bratwurst they sell all over town that people walk around eating. I have a secret supplier here that is very, very close though, but they only sell them at the various street fairs around town.
San Diego: If I ever leave, and that is doubtful, there are 4 restaurants I would find it hard to live without:
1. Jack and Giulios for Scampi Giulio. They have been making the same recipe for like 40 years, and it is as good today as when I first had it in about 1980.
2. The Grant Grill downtown. Has the most absolutely delicious "chicken fried steak and eggs" in the world. "Filet Country-Fried Niman Ranch New York Steak with Apple Wood Smoked Bacon Gravy, Eggs any style, and truffled hash browns" on a custom English Muffin...most of that from their website. They serve these delicious crispy big cracker things and wonderful bread while you are waiting for your masterpiece to arrive. Erin has been our server many times, though it is like going to a friend's house for brunch. She is absolutely wonderful, as is everyone else. The chef came out once or twice to say hi too. Wonderful place. Not quite road food, but it is near a road. Well worth the trip from ANYPLACE!
3. Siesel's Meats in Bay Park: Many things in there are to die for, but grab a roast beef sandwich from the deli counter. It is the best RB I have ever had. Wonderful store to wander around for unusual meats, and the butcher area has deeelicious meats of all kinds.
4. Used to love the Iowa Porker Breakfast at Valley House in Santee. They closed though. Best fried pork tenderloin floating on a lake of cream gravy next to an island of fantastic hashbrowns. OMG. Too bad they turned it into Filippi's Pizza, though Filippi's might be number 5 for me. I used to love Square Pan Pizza in La Jolla. They closed in the 70's though.
5. Used to love Anthony's, but they changed the shrimp in their salads and I swear the Mama's Platter, or whatever it is called, changed too. I won't supply any more details, but we don't go there much anymore, though the Fishette is still on our list. It was much better 30 years ago though too back when SD had half as many people as it does now.
I could probably go on for a few more, but that is it for now.
We will be going to New York to see Manhattan sometime this year, and hope to find a lot of new favorites.