Chicago Eats?

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Gumbo191
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2010/02/20 14:08:52 (permalink)

Chicago Eats?

I know this is a very broad question but I am in Chicago again next week and am considering Hot Dougs, any thoughts? Last visit I made it to Paradise Pup near Ohare and am very tempted to head there again it was that good! I also hit Jean and Judes but wouldn't really want to go back there. I will be staying around Downers Grove Area and have yet to find anything worthwhile in that part of town. Willing to drive for the right suggestion.
 
Thanks in advance!
 
Gumbo 
#1

18 Replies Related Threads

    phatphil
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/02/20 17:43:14 (permalink)
    if it was me i would hit dougs for lunch and the pup for a double cheddar burger for dinner
    #2
    johnnyb62
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/02/20 18:15:41 (permalink)
    i would try Johnny's Beef in Elmwood Park on North Ave awesome italian beef & italian lemonade
    #3
    Gumbo191
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/02/21 14:24:58 (permalink)
    Is this better than Al's Italian Beef?
    #4
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/02/21 16:21:44 (permalink)
    Find a way to get to Mr Beef on Orleans

    Caution - Limited hours
    #5
    Russ Jackson
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/02/21 16:27:49 (permalink)
    Have you ever had real Chicago Pizza?...Russ
    #6
    Gumbo191
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/02/21 18:30:44 (permalink)
    Ive had Giordano's, Uno (yuck), and Gino's East. I prefer Giordanos because it does not have the corn meal crust. Am I missing anything worthwhile?
    #7
    carolina bob
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/02/21 21:09:18 (permalink)
    The original Al's on Taylor St. has, IMO, the best Italian beef sandwiches in Chicagoland, with Mr. Beef on Orleans a close second. Also, you should consider a stop at Superdawg on Milwaukee Ave.; it's the only true drive-in ( carhops ) in Chicago, and the hot dogs are outstanding.    
    #8
    quijote
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/26 23:36:44 (permalink)
    Carolina Bob (or anybody else)--

    Is there a big difference between the Al's on Taylor and the Al's on W. Ontario? Or is the Italian Beef Sandwich pretty much the same between them? I ask because I'm going to be in the River North area on Saturday, but don't know if I should head for Mr Beef on Orleans or Al's on W. Ontario (I won't have time to get to Taylor).
    #9
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/27 00:54:52 (permalink)
    IMHO, the biggest difference between Al's on Taylor and Al's on Ontario is that you can get ketchup for your fries at Al's on Ontario.

    I expect others will disagree and insist that the original Al's on Taylor puts out a superior product.  It's been years since I've been to either location so it's tough for me to defend my position with any degree of authority.

    As for the Mr. Beef vs. Al's question, my recommendation is to skip 'em both and go to Johnnie's Beef on North Avenue in Elmwood Park.

    Not much help, am I?

    Buddy

    Johnnie's Beef

    7500 West North Avenue
    Elmwood Park, IL 60707-4140
    (708) 452-6000‎
    #10
    twodales
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/27 15:40:20 (permalink)
    Hot Dougs is worth checking out.  Paradise Pup closes at 4 or 5 so dinner would be out unless it's an early dinner.  I am not a Gene & Judes fan.  Overrated IMHO.
     
    Do you like BBQ?  If so, definitely check out Smoque on Pulaski just off of the Kennedy.  Baby back or St. Louis style ribs.  BBQ chicken. Pulled pork. Brisket chopped or sliced and made in Austin,Texas smoked sausages.  Sides of Mac n Cheese, beans, fries, peach cobbler etc.  Not crazy about the vinegar slaw but not bad if you put it on your pulled pork.  I LOVE the sliced brisket. Worth a drive.  The St. Louis ribs aren't bad and the mac and cheese, though a small serving, is rich and tasty.  BYOB
     
    http://www.smoquebbq.com/menu.html
    #11
    irisarbor
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/27 16:29:03 (permalink)
    Hot Dougs is wonderful!
    I think they are worth checking out, but you can save some time and check them out on a non-duck fat fry day as far as I am concerned.
    While the duck fat fries are nice, I dodn't find them as completely transcendant as others have. 
    I mean they are very good fries, but they're still fries, plus it's not like there is truffle mayo to go with them or anything....
    Maybe I'm more of a truffle mayo girl than a fry girl....
    But the sausages...
    now there is something to write home about....
    YUM YUM
    #12
    carolina bob
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/27 18:34:05 (permalink)
    quijote

    Carolina Bob (or anybody else)--

    Is there a big difference between the Al's on Taylor and the Al's on W. Ontario? Or is the Italian Beef Sandwich pretty much the same between them? I ask because I'm going to be in the River North area on Saturday, but don't know if I should head for Mr Beef on Orleans or Al's on W. Ontario (I won't have time to get to Taylor).


    Mr. Q, I've never been to the Al's on W. Ontario but I eaten at a few of the franchised Al's in the suburbs, and while they're good, they're not in the same league as the original on Taylor. The same might apply to the Ontario location. If I had that choice to make, it would certainly be Mr. Beef. Also, I have to agree with twodales about Gene and Jude's; good but overrated.
    post edited by Carolina Bob - 2010/04/27 18:40:19
    #13
    quijote
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/27 18:52:57 (permalink)
    I think it's going to be Mr. Beef, then. I did go to Al's on Ontario when I first moved to the Chi-Mil area nine years ago, but I didn't quite have my Roadfood compare/contrast radar going back then: I remember liking the sandwich and thinking, "Cool, I had a Chicago Italian Beef," and that was about it. This time I'll have more awareness of the debates and preferences involved, so will be able to process the experience more.

    Unfortunately, I'll be pretty much confined on this trip to the River North and Loop areas, so won't get a chance to go to Johnnie's or other outlying places.

    I'd love to return to Hot Doug's, but it's just not in the schedule this time: getting there would take a while, and there's the line.... Great sausages, though, and I'd love to have more of those Duck-fat Fries. They're some of the best fries I've had.

    Other stops I'm hoping to make while in town include the Tempo Cafe and maybe Portillo's. I've been by the Portillo's a kajillion times, but never stopped in--it's so close to Uno, Rainforest Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe, and places like that, I thought it was just another tourist place I could do without. But it sounds like quite a few folks here like it, so I hope to give it a try.


    #14
    twodales
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/27 20:57:34 (permalink)
    FYI: If you had the time you could take the Blue Line (EL) to Smoque.  It would be a 20-30 minute trip. Not much walking involved either.  Well worth it too!
    #15
    quijote
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/28 00:02:39 (permalink)
    Smoque does seem to get good reviews, on this site and elsewhere. I just read a thread where Buddy praises the brisket--one of my favorite words. I'm not sure I'll get the time needed to make the metro trip from the River North and back, but it is possible if other parts of my schedule fall into place....

    If I can even swing a couple or three hours to head up to Smoque, are there other places nearby worth visiting? A Google search shows that there's a Mexican place (La Oaxacana) and other ethnic options.... Any nearby bakery? (Or perhaps Smoque has pie?) Or other rec? I'd like to try to squeeze in a couple of places for a mini-buffetbuster excursion, if the time opens up for me midday....
    #16
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/28 01:05:07 (permalink)
    q,

    I'm honored that my word means that much to you.  And yeah, while Smoque does pretty much everything well, if I had to choose one item to make a strong impression, it would be their brisket.

    Smoque is at the corner of Grace and Pulaski, just south of Irving Park Road.  Irving (as the locals call it) is a cornucopia of unique and varied dining opportunities running from the western edge of the city to the lake.  Unfortunately, not much comes to mind within walking distance of Smoque, especially in the dessert category (Smoque serves a decent single serving of peach pie, but you can do better if you're willing to travel a bit).

    Haven't been to La Oaxacana, but with a name like that in a heavily Hispanic populated city like Chicago, I'd think it's a safe bet for good grub.

    If I get a chance I'll do a little reconnaissance mission and let you know what I find.

    Buddy
    #17
    X1
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/04/28 06:50:51 (permalink)
    Q (and Gumbo191) -

    Both Chuck L and I would also recommend Smoque.
    Dayum, that place rocks.

    Also, Portillo's is awesome, and while tourists go there, it's not a tourist trap.


    #18
    quijote
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    Re:Chicago Eats? 2010/05/04 01:05:00 (permalink)
    Thanks for your recommendations everyone. As it happens, I got a chance to go to Smoque on Saturday, and I'm glad I did. The full trip report is here if you'd like to see it:

    http://www.roadfood.com/F...773&mpage=1#583773


    #19
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