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.
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.