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 Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City

Change Page: < 12 | Showing page 2 of 2, messages 31 to 48 of 48
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ScreamingChicken

  • Total Posts: 4737
  • Joined: 11/5/2004
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Wed, 05/23/12 12:04 PM (permalink)
Very neat concept!  I like to walk but 20-some miles would be a challenge...do you do any special training in the weeks leading up to the DM?
 
Brad
 
#31
    kaszeta

    Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Wed, 05/23/12 12:24 PM (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken

    Very neat concept!  I like to walk but 20-some miles would be a challenge...do you do any special training in the weeks leading up to the DM?

    I don't.  I regularly go on hikes in the White Mountains that are longer (although easier on the joints; city streets are a lot harder than "dirt").
    But one reason we originally picked the ~20 mile length is that a good fraction of people that don't regularly hike that far, but are in "reasonably good shape", can do it.  Sure, you might feel like, well, death, the next day.
    The routes to date have also made sure to stay relatively close to transit options if people need to drop out, and we do pick rendezvous times for people to join in (we lost 2 people early on in Manhattan, were joined by someone partway through, and had partial walkers for both SF and CHI).
    The biggest issue for people not used to the walking is feet. We heavily encourage people to make sure they've got good walking shoes.  And moleskin.  And a change of socks.  (We didn't need any moleskin or sock swapping this year, however).
     
    #32
      BuddyRoadhouse

      • Total Posts: 4086
      • Joined: 12/10/2004
      • Location: Des Plaines, IL
      Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Wed, 05/23/12 2:20 PM (permalink)
      buffetbuster

      Did you happen to try any of the fried shrimp from Red Hot Ranch?  It is some of the finest I have ever had outside of South Carolina and Florida.

      buffetbuster,
      You beat me to the punch in recommending the fried shrimp.  You're right, they are outstanding.  And served "tails off", requiring minimal effort.
       
      kaszeta,
      I'm not sure how you made your decision to skip Khan BBQ, but I can tell you it is nothing like Sun Wah.  Sun Wah is Chinese and Khan serves more of a pan-muslim menu, ranging from the Middle East to Pakistan.  They're both outstanding (I hope your group ordered the duck at Sun Wah) and you should absolutely come back to Chicago to try Khan BBQ.  And make sure you contact me to join you.
       
      An excellent trip so far.  Looking forward to the rest
       
      Buddy
       
      P.S. You should really consider a Milwaukee tour, there's plenty of good stuff to eat up there.  It's a highly under appreciated town with almost as much diversity as Chicago, and in certain categories, more.  I'm not sure all of The Contingent members could join you for the full 20 mile walk, but I think a lot of us would do a follow along in cars.
       
      B.
       
       
       
      #33
        kaszeta

        Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Wed, 05/23/12 4:05 PM (permalink)
        BuddyRoadhouse

        I'm not sure how you made your decision to skip Khan BBQ, but I can tell you it is nothing like Sun Wah.

        Well, we made a few tactical mistakes.  Not doing Khan was probably one of them (but Great Lake was a seriously good pickup, so I'm not sure how that washes out). 
         
        The other was not ordering the duck in advance at Sun Wah.  :(
         
        Plenty of material for another visit.  I'm not done with Chicago yet.  ;)
         
        #34
          CCinNJ

          • Total Posts: 7762
          • Joined: 7/24/2008
          • Location: Bayonne, NJ
          Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Wed, 05/23/12 10:47 PM (permalink)
          Here's a nice NYC walkin' article...

          http://www.nytimes.com/20...ml?_r=1&pagewanted=all
           
          #35
            kaszeta

            Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Thu, 05/24/12 4:32 PM (permalink)
            Now for the bonus material...
             
            Before the walk, we all got together for dinner.  That's been the tradition, so we look for a place that's informal, has large portions, and doesn't mind you hanging out a bit.  Oh, from past experience, we also pick a place that doesn't have all-you-can-drink wine (we had a particularly hungover crowd for the Manhattan Death March due to this mistake.  We settled on Sun Wah.

            For the non-Chicago people, Sun Wah is basically your standard Cantonese-style BBQ joint (or in proper parlance, a “Siu mei” place): several different meats (chicken, pork, duck), put on a spit, glazed with a thick marinade and roasted rotisserie-style for hours until fully cooked. The result is a rather pleasant combination of juicy meat (the glaze seals in most of the moisture), deep flavor, and a really crispy and yummy fried skin. They’ve also got an extensive menu of side veggies, soups, cocktails (I opted for their “MSG” cocktail, which in this case stood for “Momma-Slappin’ Ginger”, a nice little cocktail loaded to the brim with ginger), rice dishes, and some fairly standard Chinese-American fare. But really, most of the menu is about the BBQ.
             
            Stepping into Sun Wah, it becomes immediately obvious that they’ve expanded. This spot is large. Almost cavernous. Several hundred people can dine here. But it still mostly staffed as if it was a hole in the wall restaurant downtown, with not a whole lot of staff running around doing things. The result is more than a little bit of service. Expect, if you don’t have reservations, for it to take a long time to get seated. Expect also to wait if you do have reservations, you just get to wait in the slightly short “we have reservations” line instead of the longer “no reservations line”.
            That said, by the time they left, the place was full, and while I’m sure nobody thought the service was spritely, nobody seemed to be terribly out of sorts or looking like they had waited for ages, so maybe they’ve got the system worked out pretty well. In any case, it was only about 30 minutes before walking in (5 minutes “early”) that we got seated, and handed some menus that appear, on the cover, to be relics from a former era.
            I should mention as an aside that Sun Wah gets bonus for their food photography. The menus themselves may be worn (we joked that they’ve been using the same menu covers for their entire 25+ year existence, and I’m not sure that’s really a joke), but the current menu inserts are a rarity for a fairly budget-minded Chinese restuarant, in that the full-color third page menu pictures of various soups, BBQ rice dishes, and such were actually done by someone with some photography talent (usually, it seems that the photos in these sorts of places were done by a colorblind person who left his glasses at home, and is still using old Polaroid photo stock from 1989, with a resulting blurry, washed-out photo that does anything but appetize you).
            But after looking at the tantalizing photos, we all had our minds set on what we wanted. Alas, that’s the Peking Duck, which you have to order 24 hours in advance, and we hadn’t. But it wasn’t that hard to find some other delicious looking items on the menu. We all opted for variations on the wonton soup (which turned out to come in a giant bowl for just $4.50), and variations on the BBQed meat with rice combo places (I ended up doing the combo of pork, duck, and chicken).

            I started out with the Wonton Noodle Soup with Tendon, which was indeed a substantial bowl of soup, probably enough for 2-3 people. But it was a good wonton soup: the wontons had a flavorful filling, a nice, thick wrapper, and were plentiful throughout the soup. The tendon was several thick slices of nicely simmered and soft tendon. The broth itself was a rich and flavorful broth with a hint of shrimp, but not much salt. Overall, I’d be a rather happy person if most places could serve up a wonton soup this good (the last bowl of Wonton soup I had that I enjoyed this much was at my favorite Chinese place in Minneapolis, Shuang Cheng, where I’m pretty sure the staff still remember me by name and order).

            When my BBQ rice plate arrived, it was basically everything I was hoping for. The duck was tender and perfectly cooked, with a nice flavorful and crispy skin. The pork was similarly delicious, with a really pleasant sweet note to it. And the chicken had a solid pepper flavor to it. This and some greens served on a bed of rice for $5.25, and it’s quite frankly a steal as well. I’d almost get this again, but…
            Here’s the place, however, where I need to repeat our major tactical gaffe: we weren’t organized enough to reserve a duck. The real specialty of Sun Wah is the Peking Dug, and while I was quite satisfied indeed with both the quality and price of our meal, watching the other various tables dining on their carved-to-order ducks made me realize that Sun Wah has to go on my “must revisit” list.

            They bring out the duck with a flourish and carve it table side, serving it up with some delicious-looking buns. They then take the carcass back to the kitchen to make you some fresh duck-fried rice and some Seriously, if you go, get the Peking Duck. I know, since we didn’t. And I’m feelin’ the regret.
             
            #36
              badart

              • Total Posts: 35
              • Joined: 11/5/2010
              • Location: North Judson, IN
              Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Thu, 05/24/12 5:12 PM (permalink)
              Glad you made the trip to Great Lakes Pizza. They get some of their veggies and herbs from one of my clients and friends Green Acres Produce here in beautiful North Judson, IN. Haven't made your Death March but as a frequent vistitor and worker in the city I have made many walks along the same routes you have. Thanks for the report!
               
               
              #37
                ScreamingChicken

                • Total Posts: 4737
                • Joined: 11/5/2004
                • Location: Stoughton, WI
                Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Fri, 05/25/12 9:30 AM (permalink)
                kaszeta


                The real specialty of Sun Wah is the Peking Dug,

                 
                Peking Dug or peeking Doug?


                 
                #38
                  kaszeta

                  Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Fri, 09/14/12 12:09 PM (permalink)
                  For those that might be interested, it looks like the 2013 Death March will be Boston.  Nominations for food joints welcome... :)
                   
                  #39
                    kaszeta

                    Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Fri, 10/12/12 3:58 PM (permalink)
                    And here's the draft itinerary for the 2013 March in Boston:
                     
                    http://goo.gl/PX6a4
                     
                    #40
                      kland01s

                      • Total Posts: 2835
                      • Joined: 3/14/2003
                      • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                      Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Mon, 12/31/12 5:42 PM (permalink)
                      Just a note, Beard Papa closed at the end of November.
                       
                      #41
                        kaszeta

                        Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Sun, 01/20/13 10:07 PM (permalink)
                        For those that were wondering where the next Death March would be, it's been schedule.
                         
                        Boston.  May 4th, 2013.  Nominal route here.
                         
                        Let me know if you are interested (preferably by private message)
                         
                        #42
                          CCinNJ

                          • Total Posts: 7762
                          • Joined: 7/24/2008
                          • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                          Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Tue, 01/22/13 11:06 AM (permalink)
                          Do you march rain or shine?
                           
                          #43
                            kaszeta

                            Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Tue, 01/22/13 11:07 AM (permalink)
                            CCinNJ

                            Do you march rain or shine?

                            In theory, yes (since many of the participants' travel wouldn't allow a reschedule), but so far we've been blessed with great weather.
                             
                            #44
                              brisketboy

                              • Total Posts: 1059
                              • Joined: 6/11/2007
                              • Location: Austin, TX
                              Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Tue, 01/22/13 11:14 AM (permalink)
                              Having grown up in the neighborhood of Montrose and Kedzie this topic really made me somewhat nostalgic for Chicago. I've been to some of these places and spent many happy afternoos at Wrigley Field. Thanks for the post.
                               
                              #45
                                kland01s

                                • Total Posts: 2835
                                • Joined: 3/14/2003
                                • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                                Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Fri, 01/25/13 7:22 AM (permalink)
                                Another note of closings for you, not only Beard Papa has closed but Great Lake Pizza has also closed. They are said to be looking for a different location.
                                 
                                #46
                                  kaszeta

                                  Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Fri, 01/25/13 8:20 AM (permalink)
                                  Yeah, I saw that over on SeriousEats (and updated my blog on Great Lake)
                                   
                                  #47
                                    Big Ugly Mich

                                    • Total Posts: 1302
                                    • Joined: 1/12/2004
                                    • Location: Trevor, WI
                                    Re:Walking Chicago: 22.6 miles spent walking and eating my way through the Windy City Tue, 02/5/13 11:08 PM (permalink)
                                    BuddyRoadhouse
                                    I'm not sure all of The Contingent members could join you for the full 20 mile walk, but I think a lot of us would do a follow along in cars.
                                    If you're going to walk Chicago, go here first! http://windycityroadwarrior.com/
                                     
                                    #48
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