Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On the California Zephyr to Chicago

California Zephyr Train Photo (c) Flickr user Loco Steve
Michele and I are on a train to Chicago! We have a family wedding to attend, and it’s my birthday tomorrow, so we’ll be celebrating by eating and drinking our way across the Windy City. If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, I’ll be sharing photos of all the deliciousness as it happens. It’s our first trip to Chicago, so if you have any “must try” spots, feel free to share!

The wedding we’re attending joins our cousin (and future James Beard Award winner) Tony and his beautiful fiance Nora. You may remember them from such epic 24-course meals as the one shown in the 3-part video below. You can see the lovely couple at the beginning of Part 1 (do not miss Nora’s slow-mo caviar tasting reaction shot!). I’ve only posted the videos, so if you want to read a detailed account of this historic meal, check out the original post here. Enjoy!

29 comments:

Mark said...

So you're not at home? I'm so robbing your house tonight.... only joking

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Mark, you just don't say things like that!

Timothy Shu said...

Dibs on the cast iron skillet, man those things are hard to find.

truthspew said...

Happy Birthday Chef John! A train huh? How long does that take? I'm used to the Acela here on the east coast getting from PVD to NYC in 3 hours. But the kick is, I can drive Providence to NYC in 2 hours. :)

Chris K. said...

You should get a Polish ham sandwich at Kasia's Deli in Ukrainian Village, on West Chicago Street. Their pierogi aren't bad, either.

Anonymous said...

So Mark, you'll be at Chef John's house tonight and not at home? In that case, I'm so robbing your house tonight.

Anonymous said...

Reza Persian Restaurant

Very good Persian/Arabic food.

http://www.rezasrestaurant.com/locations.html

You will love it!

The best Chicago Style Pizza in the U.S. is at:

http://www.giordanos.com/locations.html

FYI, the Chicago style takes 45 minutes from time of order so order ahead if you don't want to wait long.

Anonymous said...

Reza Persian Restaurant

Very good Persian/Arabic food.

http://www.rezasrestaurant.com/locations.html

You will love it!

The best Chicago Style Pizza in the U.S. is at:

http://www.giordanos.com/locations.html

FYI, the Chicago style takes 45 minutes from time of order so order ahead if you don't want to wait long.

Anonymous said...

Awesome way to travel. I took three different trains and four nights to get from South Florida to Seattle years ago and loved every minute, especially the wine and cheese tasting as we sped across North Dakota watching the pronghorns play.

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Dang it. I'm envious. Not of the delectable food mind ya but of the adventure aboard the train.

I did nevertheless traverse Las Barrancas de Cobre (Mexico) aboard a slow train many mango seasons ago. And it was indeed quite a memorable experience.

Btw... I gots dibbs on da wooden spoon wit a hole in da middle of it!

Morgan R. said...

Do try and stop by Hot Doug's! You might have to wait a while (the earlier you go, the better) but it is SO worth it! They have really great Chicago dogs, but even better, they have a whole bunch of amazing sausages, including a duck sausage topped with foie gras and black truffle aioli. Duck fat fries are only served on Fridays and Saturdays. GO!!! You won't regret it, I promise you!

Chibby said...

Ok, for good eats in Chicago:Unos(for pizza)Fogo de Chao(for Brazilian BBQ)Carsons Ribs(for ribs)Scoozi(for Italian)---imo best spots in town!!Probably more but I grew up across the lake from Chi-town and when we would go there,those would be spots we'd hit up!Also,I hear from many sources for after hours entertainment The Wieners Circle can't be beat for a Chicago style dog that comes with colorful verbal abuse!

Marvine said...

morning everyone. :)

Fabi said...

Michael in Winnetka is AMAZING and a well-kept secret. ..as is the homemade peach ice cream at Homer's in Wilmette just down the road.

Anonymous said...

The Purple Pig at Michigan & Illinois downtown. Delicious tapas-style restaurant.

Piece Pizza in Bucktown has amazing pie and a decent beer selection, but if you do this then go early because they fill up FAST.

Hot Chocolate on Damen just north of North Ave. Just... Just go. Amazing food, incredible hot chocolate, insanely delicious desserts.

Anonymous said...

Pequod's Pizza, Chef.

You can't go wrong.

Miki C. said...

Wow Chef John!!! That is so awesome that you get to ride a cool train! Have a fun trip! :D
~Miki
(One of your many "culinary students" from San Francisco)

Jay M. said...

Hurray! Welcome to my home town!

(Cracks knuckles, takes deep breath)

Although there are literally hundreds if not thousands of mouthwatering joints in the city, I'm going to suggest only a few of my favorites.

1) Hot Doug's. The best sausages and dogs in the city. There's always a line, but just get there for an early lunch (10:30 or 11) and you'll be fine. You can eat things like the Mountain Man; a combo of elk, antelope, buffalo, and venison sausage with yellow pepper sweet mayo, belletoile cheese, and jalapeno pepper relish. They also make a mean Chicago dog. I live in Denver now, and it makes me sad not to be able to eat here.

2) Manny's deli. Old school cafeteria-style diner, serving up some of the best corned beef you can find. If you're looking for true authenticity, stop in here for lunch, load up a tray of great food, and just hang out and enjoy the characters.

3)Southport Grocery & Cafe. Some of the best breakfast/brunch/lunch around. Locally sourced, homemade, fantastic comfort food. Bread pudding pancakes, sweet & savory french toast, brisket & gravy, a ferocious burger, and the best take on a cuban sandwich ever. EVER.

Also, being your first Chicago visit, do yourself a favor and skip the Sears Tower and grab a drink at the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock building. You get the single best view of the city, and you can enjoy a drink too!

Lastly, if you have time while you're downtown, take the architecture boat tour. You take the boat up the Chicago river and get to view the city from an entirely unique vantage point, learning quite a bit along the way. Good stuff. Have a great time!

Me.Eat.Food said...

Deep dish pizza, of course! Pizzeria Uno on Rush Street, Geno's Pizza, or Lou Malnati's are the traditional places.

Also gotta try a Chicago-style hot dog from any street vendor. The brightest green relish you'll ever see, banana peppers, tomato & onion, and celery salt - there's nothing like it! And for Pete's sake, don't ruin it with ketchup! :-)

Bon apetit!

Anonymous said...

What part of town are you staying at?

Chef John said...

Thanks for all the great info!! We are staying at The Public hotel.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, Happy birthday!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

happy birthday chef John!!!!!

Mark said...

To Anonymous: I live on the opposite side of the globe! I apologise if i caused offence. Love the blog Chef John.

MerelyMarie said...

I agree with the previous suggestions...a Chicago-Style hot dog is a must!

I recommend Portillos. If you don't get the hotdog, you can not go wrong with their Italian beef sandwiches...or burgers for that matter.

Not sure where you are staying, but there's a downtown location at 100 W. Ontario.

Enjoy! ;)

P.S.
I was so excited to read you're traveling via train. I hear the Zephr is so romantic!!!

osito+bunny said...

Chef John, you have to stop at Portillos and get a beef, and Maxwell combo, the best hot dog ever!the burgers are great too. Don't go to Gino east or gios they are over rated.

Me.Eat.Food said...

Oh, and if you're downtown you MUST go to the Billy Goat Tavern! "Cheeburger, cheeburger, chip, no Coke - Pepsi!" This is the place the old Saturday Night Live skit was based on. Awesome experience!

Vic said...

You should make a contest and whoever wins can have the 24-item tasting menu. I swear I would go all the way from Brazil to USA if I won! Love your videos, chef John! Please keep satisfying my food wishes (well, at least visually satisfying it, haha)

Nowal said...

I hope you and your wife a safe and fun trip! Congrats to the
newlyweds AND HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!!!! Hope you party like a rockstar ;-)