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Old 02-05-2013, 10:13 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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How to: Visit Chicago Like a Chicagoan

This goes under the file "Things I Wish I Had Written Wrote Writed Written"

It's also got lots of swears. Fair warning.

An excerpt:
Quote:
Eating like a Chicagoan means understanding you can get good to great food anywhere. Yeah, I’m sure Rick Bayless has had his proverbial knob gobbled by every Food Network person you watch, but it turns out if you don’t go to some rib joint that’s open until 1 a.m. you may as well be a plantation owner. So here are some quintessential Chicago dining experiences.

Chicago-Style Pizza

Yeah I know you went to Gino’s East or Giordano’s or whatever. You did it wrong. First off, you ate at the restaurant. Second, you were probably mostly sober. In no way is that how you approach eating a Chicago-style pizza.

1) Go out to a dive bar on the north side (anything west of Southport and north of Belmont will count, I feel; YMMV) and begin drinking. If they have PBR you should have at least two. Same with Schlitz. If you want to do the beer snob thing, you’re welcome to it. Same with scotch. No wine. Vodka is OK.
2) Keep drinking.
3) Begin talking to locals. They will be the interesting people around you.
4) Become best friends with locals. It should be about 10:30 by now.
5) Keep drinking. Decide if you are going to try to sleep with any of these people.
6) At 12:30, begin talking about how you’re hungry. This will be true as you have not eaten.
7) Convince your new friends to take you to their apartment. It will look like this most likely:

Hello, I am a two-flat.

8) Order a deep dish from Chicago’s Pizza.

9) Fifty minutes later, make a major ordeal about how you are going to pay this delivery guy.
10) Eat a slice of the pizza that you have somehow paid for.
11) Fall asleep on couch, not having sex with locals.
12) Wake up four hours later. At this point the pizza should be sitting on the coffee table across from you. The cheese has congealed and the sauce gone cold. Think to yourself “There is a block of cheese inside of me. It has to get out…right?” Ponder your life failures as you sneak out of this person’s apartment and try to find a cab/el stop.
More beautiful prose here: How to: Visit Chicago Like a Chicagoan

Last edited by WhyNot; 02-05-2013 at 10:13 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-05-2013, 11:20 PM
Atomic Mama Atomic Mama is offline
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As an expat Chicagoan, I will follow the link! The fact that the writer included the phrase "two-flat" proves his authenticity. (Yes, I lived in a two-flat, right across from the El, between Wrightwood & Diversey.)

But I wonder if he can relate any stories about the blues?

I will report back.
  #3  
Old 02-06-2013, 12:14 AM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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Demera isn't that great. Go to Ethiopian Diamond on Broadway. It tastes better.

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 02-06-2013 at 12:15 AM.
  #4  
Old 02-06-2013, 12:46 AM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Oh great, he's sending people to Uptown. There goes the neighborhood.
  #5  
Old 02-06-2013, 02:09 AM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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n/m
  #6  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:11 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
Demera isn't that great. Go to Ethiopian Diamond on Broadway. It tastes better.
Just don't let anyone know about Ras Dashen, and all will be well.
  #7  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:36 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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I once heard it said that people who live in New York suburbs brag about how often they get into the City, and people who live in Chicago suburbs brag about how seldom they get into the City.
  #8  
Old 02-06-2013, 12:21 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is offline
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Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
I once heard it said that people who live in New York suburbs brag about how often they get into the City, and people who live in Chicago suburbs brag about how seldom they get into the City.
Definitely true when I was a kid in the '80s, growing up in a suburb bordering the city,* but IMHO and experience, still living in the near 'burbs, not so true nowadays.

*Of course, people would cross the street into the city proper, which except for the streetlamps and signs was indistinguishable from my suburb, but they'd brag about not being downtown in decades or at least years.
  #9  
Old 02-06-2013, 01:26 PM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Yeah, Iím sure Rick Bayless has had his proverbial knob gobbled by every Food Network person you watch, but it turns out if you donít go to some rib joint thatís open until 1 a.m. you may as well be a plantation owner.
I'm still trying to puzzle out what this sentence means.

This guy seems to be trying too hard. His writing is too clever by half and it gets in the way of whatever point he's trying to make. Another example:

Quote:
See the Bean without a local. Seeing ďThe Sky BridgeĒ seems like such a great idea too, right?! Millennium Park is like a park but without all that history and gravitas that real Chicago parks have. If you donít have a fat half-Italian bitching about Daley as you try to take your stupid reflection shot, youíre incapable of raising children right. Ponder that.
Yeah, okay. Whatever.
  #10  
Old 02-06-2013, 02:46 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post

This guy seems to be trying too hard. His writing is too clever by half and it gets in the way of whatever point he's trying to make.
That was my reaction too. He seems to be saying, "See? I'm a funny guy, aren't I? Aren't I?? THIS IS FUNNY DAMMIT!!!"

I smiled once or twice, but after awhile he became annoying.

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 02-06-2013 at 02:47 PM.
  #11  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:33 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
I once heard it said that people who live in New York suburbs brag about how often they get into the City, and people who live in Chicago suburbs brag about how seldom they get into the City.
Ain't it the truth. I've moved between Aurora, Naperville, Batavia, Woodridge, and Lombard over the past 5 years. Been to the city... twice. And neither time by choice.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 02-06-2013 at 04:34 PM.
  #12  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:49 PM
Atomic Mama Atomic Mama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
I once heard it said that people who live in New York suburbs brag about how often they get into the City, and people who live in Chicago suburbs brag about how seldom they get into the City.
Is very true. But you'd have to quote my deceased father.
  #13  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:09 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bredin View Post
Definitely true when I was a kid in the '80s, growing up in a suburb bordering the city,* but IMHO and experience, still living in the near 'burbs, not so true nowadays.
Yup. I live in the burbs but work in the city and love going down there to eat, drink, shop, and anything else I can do every chance I get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
Quote:
Yeah, Iím sure Rick Bayless has had his proverbial knob gobbled by every Food Network person you watch, but it turns out if you donít go to some rib joint thatís open until 1 a.m. you may as well be a plantation owner.
I'm still trying to puzzle out what this sentence means.
WAG: "Bayless doesn't count; go to holes-in-the-wall or go home." I think that's a bullshit attitude - respect the good stuff regardless of the size/popularity!

And Charlie Trotter's closed months ago, but whatever, I suppose people might still be asking him about it.
  #14  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:40 PM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
Ain't it the truth. I've moved between Aurora, Naperville, Batavia, Woodridge, and Lombard over the past 5 years. Been to the city... twice. And neither time by choice.
Where in the Lilac Village?

But yeah, I thought the thread's title was a question at first and was all set with the snappy answer of, "You don't."

Last edited by dropzone; 02-06-2013 at 07:40 PM.
  #15  
Old 02-06-2013, 08:54 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Where in the Lilac Village?

But yeah, I thought the thread's title was a question at first and was all set with the snappy answer of, "You don't."
A hop + skip + jump away from the toll road. Which toll road? All of them!
  #16  
Old 02-08-2013, 11:46 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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I brag about rarely leaving the 312 area code.
  #17  
Old 02-08-2013, 03:21 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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OK, I commend his civic pride. But his advice is terrible.

Chicago pizza is gross. Thank God I found a place that does (real-deal, or reasonably close) NY-style in the city. Sames goes for Chicago vs. NYC (sauerkraut and yellow mustard) hot dogs.

(But you are dead to me if ever I see you going into some place called "Brooklyn Industries" in Wicker Park. Or if you call East Ukie Village, the "East Village." Board a fucking plane and move already.)

The river tour really is the only good piece of advice. I still love the Hancock Observatory. Millennium Park is just splendid. I couldn't imagine visiting the city in the summer and not seeing it.

The Green Mill has been pimped out by white north side flaneurs seeking to establish their multi-culti bona fides since the mid-90s. Guess what? Jazz sucks. And guess what, if you go, it's gonna be a bunch of annoying LP types.

Tourists, don't go to Uptown. If you can't resist, go to a concert at the Riv or the Aragon. I saw the Pixies there once. Loved it.

Also, WTF is up with talking to locals at neighborhood bars?

Tourist: "Oh, Ravenswood is pretty neat, friendly Chicago resident. What do you recommend we check out here?"

Me: "Uhhhh, I don't know. I live here cause it's affordable and residential, and near my train and with plentiful parking, and my bank and the grocery store and Target are nearby. ...... So, have you checked out the Target and the PNC?"
  #18  
Old 02-08-2013, 03:34 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
WAG: "Bayless doesn't count; go to holes-in-the-wall or go home." I think that's a bullshit attitude - respect the good stuff regardless of the size/popularity!
Yeah, I'm all for finding the cheap hole in the wall--I mean, that's where I usually eat--but Bayless's restaurants are fantastic and absolutely worth a visit. Places can be extremely popular and even tourist traps and still be good.
  #19  
Old 02-08-2013, 03:43 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by Kimmy_Gibbler View Post
OK, I commend his civic pride. But his advice is terrible.

Chicago pizza is gross. Thank God I found a place that does (real-deal, or reasonably close) NY-style in the city.
Who? I haven't found any one who does a decent NY pie here. But that's okay, because we're not in New York. Get yourself a good Chicago-style thin crust. We're talking Vito & Nick's, Pat's, Marie's, etc. If you don't like deep dish, that's cool. I only like it about 2 times a year. But the thin crust is great. Looking for great NY style pizza in Chicago is like looking for great Chicago style pizza (thin or thick) in New York. Why bother?

Quote:
Same goes for Chicago vs. NYC (sauerkraut and yellow mustard) hot dogs.
I do like some New York dogs. Not a big fan of Sabrett's, but Hebrew Nationals are good. Too bad they're not natural casing. That's the biggest minus for me for most of NY dogs. Who cares how you dress your dog--put ketchup on it if you want--the dog should be able to stand alone. I prefer Vienna beefs to anything I've had in NY, but I'm sure it's an issue of what you grew up with. Natural casing dogs are getting hard to find even here in Chicago. But, for me, that's a requirement for a good dog. That firm snap is half the joy of a good sausage. (Hope that doesn't sound too sexual.)


Quote:
Tourists, don't go to Uptown. If you can't resist, go to a concert at the Riv or the Aragon. I saw the Pixies there once. Loved it.
The Aragon is among worst venues to see a concert in Chicago. Terrible, terrible acoustics. I mean, off-the-wall awful, unless something has changed in the last two or three years. That said, I'd see the Pixies, there, too. In fact, I did see the Pixies there. Too bad the sound sucked ass.

But, yeah, I disagree about the Hancock. I think getting a drink there on the 94th floor (or is it the 96th--it's one floor off the Signature Room) is one of the best places to get a drink and see the city. I've only been there once, when a visitor from out-of-town requested to go there, and I was impressed. The drinks weren't crazy overpriced, you got a spectacular view of the city, and you didn't have to pay whatever ridiculous price it is you pay to get into the Sears *cough* Willis Tower these days. That said, I'd take visitors to the Willis Tower, too. Those new glass floor cubes they have are definitely worth a visit.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-08-2013 at 03:46 PM.
  #20  
Old 02-08-2013, 11:00 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Agreed, I'm a fan of the Hancock's Signature Room for a fucking gorgeous view of the nighttime skyline, plus it's cheaper to have a drink there than pay the entry fee for the Sears Tower (*grumbleWillis*) and there's no security search or wait to get up there. Not a fan of glass walkways into oblivion, so I'll pass on that upgrade.

I like Chicago thin crust way more than deep dish, though my favorite is a relative newbie, Piece, which they say is "New Haven style."
  #21  
Old 02-09-2013, 10:24 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Yeah, Piece is nice...when you can get a seat. Place has been filled to the gills every time I've been there, but it's been at least a year since I've been, so maybe things have settled, but I doubt it. The beers they brew are fantastic, too. I would go there far more often if the parking were more convenient and I could find seating. The bacon & clam pizza is the best.

When I'm not in the mood for Chicago style thin, my favorite pizza is still Coalfire. They do an East Coast-meets-Neapolitan coal-fired kind of thing. It's awesome. I know that Spillane (the co-founder of Coalfire) recently opened up a new place called Armitage Pizzeria which is supposed to be more a straight East Coast take on pizza. I haven't been there yet, but I've heard good things about it.

And, of course, there is Great Lake that pops up on these "best pizza in the US" lists, but I haven't managed to get myself there, either.
  #22  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:22 AM
Atomic Mama Atomic Mama is offline
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Jumping in to say that the Drake Hotel's Cape Cod Room is still a favorite (as of 2010, last time I visited there) and their cocktails are OUTSTANDING.

Chicago Vienna Hot Dogs are still the best ... Chicago-style, from a local (not chain / sorry, Petrillo's) vendor. I vote for any Italian Beef-Sausage Combo, WET, with hot giardiniera, as one of the best messy meals EVER.
  #23  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:25 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Nah, Patrillo's hot dogs are awesome. At least they can be reliably depended on to have natural casing dogs. In my neighborhood, most mom and pops use skinless. I can't believe how difficult it is to get a proper dog around here (and I'm not talking condiments, as I don't go for that "fully dressed" stuff, usually. That wasn't the Chicago dog I grew up with. Gene and Jude's--that's the type of hot dog I was raised on.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-09-2013 at 11:28 AM.
  #24  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:57 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
.......I know that Spillane (the co-founder of Coalfire) recently opened up a new place called Armitage Pizzeria which is supposed to be more a straight East Coast take on pizza. I haven't been there yet, but I've heard good things about it.......
I've been to Armitage Pizzeria, as it's a couple blocks from my house. I'll give them credit for authentic ambiance - like most NYC pizzerias, it has all the charm of a dry cleaners. The pizza itself is so-so.

My transplanted-NYCer girlfriend and I recently finished a hard target search for the best NYC style pizza in Chicago, and she declared the winner to be Luigi's on Clark Street.
  #25  
Old 02-09-2013, 12:10 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Who? I haven't found any one who does a decent NY pie here.
Pizzaco in Lakeview. I order it in.
  #26  
Old 02-09-2013, 12:42 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by Kimmy_Gibbler View Post
Pizzaco in Lakeview. I order it in.
I'll have to check some of these out. To be honest, I'm not big on the regular New York style pizza (and think Jersey does a better job of it), but Totonno's, Grimaldi's, and Patsy's are among my favorite pizzas in the world.
  #27  
Old 02-09-2013, 02:43 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yeah, Piece is nice...when you can get a seat. Place has been filled to the gills every time I've been there, but it's been at least a year since I've been, so maybe things have settled, but I doubt it. The beers they brew are fantastic, too. I would go there far more often if the parking were more convenient and I could find seating. The bacon & clam pizza is the best.
Nah, they're still full. Tried 5 pm on a Sunday a few weeks ago and there was an hour wait already. We usually end up going for lunch.
  #28  
Old 02-10-2013, 10:16 PM
dropzone dropzone is online now
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Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
A hop + skip + jump away from the toll road. Which toll road? All of them!
And people wonder why I live in this town. You can get pretty much anywhere fairly fast. Dropmom tried to get me to follow her and my brothers to Seattle, but just the corridor between Oak Brook and Naperville is a larger job market. And completely lacks my brothers.
  #29  
Old 02-24-2013, 07:08 PM
Cheryl44 Cheryl44 is offline
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If this guy knew what he was talking about he'd call it the L.
  #30  
Old 02-27-2013, 01:24 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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And, just to gloat a little on the pizza front, Chicago was named best city for pizza again by a survey of Travel & Leisure readers. Yeah, I know it's just one random survey of readers, but I had to throw it out there.
  #31  
Old 02-28-2013, 01:38 AM
melsaxing melsaxing is offline
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As an expat Chicagoan, I will follow the link!
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