I had three main items on my list that I wanted to try while I was in town. The first was a Chicago-style hot dog. Spending part of my childhood in NY has made me slightly snobbish in what I like on my hot dogs, but I wanted the full Chicago hot dog experience. The second item on my list was and Italian Beef sandwich. I see them all the time on Food Network and have been waiting to try a traditional one. The last item on my list was deep dish pizza. My time in NY has also made me partial to NY-style pizza, but every once in a while I do like a good deep dish pie.
Unfortunately, I did not get to try one item on my list. I did not end up having time to get a deep dish pizza. However, I did try a regular cheese pizza from a local place. We ordered Sarpino's pizza in our hotel room one night. We ordered one large cheese pizza, and it came with pepperoncini's (which I adore). It was a good pizza, a little bit of a thicker crust than we're used to in FL, with just the right amount of sauce and lots of yummy cheese. Not bad for a middle of the night meal. You can find them online at Sarpino's Pizza.
I did get to try an Italian Beef sandwich and WOW was it good! Even better than I had imagined. My friend and I stopped at a local place called Bob-O's Hot Dogs. They have been a Chicago legend since the 1950's. I ordered 2 Italian Beef sandwiches, 1 for me, 1 for my boyfriend. I opted to get both with hot giardiniera, since I happen to love giardiniera, and most of the the food specials on TV I see serve there Italian Beef's with it. The friend that I was with ordered the Chili Cheese Fries, and something called a Pizza Puff. The puff looked basically like a folded up piece of pizza that was deep fried. The order of fries was HUGE, and worth their $4 price tag. Oh, but those sandwiches! My bf said it was one of the best sandwiches he's had in a long time, and I had to agree. I could probably eat one at least a couple of times a week. They were large sandwiches, served on french bread, piled high with homemade Italtian Beef. Dipped in aus jus, they were moist and tender, and the spicy giardiniera on top just made them perfect. I would definitely recommend anyone to order them if they're in the area. Yum! You can find more info about Bob-O's at Bob-O's Hot Dogs.
The last thing I tried was a Chicago-style hot dog. On our way back out, we had lunch at the airport at a place called Gold Coast Dogs. I opted for a cher-grilled hot dog, Chicago-style, which included yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, a tomato slice, a pickle spear, sports peppers, and celery salt. Being the hot dog snob I am I didn't know if I'd like it, but it was really good! The peppers were a little on the spicy side for me and I ended up picking a lot of them off, but other than that I really enjoyed my Chicago-style hot dog. My bf also got one, but he did the jumbo dog, Chicago-style. You can find more info about Gold Coast Dogs at GCD.
I also want to mention that we made a trip to White Castle as well. We don't have them in FL, but we do have a similar place in FL called Krystal's. There is something magical about tiny cheeseburgers!
The next time I get to Chicago I will find myself a deep dish pizza, and I also hope to try Italian Beef sandwiches from other locations as well. In addition, I'm going to do some more research on native Chicago foods, and try them as well.
|Cheeseburgers and Fries from White Castle|
|White Castle Cheeseburger|
|Bob-O's Hot Dogs|
|Chili Cheese Fries from Bob-O's Hot Dogs|
|Italian Beef w/giardiniera from Bob-O's|
|Side view of Italian Beef|
|Jumbo Chicago-style Dog from Gold Coast Dogs|
|Char-grilled Chicago-style dog from Gold Coast Dogs|