Tuesday July 31, 2018 - Day 5
- A couple of days after the epic Roadfood Crawl, Jeff (aka BuddyRoadhouse
) and Susan (aka Mrs. Roadhouse) took us an amazing all-day tour of the different neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Dayna & I took the Blue Line to Rosemont where the Roadhouses picked us up. I saw this ad on the train. Man, I wish we could have stayed to check this out! Bob-O's Hot Dogs
was just the first of many stops that day and it served up a classic one-two punch of a Chicago-style hot dog and an Italian Beef sandwich.
Classic black & white interior and red stools. There were some other customers but not too busy.
Love this classic sign.
One thing I discovered during this vacation is that many hot dog shops (and hamburger stands as well) take their fresh-cut fries pretty seriously.
And locally baked buns are important too.
We ordered a aside of fries as we did;t realize that the CSD came with fries. More fresh cuts? What ever shall we do? Hahaha!!
Our Italian Beef sandwich, dipped in au jus, with hot giardiniera on the side. This was an excellent version of the Chicago classic and my favorite of the three I tried on this vacation. The beef was tender and the giardiniera was a blend of carrots, celery, cauliflower and hot peppers with a tangy heat that danced on the tongue.
While the bun wasn't of the poppyseed variety, this dog hit all of the other classic CSD notes: Vienna Beef hot dog, mustard, bright green relish, chopped onions, hot sport peppers, tomato slices a pickle spear and a liberal dash of celery salt. Another solid dog and in a tie for first place with the other two I tried on this vacation.
Three of our quartet. Dayna, Susan and Jeff.
Jeff & Susan had recommended checking out some art and this gallery was a true gem. I feel as though I have seen Ed Paschke's art somewhere before and Dayna & I really connected with many of his pieces and with his vision, especially his affinity for Muhammad Ali. The artist's classic "EP" signature can be seen just to the left of the nose.
I'm not sure if this is an Ed Paschke piece but I love metalwork.
The Ed Paschke Art Center
More about the artist.
I love this piece. When I saw this, I had a flashback to 1998 and to the charity auction that the Massachusetts Coalition For the Homeless held at Faneuil Hall. I worked at MCH and we would enlist local artists to take a small piece of broken down furniture (end table, chair, etc...) and transform it into a work of art to be auctioned off, with the proceeds to fund the various programs to benefit the (far too many) homeless individuals and families dealing with homelessness across the state.
Art can be inspired by the most unlikely sources.
Inspired in part by "Sunday In the Park With George" by Georges Seurat and by many other stimuli that crossed the artist's path.
More "Sunday In the Park With George" influence.
I've always imagined that The Babe felt trapped, like a prisoner, after his sale to the Yankees.
I wonder what the story is between the matador and the bull.
Pretty much how I've always felt about art.
I don't know the story behind this one.
Very inspired. When I put together a food crawl in NYC in 2013, I told the Roadfooders who attended that just look around you and you'll see the theater of life going on all around and we came across a couple of life's dramas unfolding right before our eyes. You never know where it's going to happen but it's all around us.
A recreation of Ed Paschke's studio.
A portrait of the artist.
Thousands of tiny LEGOS.
Jeff & Susan gave used this painting to give me a geographical primer of Chicago and Illinois.
After our tour of the Ed Paschke Art Center, Jeff & Susan took us to the Uptown neighborhood to check out a classic pre-Dperession era bank, the Bridgeview Bank Uptown
(formerly known as the Uptown Bank Building (1928)). They didn't permit picture taking on the main bank floor or in the vault, but I assure you, it was very cool and definitely worth a visit. The vault reminded me of the scene where James Bond and Oddjob get locked inside of Fort Knox in "Goldfinger" The main floor had tables with wrought iron lamps and stained glass and the teller windows had wrought iron gates. It was like stepping back into an old movie from the 1930s. Thanks for this unexpected gem of a stop!
I felt as though I should have been making a big deposit in order to have the right to be here.
Don't see many banks that look like this anymore. The teller windows had ornate wrought iron grates, the tables for filling out deposit slips had stained glass lamps on them. Even the tiniest details had been given attention.
Feeling a bit peckish, we drove a neighborhood in Uptown that was populated by many asian businesses, many of them Vietnamese. I'm so glad that Jeff & Susan took us off of the tourist trail and into the local neighborhoods to walk the streets and taste the foods that we might not have found on our own.
I'm not sure who this is or what it represents but it a beautiful.
We decided to split two banh mi; a #3 Chinese Pork and a #5 Vietnamese Chicken. Not being a fan of cilantro at all (it tastes like soap to me), the gang kindly decided to have them "hold the cilantro". Thanks!
Our #3 Chinese Pork banh mi. Look at the crust yshards of bread on the paper. That baguette was FRESH! Crunchy vegetables, spicy fresh jalapeños and sweet/savory pork made for one terrific sandwich.
The Vietnamese Chicken was a winner as well. Salty, spicy, creamy, crunchy, crispy, tender, this just had so much going on and hit my tastebuds in the best possible way. On our way out, I told the staff that they were doing some great work. This experience made me a fan of banh mi!
Very sweet and satisfying Thai iced tea. That sweetened condensed milk packs a sweet punch.
If you want to explore the different Asian cultures in Chicago, this neighborhood is a good starting point.
We decided to walk around for a bit and explore the area. Wanderingjew
, this is some serious regional Roadfood in Chicago! All around were Vietnamese and other Asian eateries and bakeries as well as travel agencies, dentists, nail salons and many other businesses. I just can't resist seeing what a local bakery has to offer.
We knew that splitting a few pastries would be in order.
One of each, please!
Clockwise, from top left: BBQ pork bun, Pork Sung bun, Coconut roll and a Cream bun. The Coconut roll was good, if a bit doughy with a sweet coconut topping (not a filled roll). Would go great with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
The BBQ Pork bun is just as good as any I have ever had. Sweet, porky and a bit fatty, as it should be. I think Jeff really like the topping on the Pork Sung bun though I think he and Susan would have preferred less dough. I wasn't a fan of the dried shredded pork topping as it reminded me of the short-lived foodstuff of my youth that was shredded beef jerky in a tin that was made to look like chewing tobacco and was dry as the desert! That cream bun was rich and the filling tasted as though someone had stopped whipping the cream just a couple of seconds shy of making butter.
Seen on the streets of Chicago. Words to live by...
While planning our trip to Chicago, I KNEW a baseball game was a must and I had hoped to visit Wrigley Field but as luck would have it, the Cubbies were away the entire week we were there. Travelin' Manned!! And it wasn't even a restaurant. However, Jeff & Susan were SO kind that they drove us to Wrigley Field, dropped us off and then circled around the park while we took photos. Now THAT is generosity!!
My "Marla Hooch" photo. What a hitter!!
I don't know if the faces at the base are players or fans but I love how they are lifting him up.
Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks.
To the far left is one of the Wrigley View Rooftops, a cottage industry just outside of the Friendly Confines with good views of the ball field, though Jeff mentioned that the stadium owners are trying to put up more billboards to obstruct the views and gradually put these places out of business. I don't imagine that the park is losing scores of fans over this so it seems they should be able to co-exist, no?
Ever since I was a little kid comedy and improv have been a HUGE part of my life. Friday afternoons at KidStage in the Children's Museum in Boston meant rehearsals and we spent a lot of that time using improv to sharpen our skills and it was some off my most cherished time onstage. I've always loved making people laugh and telling stories for an audience so this was a place I've long wanted to check out. Unfortunately, Dayna & I had a pretty busy week and we just weren't up to attending any shows that began at 10 or 11pm. The Second City
is a MUST on our next trip!
Next time I'll actually make it inside!
I was able to name 4 out of 5. How about you?
Today was filled with lots of great food and great conversation as we drove around through many different neighborhoods in Chicago. A stop in Little Italy meant Italian lemonades at Mario's Italian Lemonade
and I just had to try another Italian Beef sandwich at Al's #1 Italian Beef
(arguably the best known spot outside of Chicago due to the press it gets on the food and travel channel shows). I never realized how diverse and how sprawling this city truly is. Jeff & Susan gave us quite an education on local architecture, politics, sports and the ever-changing landscape of the various ethnic neighborhoods as seen through the eyes of those who have spent decades living here. Thank you both again for a wonderful day!
I love the presentation here. A spoon for eating, a straw for sipping as it melts, with plenty of cantaloupe mixed in and chunks strewn throughout. And that whitish.yellow strip on top? Fresh lemon rind to amp up the lemony/citrus flavor. This must be one of the best things ever on a balmy summer night!
Yeah, like a stop here wasn't going to happen!
I forgot to ask and now I am very curious...what exactly is an Italian Soaker and what are Gypsy Fries?
Pretty bold statement.
My small Italian Beef sandwich, wet (dipped in au jus), hot (a side of spicy giardiniera) and sweet (sweet green peppers). The beef was fall-apart tender and the au jus was very, very rich and brimming with beefy flavor. the only weak spot for me was the giardiniera. While I did like the spice level, the flavor seemed somewhat sour and a bit oily to me and it leaned more on celery whereas the other places I tried had a nice mix of celery, carrots, cauliflower and spicy pepper slices and were also redolent with a vinegary tang. I'm sure there are legions of fan who love this giardiniera and I think it is just a personal preference.
I spotted this mural outside of an "L" station during our travels. Street art is always a joy to find.
Jeff suggested we go for carnitas at Carnitas Uruapan and since Dayna & I are both big fans and we heartily agreed. Unfortunately, the limitless powers of The Travelin' Man
were strong on this day as they were closed for some type of renovations. Jeff called a second carnitas spot but as it turned out this was the one day they weren't making carnitas! TTMed TWICE in 10 minutes!! This is a new record.
An unexpected roadside find: juices, fresh cut fruit, crisp chips (I have seen them before but I'm not sure what they made of. And in the cooler? Warm ears of corn, cut to order for elotes (Mexican street corn). Mixed with crema, cotija cheese, mayonnaise and chili powder and accompanied by four spoons, this is roadside dining at its very best!
Big chunks of mango and watermelon. I wonder if they'd put chili powder on it to make pico de gallo type fruit salad?
Portrait of BuddyRoadhouse
, with elote (2018).
I forget the name of this church but it is really just a facade at this point. Must've been quite the gathering place at one time. Love the brickwork.
Not sure if this rendering of the Crucifixion was once a part of the church but I think it is metal and looks different than any I have seen before.
Another great pick was the Potsticker House
for dinner and our last meal of the day. Great little local Chinese spot with dishes I hadn't even heard of before.
The bland sticky white rice was a perfect complement to the stir fried eggplant. A blank canvas upon which to layer the many flavors and textures.
I believe that this is the #C511 - Stir Fried Eggplant Beijing Style. I have never, ever been a fan of eggplant in any preparation but Jeff told me that Elaine (Roadfooder Irisarbor
) described this dish as "eggplant crack", if my memory serves me correctly. I cautiously took a teensy-weensy portion (not an itsy-bitsy, as Ed Norton might say) to sample and it was amazing! Spicy, sticky, sweet, crispy and not at all what I was expecting. The crunchy vegetables strewn throughout were a nice touch too. Thank you Jeff, Susan and Elaine for getting me to try this. Despite some of the food crawls and tours I go on from time to time, I really am not an adventurous eater but I can be coaxed (usually) into trying something new to me at least once.
I believe that this is a scallion pancake with pork belly and hoisin sauce. Delicious.
When you REALLY gotta go!!
The community center in Chinatown.
Some of the ornate artwork on the Pui Tak Center.
Time to split a dessert of Thai "rolled" ice cream. Something I have wanted to try for a while.
This place was packed but the line moved quickly.
Key Lime Pie ice cream with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and Fruity Pebbles. Interesting combination. Not sure the cereal was necessary but the tart ice cream had a good key lime flavor to it. I'd love to go back and try banana/Nutella and tea flavored varieties. The durian fruit version? Not so much. Wanderingjew
, BuddyRoadhouse and I saw this place and thought it looked like a very regionally inappropriate Sonoran-style hot dog.
We debated splitting one in your honor but decided against it!
Wow! What an amazing day full of hidden gems that we most likely never would have found on our own. Jeff & Susan, thank you again for an incredible day! The 411
1.) Bob-O's Hot Dogs
8258 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago, IL 60634
Ph# (773) 625-9840
2.) Ed Paschke Art Center
5415 W. Higgins Ave.
Chicago, IL 60630
Ph# (312) 533-4911
3.) Bridgeview Bank Uptown
(fka Uptown State Bank)
4753 N Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60640
Ph# (773) 989-5728
4.) Ba Le
5014 North Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Ph# (773) 561-4424
5.) Lucks Food
1109 W Argyle St. #11
Chicago, IL 60640
Ph# (773) 878-7778
6.) Wrigley Field
1060 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60613
Ph# (773) 404-2827
7.) The Second City
1616 N Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60614
Ph# (312) 337-3992
8.) Mario's Italian Lemonade
1066 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607
9.) Al's #1 Italian Beef
1079 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Ph# (312) 226-4017
10.) Carnita's Uruapan - TTMed!!
11.) roadside Mexican street corn - ???
12.) Potsticker House
3139 S. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60608
Ph# (312) 326-6898
13.) Legend Tasty House
2242 S Wentworth Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Ph# (312) 225-8869
Two more days of vacation left but a LOT more to come!! For my next magic trick, I'll make a Chicago-style dog at the Vienna Beef Factory, a burger with smoked rib meat, a hearty Polish at the ballpark and more Firecakes donuts disappear!!
post edited by billyboy - 2018/09/02 22:55:19