Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chi Town

As of late, I have become increasingly interested in the world of good food. Perhaps it's the many hours of Food Network on in the background while I'm working on things at home. Perhaps it's the marathons of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" during the monotonous 12 hour shifts at work. Whatever the reason may be, I was inspired to go on a culinary adventure.

After watching the No Reservations episode shot in Chicago my friend John and I decided to take a little trip. Tuesday, completely on a whim, we drove to Chicago... to eat. Our first stop was a place called Hot Doug's Sausage Superstore. It's a hole in the wall place in the Northern suburbs that the locals can't seem to get enough of. Now I know why. I have to say, there are no two finer words in the English language than encased meats. Quite simply, I will be going back often. Until Doug agrees to let me franchise one closer to home. So I imagine I'll be going back for a very long time.

The next few hours of sightseeing occurred mainly as a break from eating to allow hunger to return. I got to see some pretty amazing traffic and a lot of the city from the passenger seat of John's car because it was pretty much pouring down rain the entire day.

When hunger returned we went on a mission for authentic Chicago style pizza. It may sound funny but we had a bit of a hard time finding a place. Apparently most authentic joints only open after 6 during the week. We finally settled on Pequod's, a place named after Ahab's vessel in Moby Dick. We were pleased to find out that while this shop was not the one featured on TV, the owner of that place had at one time owned Pequod's and the food was much the same. Excellent on so many levels. Perhaps it was the stomach full of sausages from earlier but for the first time in my life I couldn't polish off the rest of the pizza. I'm sure that made Devin happy because she got to experience it when we got home.

On our way home we felt the urge to see one more place that Bourdain had visited. The Calumet Fishery. Essentially a shed on the river that sells smoked fish. Very good smoked fish. Presuming you can get past the look of the place and the smell that smacks you in the face when you open the door. The line of people waiting in the rain spoke for itself. So lunch the next day at work would be smoked salmon and trout from Chicago. I couldn't wait.

All in all, it was a great day. 12 hours of driving for 2 of the best meals of my life. Totally worth it.