Adventures in Chicago

The last couple of days Tim and I have been enjoying our Chicago adventure. So needless to say, I’ve been doing my best to give him a good Chicago experience.

The first night I decided to introduce him to real, deep-dish pizza.

The one that most people are familiar with is Pizzeria Uno. Uno is credited with inventing the deep-dish pizza back in 1943. Even though they invented this amazing food genre, when they franchised across the country, some of the goodness was lost. So the only Pizzeria Unos that are truly amazing are in Chicagoland.

So I didn’t want to take Tim there.

I asked around, checked many web sites, and the name that kept coming up was Giordano’s Pizza. Most people felt that Giordano’s had perfected the genre. So despite the fact that I hadn’t been before, I thought I’d give it a try.

We walked the seven blocks (burning off the calories in advance) and found our way to the restaurant.

The problem with bringing Tim to a place with pizza is that we have an amazing pizza in San Diego in the form of Filippi’s. Filippi’s is what I like to call “Lava flow” pizza, which has so much cheese that it looks like its about to devour a small village in its cheesy goodness.

Tim was not going to be swayed easily.¬†Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be, since Giordano’s, although tasty, was nothing to write home about.

We also got to go to a Chicago Cubs game. Our friend Paul was supposed to come with us on this trip but was unable to since he got ill. Because of this, he was kind enough to buy Tim and I tickets behind home plate. And they rocked! If you’re going to go to the Cathedral of Baseball, it’s always nice to have good seats.

Chicago is also the land of meat, and not for those people who think vegetables are more than a side dish. Of course I had to take Tim to a Chicago steak house.

Morton’s or Lawry’s would have been excellent choices, but both are available in California. No, Tim needed to go someplace that could only be found in Chicago.

My choice: Gene and Georgetti’s. G&G has been around for 67 years, and one of the places Frank Sinatra used to come for steak. The type of place where the waiter’s are curmudgeonly and professional. Where the food is completely devoid of pretense.

And we were not disappointed. We each ordered the Filet with blue cheese and saut√©ed mushrooms. Oh my! I was seriously in a cow based, food coma! Our waiter Tony was fun, skilled, and just a good guy to give you food advice. Gene and Georgetti’s was definitely a good place for a steak.

Today we went touristy. We took the “L” train to downtown and went to the Sears Tower. In case you didn’t know, the Sears Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere (It was the tallest in the world until 1998)

They not only have a great observation deck, but this evil thing they call the SkyLedge. The SkyLedge is a bunch of big, glass balconies that jut out from the 103rd floor. It’s glass on each wall, as well as it’s ceiling and floor. It’s very cool, but can be quite disconcerting to “walk off” the roof!

Afterwards, I got to do what I came to Chicago to do: Eat a Vienna hot dog!

Now there are those deluded people who think that New York has the best hot dog. They are entitled to their (horribly incorrect) point of view. However, Chicago clearly wins hands down.

During the great depression, people worked hard to get enough money for a meal. The Chicago hot dog was $0.05, and not only had the delicious, 100% beef hot dog, but a “salad” of fresh ingredients, including two tomato wedges, a pickle spear, onions, day-glo green relish, and sport peppers. It’s a meal in a bun!

Not only is it economical (The 2010 price is $2.50), but exceedingly yummy!

Finally, we head to the Field Museum. The Field Museum is the Louvre of Natural History Museums. It’s amazing! They have more cool stuff in storage than most museums have in their collections!

Unfortunately, Tim hurt his back, and now we’re back in the room.

All and all, a great visit to the Windy City. I hope I’ve made Tim a fan, who will return again someday.

Tomorrow, off to Sprinfield, IL., via Route 66!

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