|Value of the week!|
I often wonder how much more I would weigh if I still lived in Chicago. Taking a road trip for the Bears Chargers game last week, I realized once again that my old friends in Chicago really know how to eat. Besides the incredible aged prime sirloin steaks (you can't beat prime, corn fed, Midwestern beef) there are a number of Chicago style culinary creations that the Windy City can call their own.
|Chicago's Best Deep Dish|
|Al's - Certainly one of the best Beef's around|
4) Italian Sausage Sandwich - Grilled over an open flame, there are probably 1000 restaurants in Chicago who do it well, but I continue to gravitate to the same place - the classic - Al's Beef. The fire grilled Italian Sausage is served on an roll with marinated bell peppers, fried in oil. Top it off with hot Italian peppers - also known as Giardiera (Il Primo brand being the world's best).
|Serious Contender for #1 Beef|
Again, there are many great Italian Beef sandwich places in Chicago, but Al's is the best - Mr. Beef, right around the corner, offers an excellent version as well. Mr. Beef does get points for ambiance, as the long picnic bench seating in the back room offers a nice spot to converse with the locals.
Believe it or not - Al's could be coming to your town sometime in the future. The company is actively franchising stores, including a recent opening in Athens, Georgia. In the meantime, actor Joe Montegna's place, Taste Chicago, provides a quick fix of Chicago style cuisine in Burbank.
I've tried Taste Chicago's Italian Beef and it is right up there with top ten percent in Chicago. In fact, on a weekly basis, my Italian Beef savvy co-workers visit Taste Chicago for lunch. They need their fix. TC's hot dog and polish are authentic Chicago style - but I haven't tried the pizza at Taste Chicago. After all, the buttery flavor of Gino's crust is still ingrained in my taste buds two weeks later, so I'm good for now.
Mr. Beef deserves some props, so here is our Wine Pairing of the Week: A Mr. Beef Italian Beef Sandwich with a nice bottle of Francis Coppola Claret Diamond '09. A very nicely balanced Bordeaux Style wine that's bold and rich - hold up very nicely to that flavorful Italian Beef sandwich. The Francis Coppola Claret Diamond '09 is available from our friends at Bevmo, Total Wine and wine.com.
What book am I listening to while trying to find a parking spot in the crowded malls? Shock Wave by John Sandford. Easy to follow, fast paced detective story - perfect for Holiday gridlock!