Chicago Food Extravaganza!
Last year, my family and I flew to Chicago for our son’s graduation from Navy boot camp. It was a very nice ceremony and he got some time off so we headed into Chicago to check it out. There were a lot of great sites to see and we got my Uncle JD, who lives there, to show us around. We went to Millennium Park, The John Hancock Tower, Lake Shore Drive, The Aquarium and more.
My favorite part was going to one of my uncle’s favorite old lunch joints in the Italian district near downtown Chicago where he took us to a place called Al’s #1 Italian Beef.
The restaurant was very small small, there were no tables, no seats. You just walk in the door go up to the counter, order your food and either take it home or eat at a shelf by the windows where there was room to set your food and eat while standing.
The kitchen was right behind the counter and included a charcoal pit for roasting sausages. The menu was small and simple and to the point, everything on it looked good (see photo above). It was very interesting to see and read the walls covered with memorabilia all the way from Jimmy Durante, to Anthony Bourdain and there were lots of signed dollar bills pinned to the walls. There was a lot of interesting old history in this place.
We had the Vienna Hot Dogs done up Chicago style with the works, an Italian beef sandwich and I had to try the packaged tamales… gastronomical nightmares but oh so good going down.