What's the best burger at Chicago's iconic Billy Goat Tavern? Single, double, triple, or quadruple? Kaiser roll or kids' bun? What about adding bacon and caramelized onions? Nine burgers and two days later, I now feel confident to speak definitively on the matter.
What Gyros on the Spit lacks in execution, it makes up for in potential.
Cellar Door Provisions is the sort of place I never want to leave, and they make it easy to stay all day: Fresh bread and breakfast dishes are available at 8am, pastries start hitting the counter at 9, and the day's butcher paper scrawled lunch offerings are available at 11.
A buffet can be okay. Sometimes you just want a hot meal with plenty of options so the kids get a few bites in between running around. The fact that the food is really, really good can make it worth seeking out. Case in point: the Sunday Brunch Buffet at Chief O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant.
Like many of my other countrymen, I sort of like baked ribs, so I couldn't help wonder if Twin Anchors really deserves all the flack.
Four concentrated hours of barbecue later, I can safely say that the pilgrimage to Uncle John's Barbecue in Richton Park is worth the trek, though Uncle J's is your place if you're looking for a straight up taste of the original.
Where do Ben's tips and links fall in the Chicago barbecue pantheon? That depends. Do you like the finer chopped style of Honey 1 but prefer instead to seek out the next big thing? This might be your place.
Though prolific downstate, it seems the only real place to find a horseshoe in Chicago is at Springfield ex-pat owned 6 Degrees, a nondescript bar on a sleepy stretch of Damen. I like a big pile of cheesy meat fries as much as the next person, but the horseshoe is so much more than that. Deftly ordered with the proper protein, it's a surprisingly balanced beer soaker of a dinner.
For reliable corned beef in the Loop this St. Patrick's Day, look no further than The Berghoff Bar.
By the time the cook is done hand-pulling the dough, he can run his fingers through it, but not before he's played it like an accordion, twisted it like a jump rope, and swung it like a sword.
I was lucky enough to snag a ticket and get a behind the scenes look at just what goes into one of these boils. And get really, really full on crawfish.
Turns out that if you can suffer a non-subterranean lunch, Billy Goat III on Wells Street has you covered in the french fried potato department.
As much as I love the other dishes on the menu, my heart belongs to the charcoal grilled beef. So on a recent visit in, I decided to throw caution, balance, and common decency to the wind and make a meal comprised of what I love best about Thai Aree.
Though Margie's Candies is known for its dessert, dinner is on offer here, too. With Valentine's Day coming up, I figured it was time to stop in to see if you can make a whole night of it at Margie's.
The Buffalo Rolls at South Branch could've failed miserably for all the reasons most take out egg rolls flounder, but in the face of adversity, these rolls rise to the top.
I'm a sucker for a good club and South Branch's take is easily one of the best I've ever had.
All the cornstarch-thick dishes spooned over rice I've eaten in Chicago have merely been a warm up to the yet untackled culinary bastion of my youth: the Chinese buffet.
Serving a good, representative bite to hundreds of guests is a challenge. Which is what made the ceviche mixto I sampled from El Barco Mariscos such a revelation.
Chop Shop has everything—a butcher counter that serves sandwiches by day, an upstairs restaurant with a seasonal menu by night, and on the evening we visited, a purple-hued, and possibly dry ice filled, event space in the back roughly the size of a city block. My grandpa, the butcher (God rest his soul), would be amazed at just how far the humble meat counter has come.
Given its equally well-stocked bar and reasonable prices, Parts and Labor has all the makings of a neighborhood haunt. For ten bucks, you can get a double cheeseburger, a side, and a beer or shot.
Bite Cafe serves pretty good food, in style, to the neighborhood. It's the kind of place you feel equally comfortable stopping in straight after work or stumbling from flush-faced after a night out with friends.
I broadened my fried-food-only focus a little over midway through the year and hit the two year mark as a contributor in November. But whether I was slogging through french fries, fried chicken, top notch doughnuts, or beyond, I was continually struck by just how good it is to eat in Chicago.
Whether you stop in from 8-10:30am for breakfast or later in the afternoon for lunch, you can rest assured that UB Dogs will do you right, all day long.
Whether talking with Jonathan or one of the other family members, I've always been struck by how much the collective family dynamic permeates the Zaragozas' food.
While I didn't know Will personally, I think he'd be proud that his sandwich is being ordered by complete strangers around the city. It's a fitting tribute to a person who cared deeply for the local Chicago food scene.