Monday, September 29, 2008

Beef from Pop's

--Got Beef? Italian Beef

Maybe the reason I have such a picky palate when it comes to Italian beef is because I have been exploring the different beef joint's of the city since my youth. While y'all were eating at Mr. Beef and Portillo's thinking you were heaven, I was in beef heaven. I have two favorite beef sandwiches that I was introduced to in my youth, Pop's and Jay's. Pop's is out on the south side and I would consider it the best IB out south and still in my starting five for the all Chicago beef team. I have been eating at Pop's for 15+ years. Back in the day when me and family would be at our grandma's for Sunday dinner, me, my brother and my cousins would always ride bikes over to Pop's to eat beef and gravy bread before dinner. Yes, I was taking food journeys before I even had a license.
Pop's in Beverly is one of the King's all time favorites

Pop's does everything above average and it makes one of the better beef's in the city no matter where you are. They slice their beef ultra thin and dont skim on it by any means. Im a huge fan of the hot peppers at pop's, some of the best around. This was my favorite restaurant as a kid and still one of my favorite beef joints in the Chi. It really hasnt changed aside from a few more locations throughout the area. Unlike other places that expand they seem to do the same good beef at each location. I would still recommend the original on Kedzie though. Folks on the south side are lucky to have such a good beef that hasnt changed. Its always got a constant flow of traffic and they aint dumb, they do a beef dinner to go for all the family's busy with school and sports activities. You get the beef, roll of bread, gravy and giardinara and do it all up at home. This way the wife doesnt have to cook and dad and the kids are happy, everyone loves Pop's. Ill be goin here til the day I die. Go Cub's.
beef wit hot from Pop's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 5
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 5

Score: 18/20

Pop's Italian Beef and Sausage
10337 S Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60655
(773) 239-1243

Pop's Italian Beef on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yo Adrian!!! bring me another one of dem sliders!

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

Some of us BBQ and grill 24/7-365--rain, sleet, snow, wind, shine, heatwave, thunderstorms, whatever. For others spring is the start of the BBQ season and summer is when it becomes a staple and once summer is over grilling season is over. I BBQ all the time and I am here to tell you that Fall is the primetime of Grilling season, its like March Madness or Monday night football, there isnt a better stage to be on. The weather is perfect, jeans and a hoodie, you dont sweat like Patrick Ewing while standing over the grill like you do in summer. Instead the grill area is a prime piece of real estate, its warm and the smells of meats grilling paired with a nice Octoberfest brew and a crisp feel in the air is all I need. What makes it even better is the fact that its football season and MLB playoffs are in full swing, there isn't a better time to BBQ, eat and watch sports while hanging outside before winter hits us in the head.

As the days go on, I'm going to give you all sorts of super Sunday type recipes that I have concocted thru the years and continue to make to this day. You wont find any recipe for grilled chicken breast, sushi rolls or tofu burgers on here (I got some stuff for you veg heads though, stay tuned) I am a member of the...

People who love to Eat Tasty Animals club, I love animals, they're delicious.

When it comes to football season and grilling, I like to make ton's of different finger foods. Chicken wings are king. Stay tuned for all sorts of different wing recipes from the easy to the labor intensive, sweet to super hot with all sorts of different takes on the worlds variation of the almighty wing.

wings on da grill (click pic to enhance, can be done with all pic's on the site)

Philly cheese steak sliders
--In honor of Donovan McNabb coming home this wkd.

1 leftover medium rare sirloin steak from previous day
asst. of peppers and onions (2-3 of each)
slices of American cheese (or provolone if your feeling less authentic)
8-10 soft bakery rolls, cut in half and slathered with butter and garlic to make them garlic bread

You may have read my article "another feast fit for a king" and in it I told you to stay tuned for what I do with the other hunk of sirloin. The next day I take the meat and slice it thin, as seen below. Its important to leave the meat in the fridge overnight so you can slice it nice and thin the next day. Preheat oven to 450.

thinly sliced char grilled sirloin steak

I then cut up and slice a red onion, white onion, green pepper, red pepper and put in a pan and sautee everything in butter. Once it gets cooked down a little I add a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce and continue cooking it until it is nicely browned. When done set aside.

pepper/onion mixture as it goes into the pan

Place your soft bakery rolls in the oven and cook until they are perfect, crispy outside, soft in the middle...maybe 15-20 minutes. While the rolls are baking cook your sliced steak in a pan and heat thru but make sure not to over cook, so it stays pink in the middle (that's why I grilled it a tad under medium rare)

steak warming up in butter

When rolls are done take them out and layer some steak on the bottom and top it with the pepper/onion mixture and a slice of cheese on top, put it back in the oven until the cheese just melts. Place your top bun on top and eat. Look out below!

Philly cheese steak sliders ala KingT

When I put these together I also made some of my signature spiced wings and jerked wings along with chorizo stuffed mushrooms. Coming soon.

Chorizo stuffed 'shrooms

Stay tuned for these and more super Sunday recipes. DA BEARS!

Sorry but its not the year in NFL football--Eagle's 24- Bears 13. In other news...

Playoff's are coming...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Taqueria el asadero

-Got Beef? taco's de carne asada

These new ad's from the taco hell about their volcano taco's have me in disgust. Its time for another taco joint shout out.

ATTN: Taco Hell--Some of us like real food and not tacos with shells the color of sorority girls puke after too many cranberry vodka's. Give up your ad's in any city with real taqueria's, its a waste of time, stick to Middle America.

Why pay more? Because we spend more on food we eat than we do are dog's

La Pasadita will always be good in my heart b/c its where I discovered the true beauty of what a steak taco should be...Char grilled skirt steak that tastes like clean meat, chopped nicely and topped with fresh onions and cilantro on a warm corn tortilla with salsa verde with an actual kick on the side. Ones things for sure, any and every Mexican restaurant in the city is better than the Chihuahua's even La Bamba, which I recommend you avoid at all costs.

I had a friend in HS who lived right by taqueria el asadero in Lincoln Square and we would always eat there when we were running around wreaking havoc on the neighborhood. Back then they had what I thought were the best tamales ever, and I really love tamals, they were large and very soft. Last month I decided to give an old favorite of mine a try. I hadnt been in 10 years so I went in and saw the article where Chicago Magazine names them the best steak tacos in the city but I didnt see my beloved tamales on the menu.

Chicago mag claims asadero has the best steak tacos in the city

I am very skeptical of anything Chicago mag claims best in the wide world of food but I had heard before about the tacos here and ate them back in the day, so I ordered 2 steak tacos and asked about the tamales. To my delight they had them, they just arent on the menu.

Tamales are the same as they ever were. Not the best in the city, but tasty.

Unlike other spots, they cook your steak to order, they take two thin strips of skirt steak and throw it on the grill and chop it to order so it takes about 10 minutes...well well worth it. These might be the best I have had, the meat was so tender, the toppings fresh and the salsa verde was amazing. Now in my top two along with another spot I got for you , pushing pasadita even further down in the standings, they are slipping like the Brewers.

steak taco from asadero

Rating Scale 5/5

steak: 5
cilantro/onions: 4
tortilla: 5
salsa: 5

Score: 19/20

Taqueria el asadero
2213 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 583-5563

Taqueria El Asadero on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2.1 miles to Cuba

-New on the scene
Yes! The hype is real.

Here is an article in honor of Jon Gruden and the Buc's coming in this weekend. Bears win 20-17.

Im not wasting anytime on getting the word out on "90 Miles" a new Cuban cafe that opened near Belmont and Clybourn located at 3101 N. Clybourn. I had no idea of this places arrival or I would of been there the first day. I love Cuban food, I fiend for it so often after moving home from Tampa. Between my time in Tampa and plenty of WKDs in Miami, I developed a love for all of the amazing little Cuban joints from the upscale cocktail lounges to the coffeehouses where they didn't speak English...the women too. What a culture and it all starts with the cuisine.

90 Miles to Cuba...nope were not in Key West. Just 2 miles from Lincoln Park.

Finally got to try it today and was so damn impressed to the point where ill be back tomorrow. I wasnt going in and just getting a sandwich, I needed to try a few things so I got a Cuban, ropa viejo sandwich, papa rellanos, and a yucca frita. Cuban was awesome, the ropa was good and the rellanos, well when is ground beef stuffed in a ball of potato and fried not good? exactly.

One of my favorite types of sandwiches, the "Cuban"

The owners seemed to have done there work and are dedicated to doing it right. Its got the feel of a little Cuban eating shack and they had all the regional pop. Check out their menu, everything needs to be tried in my book. The Cuban omelette sounds really good. More to come.

Bottom to top: yucca frita (yucca fried with ground beef inside) Cuban sandwich, Ropa Vieja sandwich.

90 Miles (Cuban Cafe)
3101 N. Clybourne
Chicago, IL 60618
Closed on Sunday's

90 Miles Cuban Café on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another feast fit for a King...

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

This not just in! Joseph's finest meats has some damn fine meats, Ive told you that before. The other day I got two 2-inch think prime sirloins to order over at Joe's. Usually im about anything bone-in, but these baby's are the real deal and make for great meat on the grill.

When I pick up my meat from Joe's I like not doing much with it so the flavor of the prime meat stays intact. I just add some fresh ground pepper, sea salt and some garlic infused olive oil. Make sure your grill is well lubed and extra hot and throw the hunks of meat on that bad boy and cook for 10 minutes a side or to desired doneness. Figure 10 mins. a side for med. rare to medium depending how hot your grill is.

Char grilled prime sirloin

one 2-inch thick good sirloin steak (I get from Joseph's finest meats)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Char grilled 2-inch thick prime sirloin (Directions above)

Ready for slicing

Cant have meat without potato's so I decided to do up my own version of an old favorite of mine...Potatoes O'Brian. But I like to take everything a level above the rest so I have my own...potato's O' T. They are a variation of PO'B. Like everything else I make, I add bacon. Directions below.

Click the pic to get a clear view of what I do

Potato's O' T (above)

6 slice's of bacon
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped onion
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
8-10 small golden potato's

1) Preheat the oven to 450

2) peel the sides of each potato and leave the skin on the top and bottom. Chop your peeled potato in half lengthwise and then chop each half again. Proceed to chop your quartered potatoes into 2-3 inch dice. Place your diced potato on a very well lubed baking tray with olive oil and make sure each potato is well lubed so they don't stick.

3) place baking tray w/ tato's in the oven and cook until well browned.

4) Cook chopped up bacon in frying pan until crispy and remove the bacon and set aside and drain half of the fat. Cook your peppers/onions in the pan with fat and sautee until nicely browned. For the last 5 minutes, cook your garlic in the mixture. When done set aside.

5) Take potato's out when done (45-50 minutes) and use a spatula to release them from sticking to the bottom of the pan, if they are sticking trying to keep them intact, if its well lubed not that many will stick.

6) Place all your tato's in a bowl and dump the green pepper/onions and the bacon and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top and toss it up and place them in a bowl. Prepare your plates.

Also served on that plate is a concoction that I threw together really quick. A sauteed portobello mushroom topped with some sauteed spinach with two shrimp placed on top and a slice of tomato with some Parmesan sprinkled on top and baked for 15 minutes.

FYI- You'll notice I grilled two steaks, check back next week to see what regional tailgate recipe I did with the other steak. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

King's Gyros #2

--Got Beef? (and lamb)
KingT's gyro-tron

Chicago is famous for for its street food-hot dog's, Polish's, pizza, Italian beef and gyros are a few. Its yee-roos not gy-ro or guy-ro or girro that were going to focus on today. Find me another place in the country with more gyro vendors than Chicago...impossible. From the restaurants in Greektown to the the hot dog stands in the western suburbs, you'll find gyros everywhere, making them hugely popular in Chicago. Hell so many places need gyro's meat that we have at least four different gyro cone suppliers in Chicago. Kronos, Grecian Delight, Olympic, Devanco and im pretty sure there is a fifth one all supply restaurants with their demand for beef and lamb.

Most places use a preformed cone from one of the suppliers mentioned above so alot of what goes into making a good gyro is the love put into it by the place serving them. Gyros need to be sliced thin and allowed to crisp on the outside so edges are crispy and the plate needs to be piled high with meat. The toppings of onions and tomatoes need to be fresh and the pita soft and warm. The tzatziki sauce better not be watered down yogurt. A personal favorite of mine is wrapping a fry with a slice of gyro so the fries also play a roll. Some places go the extra mile and still make theirs homemade but not that many of them are left. The suppliers do a nice job of getting the right blends of meat and spices, so its on the vendors to do the rest.

The familiar sign at Milwaukee and Foster

First stop on my Chicago gyro-tron is King's gyros #2 (no affiliation with me) on Milwaukee and Foster. Kings has been slanging their gyro plates and homemade fries and onion rings in the Chi since 1972. Like most of Chicago's roadfood joints its clientèle is very broad and due to its late night hours its very popular after dark. If your going to eat gyros there is no sense in ordering just the sandwich, always order a gyro plate, its the best bang for your buck. Kings does a above average gyro and makes the fries and onion rings fresh so its in my rotation if I am in the area. As the years go on expect to see many different gyros spots reviewed with a few secrets spilled of where to get the absolute best.

kings gyro plate with their homemade fries

Rating Scale 5/5

Gyro meat: 3
tzatziki: 4
fries: 4
freshness of pita and toppings: 4


King's Gyros #2
5233 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
(773) 736-5406

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NY in the Chi (New York Deli)

-The Sammy's of Chi

So I got a tip for all you NY'ers who have relocated to Chi and seek a NY style deli sub sandwich and where to get one, they can be had from...New York deli. Its located at Clark and Oakdale streets in the Lakeview neighborhood. Just this past winter NYD was using boards head brand meats for their signature sandwiches with crusty french bread and all of your favorite "sodas", its pop damnit, like Dr. Browns. They have since gone the route to be even more a authentic NY deli that they have switched their deli meats and now they are supplied by Thumann's. Being a born and bred Chicagoan I had not heard of this brand before but am told it is big in NY.

Just like out east!

NYD has a whole bunch of signature sammy's that sound very appealing but I have stuck with the "Manhattan Project" on every visit b/c it gets the job done for me - Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey, American, L&T, Mustard/Mayo on french bread with banana peppers added on. I got back to try the new meats from NY on my regular ordered sammy and I was still very pleased and although they seemed to have switched back to a less crusty bread, I like the bread both ways so for me this isn't that bad although I prefer it crusty if I was given the choice.

Manhattan Project signature sandwich (New York Deli)

As far as this area goes your not going to find a better assembled sandwich, I should get there more often than I do, quite a nice lunch and pretty filling for my large appetite. I feel the $8 price tag is worth it for the quality and care put into the sandwich along with its size. the owner is straight out of New York, he likes to talk and does it loud. Hes got a Chicago trait though too and is very friendly with his customers. Click here for complete menu.

Who says I dont got love for NY?

I just hate those damn shirts that became a trend after 9-11 and will always hate the Knick's. The Yankee's are so bad I dont even need to speak on them anymore.

New York Deli
2921 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657

New York Deli on Urbanspoon

Carm's Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef

Carm's beef is one of the many beef stands in the Little Italy- Taylor St. area. It sits on the 1000 block of west Polk street and has been with us since 1929. If you wanna slang a fiendish beef then it needs to be homemade, which of course it is at Carm's. They slice the beef fresh daily and put into the gravy little by little to guarantee it doesn't get rubbery and stays nice and tender. Beef shouldn't be sitting in the gravy all day unless you have a really fast turnover. Carm's is a neighborhood favorite with locals, UIC students, St. Ignatius kids and the local grammar school it sits in front of. Its roots are traced back to the 1930’s when it started as a little grocery store that made and sold Italian ice. Once UIC came around in the '60's it turned itself into a beef/hot dog stand.

Carm's was inducted into the Vienna beef hall of fame in 2006. Popular menu items include the natural casing hot dog's, subs, Italian Ice and of course...DA BEEF. I have been eating beefs from Carm since my days of basketball camp at UIC as a youth so its easy to say that I enjoy a beef from there from time to time. Anyplace thats been around since 1929 in the heart of Chicago's Little Italy deserves mine and your business. Any of you that are eating at places like Pepe's and Potbelly in that neighborhood need to hit yourself upside the head. The beef at Carm's as previously mentioned is homemade and sliced very thin, the peppers have only a medium kick even though sliced jalapeños are present along with celery but the bread is good and the gravy is very subtle in flavor so you can really taste the roast beef without much seasonings in it, not my personal preference but still a damn fine sandwich worthy of your eats. This location of Carm's is in no way affiliated with the Carm's in Hillside, IL.

beef wit hot from Carm's in Little Italy

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 4
bread: 4
gravy: 2
hot peppers: 4

Score: 14/20

Carm's Beef
1057 W Polk St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 738-1046

Carm's Italian Beef on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cheezeborger! Cheezeborger!

-Got beef?
The Burgers of Chi

Im not going to sit here and retell you the whole story of Billy Goat and its part in the "curse" of the Cubs and how it became world famous when it became a skit on Saturday night live, that's all around the internet. Im here to tell you my take on the world famous tavern serving their famous double cheezeborgers. I have been eating at BG's for some time since my dad's office has always been near it and he and my uncles used to take us there often. So maybe I have a little place for it in my clogged heart due to the fact I was eating these when most kids my age were eating cheeseburger happy meals.
Bill Goat's original location underground in downtown.

The burgers at BG's are thin patties thrown on a flattop and cooked to order by the grillmaster. There is only one way to go at BG's and that's a double, you have to, otherwise you have a whole lot of bread and not much beef. The burgers are topped with cheese and served on the kaiser rolls they get delivered daily. The burgers at the goat are minimalist when it comes to the toppings.

Your choices are sliced pickles, whole sliced onions to place atop the patty or chopped onions and relish as well as mustard and ketchup...eww. I for one have a liking for all types of burgers including this style, I love the freshness of the the topping paired with the gooey cheese and the greasy patty. Its a good burger, just dont let the hype fool you into thinking that it is the best burger in the city...and as far as that curse goes, Ill take a goat and have Big Z bean it in the behind with a fastball and knock that curse right up out its ass. Ill then proceed to take it and make birria tacos out of its carcass.
BG's double cheese done my way...topped with a whole slice of onion, lots of pickles and mustard

Overall grade: C++

Strengths: old school burger joint with history and the ability to pile your burger with pickles

Weakness: Still too much bun to beef even with a double

Billy Goat Tavern
430 N Michigan ave. (lower level)
Chicago, IL
(312) 222-1525

Billy Goat II on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Ultimate Hangover Cure

-Grubbing in Chicago
Where the locals eat.

Theres alot of things you can do to help kill that god awful hangover from last eat. But who the hell wants to cook when they're brain is already toasted and they cant stay balanced on their feet? not me. If your going to go get something to eat after a night of binge drinking it needs to be large in quantity and heavy on the grease to soak up all those shots of Jameson. Soups and stews are very popular everywhere and other cures include peanut butter in Africa, more whiskey in Ireland, chilies in Mexico, pickle juice in Russia and greasy fried anything is a staple everywhere in the world.

Its not hard to find a place with great hangover food in the grease land of Chicago but there is a spot that gets the job done better than the rest so therefore its the best. Hamburger King or "Chester's" has been a staple in Wrigleyville for 25+ years. It has a clientèle ranging from blue collar streets and sans types, yuppies, students, alcoholics, actors, musicians, artists, families, day laborers, seniors, Cops, bad guys and Cubs fans headed to the game. The menu has all of your normal breakfast fare, 30's style hamburgers and other sandwiches and then the specialty of the house is the Korean home cooking.

Included on Sonia's menu is the hamburger Akutagawa, bi bim bop, yet ca mein, chicken and beef teriyaki, rice and gravy, house special fried rice and tons of other amazing hangover cures or fuel to start your day click here for the complete menu.

Im a fan of everything I mentioned above but when it comes to filing my belly and soaking up those shots, its all about the hamburger aktagawa, available only at the HK. Its a huge plate full of chopped hamburger meat, eggs, green pepper, onions, bean sprouts and I add in mushrooms served with a side of rice and gravy and two pieces of white or wheat toast. I top off my ultimate hangover cure with Sonia's spice dust, plenty of tabasco sauce and a spray of soy sauce. If and when the cubs win the world series, I can promise Ill be headed to the HK from whatever bar I leave when the sun rises. Look out below!

Hamburger Akutagawa w/ 'shrooms sprinkled with spice dust as it arrives

The result of mixing it all together with soy sauce and hot sauce so it can be inhaled

Hamburger King
3435 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 281-4452

La Gondola's Pizza

-The other Chicago-style pizza: Tavern Style

La Gondola is a very tiny little restaurant that is storefront in the strip mall (with the Jewel on Ashland and Wellington) in Lakeview. Its been around for some time and has changed locations and atmosphere but the pizza has remained the same during the restaurant and transformation of Lincoln Park and Lakeview. Although I only order delivery from there, I have never heard anybody knock the food and it gets quite good reviews. Most everything on the menu is made from scratch including the pizza. If you are going to go there and dine-in reservations are recommended due to its popularity and tiny space.

For those of you New Yorker's that for some reason like NY style pizza I offer you this tip. When you order, tell them you want it "East Coast" thin. La Gondola will make it for you this way, pie cut. I have been told by a few NY'ers they were very impressed with it this way. La gondola also does a very respectable extra-thin crust tavern style and is a good delivery option in the LP/Lakeview area. Not quite as good as Pat's but cheaper and a better overall menu aside from thin crust pizza. Make sure that when you are ordering that you clarify "extra-thin" if you want it Chicago tavern style. Crispness can be tough to judge with delivery but most every spot out there gets it to you in a respectable time so that it still has some crunch.

"extra-thin" sausage pizza from la gondola done Chicago tavern-style

Rating Scale 5/5

crust: 3
sauce: 4
toppings: 4
Crispness: 3

Score: 14/20

La Gondola
2914 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 248-4433

La Gondola on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Frannie's Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef

Frannie's beef in Schiller Park, IL

Frannie's beef is located in Schiller park near O'Hare. Frannie's was one of the few beef joints that looked worth trying that I hadnt been to...until now. Check! another one off the list. They use Scala's preferred at Frannie's and serve the beef in a gravy that is heavily seasoned with oregano and other dried green herbs. The peppers to my knowledge seemed to be homemade and were probably the best part to the beef. There is nothing wrong with ordering a beef from Frannie's with some of their fresh cut fries when in the area. Its not destination: Beef, driving but its still a tasty sandwich that is better than alot of other places around the city. Dont be scared off by a score given by me in the 12-14 's from the beef joints, that is a respectable score and doesnt mean its not worth trying, just not on my "All-Chi" beef team, which is hard to reach. They are still damn good players who have had careers like that of Robert Horry.

FYI scores in the 17-20 range are excellent . Dont even try anything that scores under a 10 and just be happy I did so you dont have too.

Beef with hot from Frannie's

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 3
bread: 3
gravy: 3
hot peppers: 4

Score: 13/20

Frannie's Beef
4304 River Rd
Schiller Park, IL 60176
(847) 678-7771

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jimmy's Red Hots

-The other Chicago-style hot dog: Depression dog's

Dont even bother asking for ketchup at Jimmy's (Pic by ReneG)
(Im not kidding)

Attention! Much like Chicago-style pizza there is a lesser known "Grandpa" to the Chicago-Style hot dog. Back in the day Chicago-style hot dogs were there to feed you for a small price when money was scarce during the depression era. I love both style of Chicago hot dog's but the only thing they really have in common are that the hot dog is from Vienna beef, that's about it. A depression era dog is a natural casing 8/lb Vienna beef hot dog, which has a snappy bite to it, most places don't use this dog anymore but you can by them at the Vienna beef factory outlet. It is served on a well steamed regular cheap bun and topped with mustard, relish, chopped onions and sports peppers...that's it. It is topped with amazing fresh cut fries and usually served in reject bags from food corporations like Burger King and other regional fast food joints not in Chicago.

The "depression-dog" is becoming harder and harder to find these days, as I could count the number of places to get them on one hand. Unlike others, I grew up on the depression style dog eating at Demon Dog's (RIP) under the Fullerton el stop almost every day of my youth . For all you that miss demon dogs and haven't been able to find a need not worry, I got you covered.

demon dog's was a staple in LP for many years

Theres only three places that I know where to get the old school Chicago dog. Jimmy's, Gene & Jude's and my house. First up on my review is Jimmy's on grand and Pulaski. It was a good day when I found this place and tasted the exact same hot dog that I grew up on as a kid and yearned for as an adult. Jimmy's is my favorite hot dog stand within city limits. Jimmy's is real old school and may be a little too "ghetto fab" for some of you, but not me. First of all you need not worry about your safety, the owner has a permit to pack heat and the place is a favorite for the local Narc's to eat (whats up boy's!) so aside from the occasional crack head beggar, its all good, you wont be bothered. Jimmy's is a old school joint and any tourist that wants to experience a real Chicago hot dog stand needs to go here.

Dont let the stray bullet holes bother you...the dog is too damn good (Pic by ReneG)

Jimmy's red hots is one of a few left that still do it old school.

Jimmy's Red Hots
4000 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60651
(773) 384-9513

Jimmy's Red Hots on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pass the pastie to the left hand side...

Eating like a local: Regional food specialties
--The U.P and the pastie.

Over the summer I took a road trip and did the Lake Michigan Circle Tour (for entire trip report, click the link) The drive took us around the entire lake and up into the U.P where we stayed a few days in Marquette, MI located on the shores of Lake Superior. First of all, for any of you that like to get in the ride and just drive, during summer this is a dope ass trip. Its best done in the dead heat of summer. We were always a short drive from a great lake, which I believe to be some the best beaches in the country during summer. You cant beat the fresh water. Just like every other region of our country there is a popular food that all the locals eat and is hard to find outside the area. Most people grow up taking the local specialties of where they are from for granted. Its not til you move away that you realize your beloved dish inst available everywhere.

Up there in the U.P that dish is the pastie Pronounced: pass-ty. Everywhere you go there is a local pastie joint and every place sells them from the gas stations to the bar. I first heard of and ate a pastie at a place called "Myle's Teddy Wedger's" up in Madison, WI. Before then I thought they were what the strippers wear at garbage strip joints. I liked this type of pastie, they were great eats during the cold months in Wisconsin. The best way to describe a pastie is "almost like a beef stew wrapped in a doughy crust". Although the pastie comes with many different fillings, including chicken, breakfast's like bacon, eggs, cheese and hash browns and ones with all veggies, the beef with potato, onions and maybe carrots is the original and to this day the most popular. If you live in or are from the U.P, you love pasties and you have a favorite spot to get them. Pasties come with all sorts of different fillings and were brought to the UP by the cornish miners who would bring them into the mines for lunch, they stayed warm and filled the miners with fuel for work. To this day they are popular up there and make a great early morning eat for anybody that needs a little boost for snowmobiling, skiiing and hiking...they are loaded with calories.

Pasties are as common in the U.P as hot dog stands are in Chicago.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Perfect Corned Beef Hash

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

Im not much of a breakfast guy, usually im still full from whatever late night munchies I ate the previous day. But thats not to say I dont have some favorites when it comes to eating in the am. Another one of my favorite childhood foods is corned beef hash, I love it when it is minced finely and has those crispy edges on each corner. These day's its becoming harder and harder to find homemade CBH the way I like it described above. Most of the places that serve it dont want to spend the extra time dicing and chopping all morning, they either serve it chunky with large pieces of corned beef and potatoes or straight from the can. Its so damn easy I dont get it, time consuming sure but its a simple recipe that anyone can duplicate.

ATTN: Guy haven't had the best corned beef hash until you've tried this bud. Get it? Good. Now ride your little red camaro to the 'geld and lets get something goin for the show.

"Im never eating baby food again!"

Corned Beef Hash (Serves 8)

2 lbs russet baking potato's
3-4 lbs cooked corned beef (diced)
4 tablespoons of butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups of finely chopped peppers (I use a green, red and a few jalapeños)
Lawry's salt & fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 lg eggs

Peel the potato and chop into 1/4 inch dice. Add potatoes into a saucepan of boiling well salted water. Cover and cook until just tender...about 3-4 minutes.

Heat some butter in a skillet over high heat and add the onion/pepper mixture and cook, add potatoes stirring, occasionally, until golden brown. Let sit and cool for 20 minutes. Add diced onion/pepper mixture, potato's and corned beef into a large bowl and mesh it all together with your hands and season with salt and pepper.

your hash should look like this when everything is blended together into the bowl

Add the cream little by little until you get the perfect consistency so that you can form the hash into a burger patty and it stays together.

When it reaches the right form, add your patty to a buttered up flattop and let cook evenly on both sides until the outside is well browned and the edges are crispy it takes some time so be sure to give it some and flip it every now and then so it doesn't stick to the griddle. Serve with a sunnyside up egg on top.

Perfect CBH ala KingT


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