As we waited for our donuts and cold press at Do-Rite Donuts in Chicago, a fellow customer asked where we were from. Our response prompted a compliment: “Minneapolis has the best Farmer’s Market I have ever been to.”
I had never thought of my hometown as more “foodie” and more of a farm-to-table destination than my one-time adoptive home (during college), and arguably the only city worthy of a pitstop in what coastdwellers call the Midwest: “flyover land”. The Windy City, home of Da Bears and Michael Jordan.
But a long weekend eating out showed us that Chicago’s food traditions—old and new—are gluttonous and actually quite different than Minnesota’s health-oriented cuisine. Thankfully, we got lots of steps in touring colleges and walking along the river and lake while eating our way through the city.
- Craft beers, cheese curds and potato chip nachos with Merkts cheesespread while watching the Cubs fall apart to the Dodgers. 😔
- Mario Batali and Lydia Bastianich’s Italian food emporium, Eataly. What could be more awesome than food shopping with a glass of wine?! We had salted caramel-chocolate and chocolate chip gelato, pistachio cannoli and sun-dried tomato-olive foccacia. I could spend weeks sampling from the pasta, salami, cheese, coffee—real Italian cappuccinos—pizza, fish, salads, sandwiches…ohhhh so many fantastic packaged items to tryout at home too.
- The valhrona chocolate and pistachio-lemon donuts from Do-Rite were fantastic. Birthday cake with sprinkles and a good ol’ fashioned rounded out breakfast.
- A classic, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, was a nice surprise (expectations were low). The spaghetti and meatballs were well portioned for 2 teenage boys, as was a 12 oz steak, but the corn brûlée stole the show.
- A quaint diner serving breakfast all day, chorizo skillet topped with 3 eggs and a side of 3 pancakes. (= “My stomach hurts”.)
- The boys horked down chili cheese dogs from Portillo’s as an afternoon “snack”. Fast food wieners…hmmm…yes, this is Chicago.
I’m glad to be home. A good warmup for Thanksgiving, I guess. 😉