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Your Kind of Town

Some of you reading this already know that my brother and his family are moving to Chicago. Especially if you’re my brother. Or my mom.

For those of you who don’t… my brother and his family are moving to Chicago.


Well, not Chicago proper, but a friendly suburb along Lake Michigan. Imagine every neighborhood in every John Hughes movie ever. It will be like that.

Sounds amazing, right?

Truthfully, I’m thisclose to becoming a stowaway in their moving truck. Just call me Aunt Hobo.

Words fail me right now. I’ve started twelve different sentences, nothing I write seems to express what’s going through my head and heart. But this would be a short, stupid post if I ended it here, so I’ll give it a shot.

Obviously, this bittersweet. I’ll miss my munchkins like crazy. And our Super Bowl parties. And our taste tests. And our fun and games.

But more than anything, I’m incredibly proud that they had the courage to seize this amazing opportunity that came their way. My brother (like me) has never lived outside of the tri-state area, and my sister-in-law has spent nearly all her life in CT. It’s a giant leap of faith. I know it isn’t easy for them to pack up and move halfway across the country, but once they made the decision to go, everything else seemed to click into place.

That’s how I know they’re on the right track.

I don’t want to get all blubbery here (though all bets are off as I wave goodbye). Instead, as the older sister, I feel I need to prepare them for the MOST important part of their new hometown.

The food!

In our family, food is love. Maybe it’s the same in yours? While I can’t send them off with a giant tray of eggplant parm, I CAN give them a hit-list of the best eats in the Windy City.

Guys, meet Chicago’s 4 major food groups (it’s a good thing you’re not vegetarians – sincerely, you would be ostracized):

Gino’s East
Must Eat: Deep dish cheese and famous crumbled sausage

Lou Malnati's
Must Eat: The Chicago Classic with Buttercrust

Cozy Dog Drive-In
Must Eat: A batter-dipped, fried cozy dog

Superdawg (home of Flaurie and Maurie, 10ft tall leopard-clad weiners)
Must Eat: Whoopskidog Polish sausage and Superonion chips

Must Eat: Jumbo char dog with cheddar fries

Al’s #1 Italian Beef
Must Eat: Big beef, double dipped in pan gravy

Mr. Beef
Must Eat: Italian beef and sausage combo, topped with giardiniera, a pepper salad

Gene & Georgetti
Must Eat: A t-bone and a garbage salad of antipasto and one giant shrimp

Lawry’s Prime Rib
Must Eat: Prime rib and a spinning salad bowl

Billy Goat Tavern
Must Eat: Cheezeborger, cheezeborger! No fries, cheeps!  No Pepsi, Coke!

Harry Caray’s
Must Eat: Chicken Vesuvio, sautéed in white wine, garlic, and olive oil

Must Eat: Breaded steak sandwich with Sunday gravy and mozzarella

Twin Anchors
Must Eat: Baby back ribs with “zesty” BBQ sauce

Hit up these joints, and Chicago will be YOUR kind of town in no time.

Oh, one more thing! On the way in, you may want to swing through Walmart for some elastic-waist pants. Just sayin’…

Safe travels and much love on this great adventure.

PS: Anybody know any more amazing Midwestern meat? Add it below, but keep it clean – this is a family post!

tags: family, food, travel


Anonymous said...

Try Pequod’s Pizza too.

Chris said...

Sure you'll miss your bro but think of the FF miles you'll rack up visiting Family! Tell them not to succumb to deep dish za its NY Style all-the-way :)

Cindy Marshall said...

It isn't meat but you have to try Anne Sather's cinnamon rolls. They are the size of dinner plates and you would imagine would be heavy but are light and airey.

Jessica said...

I'm sure you'll miss them, but at least its a great city to live in. Mazel!

Chris said...

Did u actually stow away on that moving van?? Write Woman! :-)

Anonymous said...

The 10 Best Restaurants in Chicago according to Zagats
1. Alinea
2. Katsu
3. Next
4. Riccardo Trattoria
5. Les Nomades
6. Takashi
7. Avec
8. Green Zebra
9. MK
10. Schwa