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RE: Was [Charlie Carters response to Building Codes Online?] Now: Chicago Food Specialties near AISC offices

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How far is the nearest McDonalds from Charlie's office? They've got the
best fries...

What about the place Ferris Buehler went to as Abe Froeman "The Sausage
king of Chicago" (Le Chic)?

And what about a handicapped accessible place for Bill Polhemus with the
local Rush affiliate playing over PA system?

The greatest thing about Chicago was when the 49ers kicked DA BEARS ass
in the "BEAR WEATHER" in the late 80's playoff game. :>)

Santa Clara, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 9:20 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Was [Charlie Carters response to Building Codes Online?] Now:
Chicago Food Specialties near AISC offices

Charlie, who can disagree with that?

Nothing says we have to agree. If we can't disagree on engineering, then
we might as well discuss Chicago Food.  I'm bringing this issue up
because Charlie probably works off Michigan Avenue at the AISC offices
and I introduced a close friend yesterday to the wonders of Chicago Junk
Food. For those who don't know or have not been in Chicago - the city is
known for the best in Hot Dogs (Sorry New York - you come in a close
second as far as I am concerned), Italian Beef and Sausage (only
availabe in Chicago), real Chicago THIN crust pizza (Rosati's, La Rosa
in Skokie, Father & Son's in Chicago on Milwaukee), Thick Crust Pizza
(Gino's downtown, Uno's, Due's (don't know if I spelled it right)) and
Lou Malnati's (because it can be ordered by Fed-Ex anywhere in the
country)), Ribs (Carson's is still the best for Pork Ribs). 

A friend of mine is an American Airlines Pilot (and a realtor,
contractor and designer). I called him about a job we are doing together
on his cell phone and found out that he had arrived in Chicago on a
Flight. He was relaxing before going to the hotel and having a beer with
his co-pilot at O'Tools, an Irish Pub on Wells Street. I knew it well as
my ex-father-in-law owned a furniture store near by on the north side of
the Merchantdise Mart. 

I also worked for my first Architect nearby on the corner or State and
Lake Street and my cousin, who was also attending architecture school at
U of I Chicago Circle campus, had a loft on Lake and Wells just next to
the Elevated Trains. 

My friend Bob remembered my rants about the great Chicago food that you
can get nowhere else in the country (read on if you life in Phoenix or
Tucson). He wanted dinner and I recommended either Al's BarB'que on
Taylor Street just west of Halsted or Portillo's which was named
Chicago's best Italian Beef. Portillo's was only five blocks from where
he was located and he decided to go there as even the bartender raved
about it. 

This is a difficult sandwich to discribe but it is beef that is sliced
paper thin and cooked in its own juices with green peppers and
seasoning. It is placed on an Italian roll dripping wet and served with
sweet peppers and/or hot peppers. For the adventurous there is a Combo
sandwich - which is Italian Beef and Sausage - a very hardy meal. When I
left Chicago for California, there was only one real good place to have
an Italian Beef. This was called Al's BarB'que which was in a garage on
Taylor Street about three or four blocks west of Halsted (at the
Southwest corner of the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus). I
was working in our family business on 22nd and Halsted when a fellow
worker suggested Al's. They open the garage door in the summer and
people who eat there dine in their cars or else stand at the counters to
eat while they watch the heavy set women digging dripping beef out of
the vat of juice and embeding it in the Italian Roll (bun). If you have
room, you desert on Italian Ices which are sold out of a basement window
across the street. This is the true flavor of Chicago. In the winter,
the garage door comes down and the garage is heated by small space
heaters hung from the ceiling. Usually the ice and snow prevent many
cars from entering the lot but it does not stop people from crowding the
place at lunchtime. 

Taylor Street is not a safe place after dark and Al's closes before
dark. Still, at the time it was the best Beef Stand in Chicago. Now
there are Italian Beef places all over the Northside of Chicago.

Bob called me after dinner and left a message on my voice mail. He
considered Portillo's to be the best sandwich he ever tasted. He said he
ordered the 9-inch sandwich and had to finish most of it with a fork as
it was too wet to pick up. Next trip I'll direct him to Chicago Hot Dogs
or Pizza.
Mari and I took our first vacation alone in July of this year. We went
to Phoenix first as my grandaughter was going home to visit (Lake Villa
- a northern suburb of Chicago). She flies out of Phoenix as it is a
nicer trip from our home and no longer to get to than LAX in traffic -
about five hours. We can't fly her out of Palm Springs if you are
wondering because they don't have a direct flight until the Snow Bird
(tourist) season begins in October and she is too young to trust on a
stop over in Dallas / Fort Worth. 

Many of our family and family friends retired in Scottsdale. I called
one friend I had not seen in years. He also worked for the family
business. There is a wonderful resturant in Scottsdale called Don and
Charlie's. If you life in the Phoenix area you probably know the
resturant as it is a white table cloth type of resturant that
specializes in Ribs and Steak. The walls are decorated in Baseball
memorabilia and it is a place you are most likely to see Don Carson, the
owner, talking to visiting baseball players.

For those of you who are Chicagoan's or from Chicago, you might
recognize Don's last name. Carson's was one of the best Spare Ribs
resturant in Chicago. Don is the son of the original owner and he moved
to Scottsdale and opened this resturant. His partner retired early and
now the resturant keeps the name but is the image of Carson's Ribs in
Chicago. Even the waitress we had was from Skokie Illinois (my home
town). The ribs were great and the table was set with an apitiser of
onion and chopped liver - with rye bread - another Chicago favorite.

Lukes is a fast food joint in Chicago that sells Italian Beef and
Sausage as well as great Hot Dogs and Char-broiled burgers (Cheddar
Burgers). Like Don's, Lukes opened one carryout resturant in Phoenix
just west of Scottsdale on Indian School Road. This is great - just like
being in Chicago with Cubs and White Sox memorabilia on the walls. I had
the Cheddar burger which was great. My only complaint was that the guy
behind the counter looked like he could be from Chicago (big and on the
heavy side with a midwestern accent) but he knew nothing about the
history of Lukes. I was disappointed as he could not hold a conversation
on the specialties of Chicago that made Lukes Famous.

Rosati's is a paper thin crust pizza that also became one of Chicago
beloved foods. An aging member of the Rosati family moved to Scottsdale
and opened a carryout resturant. You can't sit down here - you can only
carry out. We were staying at the Amerisuits in Scottsdale and my wife
brough back a large Rosati's Cheese that I shared with my seven year old
grandaughter Samantha while her mom and Mari went shopping (their
favorite pasttime). Sam is my favorite grandaughter, but don't tell
anyone. She has a great creative mind and can make up some great stories
and games. While she is climbing up my back she can still crawl into the
crook of my arm and fall asleep while I tell her bedtime stories (all
the rest of the Pizza for me). Rosati's is great thin crust pizza.

If you like Chicago thick crust and you live near Tempe, Scottsdale or
Tucson your in luck. Uno's Bar and Grill is located in each town. In
Tucson it is in the Oro Valley on the main highway. The pizza is just
like Uno's near New Town in Chicago. The original resturant is in the
basement of a building that you walk down a half flight. The tables are
set with the plumbing and mechanical equptment for the story above in
the exposed ceiling. I haven't been back to the resturant since the
early 70's (I left Chicago in 1978) but I remember it well. There were
three great pizza places within a few blocks of one another: Gino's,
Uno's and Due's (of course Uno's and Due's(?) are one and two and owned
by the same people). 

We ordered out, and the Pizza was spicy sausage, but the crust was
heavenly - thick and filling.

It turns out that the best Chicago food for us westerners is located in
the Phoenix / Tucson area. Living so close, we decided to plan our next
vacation between Christmas and New Years starting in Phoenix and ending
in Tucson - two really nice cities for those of you looking for a good
place in the states to visit. Here, I live in the Palm Springs area and
I'm thinking of spending my vacation in Phoenix and Tucson. Go figure?

Regards you food fanatics,

** ******** 

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