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Friday, September 2, 2011

Orgasmic Food

I'll bet dollars to donuts I'll get the weirdos Googling the keywords for that title. No matter. I had to use it. Today's post is all about favorite foods.

Of all the places I've traveled, the city with the best food has been Chicago. Even now, thirty-five years since I've lived there, it still rates as Number One.

I'm not a true foodie like Greg. That man lives for savory delights. I can take it or leave it, but I'm not stupid. I'll indulge given half the chance. 

We are surprisingly (or not) plebian in our tastes. We both adore 'street' food--gyros, Italian beef sandwiches, Polish sausages deep-fried until the skin crackles in orgasmic explosions of flavor.

Chicago is renown for this type of food. And we grew up on it. No matter where we are in the world, if we have a gyro, it's like going home again.

True story: The last time we visited Chicago was for a funeral. Instead of going straight home after the service, we stopped at a hole-in-the-wall, still in our mourning clothes, and pigged-out on gyros. For a while we thought we were the ones who had died and gone to heaven.

The Bests

The best Polish can be found at Mic Duck's on Belmont Ave.

The best pizza (back in the day) was Gino's for thick crust, and a little dive called Carmen's when we wanted a thinner crust and shrimp topping.

The best Italian beef (or Western beef as it's sometimes called) was in Kankakee, outside Chicago. Greg could probably name other locations, but that was my favorite.

Real Jewish delis are my next biggest gluttonous sin. Oh. My. God. Chicago has the best delis in the world. I can still smell the pastrami as it was piled up on a sandwich so big, I could barely take a bite.

My favorite hangout was a place called The Grand Deli. I don't know if it's still there, but if it is, it's on my list of stops when I go back.

There are so many other restaurants I could name, but I'm already drooling from reminiscing.

So tell me, if I were visiting, what restaurant would you recommend? What's your favorite food in the world?


Sarita said...

Remember, I'm in the middle of nowhere so I've got cravings I satisfy when I get out into the world!

My favorite food is...oh, only one? I love eggplant. But only if it's cooked well.

I really crave knishes. I love them. And big, fat deli pickles. And real bakery cheesecakes. I love Italian cookies and love them when we're in Brooklyn.

Oh! Real pizza. The kind I got when I was a kid. Real pizza, with real sauce--not the chain variety.

Now I'm hungry. For a knish. And pizza. And maybe some cheesecake.


But if you were visiting, I wouldn't send you to a restaurant. I'd keep you here on the farm, sit you right down in our kitchen and we'd chat while I cooked up a storm. :)

Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarita: You bet we'd stay at your house. I want to learn all your canning secrets. LOL!

I have never had a knish. Now I feel deprived. :(

Madeleine said...

I'm realy hungry now LOL!

I'm intrigued by your term hole-in-the-wall, as in the UK it means an ATM cash machine, although some pubs and restaurants are named 'Hole in the Wall' they are usually referred to as watering holes. Fascinating contradictions.

Maria Zannini said...

Madeleine: Ain't language grand? :) Around here a hole-in-the-wall is any unsavory looking place. But that's usually where all the best eats are.

Jennifer Shirk said...

This is good to know! We want to plan a little trip to Chicago next year.

I LOVE a good Deli! But I want to try Chicago pizza too. :-)

One of the best places we found to eat was Charleston. Oh my gosh! We ate our way around that place. LOL

LD Masterson said...

"Polish orgasmic explosions"? Oh yeah, you're gonna get Googled on that one.

(Do I get brownie points for not making any of the comments leaping around my brain?)

For pizza - the original Buddy's on Six Mile Rd. in Detroit. The fancy spin off's in the suburbs just weren't the same.

Renee Miller said...

If you were visiting here, I'd say you have to have poutine (Latina's does it best here, although, the chip truck at the park comes a close second), deep-fried pickles and Irish nachos at Fare N' Fowl Pub and for dessert, butter tarts. Mmmm. I'm hungry.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: I strongly recommend you fast before you go. There is just too many great places to eat.

Linda: I am going to forgive your blasphemy on my description of the Polish sausage. You haven't lived until you've tasted it deep fried.

I'm not normally a fan of deep fried food, but I make an exception for this--and fried turkey.

Maria Zannini said...

Renee: You owe me a post on what all these things are. And Irish nachos? I can only dream. LOL.

I love the chip truck too! All we have are ice cream trucks around here.

Renee Miller said...

You've never heard of these things? Oh, I must do a favorite foods post. But I can help give you an idea. Poutine is fries covered with cheese curds then smothered in gravy. It's a big gooey, delicious hot mess. Deep fried dill pickles is exactly how it sounds but really good. I was like "Ew" when I saw them, but wow. Awesome. I do like my fried food.

Irish nachoes are thinly sliced potatoes that are deep-fried (think homemade potato chips) and they're covered with seasoned hamburger (or steak depending on where you go), onions, tomatoes, peppers, cheese and salsa. Mmmm.

Carrie Butler said...

Gah! It was such a mistake to read this post at lunch time. I'm so hungry now! ;)

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! :)

Maria Zannini said...

Renee: Yes! Do a food post. I guess I should do one too for our local cuisine. I imagine most of us don't realize how localized certain foods are.

I think our state fair has fried pickles but I've never tried them.

But the Irish nachos--OMG! Greg will be asking for that one.

Maria Zannini said...

Carrie: I've been hungry all day. LOL.

Have a great holiday. Sadly, I'm pretty sure I'll be laboring on Labor Day. The weather is supposed to be good so I want to take advantage of it.

Anonymous said...

I'd be hard pressed to give you a recommendation for Vegas. We just don't get out to eat often enough to have formed favorite stops.

If you are looking for Greek, in Portland OR, stop in at Demetri's. OMG he spoiled me for Greek food.

Now I'm hungry, after your post and all these comments, good thing it's lunch time :)

Angela Brown said...

Oh goodness, glad I'm reading this after having gone to lunch or I'd be one starving marvin. Around my neck of the woods, I can recommend a good burger joint, French Quarter...makes you want to sop up every bit of juice and grease. Soooo good.

But, back in San Diego, I want to hit up L&L for some Hawaiian BBQ. Make you slap your mama and forget to duck when she pops you back. And don't expect some wimpy plate. Get your arms ready for a workout. Also, I can't remember this joint, probably one of the food trucks set up on the side of the road, but my brother surprised me one time with carne asada fries: thick cut french fries smothered in succulent strips of carne asada then topped with a generous drizzle of melted cheddar cheese. Okay, I just drooled thinking about it. Sorry, got to wipe up the keyboard.

Wait, what was I talking about again? LOL!!

jackie b central texas said...

I would recommend we all go to The Olive Garden as my favorite food is their tossed salad with huge pepperocini peppers, bermuda onion, chopped iceberg lettuce all tossed in their house dressing and covered with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Simple and tangy to the taste buds and my all time must have to go with whatever meal strikes my fancy.

Now as to what is my actual favorite meal that varies but if you want "homegrown style" then the little restaurant located in Winchester Texas has some meals that will put hair on your chest and take the rumble out of your belly. Best thing that I like to eat there is either their chicken fried steak with cream gravy, house salad, dinner roll, and slow cooked pinto beans that are so good they melt in your mouth! I just ate a couple hours ago, now I am hungry again Maria!

{BTW the little Mom and Pop place in Winchester is a favorite with the biker crowd, so good recommendation for the quality of the food. They have a website you just go online and look up Murphy's Steakhouse in Winchester and the menu is basic all american stick-to-your-ribs fare.}

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I love Greek food. We used to go to one in Dallas, but it's a little too far to visit now.

Angela: Those carne asada french fries sound like a variation of Renee's Irish nachos. I can feel my arteries clog already--but what a way to go. LOL.

Jackie: You are talkin' Greg food now. He lives for that stuff. We have nothing nearby that rates as great food, so I'll have to live vicariously through you.

Dru said...

Now I want a knish.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Margaret River is foodie heaven Years ago I had sugar snap peas there. Ever since, they've been one of my favourite foods.

As best as I've been able to judge, the chef mixed butter and olive oil, added mint and then added the just picked sugar snap peas (so sweet you eat them pods and all). A quick fry, just enough to heat them through and turn the pods bright green and serve!

Delish :)

I've so enjoyed reading everyone's favourite foods.

Mike Keyton said...

I have lost two stone over recent months. I've just put it back on again just reading this! Bugger it!

Marian Perera said...

I love Sri Lankan food - the kind that's so spicy your eyes water as you eat. When I lived back in the Middle East, I'd mix grated coconut with chili powder and finely chopped onions, flavor it with plenty of salt and lime juice, and serve it as a dip or on toast.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: I'm afraid I might have to learn to make my own.

Jenny: Ohhh! Love snap peas, but I've never tried them with mint. Just a little sea salt.

Mike: LOL. I was hoping to hear about some of your favorites.

Marian! How are you? Have you settled into your new life now?

I am a fire-eater myself. I love vinegared peppers.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Our local pizza shop, JoJo's, has the best garlic nuts ever. I could live on them though probably not for long. All that butter has to kill you sooner rather than later.

Liz Fichera said...

I couldn't agree more! Chicago has my favorite restaurant, Vie. The little restaurants in all of the ethnic neighborhoods are TDF. Now I'm really hungry...

Rosie Lane said...

It would have to be Pizza Express, who do the most delicious lemon gelato, or a little kebab shop in New Cross Gate that does the best shish kebabs I ever ate. With shredded cabbage in lemon juice, yum.

Enid Wilson said...

I like street food too, especially sweets, peanut candy, sesame soup etc.

Every Savage Can Reproduce

Jayne said...

Gyros? I can't even guess what that is! But I love your descriptions of the food here - makes me very hungry.

If you were visiting me? Hm... I think we'd go to Borough Market to drink the best coffee and taste the best food on offer in London - after that we'd go to Kensington for the most amazing cupcakes. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I haven't tasted garlic nuts in ages. They are good!

Liz: I will put Vie on my radar when I go back next. I'm always looking for new eats.

Rosie: OMG Lemon gelatos!! Yes. We used to have a place in our old neighborhood that sold lemon ices. And then I found out hubby used to date the owner's daughter. LOL. We got our ices elsewhere after that.

Enid: I've never had sesame soup. It sounds like something I'd like too.

Jayne: You had me at cupcakes. :p

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Woo-hoo for Chicago! I live here and my waistline would have to agree that it has good food LOL!

Maria Zannini said...

Lindsay: I forgot you were from Chicago. Man, I miss that city. :)

Marian Perera said...

Haha, my new life. Thanks for asking! I'm excited by it and dreading it at the same time. I miss the summer days when the alarm was set to four am to give me a jump start on writing, but I could nap at noon.

I'll make a long post on Tuesday or Wednesday to let everyone know what Clinical is like.

L.G.Smith said...

Oh man, this was the wrong day to follow your site.

So many good foods and I'm trying to drop a few. I do love pizza. Had some of that good stuff in Chicago before. Here in Colorado we have a pizza place called Beau Jo's. They call them mountain pies there because they're about three inches thick. Mmm.

Nice to meet you.

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: Looking forward to it.

LG: I've had a taste for pizza all day, but I'm alone this weekend and I couldn't justify buying a pie just for myself. I must get over that. :)