Here are the 3 foods that Chicago will always do better than anywhere else that tries to imitate.
1. Italian Beef- slow marinated roast beef on French bread with spicy homemade giardiniera soaking in its own juices. I went to Al’s for this one. It is a sloppy mess of a sandwich that falls apart the more you eat it. Do not believe the yelp reviews and get this sandwich from Al’s. One of the reviews I read complained about the sandwich being to soggy. A world without bread soaked in meat juices is one i hope we never have to endure.
2. Deep dish pizza- handmade crust topped with a thick layer of mozzarella (this must be placed on the crust before the sauce) Italian sausage, crushed tomatoes, and location specific spice blends. There is much debate on which place does the best deep dish in Chicago. I am not from around here so I go to Gino’s. This admittance will undoubtedly cause scandal and controversy in some circles. I personally loved their pie. And I’m not going to be the one to tell you that Lou Malnati’s is doing it wrong either. The fact is, if your not from Chicago, you will probably find that both of these places have amazing pizza.
3. Pierogi- small Polish dumplings filled with anything from potatoes and cheese to cabbage and mushrooms, and topped with caramelized onions, bacon bits, and sour cream. This was the best meal I had in Chicago, at a small lunch counter called Pierogi Heaven on Wells street. A husband and wife run the entire place and serve nothing but pierogi and borscht. If I could, I would sleep here tonight.
You can try and find these foods in your home town. Some may be good. Chicago does it better.
(I welcome any challenges to these grandiose claims. If you know of anything better than the big 3 in Chicago, let me know. No one looses in a food challenge, we all progressively eat better food and get fat together.)