Just this past weekend I was in Chicago for a philosophy conference and, arguably more importantly, a brief food tour. I took the advice from what I gathered was the majority opinion on the board and tried Al's #1 Beef, Lou Malnati's, Taqueria Puebla, and Johnnie's.
Al's and Johnnie's were both great, though I must say I preferred Johnnie's. At both places I indulged in beef hot. It's true, as folks say, that the giardinera is best at Al's. But the beef at Johnnie's is top notch--quite a bit more flavorful than at Al's. Both sandwiches, though, were head and shoulders above what the local italian beef joint here in Minneapolis, Joey D's, turns out.
Lou's was good too. We had a pepperoni deep dish and a sausage deep dish. The quality of the pepperoni, I think, made that pie stand out over the sausage; I really have never had pepperoni like that in my life. The prospect of deep dish pizza, I think, turned out for me to be more satisfying in theory than in actuality. I found to my dismay that the crust was much less flavorful than I had hoped. I suppose I should note that I didn't go for the "butter crust" as I now see some had recommended. That's my fault for not reading the fine print.
Taqueria Puebla kicked ass. We have lots of authentic Mexican joints here in Minneapolis, but none serve dishes particular to that region. I had the carne enchilade cemita on the recommendation of the guy at the counter. Though the pork hailed from a chop, it wasn't dry at all, and the chipotle in the cemita made for a great contrast of flavors. The owner, by the way, came to my table asking where I'd heard about cemitas. "Online", I told him. He threw his hands in the air and rejoiced. Good work all, for making this place a place to eat.
Thanks to all of you for all your helpful posts. There's nothing like going to a city for the first time and finding gold at all the restaurants you've heard about.