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Tourists Seeking Unusual Chicago Food Spots


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Tourists Seeking Unusual Chicago Food Spots

crackedconch | May 21, 2009 12:04 PM

I'm new to chowhound and have been browsing for days for our upcoming visit to Chicago. We will be there Tue-Sat Aug18-22 and can't wait for the eating to begin!

Background: We are foodies, not food snobs and we can't get alot of things where we live that we like (from Key West it's a 4hr drive to the mainland...) so when we go on vacation it's a big feeding frenzy ; ) My husband is a grad from CIA and we were both chefs in the past. His family is Thai-American but he didn't eat alot of thai growing up. We are both suckers for artisanal cheese, all forms of charcuterie and secondary cuts being transformed into delicious treats!

We will be staying downtown in order to be close to the different museums and attractions and using mass transit to get around. We will travel up to an hour for something really special...

We are looking for what we don't have here. We have seafood, fine dining and Cuban.
We are also looking to try Chicago-specific foods.

So far we are interested in:

Gold Coast Dogs (theres one in MDW for when we arrive)
Giordano's or Pizanos
Arun's (sounds different, ?)
Pastoral for lunch near Grant park area
M Henry for breakfast once
Garrett popcorn
1492 or Mercat a la Planxa
Avec or Bistro Campagne (marrow bone app-mmmm!)
Hopleaf for a meal and beer
Lao Sze Chuan (hoping to score new food finds for us)
Ras Dashen (never had Ethiopian)
Signatures for a drink/snack instead of the observation deck
Jerry's sandwiches
Hot doug
and some one please tell me where can I get my hands on some Pupusas!

I need to narrow it down a little more, but I would like suggestions of any other Chicago specialties or unusual or ethnic spots before I do.

I know it's a long way out, but I already got so excited about this Chicago style dog that I went out and bought all the ingredients to make this at home from a recipe I'd found online! I had to substitute whole wheat buns for poppyseed, peperoncinis for sport peppers (?), normal relish for the lime green kind... but I steamed the dogs and buns, added: mustard, tomatoes, relish, pickle spear, peppers, cucmber, chopped onion and celery salt. OMG! It was so good we each ate 3!!! I've never in my life eaten 3 hot dogs or enjoyed pickle relish, I can't wait to try the authentic version when I get there!!!!

Any help is appreciated and I promise to write a detailed review when we return.

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