The Travel Professor
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dining out Chicago style

Chicagoans are famous for taking two food classics very seriously: pizza and hot dogs. Sample these two favorites during your visit so you can officially join in the debate and savior the experience with the locals.

Personally I prefer a thin crust pizza but the loaded Chicago style deep dish pizza is unbelievable. A debate rages over who invented the first deep dish pizza but two of my favorites are Pizzeria Uno and Giordano’s. These dining options are very popular so arrive early or make reservations.
According to my seat mates at Wrigley Field a Chicago Style Hot Dog is a steamed all beef hot dog topped with yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear or slice, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt served in the all-important steamed poppy seed bun.

The toppings are just as important as the order they are applied to the Hot Dog. Add toppings in the following order:

· Yellow Mustard
· Bright Green Relish-I swear this stuff would glow in the dark.
· Fresh Chopped Onions
· Two Tomato Wedges
· A Pickle Spear or Slice
· Two Sport Peppers
· A Dash of Celery Salt

My preference is just a dog slathered in
Cleveland Stadium mustard but I tried a few of the Chicago mutts and found them both tasty and filling.

Another discovery was
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap. It’s right downtown at the corner of Wabash and Superior. It serves up your typical pub grub but I was thinking about tackling their 8 pound monster burger. After all I polished off the Norm Burger at Boston’s Bull and Finch pub. You know the one made famous by the TV show Cheers. However after I saw one of Jake's monster burgers on the platter I decided that a regular Jake burger would do.

Regardless of your tastes you are bound to find it in Chicago land. From contemporary dining to ethnic Chinese to soul food the dining scene is stunning. Whether you’re downtown or in one of the 77 neighborhoods excellent dining opportunities abound.