Must Eat In Chicago

City of Chicago is mainly known for its food delicacy and diversity. As a first timer every foodie craves for Chicago Style Pizza and we were no different. In our short span in Chicago suburbs we picked up some notable Chicago eats & can conclude that this city is definitely a lot more than just pizza bites.

Over the period the immigrants have brought taste and colors to Chicago and have developed Chicago style dishes out of them, while keeping the original base.

Here is our food guide of Chicago for first timers & foodies:

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Indulge your senses in Chicago style famous “Garrett Mix”, cheese and caramel flavoured popcorn. Since 1949 this franchise has been famous for it’s high quality and taste. Maybe Garret popcorn’s are now available globally, but it will always be “Chicago’s tradition”. So next time while wandering around the streets in Chicago grab some Garrett mix for sure.

Where to eat– Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, O’Hare International Airport, E Madison St, Chicago.

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From Two brothers to Goose Island, IPAs to Half Acre , Chicago has a lot of local craft breweries, portraying Chicagoan’s true love for beer.
In 1833 with Chicago becoming a town, it also got its first brewing company and as of today there are many local micro-brewing companies offering tours and beer tasting. Every year in month of March, the city holds beer tasting festival with more than 60 participating brands.

Where to try: Two Brothers Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Goose Island Brewery, Emmett’s Brewing(suburbs), Rock Bottom Brewery.

Gyroso (3)o

Gyros may not have been invented in Chicago but over the time Chicagoans have shown this is one of their most popular and favorite food. With Kronos as the biggest supplier of Gyro cones and many Greek restaurants offering these in abundance, Gyros doesn’t deserve a chance to be missed. For Greek food lover Halsted street, Greektown Chicago is the place to be. With many Greek restaurants in vicinity this place is best suited to taste the best gyros.

Where to eat: Central Gyros, Zeus Gyros, The Parthenon

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Our favorite Chicago Style Pizza is highly acclaimed for its enormous amount of cheese and thick crust. Most people would contradict on the thick crust but believe it, whether it’s stuffed one or the classic deep dish there is no escape once you get the first bite. Though you would be full with just a slice or two, but this is one which you have to taste before you die.

Where to eat: Giordano’s, Gino’s, Unos, Lou Malnati’s.

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Chicago’s most authentic fast food “Chicago-style hot dog” should be on your top list. This classic dish includes beef sausage served on a poppy seed bun with white onions, sport pepper, tomatoes, dill pickle and the very essential yellow mustard. Don’t leave the city without tasting Chicago’s hot dog .

Tip: Don’t ask for the ketchup with Hot Dog in Chicago as they believe it goes with mustard only. Sellers don’t even carry ketchup.

Where to eat: Portillo’s, Superdawg, Gene & Jude’s.

Saganakioo (4)

Thanks to Zomato Meet, Kavita got her chance to be familiar with this remarkable Greek Dish and that too at the place where it got originated “The Parthenon” in Greektown, Chicago. Read it here- My First Zomato Meet At The Parthenon,Chicago

Today Saganaki has many variations as with shrimp and mussels, but the original one has cheese fried in buttered shallow pan along with brandy, which is flamed at table with a shout of ‘Opa’, ending up with fresh lemon juice.

Where to eat: None other than “The Parthenon”, Greektown.

My First Zomato Meet At The Parthenon,Chicago


Indian Bloggers

I was writing reviews on Zomato for more than two years in Delhi/NCR and then I continued my foodie journey in Chicago suburbs too.

Last year in October, unexpectedly I got a invite from Zomato for meetup as I was topping the charts on Chicago’s foodie leader-board. At first I was astonished as attending Zomato meet in Chicago was beyond my imagination.

As I reached the event at The Parthenon, both my excitement and nervousness were at the top, but within couple of minutes it was just we foodies and bloggers sharing our thoughts and experiences. I was filled with wonder that most of them were Indian food admirer.

Why The Parthenon?

Located on S Halsted St,Chicago this place is highly acclaimed for authentic Greek food. In 1968 Parthenon introduced the exclusive dish Saganaki, a flaming cheese appetizer served on a small frying pan. Apart from this, Parthenon made Gyros popular among Chicagoans.

 

Let’s talk food:  As they say, In Parthenon you Dine Like Gods and yes we did, a five course meal !

Appetizers

We got Spanakopitas(mini spinach and feta cheese pies), Broiled Octopus, Skordalia(thick puree of potatoes with garlic) and my favorite Saganaki(flaming cheese) in appetizers. Spanakopitas were very rich & tasteful, broiled octopus was fully flavoured with herbs and lemon, on the other hand Skordalia had the strong flavour of garlic but the star of the night was Saganaki with the shout of “Opa”Check out the video here.o (5)o (6)o (4)o (7)

Soup

For soup I chose Egg and Lemon soup, as it didn’t sounded familiar among those which I have tasted. It was a classic treat, with rice and lemon essence. I am not at all a soup lover but I can go for it again. o (8)

Salad

After the heavenly appetizers and soup I was almost full and there were three course still waiting for me. The salad I opted for was Greek, full of freshness & seasonings topped with olives & feta cheese, it was sure a hit.o (9)

Main Course

From the day I attended this meet, I am a Gyro lover. Gyro is made of lamb or beef on vertical rotisserie, served as shaved meat on pita bread with Tzatziki sauce, a Greek dip made of thick or strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt & olive oil. It was my very first experience with Gyro and indeed it was appetizing. o (11)

Dessert

No meal is complete without a dessert and we wrapped up the meet with Baklava, a layered filo pastry filled with nuts and held together with honey. The Baklava was outstanding, aromatic & fully flavored. It tasted equally well as it looks.o (12)

Overall, my first Zomato meet was overwhelming, more than what I expected out of it. Thanks to all fellow foodies and The Parthenon who made this event unforgettable.

Walls Embedded With Historical & Architectural Relics In Chicago

 

Home to WGN radio and a lot many fragments from famous architectural marvels around the world, Tribune Tower is on the edge of eminent Magnificent Mile of Chicago.

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Initial structure was taken by great Chicago fire in 1871 and then with inspiring Neo-Gothic design by Hood and Howell the current face of Tower finally concluded in 1925.
This tower houses today Chicago Tribune and CNN office along-with WGN radio.

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The exterior of the building is embraced with 149 fragments from historical sites around the world. Some were requested and some were collected by McCormick(owner of Chicago Tribune), while others were came up as gift and political affairs. Latest one is a part of steel from World Trade Center.

Here are few captures out of the bunch, we brought along with us.

Apart from the above fragments, Yellowstone National Park, Cave of the Nativity where Christ was born-Bethlehem, Temple Forbidden City, Pearl Harbor-Hawaii, Princeton University-New Jersey, Sydney Opera House-Australia, White House-Washington DC, The Colosseum-Rome, Great Wall of China, The Great Pyramid, Berlin Wall and many more are glorifying Tribune Tower prominently.

Meanwhile, taking the pictures we got overwhelmed by spotting….

 

 

IMG_3513Among those notable fragments, a marble slab from Taj Mahal is an honorable mention.

We firmly believe Tribune Tower is one of its kind and an idealistic place for architectural lovers.

Hope you liked our post !! Let us know your thoughts.

Photo-Artistic “Flamingo”midst of Windy City


Indian Bloggers

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While walking down the street in Chicago Downtown experience “Flamingo” an abstract sculpture by Alexander Calder.

A Cheesy Affair With Chicago Style Pizza !!

We are die-hard food lovers, especially when it comes to the signature dishes,we never miss any opportunity to try out. Nothing hidden about our fondness for food, one can find our journey on Instagram.

After exploring Chicago we tried our hands on Chicago’s signature dishes and came across “Chicago Style Pizza”.

Chicago Style Pizza : Well known as pizzas paradise, Chicago style pizza acclaims two most popular pizza styles, deep dish and stuffed. Both are made pie style with large amount of cheese and tomato sauce, delighting both eyes as well as taste buds. While Lou Malnati is esteemed for deep dish pizza, Giordano’s has been hailed for its stuffed ones, deeper than the deep dish ones.

STUFFED PIZZA: Our fondness for pizza took us Giordano’s ,before visiting there we ordered in advance as it takes 40 minutes to get it prepared.

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After few minutes we got served with the most acclaimed Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza, and we got our answer why it’s a big deal in Chicago. The thick buttery crust with layers of mozzarella cheese, add on toppings, covered on top with a thin layer of dough & tomato sauce make this dish outstanding. 8a786196fc90affa0d4208559cf77f49_1444181327

DEEP DISH: After Giordano’s episode it was Lou Malnati’s turn, well known for it’s traditional deep dish pizza. Talking about Lou Malnati’s pizza, we got it after waiting for an hour as its Chicago’s favorite and always full specially over the weekends. Crispy crust with layers of cheese and ingredients you choose topped with tomato sauce. IMG_1062IMG_1061

Dear vegetarian don’t be disheartened , both places offers veggie ingredients to choose from.

Disclaimer:  After having Chicago style pizza you may feel guilty, which is absolutely normal.

Tips:

  1. Order pizza before arriving as it takes 40-45 minutes.
  2. Also try Uno’s & Gino’s east pizza.

 

7 Reasons To Visit Navy Pier In Chicago

Just a few weeks after landing in Chicago, we made our maiden visit to Navy Pier. This 3300 foot long Pier on shoreline of Lake Michigan left us fascinated. A place which attracts all walks of life equally, with uncountable reasons. After our first visit we had a lot many reasons to get back here, to quench our quest and explore it fully. Here are the things, which make Navy Pier so special:

Historical SignificanceLooking at today’s Pier, it really feels surprising how it has evolved from being just a Commercial Pier, to a Naval Training center, then a College Classroom and finally as we see it today a place for entertainment and public gathering. IMG_1816

InfrastructureNavy Pier currently has sections starting from a Park at entrance followed by Children Museum, IMAX theater(Chicago’s largest movie screen)shops and Ball room. In middle there are rides, Miniature Golf Course on upper floor, restaurants at lower level and festival hall at the end.IMG_3526

Rides– Pier Park has most popular rides as Ferris wheel (under renovation to increase its height from 150 to 196 feet), Musical Carousel, Light Tower Ride & Wave Swinger. 

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New Ferris Wheel

 

Ferris WheelVisiting Navy Pier and not opting for Ferris Wheel, one should not dare to do that. It should be on your bucket list while visiting Chicago. Take a 7 minute ride on Ferris for panoramic view of Chicago Skyscrapers & Lake Michigan, in the midst of winds just for $6.

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View from Ferris Wheel

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Water Tours & Cruise Another way to catch the sight of Windy City, opt for Water Taxi from Navy Pier to Shedd Aquarium and Union Station or Architectural Tour to get acquainted with the City of Chicago.

Go for any of the following:

  • Sightseeing cruises – Seadog Cruises, Shoreline Sightseeing and Tall windy ship,
  • Diner cruises – Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago and Mystic Blue.
  • Private yacht.
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Shoreline Sightseeing
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Tall Windy Ship

Live Music After rides, shopping & strolling around the pier, be entertained by the live bands (absolutely free) at Landshark Beer Garden along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Grab a beer,have a good time dancing with people around you or gazing blue water with the breeze at lake shore. IMG_1812n

Fireworks– Right through the Memorial Day to Labor Day, Navy Pier gets dazzled around every Wednesday and Saturday with fireworks. But the charismatic view comes across on 4th of July and New Year Holiday when the fireworks dance on music tunes. All looks stunning from Pier but the view from boat is out of this world.o (6)

Travel tips 

  1. Plan your visit to Chicago around 4th July, New Year’s Eve to get spellbound by festive fireworks, free of cost.
  2. Get boarded to Shoreline water taxi(Green Route) which cost around $8 to Shedd Aquarium for most striking view of Chicago Skyline.
  3. Full day parking costs $21 on weekdays and $25 over weekend including Friday
  4. On a budget try to eat at Food Court,if not there are many famous restaurants.
  5. Make a visit in summer for the pleasant weather.

 

 

P.S- The pictures in the post are our own except the fireworks one.

Photo: Street Performer In Chicago

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Cloud Gate a.k.a The Bean

In the midst of the city, Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor is most fabulous attraction of Chicago. We have been here many times, but still the beauty of this bean attracts you every time in a new way. While standing at Cloud Gate it feels fascinating witnessing the great skyline of Chicago.

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Officially Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean due to its shape, was opened for public in 2006. Covered with stainless steel this seamless surface has got its inspiration from liquid mercury, providing distorted reflections and great elliptical skyline. A 100 tons sculpture expanding to 33 by 66 by 42 Feet, is truly a masterpiece by well renowned artist Anish Kapoor.

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Inside the bean

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Best Time to visit:

Its spectacular in summers and splendid in winters, so anytime year around is great, day or night it gives a spellbound view.

Timings: 6 AM to 11 PM.

Travel tips:

  1. Do not forget your camera & try getting some funny poses around “The Bean”.
  2. Make a visit around sunset or sunrise.
  3. Be an early-bird to click only “The Bean” with no people around.

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Photos: An Escape to St.Louis…

It’s our first winter in Chicago and trust me its harsh, as temperature started dropping to freezing cold we decided to make an escape towards St.Louis. It was on our radar from quite a long time & currently a hot spot compared to Chicago, we planned for a road-trip.

As usual early in the morning when the temperature was giving us a bone-freeze at -12 degree C, we move towards our destination.

We planned to take I-55 South, a straight highway which leads into St. Louis, covering 280 miles on our way.

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Most stunning sunrise.. !!!

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We will be back soon with more from this trip ..

Keep Exploring !!!

Meet “Sue- The T.rex”

Yesterday on our visit to Field Museum Chicago, we got the chance to see “Sue” most popular, well preserved fossil of Tyrannosaurus Rex (T.Rex), named after the discoverer, i.e. Susan Hendrickson.

In 1990,it was found mostly complete and the bones were in great condition too, which brought much more attention to “Sue”.

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Sue is 42 feet long, 13 feet high, 5 feet long head with 58 dagger teeth and weighed nearly 7 tons when alive and currently the most striking feature of Field Museum, Chicago.

Tips– If you are visiting Field Museum, Chicago then do not miss T.rex 3D movie .