Do you like eating? I like eating. And odds are, some of the foods you grew up enjoying aren't the same in other parts of the country. Heck, they may not even exist at all. Everywhere has their own styles of foods and drinks. Styles that are unique to your region, and which may even be world famous. Or local secrets. Lobster rolls. Cheesestake. BBQ. All good food that sections of the country take pride in.
Chicago has it's famous foods. Chicago style pizza. Chicago hotdogs. Ribs. And if you're in town for a while, here's the stuff you should try.
There really is no other choice on this one. It's Garrett's. Everybody knows it. This is truly a "Taste of Chicago". And you have to do the "Chicago Mix". Cheese corn and caramel corn. Mixed together.
A few quick points:
- Yes, cheese corn and caramel corn mixed together. Trust me, it works.
- Grab more napkins than you think you'll need, and grab about 3 more. You're fingers will be yellow. Your face will need some, too.
- There may well be a line out the door. Yes. For. Popcorn. Why? Because it's worth it. Don't worry, it moves fast.
- Garrett's is basically either in the Loop or at O'Hare. If you're out in the burbs, forget it. But they will ship you a tin if you need.
It's Eli's Cheesecake. Eli's started out as a steak restaurant in Chicago, that had a really good cheesecake dessert. The restaurant is no longer, but the factory is still churning out some tasty cheesecake. The factory is about 5.5 miles due west of me, and while you can get a taste of it at the factory, you can also pick it up at about any grocery store in town. But you may not even need to hop on a plane to try some. They may be available in a grocery store near you. I know, you think that you can get cheesecake from anywhere. But this is GOOD stuff.
Chicago's a candy city. Probably our biggest is the Wrigley Company. Yeah, Wrigley Field. The Wrigley Building. Then there's also Tootsie Roll. We used to have Brach's (the hospital that blew up in The Dark Knight was their old factory). And then there's Fanny May (not to be confused with Fannie Mae, the mortgage place). They only recently declared bankruptcy, were bought and sold a couple of times, and had production moved to Ohio.
But they still have shops all over the area, and they make some killer chocolate. My wife, Cora, is a chocolate aficionado, and loves her some Fannie May. Trinidads. Pixies. Mint Meltaways. But you don't have to get fancy, even their candy bars are awesome. So are their ice cream bars. So if you need a little boost while walking around, Fannie May will give you that little boost to keep going.
So, if I'm in your town, what sweets would you recommend?