How Much Milk Does A 3 Week Old Goat Drink Tasting the Food of Chicago on a Food Tour

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Tasting the Food of Chicago on a Food Tour

I love food and when I was recently given the opportunity to do a food tour in Chicago, I jumped at the chance. I chose “Chicago Food Planet Food Tours” because out of a total of 851 reviews on Trip Advisor, they only had 4 negative reviews and were ranked #5 of all tours in Chicago. The tour visits 6 different locations and samples 6 different types of food while walking around the neighborhood, learning and eating as you go.

I took a train to the suburb of Bucktown/Wicker Park as the tour was not in central Chicago. It didn’t take long and wasn’t expensive. I was asked to meet at “George’s Hot Dogs”. Our guide introduced herself, then the 8 of us joined the tour given a little introduction to say where we were all from. I was the only foreigner, all the others were from America. We were given a simple 4 page ‘tour guide’ which gave details of all the places we needed to visit with their websites, contact details and opening hours as well as a map of the tour. There were vouchers for each location in case we returned after the tour and also included a list of other recommended restaurants.

The first stop on our visit was a traditional hot dog from “George’s Hot Dogs”. Chicago is famous for its hot dogs, but not for the “traditional” hot dogs you think of when you think of America. There’s no ketchup to be seen on this dog. After hearing about how George and his family moved to America from Greece, we heard how his little hot dog restaurant became something of an institution in the area. So we were brought up the Chicago Hot Dog way. Hot dog roll, sausage, yellow mustard, green relish, spicy peppers, tomato slices, pickle wedge and celery salt. My word, it was delicious and nothing less than a full size serving – no samples here. This hot dog won the “Best Chicago Hot Dog of 2008” award. I don’t know who has won since then – those dogs are definitely the best!

When we were all done, we walked up the street to the next place called “Hot Chocolate” created and run by Mindy Segal, a pastry chef with over 20 years of experience. The website states, “Urban Cafe is a marriage of contemporary dishes and desserts inspired by seasonal and local ingredients.” Mindy has won several awards, including two consecutive years at the Time Out Chicago’s Eat Out Awards for “Best Pastry Chef”. This lady knows what she’s doing…

We were served a cold, creamy chocolate milk with a homemade marshmallow. It was so delicious that I finished mine a little too quickly. Others in the groups struggled to say it was a bit too rich or too sweet. I hadn’t noticed… We found out you could buy packs of the mix and the first 2 ingredients to add to the chocolate powder were cream and whole milk – sip. My height is not going to be happy…but it was so worth it!

When we were done indulging in our chocolate drink and hearing about all the decadent things to eat at this restaurant, we headed a little further down the street to “Goddess & Grocer”, a delicatessen and catering business that catered to the likes of the Rolling Stones and Madonna.

Upon entering, my eyes twinkled at the variety of tasty treats available and when their websites listed “ready-made salads, fresh salad bar, sliced ​​cold cuts and cheeses, artisan cheeses, roast chicken and a selection of groceries including handmade chocolates, cookies and desserts, batters and sauces, mustards, dressings and condiments, crackers, snacks, wine and beer,” they mean it. the place to come when you’re hungry!!! (or maybe it is!)

Here we were treated to a sample roasted vegetable salad with goat cheese which was very tasty. The vegetables were perfectly cooked (slightly soft without being mushy) and the goat cheese provided a savory topping that complemented the salad beautifully. After looking at (and drooling over) the other things on offer, we headed back outside.

Bellies still full, we then headed to Piece, a pizzeria and brasserie. In a secluded part of the rather large and airy restaurant, we were fed a slice of pizza and a small glass of beer. Could it get any better?

Piece opened in July 2001 after converting a rooftop company garage into a pizzeria with a skylite ceiling and sunken lounge. The atmosphere is chatty, relaxed and friendly. Beer and pizza will do it to you. The brewer, Jonathan Cutler, has won 21 major awards since 2002, so if you stop by be sure to sample some of their beers.

A few nights a week they offer karaoke and from some pictures on their website it’s a night filled with fun and laughter.

Back outside, we now explore the surrounding neighborhood and our guide tells us all kinds of interesting facts about the buildings, people, parks and history.

It’s a beautiful day and we’re enjoying both the sun and the cool shade. Soon we come to the “Sultan’s Market”. This Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant was opened 12 years ago by May Ramli. She grew up in Jordan and didn’t go to a restaurant herself until she was 18. When she opened ‘Sultan’s Market’, she had a hit from the start with her homemade hummus. She still oversees the restaurant’s food preparation and cash register.

The bar buffet food we passed looked fresh, tasty and very tempting. The place is spotlessly clean, the atmosphere is distinctly oriental with mosaic lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Passing by an overwhelming array of baklava platters, our group was all seated together at a few corner tables and after hearing about the establishment of the restaurant, we were served pita bread filled with a falafel, hummus and a cucumber salad. I was so full at this point I’m embarrassed to say, I fished out the hummus and cucumber salad and grabbed a few pieces of pita bread but couldn’t take it anymore.

We’re just around the corner from our last stop and with heavy footsteps and bulging bellies, we arrive in front of iCream, an ice cream café. What an unusual place. This is how it works…

You walk in and decide… Hmm, I really want peanut butter and mango sorbet ice cream. You walk up to the counter and order it and they make it – easy! Yes, they have equipment capable of making your favorite flavors on site. With their quick-freeze liquid nitrogen machines (which look like something out of space), they are able to produce your peanut butter and mango sorbet in seconds. Nothing here is pre-prepared.

So we indulge in a small pot of ice cream (too small really!) and we think back to the last 3 hours.

What a wonderful time we had. We saw and learned about the neighborhood (a little different from downtown Chicago which was nice) we walked about 1.5 miles which I claimed was my exercise for the day and tasted no not 1 but 6 different foods, all accompanied A bit of history. It felt like we were really experiencing the city and seeing “behind the scenes” instead of just being a tourist.

I loved how the food tour went. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable and made the 3 hours pass simply. Try their tours if you are in the Chicago area.

Advance purchase required – tickets sell out FAST!

Enjoy your meal.

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