Tag Archives: Chicago

Aigre Doux (Chicago)

aigre-doux-interior-candle_north-edited

One of the things I rarely get to do on business trips is eat out. That’s because most of my meals are part of the conferences I attend, and those that aren’t usually involve a telephone and my hotel room.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve actually had some really good food during these trips. But I really love when my schedule affords me the opportunity to get out of the hotel and find a restaurant slightly off the beaten path.

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A Little Slice of Chicago

deep-dish

That headline’s more than a mite misleading.

See, when it comes to deep-dish Chicago pizza, “little” and “slices” don’t really fit the equation. A “fat wedge,” yes. A “mountainous piece,” sure. But a little slice? Nuh-uh, that ain’t Chicago.

unoEspecially when you order a personal pizza at the original deep-dish pizzeria, Uno. In this case, the 2-inch tall pizza is dislodged from its pan before it even makes it to the table. And slicing the thing? Not going to happen.

But let’s back up a minute. Why was I in Chicago and why did I pick Uno over the plethora of “original” deep-dish pizza joints scattered around the Windy City? The easy explanation is 1) work and 2) Uno was only a few blocks from my hotel. When it comes to seeing the sites on a business trip, I’m nothing if not lazy.

Because of the popularity of the place and its inverse relationship to the amount of seating inside, you make your order (at least anything pizza-related) when you put down your name. Since the pizza takes 45 minutes to make and the wait is usually under that, it means less time at the table watching the early birds already devouring their meals.

I ordered my personal pie with mushrooms, spinach and sausage, which seemed like the right combo… despite how much the menu pushed pepperoni on everything.

As it has probably been written elsewhere and in far greater detail, the Chicago pie switches the traditional sauce/cheese relationship, relegating the cheese to a crust-sealer position on the bottom. This definitely makes sense on paper, but I also can’t argue with the taste. Once I finally breached the outer wall of the crust (which is an extreme sport all in itself), the stew of cheese, sauce and toppings could not be contained.

end-of-pizzaThe best analogy I can give about eating this thing was that it was like eating soup out of a bread bowl, except with a super-hearty soup and an impervious-to-moisture and not-very-bowl-shaped bowl.

It was a thing of beauty, this deep-dish pizza. And one that my belly will remember fondly.

Back from the brink

"The bean" in Chicago's Millenium Park

"The bean" in Chicago's Millenium Park

Wow, what a strange trip it’s been.

A metaphorical trip that is. This month-long hiatus joins the great hiatuses in history – none of which I can actually name – but it is one I hope not to repeat anytime soon. Just for your clarification, here’s a few reasons I haven’t posted in a while:

  1. That comic. January was all about promotion for We Make Clouds, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. We placed second, which would normally be pretty good, but in this contest, is the same as placing third through tenth. If you voted, thanks. I’ll let you know if and when we start our own site.
  2. Family/personal stuff. ‘Nuff said.
  3. Work. My job has been insane lately, affording me precious little time for outside pursuits. I did manage to get a trip to Chicago out of it, so it’s not all bad. Plus, I have a job… and in this economy, I can’t complain about that.

Well, that’s it. I have a few things to share with your from Chicago, as well as some archived items that I never got to – a scallop dish, chocolate mousse and some general food news.

So, if you’re still around, stay tuned! And if you’re not here anymore… uh, come back!