Monday, May 24, 2010

Wrigley field

I finally went to my first Cubs game. It is sort of embarrassing that it took me this many years to actually go to a game. It wasn't quite the experience I envisioned because 1) it was a weeknight, 2) it was gray and rainy all day, and 3) it was so cold that, in addition to the guy selling cold beer in the stands, there was a guy selling hot chocolate. Come on Chicago. It is May.

Maybe it was the weather or maybe it was because the Cubs were not playing well that night, in either case, what ensued was an artery-clogging glutton fest starting at Wrigley field and ending at Goose Island.

The group ordered nachos topped with velveeta-like cheese and mounds of jalapenos, a foot long hot dog (but it wasn't the real Chicago dog because it had ketchup), a Bavarian pretzel and a cheddar jalapeno pretzel with dijon and a cheesy jalapeno dipping sauce, and steak nachos piled around a bread bowl filled with even more cheese.

We almost ordered chili cheese fries and fried pickles (really?), but we managed to harbor some self-control. We are ladies, after all.

What is it about ballparks and high caloric food? My friend tells me that the minor league Whitecaps' ballpark in West Michigan sells a 5/3 lb burger, appropriately called the Fifth Third burger.  I have no words.

Image from The Grand Rapids Press

The smell of hot dogs wafting through the stands at Wrigleyfield got me thinking. Chicago is a fantastic food city-- I've had amazing meals at Avec, Blackbird, Cafe Spiaggia, Frontera, Publican, and Green Zebra.

Oh snap, am I name dropping? It's not like I dropped Alinea or Trotters, the Tru stars of Chicago's stellar culinary scene.

But seriously, most people think of hot dogs and deep dish pizza when they think of food in Chicago. Although I have had my share of deep dish pizza, mostly when friends and family are in town, I have not explored the nuances of the Chicago hot dog.

Obviously, encased meat isn't really my thing, but I've been informed that Chicago's beloved hot dog joint, Hot Doug's, serves veggie dogs. I know, I was shocked to hear it too, but I assure you that the source can be trusted; he was, after all, donning a shirt that said, "Trust me, I'm a Doctor."

Image from Hot Doug's

Now we are on a mission to eat at Hot Doug's.

I hear that the line can be up to 2 hours but it is the shortest on a Tuesday or Wednesday before noon. Shh, don't tell.

Goose Island - Wrigleyville
3535 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657

Hot Doug's
3324 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

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