Of course, one of the best things about visiting any city is finding out what foods that location is famous for and trying them for yourself. Chicago is no exception, and foods that I grew up with as just food are now special treats when we travel. I’m sure people could argue all day about constitutes a Chicago food, but here are my favorites…Chicago-style pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Rainbow cones, gyros, Eli’s cheesecake, and Italian beef:
Ryan thinks I should have added the Italian combo to my list, but I really don’t like Italian sausage that much, so the best I can do is mention it. Also, not pictured, but extremely delicious and addictive…Chicago-style popcorn. I could eat that stuff by the (cheesy Christmas) tinful!
One of my favorite things about making lamb for Easter is that we often have enough leftovers to freeze so we can enjoy gyros in the weeks following. I’m not claiming they’re authentic (I’m certainly not shaving the meat off of a vertical rotisserie!), but I do make homemade tzatziki sauce to go with them, so the flavor is pretty much what I remember from growing up in the Chicago area!
Chicago has a lot of great food, and the best kind of restaurant is one that has a wide selection of favorites like gyros, Italian beef and/or sausage, patty melts, and hamburgers. Flip’s in Glen Ellyn, IL, is just such a place.
Now, I know that when I lived in Wheaton, I drove by Flip’s on Roosevelt Road countless times. I don’t think I actually ate there back then, though. That all changed when we were up in the Chicago area for Frosty Faustings, and I’m glad I finally had a chance to try it out!
The interior is just what you would expect…small! Small and friendly, with a good menu, and fun vintage details:
The food was excellent. I went with my personal favorite, gyros, and they were prepared just right. Turkey was ambitious and ordered a gyro burger, and he loved it. Among other things, members of our group also tried the tuna melt (delicious) and the saganaki (also delicious).
There are many places like Flip’s all throughout Chicagoland, and if you’re visiting, you should pick one and try some of Chicago’s (delicious) native foods!
Since we spent the evening at Busch Stadium, we decided to go out for lunch on our anniversary. Our restaurant of choice? Olympia Kebob House and Taverna in St. Louis. We’ve always wanted to go there, but never got around to it, plus, it’s located near our first apartment in St. Louis, so it also got points for sentimentality!
We shared an order of saganaki to start, and it was just like I remembered from my childhood when my parents used to take me to a restaurant that, while not Greek, was owned by Greeks. So delicious (and fun to watch)! I especially loved the slight lemon flavor…it’s completely unexpected with cheese, and yet it goes so well.
I chose a pork kebob for my meal, and it was delicious. It was also my first real experience with feta cheese, and while I was apprehensive, it turns out that I really like it. All of the assorted vegetables were also delicious, as were the wonderful Greek olives.
Ryan got the gyros. I gave him a hard time about the lamb, (I tend to have a “no cute food” rule when eating), but I ended up sampling it anyway, and it was also delicious. The tzatziki was especially good. I’d even go so far as to say that I might order the gyros should we ever go back there. Rules are made to be broken, right?
I also got really adventurous and tried the ouzo. It was…interesting. Very strong, much more so than I was expecting. And while I was expecting it to taste like licorice, I wasn’t prepared for just how strong the flavor would be. It was almost like drinking a box of Jingles. I doubt that I would order it again, but it was part of the whole experience, so I’m glad I gave it a try!