From Too Many Chefs -

March 10, 2004
Chicago Chow for all Brows

This is Food TV's list of the "Foodie Top Ten Reasons to Visit Chicago"

1. The Chicago hot dog
2. Deep-dish pizza
3. Greektown food
4. Pierogies
5. Little Italy
6. Taste of Chicago Festival
7. Ribs
8. Steak and potatoes
9. Italian sausages
10. Blues brunches

Yeah, never mind Gail Gand's deserts and Rick Tramanto's food at Tru. Never mind Charlie Trotter - sorry, that should be "Charlie FREAKING Trotter" and the restaurant he runs that was once named the best restaurant in the world. Forget about James Beard Award winning chef Arun Sampanthavivat and the way he's reinvented Thai food at Arun's. Don't give a thought to experiencing upscale Mexican food and insane smoky blood orange margaritas at Frontera/Topolobampo with Rick Bayless.

No, go get a crappy little chunk of goo on a stick at the Taste and rock on. There's plenty of merit in the items they listed, but Chicago isn't just about the three hundred ways we put together encased meat products. There is an eclectic, broadminded, sophisticated food culture here. We like our lowbrow foods, but we also know the merits of fine dining.

If you come here, by all means get a pizza at Giordano's and a hot dog at the Weiner's Circle, but stop by Tru or Charlie Trotter's, or Arun's, or Frontera, or one of the many other GREAT fine restaurants in the city and experience a meal that will change how you think about food.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at March 10, 2004 5:03 PM | TrackBack

Bizarre that they called them the top ten foodie reasons. I would have expected the highbrow stuff.

Posted by paul on March 10, 2004 at 5:49 PM

That's part of why I was annoyed.

Posted by Barrett on March 10, 2004 at 6:58 PM

I'm sensing that you have some strong feelings. Why don't you just come out and say what you mean? Do you agree with the list? Jeez.

Posted by Bryan on March 10, 2004 at 7:24 PM

Yeah, well apart from the Foodie designation, I think the list is reasonable... that's the kind of food I would have expected out of Chicago before I moved up here. It's too bad that the Chicago haute cuisine scene hasn't gotten a natl rep yet, but it's not especially surprising.

Posted by paul on March 10, 2004 at 7:31 PM

Chicago has a national rep. It usually places in the #2 or #3 slot on best food cities in the U.S. (fighting it out with New York and San Francisco, neither of which I can disagree with). Unfortunately, it gets left off the other lists completely.

Posted by Barrett on March 10, 2004 at 9:58 PM

Uh, don't forget Trio, newly appointed five star restaurant. Having worked and eaten there, I would say it is definitely worthy of mention.

Posted by Matt on March 11, 2004 at 10:35 AM

Good add, Matt. Of course, I should add Jean Joho's Everest and the soon to be reopened Le Francais with chef Don Yamauchi from Carlos' and a bunch of others.

I picked out the ones I mentioned because I have had the pleasure of eating at those establishments. I haven't hit Trio yet, but it's on the list!

Posted by barrett on March 11, 2004 at 11:15 AM

I'm with Bryan on this one, Barrett - you should maybe cut down on the caffeine...!

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 16, 2004 at 5:50 AM

I guess I'm not taking you to Everest when you visit next time, Meg...

Posted by barrett on March 17, 2004 at 12:32 PM