Last week, work led me to the Windy City for a Veteran MBA recruitment conference. This was my first time in Chicago, and I was impressed by the beautiful architecture of the skyscrapers and bridges in the downtown area.
I started exploring the riverwalk area for some Chi-Town chow. I walked about a 1/2 of a mile and found nothing. So I whipped out my Google phone and queried hot dogs. I saw Portillo’s as one of my options and I remembered one of my co-workers telling me that the dogs were amazing. So I dialed in my bearings and moved out to the destination.
The place had a heavy sports-style decor with an old-school diner feel. I really like the massive team banners hanging on the walls. I ordered a Chicago-style and a chili-cheese hot dog. Then I waited patiently as the hot dogristas feverishly made my order.
I tried the Chi-style first and it was awesome. The bun was pillowy and the dog was nice and meaty. I really like the tomatoes and the pickle because they provided a sour and juicy flavor to the saltiness of the dog. The chili-cheese dog was just as good. The bun soaked up chili to make every bite nice and gooey. After I finished the both of them, I was tempted to get another round but willpower prevailed. I knew I still had another item to eat – Deep Dish Pizza.
On the way back from Portillo’s, I came across Pizzeria Ora and I knew I had to get a slice.
When I got in, the place was dead but it was in-between lunch and dinner so I didn’t think anything of it. My original plan was to pop in and grab a slice so I wouldn’t be too big a fatty, but Ora conveniently only serves slices at lunch. So I had to order a mini Hawaiian deep dish personal pizza.
Verdict = disappointed.
The pizza deceivingly looked good but the sauce was watery and didn’t have much flavor – more bland than anything. The bread was crispy and tasted like it came from a box. I still ate the darn thing but I am never going there again. Can’t help it, I’m part part of the “Clean Plate Club.” (This one’s for you Sean.)
I went back to the hotel to get ready for the conference evening event. After I had a few drinks with a few potential MBA veteran candidates, I checked out Hub 51 with some of my co-workers.
This place is in the downtown area and I thought it was a regular restaurant, but I was totally wrong. This is more like a trendy club than a restaurant. The vibe was very Marina-esque because everyone was dressed up and generally good-looking.
I ordered some chicken tacos. I was excited when the plate arrived because it looked delicious. Rice and beans with drizzled sour cream, fresh guacamole, hand-made tortillas, fresh salsa, and juicy shredded chicken all at my fingertips. Muahahahahahaha.
I took a bite of my glorious taco and was disappointed for the second time! Chicago was letting me down!
The chicken was dry and I don’t care how it is flavored if it is dry – dry chicken sucks. However, I still cleaned my plate
I am going to be back in Chi-Town in November, and I am on a quest to find an amazing deep dish pizza.
Strength and Honor,