Last weekend we went down to Chicago to celebrate the wedding of John (one of Marcus’ fraternity brothers) and Priscilla (one of my sorority sisters). Marcus has never been to Chicago as a tourist before, so we were sure to head into town early so that we could do a little bit of sightseeing. And, as y’all know at this point, any vacation we can take is an adventure worth going on before Critter is here!
The Stuff We Saw
We got to Chicago around 10:00 AM and hopped on a train straightaway to get downtown to begin our day. After we were done with our lunch, we hiked down Michigan Avenue to See The City.
This was the big thing to do on Marcus’ Chicago list. Easy enough request, right?
Since the big museums close at 5:00 PM, I told Marcus that he could choose between the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, or the Field Museum. I also (not so subtly) suggested that it would probably be the most fun to visit the aquarium because he has never been to a proper aquarium before.
It was awesome. I think it is so cool to see the beluga whales and the sea dragons that look like pieces of seaweed. What excellent creatures.
Apparently Au Cheval makes the best burger in America! Since I didn’t make any reservations for our dinner in the city, we were not phased by the fact that it’s a Put Your Name In And Wait Forever-style place. Thankfully that 1.5 – 2 hour wait only ended up being an hour.
When the waitress came to take our order, we told her that we wanted to order the burger whatever way is most delightful. She advised that incorporating bacon and the soft fried egg would really be most ideal. She was right, obviously.
Was the burger The Best In America? It’s hard to say if this is the best burger I’ve ever had because we have MANY great burgers in Minnesota, but it was absolutely 11/10 and what I will use to compare all burgers to in the future.
Hot Dog Crawl
One of Marcus’ requests while we were in the city was the chance to eat a Chicago-style hot dog. I took that one step further and created a hot dog crawl so that we could partake in many kinds of hot dogs. We went to Allium on our own for lunch on Friday, and then we were joined by Madelyn and Jonathan on Saturday morning for a tour of the remaining restaurants. It was excellent.
This is also the part of the show where we ask ourselves serious questions, like, why did my husband have to take photos of me eating hot dogs? And why am I even sharing these on the internet?
Allium at the Four Seasons
What sets this dog apart is that everything (the hot dog, bun, toppings) is homemade. And that it costs $17. I suppose the other thing that makes this a unique experience is that you’re chowing down on an excellent hot dog in the middle of the Four Seasons. As insane as the whole thing sounds, I would totally do this again, and I would tell other people to have this fancy feast as well.
Jimmy’s Red Hots
This stop was meant to be representative of the most basic Chicago-style hot dog. For approximately $3 we each got a hot dog and a paper full of french fries. The owner was most excited to hear about our nitrate-fueled adventure and talked our ears off as we chowed down. As a sign of friendship, he also forced some of their tamales on us along with three business cards and a free t-shirt.
Fatso’s Last Stand
Fatso’s hot dog was char grilled. I don’t know about what that exactly all entails but it had more toppings? The ends of the hot dog were split into quarters? And the fries came with cheese sauce. Good dog, great fries.
Belly Shack is a fusion restaurant that just happens to make a hot dog with an Asian twist. I’m pretty sure they used a milk bun for this and Marcus and Jonathan were in agreement that this was their favorite hot dog of the day, not just because it was delicious but also because they felt like it was a hot dog they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. It was a pretty great dog.
I also totally cheated and ordered the donut sundae they were advertising because why wouldn’t you do that?