.... while accompanying My Favorite Landman for the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen, being held this year in Chicago. It's a great place for food and drink, and we've been trying to hit some of the high spots. I suspect, though, that one can spend a lot of time here, and still just barely scratch the surface.
One of those high points is Giordano's, a great stop for Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Established in 1974, it has grown to a large chain that is found everywhere in Chicagoland. Of course, deep-dish pizza has been around much longer than that, and there are plenty of wonderful places around town to sample this different and delightful style of one of America's favorite foods ..... it's always a good bet to speak with the locals, and find a great mom-and-pop in the neighborhood.
Another high point was Billy Goat Tavern, which invited us to "butt in anytime" ... so we did. We had 'cheezeborger, cheezeborger,' with 'no fries, chips' on the side and 'no Coke, Pepsi' to drink' (fans of SNL will understand). Established in the 1930s. this place has a lot of history, and not just in food ... ask any Chicago Cubs fan about 'the Billy Goat Curse.'
Another good stop for lunch also provided an interesting example of diversifying while still marketing your core product. Just a short walk from our hotrel was the Weber Grill Restaurant with a diverse menu devoted to foods prepared over - of course - Weber grills. The first restaurant was opened in 1989 "to build on the grilling popularity and successes of Weber grills." The restaurant is an outgrowth of the Weber-Stephen Products Company, which is headquatered in nearby Palatine, Illinois. More than half-a-century ago, a determined backyard griller - George Stephen, Sr. - set out to build a better grill. At the Weber Brothers Metal Works where he was employed, he fashioned what would become original Weber kettle grill. (These are the folks, by the way, who supplied a dozen of their top-of-the-line grills for an episode of this season's Top Chef, which took place in Chicago)
A lot of what we have been eating has been accompanied by locally-produced beers and sodas, especially those from Goose Island.
I could go on and on ... but I won't ... gotta go ... late for dinner!