Chicago #16 on the barbecue list? I don't think so. (Plus, that Christmas list is sadly skewed towards those who want to spend the holidays in the tropics and is pretty much the same as the weather list.<span> </span>)
I admit I'd never think of Philly for barbecue.
I think that it is interesting that the residents think we are less attractive than the visitors do.
16 does seem high. Were there only like 20 places to choose from?
Smart aleck. Granted, we're behind southern meccas like Nashville but Chicago has a lot of completely excellent, if different, barbecue. At least we're #1 in the pizza and hot dog categories.
I seem to recall being able to get some good ribs in Chicago.
I don't know that I ever did other than at Brother Jimmys, which (a) was a chain and (b) closed. Philadelphia, to be clear, has no great barbecue.<span> </span>
I lived two hours from Chicago for 20 years, and while I'm sure someone barbecues something there, it's not what I think of.I was about to write the following:"Off the top of my head, I'd have difficulty seeing Chicago ranked ahead of any city in Tennesee, Texas, Georgia, either Carolina; or Kansas City."And then I went and looked at the list. It actually bears that out, and there really aren't that many cities to choose from, so Chicago might actually be ranked a bit low. Behind Salt Lake City?I am fully on board with ranking the City of Broad Shoulders #1 for pizza and hot dogs. If there was a "Mexican" category, it would probably be up there as well.
Ron's Ribs on South Street used to be really good, but I haven't been there in years. It's apparently closed now for what are either renovations, or an ownership change, or both.
I just don't recall finding a decent bite of Mexican food in Chicago. I'll set aside Rick Bayless' high end stuff, but a decent taqueria? Don't remember it and I'm sure I looked for it.(I'll also note that the best Chicago-style pizza is to be had in Berkeley and Oakland, California, at Zachary's -- blows the doors off anything I ever had in Chicago).
I can't believe that the Twin Cities are ranked so low as a Spring Break destination. Who doesn't love a good wet-parka contest?
Good fancy taqueria in the west loop on randolph called de cero, and now big star in bucktown, but the authentic yummy places are all on Ashland or west and kind of look mega shady. My favorite beingon Ashland and Wrightwood and I have no idea what it is called, but I do know that it is open all night and dirt cheap.
What does it say about me that I'm less athletic (and perhaps less attractive, although it seems self-loathing to say so) than my fellow Philly natives? I must be REALLY bad off. Laughing at myself!
I just came from Albuquerque, where on the advice of locals, I had a phenomenal Mexican meal in a diner in the back of a pharmacy. I think it would take a surfeit of local spirit to say that Chicago should be in the top several cities in America for Mexican food (which, incidentally, is not the same thing as saying that you can find great Mexican food in Chicago).
I've actually been to the Twin Cities for spring break. And yes, it snowed.
The argument for Chicago being top-level Mexican cuisine is driven by Rick Bayless, and yeah, Frontera and Tobobolampo are absolutely worthy, but they don't have the breadth of options than an Albuquerque or a San Antonio does, where you can go get really good Mexican food in copious amounts for cheap.
According to Calvin Trillin, Peter Chang was one of the most amazing Chinese chefs in America. But you wouldn't have said, in 2007, that Knoxville, Tennessee was one of the greatest cities in America for Chinese food. You would have said "there's an amazing Chinese restaurant in, of all places, Knoxville, Tennessee." Anyway, I don't know that "Mexican fusion" or "high-end Mexican" mean the same thing as "Mexican food."
I must defend Chicago. It's not all Bayless at all - it has a number of great taquerias, a huge number of chefs who've come through the Bayless restaurants and set up their own places, and lots of really specific regional restaurants that presumably say much about immigration patterns and offer foods less frequently seen in, say, Californian Mexican restaurants. (I can think of 5 Oaxacan restaurants off the top of my head.) Also lots of bakeries and pastelerias, from Bombon on down. All this is to say that, when I lived in California (and, in my defense, was younger and less well-informed), I used to think of "Mexican food" as a single category, and living in Chicago, I came to think of things contained within that category as "Cal-Mex," "Tex-Mex," "street food," "moles," etc. (And obviously it's more complicated than that, but in thinking about what to have for dinner...)On another note of complaint about Chicago restaurants, Japanese generally means sushi, and is only now coming to include izakayas, ramen, kaiseki, etc.
My favorite shady taqueria in Chicago was on Ashland at Division. Called La Pasadita, there were actually three of them: two on the West side of the street and one on the East, all on the block south of Division. All had the same name, only one had great tacos. Weird? Sure. But for tacos, I'd put it up there with my favorites in SF and NYC.What no place I found in SF or Chicago, or so far in NYC, has been able to do for me is provide a proper response to a request for a dish "smothered green". Here on Manhattan, this request usually results in a disappointingly proportioned plastic cuplet of tomatillo salsa being presented on the side of the plate. The situation is so desperate and disappointing that I've tried twice to order 25lb blocks of roasted and frozen chiles direct from New Mexico. So far, no luck. We're just at the end of the season for them this year, and once again I've gone without.