Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chicago's Trump Tower, From Street Level

Bridges Crossing Canals, Downtown Chicago

Seinfeld Allusion - For the Initiated Only!

Steve & Me in the Reflective Orb

Photo of Me Capturing a Photo of Me from Reflective Orb

The Mirror or Glass Ball

Very Cool Ampi-Theater Design and Sound

Now We Know Where We Are!

Millenium Park Sculpture

Millenium Park Sculpture and Steve's Head

Al's #1 Italian Roast Beef - Chicago Institution

Here is the exterior of the place. A meal unparalleled. One of the best sandwiches I have ever had. The mix of customers was noteworthy - every age and ethnic group, every profession, every style, walked through that front door in search of a taste of bliss. Everyone shows up here because they know they will find bliss here. The "Combo" made me forget how cold it is. Oh, I did not realize, this is a result of bliss!

The Success Foretold in Previous Posts!

When the Grease Is Orange, You're in Heaven

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheese Fries

In order to experience this meal with my full palate, I made the bold decision to order some cheese fries in order to cut through all of the sacrilicious fattiness of the sandwich.

The "Combo"

The "Combo" bestows the best of both worlds - pork (Polish sausage - kielbasa) and beef (thinly sliced roast bee) and hot peppas (peppers), not to mention a decent yet quickly meat juice-disintegrated bun, all of which has been dipped in au jus, otherwise known as refined beef drippings. I have only had Italian Roast Beef (Chicago-style) at Pusateri's, in Stuart, FL. I loved it when I first experienced this sandwich there, but Pusateri's is only half what Al's delivered. Mama mia! Eh, the photos before and after this post say it all.

Steve Says, "This is Good!"

The Italian Roast Beef Without Peppas - Steve

Al's #1 Italian Beef Menu

Only a few choices, but so many decisions, life-changing decisions (example of Amplification):

Western View from Willis Tower, Formerly Sears Tower, Tallest Building, etc.

Steve on the Clear Ledge of the 103rd Floor

There is Steve, and those are my sneakers.

The Clear Ledge Extended From the Building!

I guess I need to admit that I suffer, in some way, from acrophobia - the fear of heights. Heights never really bothered me until I passed the age of 30. I do not like inching up to the edge of what looks to me like a very long way down. An adrenaline rush is how I will name the racing of my insides and the exclusive focus of my mind on just how much longer I need to be in this acrophobic situation. I can overcome this "fear," as evidenced in this photo, but I do not particularly like to do so. Hey, at least it wasn't cold.

Looking Down From 103rd Floor

Northern View From Former Sears Tower

Eastern View From 103rd Floor

Southern Views of Chicago from 103rd Floor

The Former Sears Tower

Now known as the Willis Tower, the tallest building in our hemisphere, and something else about TV and Radio antennae added to roof making it taller than some other tallest building in Taiwan, we had to make this our first destination for our first full day in Chi-Town. This is the view from the street below.

So What's a Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza?

Let's start with the crust. Deep Dish crust uses butter or lard and resembles a pie crust more than a thin crust pizza and its pita-like crispness. Deep Dish crust is a little more flaky and dense. Next, home-made sausage (uncooked) is spread across the dough/crust. A copious layer of mozzarella cheese is then added. Finally, the top of the pie is coated with tomato sauce. This heavy-weight sucker then spends up to an hour in the oven (depending upon the serving size of the pie). If you enlarge the following photo you can see the individual layers in the cut pieces. Also, this pizza catches up with you quickly. Steve and I were bothed prepared to assault our second slice with abandon when a sudden sensation of fullness swept over us. Nonetheless, the delicious allure of this perfectly balanced pizza found both of us effortlessly consuming this second slice. The stretched buttons on our coats aside, I will nominate this particular pizza for the category of ultimate comfort food. With two more days in Chicago, maybe we will take this experience on a taste-testing quest.

From Deep Dish to Plate - Lou Malnati's

Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza

Steve and I navigated our way via the Chicago subway to Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizzeria, a highly recommended destination for connoiseurs of this regional specialty. It is still cold out, but mid-thirties is a world of suffering away from low-twenties. We had a 30 minute wait, amused ourselves, ordered our pizza early, then were seated. And then, this, this, this sissy, orders and actually eats a salad! The only vegetable matter I have permitted past my lips is cole slaw, and that is only twice!

Are We Really Here?

The Landscape Changed As We Neared Chicago

Hello Indiana!

We are driving straight through Indiana, from Cleveland, OH, to Chicago, IL. Over six hours of driving. I planned some time at Amish communities in northern Indiana (where they have a large population), but neglected to realize we would be in Indiana and among the Amish on Sunday.

On I-90 From Cleveland Through Indiana

Thrice we noticed this suspicious looking tandem trailer. Normally, I get spooked from having a close proximity to the rolling deliverers of danger, but then Steve and I noticed something even more disturbing. The rear trailer was a container for Drake's Cakes; the front trailer was a container for Hostess's goodies. Cats and dogs living together?!?! Another sign of the Apocalypse?!?!

Hot Sauce Fried Chicken Breast Success!

Eating Strategies

We have the two-handed, open-mouthed, "Mmmphh!" And then there is the fork and knife, clean-handed and -faced approach.