May 21, 2013

A Chicago fast food sampler – Part Two: Hot Doug’s

(Editor's note:  The "brick-and-mortar" location of Hot Doug's is no longer open for business; however, if you're enjoying a Chicago Cubs game from the bleachers at Wrigley Field, look for the Hot Doug's stand at the ballpark.  My suggestion -- order the Keith Moreland.)

In tribute to the Young Curmudgeon, who is currently in Chicago on his senior class trip (how did he get old so fast, anyway?), I’m continuing my series of blog entries based on the fast food joints that help define Chicago – or vice versa. 

You really can’t go more than a couple of block without finding some place selling a Chicago-style hot dog.  Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on where you choose to go.  Well, when Doug Sohn, the founder of Hot Doug’s opened his hot dog joint, he dared to be different.  Yes, you can find the classic Chicago dog there, but with all their unique and off-the-wall choices of toppings and specialty sausages, why would you?

May 14, 2013

Things Discussed at the Brewhaus, Vol. 15

A cold, rainy spring has only meant more time to mull over the mundane at my favorite drinking establishment.  For proof, look no further than this sampling of topics touched upon over the last couple of months:

May 11, 2013

Random thoughts from Memphis and the 2013 Beale Street Music Festival

A cold, wet, muddy mess.  That pretty much sums up my three days at this year’s Beale Street Music Festival May 3-5 at Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis.  But for my five faithful followers who deserve more details about the experience, I offer these random thoughts and observations from in and around the festival. 

May 1, 2013

A Chicago fast food sampler – Part One: Al’s #1 Italian Beef

Last month, in an unexplainable fit of adventure, the Young Curmudgeon and I decided to take a daylong road trip to Chicago during his spring break.  With no agenda other than a stop at the Chicago History Museum, we decided it would be fun to eat our way through a sampling of the some of the quick eats Chicago is so famous for. 

Our first stop, mainly because we saw a sing for its Shorewood location on Interstate 55, was Al’s #1 Italian Beef.  Al’s has collected many accolades since it began in 1938 as the best Italian beef sandwich in Chicago and one of the 10 best sandwiches in America, and they’re not afraid to tell you about it. 

"Eat this sandwich, or you're terminated."

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...