Visiting Chicago

Last week I spent a few days in Wheaton, IL visiting my friends Ryan and Sarah. We went to Chicago twice during that time (one trip for each baseball stadium–see the previous two posts). On Wednesday we purchased a “Day Fun Pass” for the CTA. This allowed us to ride the “L” into the city. Before visiting Wrigley Field we went to Hot Doug’s, “The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium.” Our order included: 1. Kangaroo Sausage with Roasted Yellow Pepper Aioli and Spanish Goat’s Milk Feta Cheese; 2. Chardonnay and Jalapeno Rattlesnake Sausage with Fig Cream and Dutch Meadowkaas Cheese; 3. Philly Cheesesteak Beef Sausage with Cream Cheese Mustard, Caramelized Onions and Smoked Provolone Cheese; 4. Cherry and Apple Pork Sausage with Apricot Mayonnaise and L’Edel de Cleron Cheese; 5. A bacon sausage that is no longer on the menu, so I do not remember the cheese and other accompaniments.

Brunch on Wednesday from Hot Doug’s. Kangaroos and rattlesnakes and pigs and cows, oh my!

The decor in the restaurant is great. You’ll see more hot dog and sausage novelty items than you ever knew existed.

A photo of us dining, taken in a rounded mirror at Hot Doug’s.

After the game we went to Giordano’s, where I decided that Chicago-style pizza is indeed good (though it seems closer to a stromboli than a pizza to me). Following dinner we walked around Chicago. I enjoyed seeing the Tribune Tower up close. It has pieces of famous structures or rocks from exotic locations embedded on the outside wall.

I did not expect to see part of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Chicago.

Eventually we ended up in Millennium Park. The sculpture Cloud Gate is quite interesting.

The shiny bean in Chicago, know as Cloud Gate.

I took this picture of us when we were standing underneath the sculpture. It was very dark–I am impressed we stayed still enough to avoid being blurry (notice the person directly behind me).


The Crown Fountain is also very cool. The young and young at heart frolicked in the water, watched by large faces. I suspect the fountain is more popular in August than it is in January.

The Crown Fountain.

On Friday we had lunch in Greektown (I think it was at The Parthenon). From there we went to the Museum of Science + Industry. I’m a sucker for any museum that has aircraft suspended from the ceiling.

Frank Hawks’ Travel Air Model R “Mystery Ship” on display.

A special coal mine exhibit was set up. The company running the mine was called the Old Ben Coal Mining Company (I only later found out that it is a real company). Ryan took a photo of me by one of their signs.

Was Old Ben a miner?

A display featuring human cross sections was very interesting. These were not replicas or models, these were humans.

Human cross-sections.

The museum has the only German U-boat in the United States, the U-505. It served in World War II, and was responsible for sinking 8 ships. I never realized that wooden decks could be found on subs (note the wooden deck in the photo below).

The U-505 submarine.

It was very cool to see the sub up close. We went on a tour through the vessel, but photography was strictly prohibited so I do not have any pictures of the inside. Everything was cramped. It didn’t bother me to spend 25 minutes in the sub, but three months would be a problem. Also, I had never realized that it was normal for sailors to go the entire three months of a sub deployment without bathing.

Release the torpedo!

A dissected torpedo on display.

After the museum we headed to Ricobene’s for dinner, where I had their specialty: a breaded steak sandwich with red gravy. It reminded me of a chicken parmesan sandwich. From there we went to U.S. Cellular Field.

I enjoyed seeing Chicago and eating its food. I still have one more post about my time in Illinois coming soon–my day at the Morton Arboretum.

Thanks to Ryan and Sarah for hosting me and serving as tour guides. I saw far more of the city than I would have if I had explored it alone.


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