Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chicago - Food and Ditka

Chicago is definitely an eater's town. I could only eat half of almost every entree I had while there, though. Mike and I had Thai at Star of Siam, pizza at both Giordano's and Gino's East (Mike and I both agree that Giordano's is better), Italian at RoSal's (the best Italian meal outside of Italy that I have ever had) and I finally took him out for his very belated birthday dinner at Mike Ditka's. We met Mike Ditka before dinner, too. My dad collects sports memorabilia, so my brother went to the little store in the restaurant to buy my dad a football and the guy behind the counter said, "Go upstairs and get his autograph". We looked at him like, "What? Mike Ditka's here?" and he said, "Yeah, go up and get his autograph. He has pens with him." So, Mike and I ventured upstairs to look for him. He was sitting with two other men, but Mike approached him, shook his hand and then Ditka himself pulled three Sharpies out of his pocket trying to decide which one to sign the ball with. He then took the ball out of my brother's hand and signed it, "Best Wishes Mike Ditka H.O.F. 88". I said "thank you so very much" to him, he looked at me and nodded, and Mike (my brother, not Ditka) went back downstairs and laughed about the whole thing. It was cool. Ditka has awesome blue eyes, an intimidating stare and a big square head. I had my camera in hand, but I didn't dare ask for a picture. I'm pretty sure since it's his restaurant that he pretty much wants to be treated like a normal human being/local anyway. And, of course, I didn't want to look like a tourist. :)

I didn't take too many pictures in Chicago (I'll post opening day pictures tomorrow), but I did manage a few from Mike Ditka's and Giordano's.

Mike Ditka's:
Huge Paddle Steak (Mike ate every bite of it...except the bone, of course) and awesome chocolate birthday cake (we only ate a few bites of it). I accidentally let it slip that dinner was Mike's birthday dinner. Luckily, we just got cake and no singing. Mike and I are definitely not center-of-attention "it's my birthday" kind of people. You cannot tell by the pictures just how huge the steak and piece of cake were, so you'll just have to take my word for it. The piece of cake alone would have easily fed a table of four. (I had a crabcake and creamed spinach...sorry, no pictures.)

Pizza at Giordano's:
(so good we ate there twice...first time with pepperoni and onions, second time with cheese only)

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