Monday, March 02, 2009

Holy Grail(s) of Chicago food: The Highly Coveted Yet Unattainable Foods I Cannot Seem to Get My Hands On (Part 1).

As I have mentioned before on this here blog, I am an Elite member of Before joining Yelp (and before it even existed), I considered myself pretty knowledgeable about hidden Chicago food gems. Add Yelp into the mix, and I am suddenly confronted with a multitude of must-eat Chicago foods and restaurants. Several of these places present severe challenges in regards to location, wait times, get my drift. It can take up half your day. So far, there are a few places at which I have been trying to eat for months now, and with no success.

The first of these is Hot Doug's:

The have a foie gras hot dog. And french fries cooked in duck fat. DUCK FAT, people. I need to eat those fries. But the duck fat fries do not come easy. Hot Doug's presents some unique challenges:
1. They only make the duck fat fries on Fridays and Saturdays.
2. The line for said fries (and hot dogs) stretches around the block on these days. I know from personal experience, as Nick and I did two drivebys this past Saturday at 1:00 pm and at 2:30 pm. Note that this place is not near where we live (in a Chicago sense--it's probably really only a few miles away) and not accessible by public transit.
3. The weather in Chicago right now, if you couldn't guess, is less than desirable for standing outside for over an hour.
4. The place was recently made more popular by being featured on Anthony Bourdain's show on the Travel Channel: No Reservations.

Looks like I'm going to have to wait until warmer weather when I can enjoy a carefree wait for my foie gras dog and duck fat fries.

The second restaurant that defies my ability to eat there is Kuma's Corner.

Kuma's is purely a Yelp find -- we would have had no idea about this place if it weren't for the nearly 700 reviews on yelp. We tried to go one Saturday night in October around 7:30 and were nearly laughed out the door: over 2 hour wait times and hipsters packed into every square centimeter of space in the bar area. We are going to have to plan our next visit to Kuma's like a war game: strike at just the right moment when they aren't expecting it so we can get those burgers and get out. I mean, look at this thing:

There are more. And I will continue to post them. Mark my words, before I am dragged move out of this city, I will eat at Hot Doug's and Kuma's!

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