I recently had the opportunity to visit Chicago during the heart of the winter. I took a short break from the 80+ degree winter days in Los Angeles, to brave the cold and snowy winter in Chicago. Between business meetings, I bundled up and took to the streets with my trusty camera, visiting some of my favorite and some new locations. I made new acquaintances, dined at some of my traditional restaurants and experienced the cuisine of some new ones. On this trip I was able to experience the breathtaking view of the city from the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower).
Kaufman's Deli - Skokie, IL
My flight arrived at approximately 6AM. That allowed enough time for me to deplane and head directly to the ground transportation area where I was picked up by an Uber car. Timing was perfect as we arrived at Kaufman's Deli just in time for the 7AM opening. I knew that my breakfast would start with Kaufman's homemade "Gefilte Fish." It was absolutely outstanding. My next course was a piece of "Pastrami Strudel." This delicacy is a pastry dough filled with thinly sliced pastrami, chopped vegetables and spices, and is served hot. This very flavorful item was certainly a creative preparation of my favorite deli meat. I look forward to my next visit during which I plan on having a "Pastrami Knish." Kaufman's has been one of my long time favorites in the Chicago area.
A trip to Chicago would not be complete without a visit to Manny's to enjoy an overstuffed "Pastrami on Rye" with a "Potato Latke" (pancake) on the side.
A newer addition to the Chicago restaurant scene is the Little Goat Diner, located in the trendy "West Loop" area. As expected the diner has a very casual vibe. The staff members that I encountered were warm, welcoming and accommodating. The Little Goat serves innovative and intercultural variations of traditional diner fare. I ordered a "Reuben Sandwich" - homemade smoked corned beef, kimchi, kraut, havarti and special sauce on pretzel rye. It was an excellent sandwich. As I looked around the dining room I saw many other guests enjoying a variety of appetizing creations. I look forward to returning to try many other menu items.
On my return to the downtown area, not more than thirty minutes after having lunch at the Little Goat Diner, I encountered the entrance to the Chicago French Market. I remembered that several years ago I heard about a deli in the Chicago French Market that served "Montreal-Style Pastrami." ( aka Montreal Smoked Meat). I entered the market and within minutes located Fumare Meats & Deli. Since I had just finished lunch and it was not yet time for dinner, I easily convinced myself that a "Montreal-Style Pastrami" sandwich would be a perfect dessert. This homemade, hand-carved pastrami was outstanding. I had the privilege of speaking with Joan McCracken, who along with her husband, Richard, own and operate this artisan deli. There is no doubt that I will return to Fumare during my future visits to Chicago.