Chicago - February 23 - 25, 2016

Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower)


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).


PEOPLE

Canada Dry, Milk & Snow

Pedestrians on Wabash Avenue

Bundled in Red

Who is texting me?

 

Pedestrians on Wabash Ave.

Crossing the street before the signal changes.

Flowers

Bundle up and stay warm.

Homeless man on the Michigan Ave. Bridge.

Homeless man at Millennium Park

Blessings

Please help.

Balanced

Chicago Police

This "Kiss" was on the elevator up to the Skydeck at Willis Tower.   The other passengers appear unaware of "the 103 Story Kiss>"

Doormen at the Sheraton Grand


PLACES

Star Spangled Banner

Trump & Wrigley

A Taxi Will Get You out of The Snow.

Wabash Avenue Bridge

Perspective

Airplane Flying Over Wacker Drive

Out of Service

Chicago French Market

Fire Escapes

Welcome to Willis Tower

Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower)

View From "The Ledge"

View From 103 Stories


PASTRAMI

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.

Tuesday Morning at Kaufman's Deli

Gefilte Fish

Pastrami Strudel

Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

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.  

Any questions?

Pile the Pastrami High.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

The Little Goat Diner

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. 

The Little Goat Diner

Welcome to The Little Goat Diner

Reuben Sandwich

 

Fumare Meats & Deli

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.

Fumare Meats & Deli

Fumare Meats & Deli

Montreal Style Pastrami

Rediscovering Chicago

Cloud Gate, commonly known as "the Bean," is located in MILLENnIUM Park. 

About 15 years ago I rediscovered the charm of my birthplace, Chicago, IL.  The city, populated by warm and welcoming Midwesterners, has stunning architecture, a beautiful lakefront skyline, a downtown area that is vibrant, and has a wealth of excellent restaurants.   Delis, although not as abundant as in New York or Los Angeles, have a character of their own. During each of my 6 or 7 visits a year I have the opportunity to meet  many new friends from all walks of life - business & professional, shopkeepers, students, educators, working people and homeless individuals.   And on each visit I am often joined by friends, family and colleagues at Chicago's most popular deli's to enjoy my most favorite deli food - pastrami.


PEOPLE

Stret musicians on the Michigan avenue bridge

Stret musicians on the Michigan avenue bridge

Street musician on Michigan Avenue

Street musician on Michigan Avenue

street musician on lake st.

street musician on lake st.

happy couple on wabash st.

happy couple on wabash st.

Senior citizens

Senior citizens

Bar tender at pizano's pizza & pasta

Bar tender at pizano's pizza & pasta

Bride and groom photo shoot

Bride and groom photo shoot

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at eleven city diner

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at eleven city diner

gelato servers at eataly

gelato servers at eataly

Pizza server at eataly

Pizza server at eataly

Visitors from denmark

Visitors from denmark

Braving the snow on north wabash st.

Braving the snow on north wabash st.

Braving the snow and sleet  

Braving the snow and sleet  

Man's best friend

Man's best friend


PLACES

This was my home from age 7 through age 18.      

This was my home from age 7 through age 18.

 

 

Excursion boat on the chicago river

Excursion boat on the chicago river

chicago river - trump tower on the left and wrigley building ahead

chicago river - trump tower on the left and wrigley building ahead

Snowfall 

Snowfall 

Snowfall - clybourn AVe.

Snowfall - clybourn AVe.

Trees in MILLENNIUM park

Trees in MILLENNIUM park

The Crown Fountain

The Crown Fountain

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

Chicago River - Marina City on the right

Chicago River - Marina City on the right


PASTRAMI

One of my more recent discoveries is Eleven City Diner, located at 1112 South Wabash Ave.  This restaurant has the vibe of both a diner and a deli.  On a recent visit I was greeted by Roz Rubin, the proud mother of the owner, Brad Rubin.  I have had the opportunity to enjoy a number of their delicious menu offerings including pastrami.     

Pastrami sandwich at eleven city diner

Pastrami sandwich at eleven city diner


Although it is hard to believe, I sometimes order a menu item other than pastrami.   Here is an outstanding selection at the Bagel Restaurant and Deli located in the Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie, IL.    This is "Polish Style Fish" - smoked whitefish stuffed with gefilte fish in a tasty broth smothered with carrots and onions.   Outstanding!

"Polish style fish" at the Bagel restaurant & deli

"Polish style fish" at the Bagel restaurant & deli


One of my all time favorites in Chicago is Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen , located at 1141 S. Jefferson St.   Their food is served cafeteria style and the menu includes a wide selection of deli items, including overstuffed sandwiches accompanied by a potato latke.   Manny's is family owned, and diners are often greeted by the owner, Ken Raskin, and his son Dan.   A trip to Chicago is incomplete without at least one visit to Manny's.

Preparing a pastrami sandwich at Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

Preparing a pastrami sandwich at Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

Pastrami sandwich with a potato latke - Manny's Cafeteria &  delicatessen

Pastrami sandwich with a potato latke - Manny's Cafeteria &

delicatessen