After spending many agonizing minutes and a few cups of coffee deciding on what to have, I settled on the Irish Skillet. A deep dish delight filled with hash brown potatos, corned beef, onions, cheese covered with not one, two or even three, but four eggs!
This culinary masterpiece was nothing short of spectacular! The hash browns were cooked to a crispy perfection, the corned beef (the real stuff, not canned) were bite size strips of the most flavorful meat I've ever tasted in a breakfast meal. The cheese covering the beef and potatos was melted perfectly and the eggs, cooked over easy made for topping to die for. OMG what a breakfast! To say I moaned would be an understatement. In fact, as I am writing this, I'm starting to moan all over again (Cyndi just came running into the room to make sure I was ok)!
As you may all remember from my previous blog, I spent an afternoon having lunch at a restaurant called Hog Wild. This is the fine establishment where I dined on a pork chop sandwich. I was told by Mark (Barb's husband) that I should make a return trip there for dinner and try their pork tenderloin sandwich. I told him that I would and last week with Todd, Barb, Mark and Narayan in tow, we went back to the Hog! Now since I already knew what I wanted, I walked up to the counter, placed my order and sat down at my table and waited quietly until they brought out this...
Anytime, you get a piece of meat on a plate and its hanging off of it, you got yourself a meal! The tenderloin was cooked perfectly, tender and moist. The potato's (which to me is a filler) that accompanied the tenderloin were too good to pass up. I wish there was something I could say to let you know what was going through my mind while eating this meal, but somethings are just better off left unsaid. Suffice to say, any visit to the Chicago area, must include a stop at Hog Wild.
So off we (Barb, Narayan & Todd) went to try the local cuisine. Now, being a huge fan of Italian food, I found myself in the usual quandary of what to order. Will it be a pasta dish, chicken or veal? Too many choices and they all sounded good. So as I'm scrolling down the menu trying to make that most difficult decision, my eyes spot a dish that was a must have, and this is what I ordered.............................................
That's right, Beef Tripe over a bed of linguine. Cow's stomach you might ask? To be perfectly clear, beef tripe is usually made from only the first three chambers of a cow's stomach: the rumen (blanket/flat/smooth tripe), the reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe) and the omasum (book/bible/leaf tripes). I'm sure what I had was the reticulum variety. Anyhow, let me digress and bring you back to the meal itself. We started off with an appetizer (Bruschetta) that Todd thought was appropriate for the evening.
Now, I view eating bread as a filler, which is something that fills me up so I can't enjoy my main meal to the fullest extent. But I was willing to go along with Todd's suggestion and I was not disappointed. The bread was toasted just right and was buttered with a garlic butter mix. The topping was fresh with just the right amount of tomato mixture on each slice so as not to overpower the total package. A great start to what I was hoping would be a great meal. After a cup of soup, out came the main course. This was a meal that was fit for king. The pasta was cooked al dente, the sauce was as good as any that I have had outside the home, and the tripe, simply put, was magnificent! The only problem I encountered, was how on God's green earth would I be able to eat the entire bowl that was put down in front of me! I'm excited to say, it was not as much of a problem as I originally thought. You see, as soon as I took my first bite, and there was that flavor explosion in my mouth of this wonderful mixture of tripe, pasta and sauce, what was in front of me may not even be enough! But of course it was. In fact, I did indeed have to leave a little left in the bowl (damn filler I ate beforehand). Now I know tripe is not for everyone, but for those of you that like to partake in this delicacy, Jim & Pete's is the place to go. On a moaning scale, I would give it (and of course I did) a 5 out 5 moans! Now that I was completely satisfied and full to the brim it was time to head out. The only thing left to do was pay the bill and mosey on back to the hotel. That is when our waitress (I'll call her Patty), came out with a little thank you dessert that they offer free to all new comers.
Those would be Todd's hands you see clasped in prayer asking to be given strength to have enough room in his belly to enjoy this masterpiece that was set down in front of us. I wish I could convey to you how delicious this was, but you will just have to take my word for it. These puff like pastries, were covered with powered sugar, drizzled with chocolate sauce, add in whipped cream and vanilla ice cream and topped off with a few cherries, we had an excellent ending to a most memorable meal.
Well that my fellow followers was week Two in Chicago and the experiences I had with "Food That Made Me Moan". It's off to Denver now and I hope to have many more meals to write about next week. Please feel free to add your comments to my blogs as it is great to hear from each of you that read this. Wish me well, and I will write my next blog with Meals from the Road of Denver.