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Bizarre Foods - Chicago

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sgtsquarepants Feb 19, 2008 06:17 PM

I'm a huge fan of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (on the Travel Channel). My question is, what are some "bizarre foods" I can get in Chicago? I'm a very adventerous eater. Some things I would LOVE to try are baby squids braised in their own ink, stinky tofu and suckling pig. But I'm up for ANY suggestions. Thanks.

  1. c
    ChiliDude Dec 14, 2008 03:15 AM

    I grew up on the South Side of Chicago until the mid-1950s. Pizza was available in family owned pizzerias before the chains existed, and it was thin crust and crisp. I find thick, chewy crust pizza bizarre. After I graduated from high school, we moved to Berwyn. There was a pizzeria on Cermak Road near Harlem Avenue known as DeVito's that made the best pizza (now a Mexican restaurant). Pizza should be THIN CRUST!!!

    T'invio cordialissimi saluti e abbracci! Buon appetito!

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude
      a
      adsflorida Mar 19, 2013 09:28 PM

      I was looking for De Vito's Pizza, hoping it was still around. Lived in Broadview when I was 10, now I'm in Florida and in
      my 60's. I'm visiting a friend in Chi and he asked me where
      I'd like to eat, their sausage pizza was the best I've ever eaten. Too bad they're gone!

      1. re: adsflorida
        c
        ChiliDude Mar 20, 2013 08:14 AM

        I was sorry to see that the Berwyn area had changed so much.

    2. m
      my3cflvi Dec 12, 2008 07:23 PM

      A bunch of friends and I once went to a Koran joint in Lincoln fueled by lots of beer for a 3 am pick-me-up. Somehow we were talked into ordering a dish the waitress referred to as "Peoples Soup." Despite the haze of booze that permeated my veins, I recall the soup was unlike anything I've ever eaten. The waitress wasn't able or unwilling to describe the ingredients, but with an eerie smile she insisted it was "Peoples Soup. "With a strange taste of tallow, and white foamy bubbles that floated to the surface, I still wonder what the hell I really ate.

      1. mai_world Mar 4, 2008 06:21 AM

        Sabri Nehari a Pakistani restarurant on Devon serves Brain Masala. Yes goat brains.

        http://www.centerstagechicago.com/res...

        1. u
          UncleVinty Feb 27, 2008 08:36 AM

          I really don't eat out much as I prefer to cook my own. But here and there I have had my fair share of some ummm diffeernt foods, snake, bear, badger, porcupine, cobra shots (I'll explain later)

          Suckling pig is hardly in the "bizarre food" category. You can go to a couiple of places on Argyle St on the north side of Chicago and buy lechon (either Chinese style or filipino style) by the pound or by the pig. We had a half a baby pig for a house warming a long time ago.

          Also while there, a couple of the restaurants will serve a tripe soup. Also you can buy live frogs, crabs, various fish and such at the stores there.

          Go to a filipino restaurant or and order balut which is a ferment fertile salted duck egg.

          I have seen items like canned scopions and bugs for sale online, which I have yet to collect, but I do have on my shelf a bottle of Cobra wine. It has a baby cobra with a black emperor scorpion sewed in it's mouth with a large gingsing root.

          I bought the cobra wine because near where I once worked there was a Filipino/Vietnamese restaurant/bar that we would go to after work. Lee the Vietnamese partner had a very large apothecary jar full of Chinese hebals, twigs, leaves, berries, spices, and about 18 cobras, all soaking in vodka. To be a part of our "drinking club" one had to have at least one cobra shot/ Unfortuately Lee sold the place and I do not know where his jar ended up.

          And a woman I knew years ago that had many internal problems went to a Doctor in China Town and was given a prescription to make a tea, which had among other things, dried nightcrawlers in it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: UncleVinty
            Eaterlover Feb 27, 2008 07:53 PM

            Balut is definitely more than just a fertile salt duck egg, it's a duck egg at the very last stage of gestation, where the little critter has bones and feathers. It's a common Filipino street food where it slurped out (bones and all) with broth or vinegar. Just wanted to clarify the details of balut to the OP or it might have been an ugly surprise.

            1. re: Eaterlover
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              UncleVinty Mar 1, 2008 08:33 AM

              Yes, you are correct of course, since there are three or four 'stages' or versions of the eggs between filipno and Chinese cuisine..

              I have to admit that I have yet to indulge in balut, although my ex-wife and daughter (filipinos) love them; and I only recently got past the smell of those little dried fish that they love to fry and have with rice for breakfast. (The smell was like the beaches of rotting alwives in the mid 60's when I used to visit my grandparents in Evanston)

            2. re: UncleVinty
              e
              ediecago Nov 24, 2008 10:17 AM

              What are the good places to buy suckling pig in Chicago? Name names please.

              Anyone know good places for inexpensive ducks and geese?

            3. g
              gordeaux Feb 21, 2008 06:08 AM

              Ooh forgot - If you dig sushi, ask about "natto" at Katsu
              Katsu
              2651 W. Peterson Ave
              Chicago, IL
              773-784-3383
              Dinner only.
              Closed Monday and Tuesday

              3 Replies
              1. re: gordeaux
                s
                sgtsquarepants Feb 21, 2008 06:22 AM

                I LOVE sushi. I'll have to check it out.

                1. re: sgtsquarepants
                  g
                  gordeaux Feb 21, 2008 07:05 AM

                  Take a trip to katsu, and simply ask them to prepare you a meal of what is the freshest that day. Try to get a yellowtail jaw as well. Also ask for some natto preparations. Katsu rocks for sushi - if you let them prepare what is best.

                  1. re: gordeaux
                    s
                    sgtsquarepants Feb 21, 2008 09:08 AM

                    Sounds great. Thanks.

              2. c
                cheapertrick Feb 20, 2008 10:22 PM

                Frontera sometimes has suckling pig as a special. I think it was a special over the summer on Wednesdays. You could call and find out if it's still available.

                Sticky Rice on Western has some interesting Thai dishes that include bugs.

                I know I've had fermented tofu at various Korean places.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cheapertrick
                  s
                  sgtsquarepants Feb 21, 2008 06:21 AM

                  Do you know any of the names of any of the korean places?

                  1. re: sgtsquarepants
                    c
                    cheapertrick Mar 4, 2008 02:45 PM

                    Cho Sun Ok located on 4200 N. Lincoln is one that i remember having it. If you are not Korean they may try to discourage you from ordering it. They may also make it a bit milder.

                    I know I have seen it and ordered it elsewhere though. I will try to come up with some names.

                2. g
                  gordeaux Feb 19, 2008 08:02 PM

                  You can go to soul food legend Army and Lou's, and among some great dishes, try your hand at Chitterlings aka chitlins aka wrinkles aka grays.

                  Army & Lou's
                  422 E 75th St
                  Chicago, IL 60619
                  773-483-3100
                  http://www.armyandlous.com
                  9am - 10pm
                  Closed Tuesday

                  Would an Indian brain masala interest you?
                  How about eyeball tacos at Maxwell st market on Sundays?
                  Brain tacos?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gordeaux
                    s
                    sgtsquarepants Feb 20, 2008 01:55 PM

                    I'll try anything once, (food wise, that is).

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