As I write my third or fourth blog about food, I’m starting to worry that everyone will think this is all I do. However, in my defense, how can you be in Chicago and not eat everything? I’m still drooling over the Spanish tapas bar I found and wrote about in my last article, Tasty Chicago. I keep telling myself that if I’m going to keep eating, I should try new places, only returning to previous places occasionally. Oh, the troubles of living in Chicago!
If you’ve ever Googled famous eats in Chicago, the lists of restaurants, food trucks, grab and gos, etc. will most likely overwhelm you. For the sports fans, you have Michael Jordan’s steak house and Mike Ditka’s restaurant. If you watch The League, head over to Gibson’s bar and restaurant. If you love Oprah Winfrey, then head to Table Fifty-two, who’s owner and chef Art Smith was Oprah’s personal chef for years.
If you are a fan of Murray, Belushi, and Aykroyd, then you should have already guessed which restaurant I am talking about: The Billy Goat Tavern, which was immortalized by their famous SNL skit. While the tavern has a few locations, locals and SNL fans will make fun of you unless you go to the original, at the lower level of Michigan Ave.
There are a few rules you should know if you decide to go there and not watch the SNL skit beforehand. First of all, do not order a single cheeseburger. As my friend found out, they will not give it to you and you will get a double cheeseburger. Get a triple if you are hungry. Next, they do not have fries, only chips, and do not think about ordering Pepsi- only Coke products.
Now about the food, the kaiser rolls are baked and delivered daily, and trust me, you can tell. The burgers are fresh and thin, which is why a single cheeseburger isn’t worth trying to get. Again, they won’t let you (unless you are a kid, or a girl on her first date). The double is 1/4lb, and the triple is “even better.” The Homerun is a double double for the extra hungry eater. Also, they let you put pickles and onions on. No lettuce. No tomatoes.
For sports fans, you can also learn about the Billy Goat Curse on the Cubs that has been going on for 69 years, 7 months and 20 days since I’ve been writing this.
No matter the reason you go to the Billy Goat tavern- if its for the burger, for the skit, or for the curse- you will definitely have a great time. You’ll leave with a full stomach and a great experience… unless you order a single cheeseburger, fries and a Pepsi.