A Chicago Dog by Clint McMahon
With baseball season upon us, I set out to celebrate by finding the perfect Chicago-style hot dog.
For the record, a Chicago-style hot dog is an all-beef hot dog (usually steamed or boiled), placed on a poppy seed bun. It’s often known as being “dragged through the garden” because of its specific, colorful toppings: mustard, onion, neon-green relish, a pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers and celery salt. The number one rule: no ketchup.
Personally, I am a ketchup-lover and for years defiantly ordered my hot dogs with ketchup and without some of the traditional ingredients, but I decided to go ahead and order the Chicago-style dog…with everything. I ended up loving it, so even if you have reservations, give the Chicago dog a try!
Here are some of the top spots the windy city has to offer. Be prepared to pay with cash, because most of these places don’t accept credit cards.
Wrigley Field by Clint McMahon
After five months of hibernation, baseball is finally back.
And this is a great thing for all of us in Illinois, because we’re lucky to have some of the best professional ball clubs on the planet.
Not only do the Cubs and White Sox make their homes in Chicago, and play at some top-notch ballparks (Wrigley Field was voted one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois), but Illinois also hosts 11 minor league clubs that are loads of fun to watch. And you won’t have to break the bank to catch the action.
Thorton Quarry ©Bob Lukens
If you’ve ever driven on the Tri-State Tollway (I-80/294) near the Illinois/Indiana state line, you’ve driven over the Thornton Quarry, America’s largest commercial limestone quarry and the second largest limestone quarry in the world.
This gargantuan hole in the ground is more than 300 feet deep, over 1½ miles long, more than a half-mile wide, and contains rocks from an ancient reef over 430 million years old. It’s been quarried on and off since the 1830’s and continues to operate today as a Material Service Corporation facility.
Millions of tons of aggregate in more than twenty different sizes and shapes are quarried from Thornton every year, and a good portion of that aggregate is used throughout the Midwest to create concrete and asphalt for roads, and ballast for railroad tracks.
The Thornton Historical Society is the only organization authorized to conduct tours to the bottom of the Thornton Quarry, which it does twice a year, in June and October. Go to the Village of Thornton website’s quarry page for more information about tours of the Thornton Quarry, the Biggest Hole in America!
– Bob Lukens
Bob is the public relations manager at the Chicago Southland CVB
California is great and all, but often times a film can’t be done justice by a manufactured movie set. When Hollywood directors are looking to roll up their sleeves and add a splash of character to their production, they’ve turned to Chicago’s Southland time and time again to make that happen.
Portions of several Hollywood films have been shot in the Chicago Southland region, including The Blues Brothers, Roll Bounce and The Road to Perdition, just to name a few.