Editor’s Note: I am on Vacation until August, so I have prepared some Friday Features in advance.
Chicagoans are passionate about their city, their sports, and their food. Whether you are enjoying a Cubs game with an Old Style and a Maxwell Street Polish, or a White Sox game with a large slice of Pizzeria Uno, with some Goose Island, food is an integral part of the Chicago experience.
Now a true Chicago-style hot dog has a water simmered or steamed Vienna Beef hot dog on a S. Rosen’s Mary Ann bun. The high-gluten bun is meant to stand up not just to the toppings, but also to the steaming or simmering of the dog. Topping the dog you have yellow mustard; chopped white onions; bright green sweet pickle relish; a dill pickle spear; tomato slices or wedges; pickled sport peppers; and a dash of celery salt…a real drag it through the garden experience. A true Chicago-style hot dog is made with a Vienna Beef hot dog, and the Vienna Beef Cafe and factory store, which was located at 2501 North Damen Avenue in Lincoln Park was really the mecca for Chicago-style dogs. This was the factory store for Vienna Beef, and nowhere in Chicago were you ever be able to get a fresher hot dog. The next stop is Uno Chicago Grill. Located in the River North Neighborhood at 29 East Ohio street, this mecca for Chicago-Style Pizza fans is the originator of Chicago-Style Pizza. This location is the place where it was born. Founded in 1943 by Texas football star turned business man Ike Sewell, the restaurant has been synonymous with Chicago since the beginning.
Chicago-Style Pizza is just as synonymous with Chicago, if not more. Like Chicago-Style hot dogs, Italian beef, and Maxwell Street Polish sausage, it is treasured by Chicagoans and although sold in many other cities, it is perfect when enjoyed in the Chicago area. The most traditional way to order a pizza is the “Numero Uno” which features fresh Italian Sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions. The crust is much thicker than most pizzas, and is baked somewhat before the toppings are added. When the toppings are put on, cheese goes on the bottom, the toppings are added second, and then the sauce is added on top of the toppings. Stuffed pizza is a variation where after the toppings, a layer of dough is added on top before the sauce. Now for another Chicago favorite, The Maxwell Street Polish Sausage. Chicago has one of the biggest Polish communities in North America, and this classic staple comes from Chicago’s Polish Heritage. The Mecca for this particular Chicago favorite is located near the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Jim’s Original, which was opened in 1943, is considered by many to be the originator of the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage. Macedonian immigrant Jimmy Stefanovic create the meal at the Maxwell Street Market. The original location was torn down in 2005, and Jim’s Original moved to Union Street. Another popular item is a bone-in pork chop sandwich, which was also popular at the old Maxwell Street Market. The traditional way to cook a Maxwell Street Polish Sausage is to flat-grill a 1/3 piece of Polish sausage, typically made by Vienna Beef or Bobak. To assemble the sandwich, bright yellow salad mustard is coated on the inside of a hot dog bun, then the Polish sausage is placed inside. On top of this, grilled onions are added. The sandwich is rolled in paper with some hot sport peppers, and placed in a paper bag with fried. This is traditionally enjoyed with a Wildwood Grape soda.Located next door to Jim’s Original is The Express Grill. The other restaurant claiming to be the originator of the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage is The Express Grill, which was founded by Tomislav Lazerevski, a relative of Jimmy Stefanovic in the 1950’s, and was located right next door to Jim’s Original. When the Maxwell Street Market was torn down in 2005, The Express Grill moved right next door to Jim’s Original, as it was in the Maxwell Street Market. Both of these outdoor sausage stands have no seating area, just a metal stand to rest your food on while you are eating, while the unmistakable scent of Polish sausage and grilling onions fill the air. Both locations are mirror images of each other, and have identical menus, products and prices. The taste is one of a kind, and when you eat there, you are eating a piece of Chicago history.
Last, but certainly not least is an Italian Beef sandwich. While there are a number of differing stories concerning the origins of Italian Beef, there are two commonly accepted stores. The first is that many Italians who worked in the stock yards of Chicago created the recipe to make inexpensive tougher cuts of beef that they brought home from work much more palatable. Another commonly accepted theory is that the method was created for weddings to make a roast last for all attendees to enjoy. Regardless of how it came to be, the best place is Al’s Italian Beef.
Italian beef is made of seasoned roast beef, sliced very thin, and simmered and served au jus and a combination of garlic, oregano, and a series of mix of ingredients. After preparation, the beef is placed on an Italian-style roll. The bread is often dipped into the au jus the meat is cooked in. Italian beef sandwiches are typically topped off with Chicago-style giardiniera or sauteed, green Italian sweet peppers. Giardiniera is an Italian or Italian-American relish made from pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. There are two types of giardiniera , hot and sweet. Many places that sell Italian Beef make their own giardiniera. Some places serve “gravy bread” which is simply a piece of Italian bread dipped in the au jus, which Chicagoas refer to as “gravy.”
Opened in 1938, Al’s #1 Italian Beef was opened by Al Ferrei, his sister Francis, and her husband Chris Pacelli Sr. They side with the wedding story for the origin of Italian Beef. When they realized that people really liked their beef, they started selling to local business and hospitals. Eventually, they opened a location on Taylor Street, since the demand for their food was high. As you stand in the original Al’s, again, the sights and scents give you the felling that you are going to taste Chicago history. To enjoy an Italian Beef sandwich, Al’s recommends that you use the Italian Stance” in which your feet are 2 ½ feet from the counter, your elbows are on the table, and your mouth is wide open. They claim it is to prevent damage to your shoes. Here is what it looks like.For all of Chicago’s problems, I still call it home!
Next week, some notes from the 1988 12 Hours of Sebring
By David G. Firestone
Ryan Newman #6 Oscar Mayer Subkit Ford Mustang-Its the same basic scheme as Oscar Meyer, so it gets an A.
Tyler Reddick #8 Realtree Chevy Camaro-I HATE camo on race cars, and the white stripes just don’t work. This is horrible, and gets an F.
Chase Elliott #9 Mountain Dew/Little Ceaser’s Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.
Ryan Blaney #12 Menard’s/Sylvania Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.
Clint Bowyer #14 Barstool Sports Ford Mustang-This is an over done scheme, I think that there way too much. Scaling it back could lead to a passing grad, but this gets an F.
Matt DiBenedetto #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.
JJ Yeley #27 Ford Mustang-A smooth look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.
Corey LaJoie #32 Jason Bond’s WallStBookie.com Ford Mustang-This is another example of a scheme where the good and the bad are in equal. I like the blue, but I hate the designs. As such, this gets a C.
Joey Gase #51 EFX Corp Ford Mustang-A smooth look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.
Joey Gase #51 The Gifted Life Podcast/Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency Ford Mustang-I like the color scheme, but the design scheme is over designed. I’ll give this a C.
Josh Bilicki #53 Sky King Fireworks Chevy Camaro-A smooth look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.
Quin Houff #77 Oil Fire Rye Whiskey Chevy Camaro-It isn’t a bad look per se, but it is a downgrade from last year so I’ll give it a B+.
Alex Bowman #88 Valvoline Chevy Camaro-This is a great redesign! I love the look, and the throwback logos. This gets an A.
Rusty Wallace is a household name when it comes to NASCAR. With 55 wins and the 1989 Winston Cup Series Championship. Wallace is a well known and respected driver, who also had thrown his hat into team ownership. He owned a team in 1985, but closed it by 1992. He reopened it in 2004, raced in the Xfinity Series until 2013.
Rusty comes from a racing family. His brother Kenny and son Steven have both had racing careers. Kenny has nine wins in the Xfinity Series in 26 years. Steven had some wins in ARCA, but nothing of note in Xfinity. In 2008, while racing for Rusty Wallace Racing, he was sponsored by Atreus Homes & Communities for 14 races. During those races, he scored two top 5’s and three top 10’s. One member of his pit crew wore this Impact vest. The vest has some stains, but is in good condition.The collar doesn’t have a Velcro closure, and has ATREUS HOMES & COMMUNITIES logos embroidered. There is no tag in the cowl.The right chest features NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES, CHEVY, and GOODYEAR logos embroidered.The left chest features ATREUS HOMES & COMMUNITIES, JIMMY JOHN’S and JOINAPS.COM logos embroidered.The front torso has a large red ATREUS HOMES & COMMUNITIES logo embroidered.Inside the zipper is the Impact warranty label, with the name LOMBARDI written in Sharpie.The hems have comfort straps at the bottom, under the arm holes. The shoulders have epaulets with ATREUS HOMES & COMMUNITIES logo embroidered. There are holes for the sleeves. The back of the vest has some light stains.The back of the neck has a small Rusty Wallace Racing logo embroidered.The back torso features WWW.RUSTYWALLACE.COM and ATREUS HOMES & COMMUNITIES logos embroidered.So that’s all for this week, I’m going to take my annual July vacation. I will still post stuff, just not as often, and I’ll see you in August!
By David G. Firestone
Austin Dillon #3 Behr Ultra Chevy Camaro-I like the change here, the new scheme looks good, and this is a great look. A
Reed Sorenson #7 Chevy Camaro-A smooth look with a great color scheme will always earn an A.
Tyler Reddick #8 Chevy Cares Chevy Camaro-Another example of a scheme that isn’t wrong, and isn’t right. It’s just blah, so I’ll give it a C.
Ryan Blaney #12 Menards/Cardell Cabinetry Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.
Ty Dillon #13 GEICO For Your Boat Chevy Camaro-I like this scheme, but I think that the blue and white should be reversed…but it’s still a great scheme so it gets an A.
Erik Jones #20 Toyota Accessories Toyota Camry-I think that the red designs are a tad over done, but everything else works well, so it gets an A-.
Joey Logano #22 Auto Trader Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same D+ grade.
JJ Yeley #27 Ford Mustang-Same scheme as Insurance King, same D+ grade.
Corey LaJoie #32 Keen Parts/Corvette Parts “Mask” Ford Mustang-I hated this last year, I hate this in 2020. I don’t get it, and I give it an F.
Corey LaJoie #32 Storm Tight Windows Ford Mustang-Aqua and a tornado is kind of an odd pairing. This is another example of a scheme that would look better with a new color scheme. B-
Michael McDowell #34 The Pete Store Ford Mustang-Same scheme as last year, same C grade.
Ryan Preece #37 Purina Chevy Camaro-I think the side designs are over done by a tad, I also think the pet pictures are oddly placed. It’s not terrible, so I’ll give it a B+
Ryan Preece #37 Slim Jim Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.
John Hunter Nemechek #38 Death Wish Coffee Ford Mustang-It’s a smooth look, it has a great color scheme and that will ALWAYS earn an A.
Cole Custer #41 HaasTooling.com/Jacob Co Ford Mustang-Two sponsors with two different designs is not a good look. This is such a mess, that I can’t give it anything but an F.
Cole Custer #41 Jacob Co/HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang-Two sponsors with two different designs is not a good look. This is such a mess, that I can’t give it anything but an F.
Darrell Wallace Jr. #43 Black Lives Matter Chevy Camaro-It’s simple, it gets the point across, and it works. A
Joey Gase #51 Donate Life Ford Mustang-It’s a smooth look with a great color scheme, and that earns an A.
Joey Gase #51 Chevy Camaro-It’s a smooth look with a great color scheme, and that earns an A.
Joey Gase #51 Carolina SIM Works Chevy Camaro-I like the look, it’s smooth, and it really looks good. A
Garrett Smithley #53 Hero Box Chevy Camaro-I like the green here, and the car has a smooth yet bold look, so I give it an A.
David Starr #53 Helluva Ranch/Richardson Service Chevy Camaro-The stripes are beyond over designed, and the car as a whole looks like a mess. F
Garrett Smithley #77 Chevy Camaro-It’s a smooth look with a great color scheme, and that earns an A.
JJ Yeley #77 Greenville Swamp Rabbits Chevy Camaro-It’s a smooth look with a great color scheme, and that earns an A.
Garrett Smithley #77 Formula One Imports Chevy Camaro-Same scheme as last year, same A grade.
BJ McLeod #78 Circle Track Warehouse Chevy Camaro-New scheme for 2020, red. A It’s a smooth look with a great color scheme, and that earns an A.
Some race car drivers are born, other as made. Racing school is a place for driver to hone their skills. John “Skip” Barber III is a former F1 and SCCA driver. While we won 3 SCCA National Championships in a row, his F1 and IndyCar careers were not stellar. After his racing career ended, he taught four students to race in 1975. 45 years later, Skip Barber Racing Schools owns 130 cars and operates at over 30 tracks over North America. They are one of the best-known racing schools of all time.
Fire is an ever present threat in auto racing, including auto racing school. Skip Barber issued suits to their students. These were lightweight, and were inexpensive. This 1980’s-1990’s Pyrotect suit is one example. The suit does show decent use, not surprising for a lightweight suit.The collar has a Velcro closure, and a PYROTECT logo is sewn on the closure. There is nothing inside the cowl. The right chest features a BOSCH SPARK PLUG patch sewn into the tan material, and a SKIP BARBER RACING SCHOOL patch sewn into the white stripe.The left chest features a T/A RADIALS BF GOODRICH sewn into the upper tan area, a PYROTECT logo sewn on the black stripe, a BMW patch and a KONI patch sewn into the white stripe, and an EASTERN logo sewn into the lower tan area of the torso.The warranty label and the wash instructions are located inside the front of the suit.The belt on the suit is unadorned on the outside, but there are a couple of red patches sewn inside the belt, indicating this suit is number 48. The tan legs have standard cuffs, and a red stripe.The shoulders have straps to help pull the driver out of the car in case of a crash. The right sleeve has PYROTECT and PBI patches sewn into the white stripe. The end of the sleeve is unadorned. The left sleeve has PYROTECT and PBI patches sewn into the white stripe. The end of the sleeve is unadorned. The back of the suit shows some wear in the form of stains and scuffs.The back of the neck is unadorned.The back torso features a large SKIP BARBER RACING SCHOOL patch sewn into the upper part, and a BF GOODRICH T/A RADIALS patch on the lower part of the torso.Next week, The Vest Project continues!