Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Ultimate Food Review

Over the course of our 2-week trip, Andy and I sampled some of the best and most regionally iconic food that the midwest has to offer. Even though basically everything we ate was delicious, give or take a giant pizza or two, there was a clear-cut winner for the award of best food on the trip. But before we get to the winner, we've got two other medals to hand out.

Bronze Medal: Primanti Brothers, 2AM. The mid-afternoon Primanti's trip was nothing spectacular, but due to the better late-nite sandwich choices of kielbasa and corned beef (as opposed to cheesesteak and capicola in the afternoon), plus our 2AM desire for a large amount of flavor-packed food, late-nite Primanti's was able to edge out Al's Italian Beef for the low spot on the medal stand.

Silver Medal: Jim's Original. Going to Jim's for delicious grilled polish sausages is a guaranteed great meal. The sausages are cooked perfectly, the mustard is sharp and has a nice kick, and the sweet sauteed onions are the perfect complement to the sausage and mustard flavors. As an added bonus, the prices are great ($3 for an italian sausage), and you get free fries with every sandwich. So when you go, bring $20 and stock up. Eat five of them at Jim's and save one to bring home and put on your medal stand.

And the champion....

Gold Medal: Pappy's Smokehouse. The clear-cut winner. I know there are scientists around the world working to cure diseases and build rocketships and whatnot -- but I really don't think it would hurt for them to take some time off to figure out the recipe for the dry rub on Pappy's ribs. Unfortunately though, the top spot on the actual medaI stand itself will have to remain unoccupied. I wouldn't even save one of Pappy's ribs to put on it; they're just too amazing not to eat.

The Final Overall Rankings

The Official Food Review Hierarchy
1) Not worth it
2) Stop in if you're driving by
3) Check it out if you're in town
4) I'd drive an hour for it
5) I'd drove across several states for it
6) I'd kill a man

Pappy's Smokehouse: 4.5 (I'd drive an hour AND wait in line for an hour for it)

Jim's Original: 4 (I'd drive an hour for it every now and then)

Primanti Brothers 2AM: 4- (I would take a $10 cab ride for it)

Al's Italian Beef: 3+ (Check it out if you're anywhere near Chicago)

Zingermann's: 3 (Stop by if you're in Ann Arbor and don't mind spending $15 on a sandwich)

Skyline Chili: 3 (Check it out if you're in Cincinnati)

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: 3 (Check it out at one of its many locations if you're in Chicago)

The Ohio Deli (Dagwood): 2.5 (Pretty tasty sandwich in itself -- check it out if you're in Columbus and want a challenging, yet doable food challenge)

Primanti Brothers, 5PM: 2 (Check it out if you're driving by)

Pointer's Pizza: 0.5 (I would only eat it at sundown after Yom Kippur if there was nothing else to eat)

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