I grew up in the suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois. I recently did some thinking and realized that we weren’t particularly known for any one dish. Still, I definitely had my favorites. I was a huge fan of a little hot dog stand called Left Bank (which is still around, thank God). Psst, if you’re ever there, get the chili cheese dogs or the “not-so-sloppy-Joe,” which is still sloppy. Is the place famous? Not really, just for Lake Foresters.
I feel like everyone’s hometowns have some food they’re locally famous for, some more than others. Chicago, which is where I’ve been for just under 20 years, obviously, is home to a ton of shit, like its hot dogs, Italian beef, pizza, and a whole head-spinning array of lesser known dishes.
Associate editor Brianna Wellen is from the greater Rockford (Illinois) area, and one claim to fame over in her neck of the woods is a chain called Beef-A-Roo. Say “Beef-A-Roo.” Say it out loud. Do it for your own sake. It’ll make your day. I’m happy to say I’ve been to Beef-A-Roo, and it was awesome. The chain is known for its roast beef sandwiches, which are much like Arby’s, but it also has killer cheese fries and some pretty fun burgers, too. I recommend the Olive Burger if you’re in the area.
I’m assuming all of you are from lots of cool places (even if you think they aren’t), and some of them have got some pretty delicious claims to fame, even if they aren’t well-known across the country. For example, my fiancée is from near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and as you can imagine the bratwurst game is strong in those parts. (It’s always served on a hard roll, and there’s specific rules you must follow.) Not to mention the cheese selection, which is as wide and as vast as you’d dream it to be. So, let’s hear it. What’s your hometown’s specialty?