Saturday night I had the opportunity to attend a Tastebud Tour, courtesy of Arnold and Oroweat, sponsors of the Healthy Living Summit.

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I would recommend this tour to anyone who enjoys food and history.  That being said, it was totally up my alley.  Our tour guide shared stories of Chicago and some great places to grab a bite.  The concept of the tour is a guide of Chicago on foot, with stops at famous restaurants for a small plate of food.  I knew it would be best if I didn’t finish the “mini” meals at each stop, so my game plan was to eat about half of the dish and move on.

First off– Berghoff, the oldest family-run establishment in the nation…yes, impressive.

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We started off with a frosty mug of Berghoff’s own root beer.  It was tasty, but I wasn’t a fan of all the sugar.

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photog2 (Photo from HLS photographer)

For our “mini” meal, we were served a German-style sausage topped with spicy mustard and sauerkraut with a side of vinegary potatoes.

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I was surprised at how much I liked this! Sometimes sour and salty hits the spot.

Second stop – A gorgeous hotel, which I can’t remember the name of.  Honestly, there were a few wedding parties milling about, and I was more interested in people-watching than listening.
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We were served brownies, and I made an exception an ate the entire thing.  These were as gooey as fudge and a rich as my future husband.

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Random photo of our tour guide standing with a bull statue.  Apparently Chicago is infamous (in my opinion) for starting the animal statue tradition.  You know how some cities have different statues of the same animal?  Odessa, Texas, has jackrabbits…I’ve never figured that one out.

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Third stop – We went down into the tunnels beneath the city.  I had no idea these existed!

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Had a few bites of Chicago-style popcorn: cheddar + caramel!  Genius creation!  It’s like the tin of popcorn at Christmas, except there aren’t any dividers.  The popcorn was freshly popped and melted in my mouth.

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Fourth stop – Chicago-style hot dogs, but first a tourist photo.

photog3 (Photo from HLS photographer)

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Again, I’m surprised I liked this as much as I did!  For those of you that don’t know, toppings on a Chicago-style hot dog include:

  • Mustard
  • Bright-green relish
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • A pickle slice
  • Onions
  • Hot peppers
  • Celery salt
  • Served on a poppy seed bun

Fifth and final stop – The Billy Goat Tavern.  Some history has gone down here.  It was featured in a 1978 Saturday Night Live skit with Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.

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With a food-induced coma, I didn’t remember to take a photo until after I had devoured half.  This was probably the meal I was least impressed with, but I think it was a tour stop for more of the historical aspect.

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They did give us hats to wear, though!

photog4 (Photo from HLS photographer)

Overall, I really enjoyed the Tastebud Tour, but my feet were aching by the end.  I’m excited to share a recipe inspired by the tour.  Any guesses about which of the stops that inspired me?

photog1 (Photo from HLS photographer)

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