We came in search of a classic but modest comestible: the hot dog.
The setting for this hunt was the erstwhile “hog butcher for the world,” as the poet Carl Sandburg put it: Chicago.
Now is the season of the oblong dog : baseball, Fourth of July, backyard cookouts, outdoor concerts.
So, from stand to stand, steamer to steamer, grill to grill, we took a taste of the finest wieners (hold the congressional jokes, please – and the ketchup too!) that the “City of Broad Shoulders” had to offer.
As for criterion, there was only one we sought in the frankfurters: it had to taste tangy, sweet and salty all in one bite.
(And for full disclosure: I’m a native Nort’ Sider, born within earshot of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. So, several North Side destinations are listed below.)
Chicago is the adopted hometown of CNN political analyst Roland Martin. He dished up some of his city favorites to CNN Travel.
Are there local specialty dishes or drinks that visitors must try?
"Everybody when you talk about Chicago, my wife is a ridiculous fan of Garrett's popcorn. It is extremely well-known, so people all over the country and the world have Garrett's popcorn sent to them," Martin said.
Then there's the Chicago dog and the city's famous deep-dish pizza.
"You've got Giordano's, you've got Uno's, you've got a lot of different choices there. A lot of folks really fall in love with Chicago's deep-dish pizza," Martin said.