Want to know more about pizza in Chicago?

If you want to know more about Chicago pizza you've come to the right place. This blog will provide tidbits & inside bites about the food Chicago is most known for. Feel free to check back often or better yet, follow us to stay informed about CHICAGO PIZZA.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Anichini, A Legend In Chicago Sausage

The 1986 John Hughes movie FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF starring Matthew Broderick made the name "Abe Froeman - The Sausage King Of Chicago" a household name.  Everyone took that little snippet of the film and made it into their own personal joke.  To think, a high school kid using The Sausage King Of Chicago's name to get a table at an over priced French restaurant (Chez Quis) and doing it successfully just brings a smile to anyone who has ever tried to pull a fast one.

What resonates with that joke though is that Chicago is so well known for being a sausage capital of the world.  It was a perfect fit for a Chicago based movie and probably caused a few people to wonder, was there really an Abe Froeman?  Here is what we know about him courtesy of Sloan Peterson Ferris' girlfriend:
  • wears a leather jacket
  • sweater vest
  • white t-shirt
  • devastatingly handsome
Ok all kidding aside, there is no Abe Froeman (sometimes also spelled Froman) but there have been sausage kings of Chicago.  The original would be Adolph Luetgert a German immigrant who traveled to Chicago in the 1870s to sell sausages.  He set up shop at Hermitage & Diversey in 1894 with his three story house located just next door to his sausage factory.  Success came early to Adolph and he soon married a petite woman named Louisa.  Without getting too much into it Adolph was pulling a "Tiger Woods" and wooing some women on the side.  Louisa, quite the tiny little firecracker would often get into very public fights with Adolph and never held back.  One night Louisa confronted Adolph inside the factory as workers were leaving for the night and the next day she was missing.  Without having to do too much investigative work, the Chicago police determined that Adolph did in fact murder her and probably decomposed her body using stuff in his own factory (acid, meat grinder etc.).

With overwhelming evidence against him, Adolph was convicted and sent to Joliet State Prison where Louisa would get the last laugh.  Adolph would beg and plead with the prison guards that he was being haunted by the ghost of Louisa who, according to his defense was alive and just ran off...  It drove Adolph insane for the rest of his life which was fitting.  Louisa's ghost was also spotted by the factory workers and neighbors of the Luetgerts so she has become famous as one of Chicago's ghosts.

Now, corresponding with the title of this post, Anichini Brothers are the current day sausage kings of Chicago.  Company slogan "Home of the sausage that made Chicago pizza famous" and that is pretty spot on.  Family owned and operated since 1925 located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Anichini Bros still to this day dominates the sausage market in Chicago.  It all started when Silvio and his brothers immigrated to Chicago from Lucca which is a small town in the Tuscan region of Italy.  First step for them was to open a grocery store, it was what they knew best.

After running the successful grocery store, Silvio's son-in-law Salvatore Gadinni decided to get into the meats and more importantly the sausage making.  They didn't just market their sausages to the consumer, they went right after the big restaurants (namely pizzerias) and why not... they were making the finest "blue ribbon" sausages in the land.

Over the years they have formed great partnerships with some of the cities best pizzerias.  It is no surprise for me at all to find out that Anichini supplies sausage to at least 3 of the 4 stops on my Chicago Pizza Tours company.  For this reason I anoint The Anichini Brothers Company the real Sausage King of Chicago, and give the consumer the inside scoop that if they are eating an awesome sausage pizza at a restaurant in Chicago... chances are it's Anichini's sausage!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Take me out to the ball game

Opening day is here for the south siders and White Sox Nation is up and excited to get underway for another season of:

A)  Good Baseball
B)  Bad Baseball
C)  Mediocre Baseball
D)  Both A & C
E)  Both B & C

Whatever type of baseball they play this year one thing will always remain a constant... THE FOOD AT US CELLULAR FIELD IS THE BEST IN ALL OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!  I mean it, the product on the field can be hit or miss at each game (no pun intended) but the product on the concorse is always dynamite.

HOT DOGS!  HOT DOGS!  Surely anyone who has watched a game on TV has heard the voice of this boisterous hot dog vendor ruining the broadcast with his amplified call of HOT DOGS (sometimes later shouts out ICE CREAM post 7th inning) but he is doing it for good reason.  Those hot dogs are awesome!  For me I skip the traditional hot dog at the park and I do that for one reason and one reason only.

The Polish...  Cover that bad boy in mustard and extra onions, grilled onions that is and give me two of them.  Sure everyone likes to get to the parking lot and tailgate but I hold back so that I have plenty of room for my first and second polish of the season.  Made just down the road on Damen Ave in Lincoln Park, Vienna Beef seasons these just perfectly, the Sox staff gets the flat top grill covered in lard and starts grilling away the onions and polish sausages all together before placing on some nice, sugar refined enriched buns.  I didn't say it was healthy, but it is awesome.

Now it doesn't make much sense to be a pizza blog and start off talking about food other than pizza at the White Sox game, but there is a good reason for that.  The Pizza provided at US Cellular is Connie's Pizza located in Sections 122, 155 (Larussa's Pizza Stand), 163, 522, 544.  I am not going to give a review of Connie's Pizza in general, it has its loyal followers and is a big name but for as good as all the food prepared at the ball game is... I feel Connie's is lagging behind.

It might not be their fault, pizza is tempermental and mass cooking pizza & sliding it under hot lights isn't exactly the way to go but $$$wise that's where we are at with ballparks.  I understand it is probably just as important for them to have the cheese, sausage, and pepperoni pizzas race in the 5th inning as it is to sell at the ballgame.  That advertising alone helps subliminally drive business to their 7 locations.  It is at those 7 locations that you will find a much better brand of pizza as opposed to the ballpark, largely in part due to not having to serve it to the masses.

These days money is tight so when you spend it, make sure you spend it on something good and get yourself a polish or two.  There is plenty of other good food there but I would hardly know because when you have something that works stick with it.

Connie's Pizza
2373 S. Archer Avenue

Chicago, IL, 60616
(312) 326-3443