There is no greater universal bridge to the human condition than food. People eat because they’re hungry. People eat when they’re bored or to simply pass the time. People eat to experience something new. Above all, people gather around makeshift tables and eat to stay together.
Famed chef and documentarian Anthony Bourdain once said, “Food may not be the answer to world peace, but it’s a start.” Prophetic, true, and timeless. You can’t help but feel the same way every time you notice complete silence fall over a once raucous holiday table as soon as everyone digs into a hefty spread. Nothing holds as much power or as much influence as food, and nothing ever will.
Good food enjoyed with good company will forever be the ultimate pacifier. No sooner does a person forget their troubles and stresses than when they’re having a great meal with people they love. Yesterday, the staff of Windy City Gridiron discussed our vision of a perfect weekend day.
Today, as we all muse together in harmony, we focus on our favorite means of nourishment. (Sometimes that might come in less than ideal circumstances.)
2. You’re on Death Row (don’t ask why). You’re asked what you’d like for your last meal. Anything and everything in existence is on the menu. They are at the mercy of your appetite. What do you order?
Robert Zeglinski: I will always have a spot for childhood home cooking. Food is more than taste to me. It’s the nostalgia that comes packaged with any dish that’s just as important. In this instance, I would order up my mom’s world-famous (to me, they’re world famous) crepes stuffed with sweet cheese. (Hopefully she’s not too broken up about me being on Death Row, but you live and you learn). Then I would ask for a full bottle of Chardonnay because if I’m going to have one alcohol before I die, it has to be my favorite white wine. Something about it makes me feel special. Yes, even with $5 bottles I will be satisfied drinking away my last hours.
To top it all off, thanks to my ravenous sweet tooth, I’d have a rich triple-layered German chocolate cake. And if you think I’m not finishing it by myself, you have never witnessed my propensity to grow a second stomach at the sight of chocolate. You know what? Let’s scrap the crepes. Give me the cake, a Rita Hayworth poster, and a small hammer for making knick-knacks.
I’m a weak, weak man and I know it.
Lester Wiltfong Jr.: A steak, a lobster tail, some real deal tacos, a double-decker pizza from The Pizza Place (it’s a Round Lake thing), and fresh popped popcorn with lots of butter and salt.
Erik Duerrwaechter: Well, since we’re going with “anything and everything,” then it’s time to toss out any sense of regard for my gut and order the most epic of meals.
It starts with a ribeye from Chicago Cut steakhouse. That was my first meal after graduating Navy Basic training and it was the greatest steak I ever had in my entire life. Nom. Then, we’re going to throw in a classic deep dish from Lou Malnati’s as that’s my (current) favorite pie. It ends with an Italian beef, onion rings, chocolate cake, and chocolate shake from Portillo’s, as that’s “the place” to bring friends and make good memories. Those shakes are freakin’ amazing.
Robert Schmitz: A bistro-style rotisserie chicken with rosemary potatoes and a light-but-not-too-light gravy on the top. Steamed broccoli and creamed corn on the side. Goodness, that sounds great.
Ken Mitchell: If I’m on Death Row, I won’t be hungry before my execution for a crime I didn’t commit (since I don’t, you know, murder, kidnap, etc.), so I’d skip the meal entirely.
However, in the spirit of the question:
If I won a bet against a gazillionaire Packers fan about who was going to win this week with my prize being that I could ask for any meal on the planet, I’d probably ask for a Chicago style deep dish from Papa Del’s in Champaign. That would come with six-pack of Solid Gold American Lagers from Founders Brewing Company.
Patti Curl: 25 buffalo wings and a deep fried shovel.
Eat the buffalo wings. Eat the fried breading off the shovel. Dig my way out of prison to escape death.
Sam Householder: I think I’d go with something insane that I could never otherwise have, like Waygu or Kobe steak. For sides I’d go loaded waffle fries, chocolate cheesecake, and my wife’s German Chocolate Carmel Nut Bars.
Bill Zimmerman: I’ll take a cheese and sausage from Lou Malnati’s, a salted caramel shake from Oberweis, and for glutton’s sake, I’ll also take a cheeseburger and fries from Portillo’s. Plus, if I eat enough, I’ll get ill and they’ll put off my execution.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
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