Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chicago food = Ambrosia

I found a little restaurant not too far from home. It’s a place I’d been meaning to try, but was hesitant to actually go to simply because it was supposed to sell Chicago hot dogs. Now, I love Chicago hot dogs. The problem is that I live in Omaha, Nebraska and am very finicky about certain foods. Both of my parents were raised in Chicago’s south side and I’ve been there plenty of times. Used to live in Chicago as a kid, so I know my Chicago staples.

Now, I addressed the whole pizza issue in the first SKINNERS. The Chicago pizza I know is the same as the Chicago pizza my parents and grandparents know. The consensus from damn near every Chicago native I know is that real Chicago pizza is thin crust, spicy Italian sausage and little puddles of grease scattered on top. Sounds gross to health nuts, but TOUGH. That’s Chicago pizza! Not this super-thick stuff that’s passed off to the tourists. Can you get pan pizza in Chicago? Sure. It’s really good. But that’s pan style pizza. Chicago Style = thin crust, spicy sausage (maybe even pepperoni) and grease. End of story.

As far as hot dogs, it goes like this: poppy seed bun, pickle spears, tomato wedges, relish, hot peppers, mustard, NO ketchup and VIENNA beef. That last part is important. I didn’t make the rules. Any hot dog joint or vendor in Chicago proudly displays their Vienna Beef sign on a wall or logo on their apron. That’s just the way it is.

So I go into this restaurant down the street, hoping for the best but expecting a regular hot dog and a bonus slice of pan pizza. What did I get? Poppy seed bun, pickles, peppers, mustard, Vienna beef, and a big sign on the menu saying NO KETCHUP on the Chicago style hot dog. Bless you folks. This place is awesome!! They do it right 100%. Now, all I need is a White Castle and a Jack in the Box around here and I’ll never have to leave. That’s because I’d be too fat to get through the door or into a normal car, but still. . .

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.