#ThursdayDoors: Cloud Gates and Pierogies

I wish I could say that I start each new vacation looking forward to expanding my horizons, meeting new people, riding a zip line through the jungle, or even joining an archeological dig.

The Cloud Gate in Millenium Park – if you could find the “gate” where do you think it would lead?

But alas, I’m a person ruled by my taste buds and not my head. Before even heading for the airport, I’m thinking of all the food adventures awaiting me. You might deduce that I’m some sort of a foodie interested in haute cuisine.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.

From the original doors

I’d rather have Potato Pierogies and Gedadschde at a place like Berghoffs  (above) than nibble on an elegantly presented morsel of steak tartare served on ginger-roasted sea urchins. Berghoff’s Grill, one of the oldest in Chicago, is the sort of place where they don’t make you feel like old Aunt Nellie who lives on fried spam and canned peas if you ask about the ingredients. The matronly waitresses call you “honey” and it’s assumed you want a beer to go with that humongous Bavarian pretzel hanging in the middle of the table for sharing and dipping.

My favorite eatery in Washington DC is also a “grill:”  The Old Ebbitts Grill.Aside from its long list of famous regulars, this establishment (which claims to be Washington’s Oldest “Saloon”)  is famous for its decor. the game heads hanging on the walls were supposedly bagged by Teddy Roosevelt.

The Cabinet Room is famous for its collection of  paintings of tropical birds by Robin Hill.  However, it’s used primarily for private parties and thus we were unable to get a peak inside.

How about you – are you a pierogie or tartare sort of traveler?

Check out other doors at Norm’s place.



43 thoughts on “#ThursdayDoors: Cloud Gates and Pierogies

  1. I was just in Chicago a couple of weeks ago for a very short visit. I didn’t hav pieroghis, but a good selection of beer. I have been to Ebbits, a long time ago – BD – Before Doors. I need to put that back on the list.

    1. My husband kept trying to order a margarita in Chicago and got some disgruntled looks. I kept reminding him that Chi-Town is beer country! Ebbits is a great place (and not too $$$) but it’s so dark and packed with people that it’s hard to get a good picture.

  2. Hi Jan,

    Nice post, brought to mind the old Menger hotel in San Antonio. TR did recruitment for the Rough Riders from the bar. Hotel opened in 1859 as companion to the Menger brewery, both located on the grounds of the Alamo fort. The restaurant is throwback to the 1880’s with meat-centric menu. Thanks. Duke

    1. Thanks Duke. The fun thing about these old grills is you can imagine what might have happened within the walls. Lots of ghosts and whispers. The Alamo is one of the saddest places I’ve been – especially the chapel.

  3. People travel for different reasons, and yours are just as valid as mind:):)
    In the country I grew up in (Holland) one is trained to be sober in one’s taste buds.Of course traveling ruined that lofty goal, but my art gene guides me to spend most of my time and energy (not to forget $$!) on museums and significant buildings and places in nature.

      1. Haha, not the last thing, but I wonder if it had to do with the whole life style of W-and North Eur that sober is better than extravagant …

  4. I do prefer the “one of” establishments, that have a long history and not a cookie-cutter kind of place. I’m perogie, but hubby is golden arches. Unless a friend wants to get together for a bite, I rarely see the inside of a “normal” restaurant.

    As regards the pretzel, yes, please. Assume away!

    1. We don’t eat out that often either which is one of the reasons I look forward to traveling. Regarding the pretzel, I was really looking more forward to the dipping sauces. They sounded great.

    1. I think we were there early on a Thursday night and boy was that place crowded! But the way the booths were set up it also had a cozy and intimate feel. Definitely a must see for tourists!

  5. I’ll have the pierogies too but can you make mine with sauerkraut instead of potato? Wit bacon bits and extra sour cream please.
    I’ve grown to appreciate some haute cuisine over the years thanks to my wife’s positive influence but good fresh ingredients, properly prepared, don’t have to be fancy to be both delicious and fulfilling 🙂

    1. That does sound good. My husband is more adventurous food wise than me, I must admit. We went to “sustainable” and “organic” place where they couldn’t even explain what the ingredients were – some strange mushroom-like things that grew only in the Chesapeake. And the portions were ridiculously small.

  6. Food does not share quite the same status as viewing historical sights, but it is gaining in importance. Who am I kidding, we have planned entire road trips around food! Giordano’s for deep dish pizza is my favorite in Chicago. Love the Bean!

    1. Interesting point about road trips – we used to drive to San Diego every Christmas (from the SF Bay Area) because we had a few favorite eateries we liked to stop at. When they closed, we took to flying instead. If you can’t enjoy good food during a long road trip, forget it!

  7. I like food – simple or haute cuisine – it’s all great as long as it’s tasty and well-made. When we travel, our budget is focused on doing things rather than fine eating.

    On our first trip to Paris years ago, we survived several days on just baguettes and chunks of cheese from the local grocery store – we didn’t have the budget to eat out. That’s the stuff of great memories – not the overpriced, mediocre meals we ate later on a subsequent trip.

  8. Pierogies are like a second food source to Ohio people in the north from Cleveland. We used to love smoked sausage sliced in rounds, grilled in butter with onions with pierogies. Yummy and filling. I accidentally got steak tartare by ordering some kind of prime beef which was raw! July, with family who mostly thought it would be cooked, Jan. It didn’t say tartare. . .
    I liked the first Berghoff doors with stained glass and little surprise grapes and goblet. The last photo of the Cabinet doors with glass windows and statues was great!

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