Ed Giles and his wife Veronica wanted to bring the flavor of the Windy City to the streets of downtown Druid City, and opened a restaurant to do just that, adding to an already list of non-Southern eateries in Tuscaloosa. Their restaurant, appropriately called Taste of Chicago, opened in December on Greensboro Avenue.
Taste of Chicago is about staying true to the inner-city Chicago essence. Giles grew up in Washington Park and said at his restaurant, “you’re getting street food just like you’d get from corner vendors.”
Staffed with workers sporting Bears’ jerseys, the restaurant is set up as a take-out service with no dine-in tables but does offer outdoor seating.
The restaurant’s menu offers an array of different foods for both hot dog lovers and sandwich-lovers alike.
“The hot dogs are shipped fresh from Chicago,” Giles said.
Giles has created a hot dog especially for Tuscaloosa called the T-Town Fire Polish, made from 100 percent Vienna beef and spicy polish.
For those who prefer sandwiches, Giles said you won’t find a better Philly cheese steak in the Tuscaloosa area, claiming it’s the “best cheese steak on the planet.”
Taste of Chicago always offers the classic Chicago dog, of course. As Giles said, for it to be authentic, the dog must have a poppy seed bun, be topped with mustard, onion, relish, tomatoes, spear pickles, peppers and then be sprinkled with celery salt. And just as Chicagoans will not put ketchup on their hot dogs, neither will Giles and his staff.
Luckily for most college students, most items on the menu are between $4 to $7.
Giles’ wife Veronica said the restaurant will take you to Chicago, whether you’ve been before or not.
“If you’re from Chicago, it will take you back home to the Chicago tastes, and if you’ve never been, it will transport you there – for the fraction of the price a plane ticket would cost.”
The restaurant is open Saturday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and welcomes call-in orders.
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