Chicago Foodie Wish List: Which Regional Delicacies Need to Come to Our Fair City?

Chicago Foodie Wish List: Which Regional Delicacies Need to Come to Our Fair City?

We wanted Krispy Kreme, we got Krispy Kreme. We wanted Chick-Fil-A, we got that too. Everyone on every food blog ever for the last three years has been talking about food trucks, either pro or con. I couldn't care less. Truck us, don't truck us, whatever.

I'll tell you what we do need in Chicago, and that's goetta.

Goetta (pronounced "GETT-ah), if you're unfamiliar with it, is a sausage-esque breakfast meat (with pin oats and barley) that is popular in the greater Cincinnati area. They're so excited about goetta down in Cincy that there's even a Goettafest, if you haven't yet planned your 2012 summer vacation.

I first learned about goetta when I went down to Batesville, IN (home of the Batesville Casket Company and neighbor to beautiful Ballstown) to visit John's grandmother when we were dating (John and I were dating. Not me and his grandmother). The goetta was introduced to me as "grits," though they looked nothing like the southern grits that I had seen in classic movies like Fried Green Tomatoes and Sweet Home Alabama.

I was given a heaping plate of goetta, some toast, and a fried egg. I eyed the plate suspiciously as John and his grandma looked on. I watched them to see what to do. I sprinkled some salt around the plate, slathered some grape jelly on the toast, and piled the goetta on top of that. I scrunched up my nose and took a bite. And the sweet and salty and savory flavors hit my tongue and it. was. transcendent.

Now, John's family gets their "grits" from a little shop in Batesville, but you can buy goetta at all the local grocery stores in and around Cincinnati. I once asked my Chicago butcher (of German descent, just like goetta) if he knew how to make it. He had never even heard of it.

And so that's why I'm glad I have this blog. To bring awareness to the Great Depressing Chicago Goetta Drought. And to find out if any of you know where I can score some Chicago-style goetta. Or baring that, to give all the cutting-edge Chicago restaurants and gastropubs (gross) time to staring honing their goetta recipes. Because this is going to be the NEXT BIG THING.

Which other regional delicacy would you like to see brought to Chicago?

(Also, can we get a Timmy Ho's up in here?)


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  • How does every city in the world not have a Mark Pi's Express?

  • In reply to ceathair:

    "Mark Pi's" was John's immediate 2-word response to this post.

  • The Springfield, Illinois "horseshoe" should be made available up here in Chicago, so as to give visiting state representatives and wayward governors a chance to clog their arteries here and there.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I am unfamiliar with this "horseshoe." Tell me more.

  • Sure. The Springfield Horseshoe originated in the early 20th Century. Good thing, otherwise there would have been no Abraham Lincoln. Or at the very least, Lincoln would have looked like Douglas, only taller. You can read a bit about it here:

    One a lifetime is usually the limit.

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