Food & Drink

Screw you PETA, here are Chicago's most gloriously meaty dishes

Published On 01/20/2014 Published On 01/20/2014
Chicago meat
Sean Cooley

PETA is the worst, for so many reasons -- but this week's? They put an attack billboard literally across the street from revered butcher shop and restaurant Publican Quality Meats. It’s bad enough to make you wanna thaw out next Thanksgiving’s turducken right now.

Publican Quality Meats

See? The worst, right? Well, thanks to the bleeding hearts at PETA, we've set out to conquer even MORE meat, in more creative ways, beginning with these eight ridiculously meat-filled meals.

Cassandra Stadnicki

CHARCUTERIE PLATE at PUBLICAN QUALITY MEATS (click here for address and deets)
West Loop
What's PETA billboard-worthy: Starting at the source of the billboard beef, PQM goes to great lengths (by using free-range animals that have natural diets without steroids or antibiotics and are slaughtered humanely) to put out their range of amazing meats. The standout is their daily, rotating charcuterie plate featuring cured meat, rillettes, and pâté.

Paddy Long's

BACON BOMB at PADDY LONG'S (click here for address and deets)
What's PETA billboard-worthy: The word bacon appears on Paddy Long’s menu 42 times. The 5lb Bacon Bomb has a nucleus of beef and pork sausage with cracked pepper-bacon that’s then wrapped in weaved-bacon and rubbed with brown sugar before grilling. If you can’t handle an entire Bomb, you can also get a nice wedge of it in sandwich form.

Sean Cooley

CRUSTLESS PIZZA at LOU MALNATI'S (click here for address and deets)
Multiple locations
What's PETA billboard-worthy: A hidden, meaty menu option, Lou’s Crustless Pie actually does have a crust: the deep dish buttercrust has just been replaced with a base made of sausage. The crust… is made… of sausage. Top it with pepperoni or double-down on the sausage.


ANIMAL SERVICE at FRONTIER (click here for address and deets)
West Town
What's PETA billboard-worthy: Frontier could film a sequel to the very popular Matt Damon movie, called We Bought a Zoo 2: We Ate the Zoo. From llamas, lambs and gators to wild boar and suckling pig, the Big Game eatery will leave you sufficiently stuffed and taking home whatever carrion is left.


FRIED BOLOGNA SANDWICH at AU CHEVAL (click here for address and deets)
West Loop
What's PETA billboard-worthy:  We could have just as easily placed Au Cheval’s top-tier bacon cheeseburger on here, but its Bologna Sandwich fresh off the flattop holds a special place in our arteries for its piled-high, house-cured mortadella. The brioche bun and melted cheese help to make the bologna sandwich a real meal and not borderline prison food.


FOIE GRAS SAUSAGE at HOT DOUG'S (click here for address and deets)
What's PETA billboard-worthy: Back in 2006 when foie gras was outlawed, only outlaws would have foie gras. Even in the face of the city's ban (which ended in '08) Hot Doug’s is always a supporter of delicious, fatty, duck liver, offering a foie gras & Sauternes duck sausage with truffle aioli. Lining up on a Friday or Saturday will net you a bonus side of duck-fat fries.


THREE LITTLE PIGGY SANDWICH at THE SILVER PALM (click here for address and deets)
West Town
What's PETA billboard-worthy: Well, we now know how The Three Little Pigs fable ends; it turns out YOU were the wolf the whole time, knocking down houses and howling as you dove into this multi-meat sandwich packed with double-smoked ham, pork tenderloin, AND bacon, topped with Gruyere cheese and a fried egg (available when the dining car restaurant re-opens in April).

Clayton Hauck

WILD BOAR SLOPPY JOE at LONGMAN & EAGLE (click here for address and deets)
Logan Square
What's PETA billboard-worthy: The manliest of manwiches is a top-choice at Longman’s modern inn. It features a heap of finely ground wild boar in Sloppy Joe seasoning, topped with crispy onions and pickled jalapenos with a side of beef-fat fries.

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1. Publican Quality Meats 825 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)

Publican Quality Meats is something of a triple threat: equal parts butcher shop, café, and speciality grocery store, it features an awe-inspiring selection of sausages and cured charcuterie meats, served individually from the butcher case or in sandwiches made with house-baked bread. The lunch menu is often changing, but the Parm #2 features a beautifully crisp chicken cutlet nestled into a brioche bun, while the sausage plate lets you sample three of the house-made specialities with sauerkraut and breadcrumbs. A breakfast menu includes ham and egg biscuit sandwiches and a pork belly breakfast burrito, though if you're in the mood for something less savory, there are pastries and coffee, too.

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2. Paddy Long's 1028 W Diversey, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Paddy Long's has acquired numerous varieties of Bourbon County Stout for your barrel-aged beer drinking pleasure (which has led to your pleasing barrel shape), tapping this year and last year's original vintages along with variants like vanilla, coffee, and the recently released cherry rye.

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3. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria 439 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610

With more than 40 locations across the greater Chicago area, Lou Malnati's is synonymous with deep-dish pizza, not least because of its signature buttery and pie-like crust, exclusive sausage blend, and mozzarella that's been sourced from the same Wisconsin dairy farm for more than 40 years. According to pizza lore, Lou's dad probably invented deep-dish pizza and even if he didn't, the chain's reliable pan pies are pretty close to what the original deep-dish tasted like.

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4. Frontier 1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

It may not be the final frontier, but with ice-taps pouring 16 traditional and seasonal brews, a meat heavy menu featuring specialty sausages, steaks, and "Animal Service", flat screen TVs, and a beer garden, you won't need to explore any further. Allied: Ready yourself for Animal Service with some Smith & Forge, the hard cider that's built strong -- built from Apples and built to Refresh.

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5. Au Cheval 800 W Randolph, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)

This upscale West Loop restaurant is known for its European flair and sophisticated American diner-style eats. Au Cheval usually has a wait out the door at peak dinner hours because it's home to iconic signature items like the fried house-made bologna sandwich and the so-called single burger, which actually comes with two thin patties and is topped with American cheese, house Dijonnaise, pickles, and if you know what's good for you, the optional bacon and fried egg add-ons. The brasserie-like space includes an open kitchen and a bar where local, domestic, and international beers are all on tap.

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6. Hot Doug's 3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Billing itself as an "encased meat emporium", Hot Doug's is a temple of Chicago-style char-dogs.

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7. Longman & Eagle 2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Longman & Eagle, the Michelin-starred gastropub in Logan Square, has an exclusive whiskey selection (clocking in at over 400 labels), a craft cocktail menu, and an extensive beer list all fit for the most pretentious of drinkers, in the least pretentious of atmospheres. Longman takes a flavor-forward, honest approach to eating and drinking, and because it doesn’t accept reservations, there is always a wait for brunch, happy hour, and dinner alike. (And it is always worth it.) While whiskey may be king, the regional American fare has just as much to offer, hence the Michelin star. The menu changes often, but expect anything from beef tallow beignets and veal brains to wild boar sloppy joes, chicken and waffles, and a burger that, if you know what's good for you, you will order.

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8. Silver Palm 768 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (River North)

This American bar/eatery is serving up some of the most decadent meat dishes in all of River West. Head there and dive into Silver Palm's Three Little Piggy sandwich (Anthony Bourdain deemed the railway-car-turned-diner's gut-busting sandwich "the greatest sandwich in America"), and wash it down with some stellar brew.