Welcome to the Urban Culture course at Avila University created by Susan Lawlor and Dotty Hamilton.  We travel with our students to great cities to explore art museums, engage with the architecture, study the local film and music venues, and experience the ethnic enclaves as a way to learn about the culture of urban spaces and the interaction of art and environment.  It's a fun, intense learning environment.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chicago food tour

Here's what a classic Chicago hot dog looks like - at American Hot Dogs.  The Tastebud Food Tour was like eating your way through history - learning about Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, prohibition, Al Capone's soup kitchens, the invention of the brownie, the World's Fair and much more. Our guide Jennifer was entertaining and informative.


  1. The tastebud food tour was a memorable trip for me. Taking a tour of the places in Chicago while being able to taste the foods that were offer to us was a great experience to me. The foods that we ate during the tour were delicious, I specially enjoyed the deep dish pizza. with the crunchy crust. Also, the information about the foods we ate was a good thing to know. After tasting such delicious foods and knowing history behind the foods. I now have a better understanding of Chicago food culture.

    Michelle Smith

  2. I loved the food tour. I actually preferred the deep dish pizza that I got at Giordano's the first night we got into town, but the pizza from Paisano's was still delicious. My favorite part was the Chicago-style hot dog. I did not expect to like the onions and relish, but I left them on and it was a great flavor combination with all of the other ingredients. The food tour was important because many people talk about food when they return from Chicago. It was a great way to incorporate a little history (the original brownie and the original deep dish pizza) while getting to sample the delicious foods that everyone talks about.

  3. This food tour was one of my favorite things that we did. The whole trip was amazing, but i felt like this food tour was something I enjoyed even more than I thought I would. I found myself being surprised at liking the hot dog that we had. I do not like pickles or mustard, but for some reason I really liked the hot dog and ate it with everything on it. I thought it was really cool how we walked around and heard many facts about Chicago. I felt like it was a really good way to see Chicago as well as taste some of the special places in the city. When I heard we were going to some of the places we had already toured, I expected to be bored with the tour. I was very surprised that our tour guide told us different and interesting facts about every place we went to, even if we had already been there. I felt like this experience really opened me up to the Chicago culture and I really enjoyed it. - Lauren Stuteville

  4. Before the trip, I didn't think that I would enjoy the food tour as much as I did. The part that surprised me the most was how much history played into the food choices, and the amount of historical knowledge the tour guide was able to share with us. Like, getting to eat the brownie was cool, and getting to learn how the brownie was invented was even cooler, but learning about Bertha Palmer and the Palmer House and its history of being rebuilt was what really sparked my interest and stuck with me after the tour. Even the foods that I didn't think I'd like were pretty good, and now I have a number of food options I can suggest for anyone during their travels to Chicago!
    -Jacob Sutherland

  5. I absolutely enjoyed the food tour because not only did we get an opportunity to try Chicago's best, but we also got a tour and history run down of each place. During the tour I learned a lot about Chicago and what makes Chicago so unique. Their tour was rich in stories that served a purpose to the tour and the food we ate. I thought the food was perfect especially the Chicago style hot dog. I never thought of making a hot dog the way they do with the peppers, pickles, tomatoes, and onion. It had so much flavor and the story behind it only made it more rewarding to eat. I will now be trying to replicate the same method of making a hot dog, because with those ingredients there is no need for mustard and ketchup. The piece of history that I found most interesting was the one about how the brownie came to be. It's a funny story and I couldn't be more thankful that it occurred, because I love my brownies. When I get the chance again to visit Chicago I will definitely buy myself the original brownie.
    -Atenas Ramos