In terms of native South Floridians, you could probably count them on one hand. Barely anyone is from here, the rest of us come from frigid northern climes on the eastern seaboard or middle of the country.
While South Florida is mostly recognized as being the sixth borough of due to the huge number of ex-New Yorkers, we have a strong population of midwesterners, as well, with tons of Chicagoans.
Whether you hail from the Windy City originally, or your just like its world famous fare, we have five places to a taste of the windy city.
Giovanni's Pizza & Restaurant, for the Deep Dish
When it comes to American pizza, there are warring factions between the thin-crust New Yorkers and the deep dish midwest. Regardless of where you stand on the battle lines, if you're looking to try some deep dish, try this place. In addition to the regular thin crust and other options like chicken fingers, you'll find deep dish and stuffed pizza with any topping to your little heart's desire.
Giovanni's Pizza & Restaurant is located at 6291 W. Sample Road in Coral Springs. Call 954-755-0011.
Hot Dog Heaven, for the Hot Dogs
Just like the pizza thing, when it comes to hot dogs, New Yorkers and Chicagoans will argue away the merits of their city's hot dogs. Again, we'll eat just about anything, but when we're in the mood for a Chicago-style dog, we come here. It serves up pure beef Vienna dogs cradled in soft and steamy poppy seed buns yellow mustard, sweet and tangy green relish, fresh chopped onion, sweet tomato wedges, a crisp half sour pickle spear, a dash of celery salt, and a couple of spicy sport peppers to spice it up a notch. There's just no denying that this is one of the best dogs around -- regardless of your native land.
Hot Dog Heaven is located at 101 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-523-7100, or visit hotdogheaven.infinology.net.
Fat Lou's for Italian Beef
Chicago might be known to outsiders as the land of deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, but to Chicagoans, it's really all about the Italian beef -- and probably not the one you're thinking of, perv. If you're looking to deep-throat a genuine Chicago beef, this would be your spot. This places serves up Italian-seasoning marinated slow roasted beef thinly sliced on fresh Italian bread with sweet or hot peppers (a.k.a. giardiniera) all for just $7.50.
Fat Lou's is located in 1040 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd. in Hallandale. Call 954-458-3787, or visit fatlous.com.
Capone's Flicker Lite, for the Fans
Every team has its local bar. When it comes to Chicago teams and memorabilia, this would be the place for those indigenous to the Windy City. Whether its the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs, the Blackhawks, or whatever else, if you want to watch it with midwestern compatriots, you'll be welcomed with open arms here; and you can get down on some deep dish and other favorites of your native fare.
Capone's Flicker Lite is located at 1014 N. Ocean Drive in Hollywood. Call 954-922-4232, or visit flickerlite.com.
Doris Italian Market & Bakery for the Giadiniera
If ever there was a food item that would bridge the deep seated divides between New York and Chicago -- or anywhere else for that matter -- it would be hot giardiniera. This blend of spicy pickled peppers is a beautiful topping for just about anything: Italian beef, hot dogs, egg sandwiches, whatever. After scouring the area for the hot preserved delight, we found that Doris has the best in the area, hands down. If you haven't tried it, you'll thank us later on.
Doris Italian Market has various locations. Visit dorismarket.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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