What in the World is a Horseshoe, and Why Would I Want to Eat One?
On the occasion of Barack Obama announcing his presidential run outside of the old state capitol building in Springfield, Illinois, this past Saturday, the Chicago Tribune ran two articles, one on the significance of the building and another on the city's cuisine.
Of interest at the old state capitol, of course, is its Lincoln connection. This is where he served his one term in the state legislature 1840-41. It is also the site of his famous "House Divided" speech during the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. After his assassination in 1865, his body lay in state here before his burial in nearby Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Also, the Donner Party departed from here on their ill-fated trip to California in 1845. Equally sad, is the 1838 movement of 850 Pottawatomi Indians passed here on their Trail of Tears sojourn west.
The cuisine article discussed the wheeling and dealing of politics in various restaurants around town, and, of course, the very pinnacle of eating in Springfield, the mouthwatering, cholesterol-producing horseshoe sandwich. This is a taste treat you have to try at least once in your life. It consists of a piece of toasted bread covered with your choice of meat and that is covered in a cheese sauce with french fies. Now, doesn't that just get your saliva flowing?
One great place you can get your horseshoe fix is at the Sportsman's Lounge, north of downtown. They specialize in a grilled pork tenderloin horseshoe. There are two hospitals located almost within walking distance in case it is too much for you.
They didn't mention one of our favorite places to get a horseshoe, and where we had our very first one, was at Norb Andy's, about two blocks from the new capitol building. Lots of political wheelings and dealings went on here, as well as what many still consider as Springfield's best horseshoe. You dined and drank downstairs in this establishment, dating back to the 1850s. Unfortunately, it has been closed since this past summer. Hopefully, they'll reopen soon. I just gotta get my Norb fix.
Saputo's is famous for its Italian food and top-secret garlic sauce.
Also, Maid Rite is famous for their "Loose Meat" sandwiches. This is one of the nation's oldest chains, dating back to the 1920s. It is also allegedly the site of the nation's first drive-thru.
Nor did they mention another personal favorite, Cozy Dog, on old Route 66. You haven't lived until you try one of these corn dogs. They opened in Springfield shortly after WWII. Ed Waldemire first encountered corn dogs in Texas while stationed there. He came home and patented a way to make them. Nothing like a couple Cozy Dogs right out of the fryer and covered with mustard. And I'm not sure if I don't like their specially-made fries just as well. They have an extensive Route 66 library and you're invited to read while you're eating. Just don't accidentally bite your finger while doing so.
Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog
Mmmm - I'm hungry now...
Maidrites, eh? I didn't realize it was a chain! I've seen recipes for these in different cookbooks over the years.
It is lunchtime and I'm not waiting any longer -- I shall go make myself a chile dog! Bob