The Greasy Foodie

The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.

I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Greasy Foodie" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.

If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Billy Goat Tavern


430 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

From Best Burgers in America

A simple burgers, chips, and soda shop.  A old school, dimly lit, under the radar, immigrant owned burger shop.  A typical and normal story.  Every town has one.  But one town has the one that started it all.  The Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago.  A local, national, and international icon and landmark is all that can be said about this dark, hidden, burger paradise, tucked underneath the busiest street of the magnificent mile of Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  A must for both locals and tourist.  A burger dive that is famous for its food as well as its overwhelming historical influence on entertainment and sports.  So if you are ever in Chicago, maxing out your credit card on Michigan Avenue, and you are craving a great midday snack, head down the random stairs into the dark, damp, cold underworld of Chicago to a burger paradise steeped in amazing history!

This place is the origin of the curse of the Billy Goat on the Chicago Cubs. "The tavern is also known for its involvement in the Curse of the Billy Goat (also known as the "Cubs Curse"). Owner Sianis brought a pet goat, a tavern mascot, to Game 4 of the 1945 World Series, a home game at Wrigley Field against the Detroit Tigers. Despite paid-for box seat tickets, Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley allegedly ejected Sianis and goat due to the latter's odor. Supposedly, Sianis placed a curse on the team that they would not win another pennant or play in a World Series again."

This place is also the basis for a very famous Saturday Night Live skit.  "Another sign reads: "Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger. No Pepsi. Coke," These words, with Pepsi and Coke in reverse order, were originally spoken and immortalized by John Belushi in, "Olympia Cafe," an early Saturday Night Live sketch that was inspired by the tavern. Belushi said in an interview with Chicago radio icon Steve Dahl that he'd never set foot inside the Billy Goat. It was Bill Murray and sketch writer (and bit player) Don Novello who were the regulars at the Billy Goat."

But above all this place is famous for burgers. Cheeseburgers.  Specifically cheeseburgers only.  This place has a feeling of Wiener Circle.  The guys behind the counter yell at you for ordering wrong.  They have cheeseburgers (cheezborgers). Chips. And Coke.  Nothing else, nothign different.  The burgers are greasy, gooey, and incredible.  Its a institution, an experience, a land mark, and a cannot miss culinary and cultural experience in Chicago.

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