John Drury's Dining In Chicago 1931
Date: December 16, 2013 01:15PM
With its forward by Carl Sandburg, Drury's (no, not THAT John Drury of TV fame!) book on chowing down in style in Chi is one of my favorite books. At the age of 29 he joined the Chicago Daily News as a reporter and covered "many gang murders" and later wrote "Old Chicago Houses"(a must for FC-ers), but here is a compendium of his favorite food spots. Sandburg writes "There are folks who get tired of home cooking, the deli, the kitchenette and wish for an evening of change...these citizens can enjoy reading about where to eat (in Drury's book) and there after converse more intelligently about such food establishments as have personality, savor and savior faire...he hammers home the evidence that cooking skill and kithcen science has drifted to Chicago from the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa and the archipelagoes of the seven seas (and that) Chicago is a place to stop for more than a sandwich and a "cuppa" coffee.". Drury lists over 300 spots, and I suppose only a handful are still there, the buildings still standing though "repurposed". On page 23, after lamenting the recently passed Volstead Act (Prohibition)but nonetheless giving lotsa ink to his favorite wines and cocktail recipes,he ventures forth describing "33 Gastronomical Locations for Epicures and Others" (would he have swooned at The Food Channel...but would he like to've been called a "foodie"?)starting with the Tip Top Inn high atop the Pullman Building,(b. 1883) that stood until 1955 at the SW corner of Michigan and Adams. "During its career the Tip Top has been the gathering-place of many of the first families of Chicago as well as of notables from the stage, opera and music world...Lillian Russell, Richard Mansfield...Fanny Butcher, literary editor of the Chicago Tribune..." Beg, borrow or download a copy of this gem! An original copy might set you back about $90,(mine is bound in a blue and white checked table cloth no kidding!)but think of it as a Christmas pressent to yourself.Imagine a time when Chicago had only one fancy Mexican restaurant!