Hello again, fellow roadies! Here it is October and autumn. Are you missing the Route 66 road trips already? You shouldn’t be: road trips are still in season here and autumn color is plentiful on the northern part of the route, though not quite yet (no decent overnight chill yet to prompt the color change, darn it; but it’s coming). Never fear, we’ll keep you busy and entertained: it’s time for another installment of foodie fun on the route!
We do love history on this blog, and we see no reason food history shouldn’t be included. Lucky you: I’ve just researched the oldest known recipe that originated in Chicago. It’s more than 120 years old, and its history dates back to – wait for it – the 1893 Columbian Exposition, without which we wouldn’t have the lovely Classical style original Art Institute of Chicago building that stands right at the Gateway to Route 66 at Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue. The great Chicago architect Daniel Burnham was, of course, director of construction and the man most responsible for organizing that world’s fair and getting it built, and he chose the architects of that building – Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, the successors of Boston architect H.H. Richardson.
Why do we mention that? Well, you could call this Six Degrees of Daniel Burnham: there are so many things in Chicago that tie directly or indirectly to Burnham and/or to the buildings he designed – several of which are at or very near the Gateway to Route 66 – that even though he had no hand in designing some of them, he can still be tied to them. And, through him and his buildings, to Route 66 because of its starting point at Jackson and Michigan. Which brings us to restaurateur Henri de Jonghe and his famous shrimp.