We're not talking an extra glass of wine at dinner or a foot-long sub at lunch. Every once in a while, celebrate calories and carbs, when a guilty conscience doesn't come in between you and your meal. In honor of 1st Look's "pure indulgence" episode, airing this Saturday after "Saturday Night Live," we're bringing you some of the guiltiest foodie pleasures from around the country.
108 East Superior / Near North Side
This Windy City Hotel is renowned for its elegance, but its tendency to allow guests to indulge might become its new calling card. Especially with Chef Kai Lermen's "Chocolate at The Pen", the premier chocolate bar in Chicago. Guests are treated to a veritable buffet of different chocolate-themed bites, including opera cake, moelleux raspberry compote, coffee tart, tapioca, pecan tart, tiramisu, pot de creme, cake feuilletine, and truffles.
860 N. Orleans St / River West
This casual dining experience offers an interesting mashup of high- and low-brow dining elements, specifically in their foie gras french fries! A favorite of Guy Fieri's, this is definitely a sleeve of chips you'll want to visit again, even if you might need to move up a pant size.
2 Park Avenue / Murray Hill
Ah, the French and their cheese. Arguably embracing the art of stinky richness more than any other culture, Artisanal Bistro in Murray Hill is taking things a step further. Forget Kraft Singles, chef-proprietor Terrance Brennan is serving up a black truffle mac-n-cheese. Combining brie, mushrooms, and everyone's favorite fungus, this sandwich may call for a Tic Tac or two, especially if you're bringing your significant other.
909 West Beech Street / Long Beach
Please check all vegetarianism at the door, as salads do NOT count as a side at Swingbelly's in Long Beach. In completion of the Swingbelly's Challenge, a patron has their meal paid for, receives a complimentary t-shirt, and gets his face framed on the wall of fame. All one must do is eat a quarter pound of pulled pork and beef brisket, four wings, three rib tips, a full slab or ribs, two sides, and cornbread. And, I repeat, salad does not count as a side.
1990 M Street / West End
Depending on who you talk to, sweetbreads may or may not be a good thing. However, if you've planted your tent in the camp that has no problem laying this savory spread on your meals, then you need to head down to Vidalia. Here, Chef Jeffrey Buben has introduced sweetbreads and waffles. You can get your chicken fried veal sweetbreads, asparagus, waffles, bacon fondue, and lemon caper veal jus to boot.
1850 N. Vermont Ave / Hollywood
Everyone loves diner food. It's one of the staples in the history of American cuisine, even if the items on the menu don't coincide with a strict diet. At Fred 62, they embrace this lack of health consciousness and concentrate on making sure that your desire for indulgence is satisfied. For proof, look no further than their huge Mac Daddy & Cheese Balls made of deep fried mac and cheese with spicy breadcrumbs.
Published at 5:17 PM CDT on May 9, 2012