On our journey to Ireland, Nicole and I took the Amtrak from St. Louis to Chicago. We left at 6:40 am and arrived in Chicago at 12:30 pm. We were starving and very thirsty by the time we arrived at Union Station in Chicago.
It was poor planning on our part. We didn’t pack any water for the train ride, because we both were anticipating the “no water allowed” rule for the airplane trip. And neither of us brought any cash on hand to buy anything on the food service cart. So we just suffered through thirst and hunger, and by the time we reached Chicago, we were ready to eat.
We slept most of the Amtrak trip, and we figured we would walk around until we found a place to eat in Chicago. There were bound to be restaurants around Union Station.
Luckily, Union Statin had lockers where we could leave our luggage. We rented a locker (the cost was $8 an hour with $18 being the maximum charge per day), and locked up our luggage. We rented the biggest size locker they had, and it was perfect for fitting our two medium-sized suitcases, and one smaller suicase. The lockers reminded me of Left Luggage stations in Europe, where you could pay a fee and your baggage/luggage could be kept locked up for a few hours while you went to explore the city.
We followed the flow of pedestrian traffic and crossed over a bridge. After two blocks, we noticed a variety of different restaurants. We wanted to eat something authentic to Chicago, so we went into Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza.
223 W. Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60606
(2-3 blocks from Union Station)
Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza
We were seated by a nice waitress with an Italian-sounding accent. We were both parched so we ordered our drinks right away. I was disappointed at the lack of ice in my Dr. Pepper. My drink was not very cold, and my waitress did not refill it until after I waved her down to get another drink. At this point, I realized the service was not wonderful.
Since we were in Chicago, both Nicole and I ordered the Chicago-style pizza. She ordered pepperoni, and I ordered the sausage. Because it was lunch, Giordano’s had a great lunch special – a 6″personal pizza, with your choice of salad or soup, and a drink for $10.
The pizza was warm and filling, and the crust was lovely. Not too hard and not too soft. It was just right. The pizza sauce was nice and tomatoey, but I could barely taste the sausage, and Nicole could barely taste the pepperoni. The delicious, melty cheese in the middle of the pizza oozed out and completely overwhelmed your taste buds. The meat was in the pizza, but on the bottom, and it was scant at best.
Nicole’s side was Minestrone Soup. She found it to be hearty, very flavorful -not too salty and seasoned well.
I had a Caesar salad, which I found to be refreshing and crisp. The Romaine lettuce was fresh, and I loved the flavor of the Caesar dressing.
Overall, we would give Giordano’s a 3 out of 5.
They offer a good lunch deal, but the wait staff and service was poor. They took our order, brought out our food, and pretty much forgot about us. It took a painfully long time for the waitress to bring out our check. She cleared our plates from the table and did not bring our check for probably another ten minutes. Also, don’t expect to get your drinks to get refilled in a timely manner. You will need to ask for drink refills.