We Visit A Chicago Restaurant That Transforms French Fries And Shakes Into Fine Dining

Nowadays, people think about traveling and eating in much the same way they do about watching movies and TV, listening to music, and reading: They do so obsessively, exhaustively, and with lots of input from the internet. We launched our first travel show, Pop Pilgrims, a few years ago, and we've been Taste Testing food forever. Today we're launching a new video series focused on food, this one a bit more ambitious: The Hi-Lo Food Show features acclaimed chef Erik Anderson (a Food & Wine Best New Chef, founding chef of Nashville's The Catbird Seat, and chef-owner of the forthcoming Brut in Minneapolis) along with me, the editor-in-chief of this website and a semi-professional eater. Here's the simple concept: We visit a city and eat at two restaurants, one very expensive and one very cheap, but each highly recommended by professionals and by our local friends. We'll speak to the high-end chefs about their cuisine and vision, and we'll talk to each other about the food. (That'll be mostly me asking Erik questions.) For this first series, we visited three cities, which will roll out over the next three weeks. First up, Chicago's El Ideas, which is a fascinating little place in the out-of-the-way Douglas Park neighborhood. Chef Phillip Foss went from high-end jobs to a cheeky food truck (Meatyballs) and back to high end with El, where the open kitchen allows diners to see intricate, playful dishes prepared—and they're served by the chefs as well. Tomorrow, we stop at Jim's Original for an unparalleled Polish sausage.