Grilled Francheezies/Brickstone McCormick Place Everyday Ale/Deepspacepilots “Deepspacepilots”
Unless you are from Chicago or have been around here long enough, you’re probably scratching your head right about now thinking “what the hell is a ‘francheezie’?” Well friends, let us tell you. In the trinity of the classic Chicago Greek diner sandwiches, you’ve got the monte cristo, the French dip and then there is the francheezie; an all beef hot dog, stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and usually deep fried, although today we grill the sucker before it gets nestled in a soft bun with just a subtle stream of yellow mustard. Before there were such things as kids menus, this is what kids got when their parents went out to the corner coffee shop for lunch or dinner; and it tastes just as good (if not better) as a grown-up (we use that term loosely, by the way). Sticking with the Chicago theme on the beer front, we opt for a beer named after another Chicago icon, albeit a cavernous dark one, known mostly for hosting the Chicago Auto Show; McCormick Place. This Everyday Ale is a fairly new entry to the session beer category from Brickstone Brewing. For the tunes, how could we feature any other band BUT one from Chi-town? We couldn’t. We got our melodic doom on this evening with the self-titled release from the south suburban trio, Deepspacepilots.
Grilled Francheezies – Part of the fun of this recipe is using footlong dogs to really capitalize on the presentation piece. With a small sharp knife, carefully make a slit from top to bottom and carefully open it up without breaking it.
Next we’re going to take another classic Chicago ingredient, Merktz cheddar, and spoon the soft cheese into the reservoir in the hot dog.
The final step in the process is to bacon wrap this thing. Using thick sliced smoked bacon, we start at one end and tightly wrap the bacon around the hot dog, securing it with toothpicks every couple of inches or so.
Now it’s time to grill. Since the fatty bacon will be the first thing to hit the grill, we don’t need a ton of charcoal in the kettle for this one which will avoid huge flare-ups. The dogs go down over direct heat and we’ll turn often to ensure the bacon crisps up evenly.
All that’s left is to remove the toothpicks, place these in soft foot long potato buns and drizzle a little yellow mustard on top. As great as these are, they’re really a once a decade treat, as no one feels great after eating one of these fatty sodium bombs.
Brickstone McCormick Place Everyday Ale – You’ve got to hand it to this way south suburban brewery for their continued growth into the competitive Chicago market. They are doing it the right way. Embarking on a “tour” of sorts to start the year, they made it to a ton of Chicago area grocery stores to sample their product. One of their newest exports is this ambiguous everyday ale named after Chicago’s iconic McCormick Place. The beer pours cloudy yellow with a hoppier aroma than expected. Everyday Ale is actually a great name for this crisp, light refreshing slightly hoppy beer. It tastes like a hybrid between pale ale, Pilsner and cream ale and was the perfect companion to the good old-fashioned Francheezie.
Deepspacepilots “Deepspacepilots” – Chicago’s very own Deepspacepilots is one of the most underrated doom bands out there. Their blend of gut rattling bass and doomy riffage gets combined with some super melodic vocals that almost bring a chill vibe to the the otherwise dark record. The whole disc is ridiculously infectious and continues to be in our constant rotation. Songs like the album’s opener and best song “Holy Mountain”, “Everlasting” and “Bowels of the Beast” are instant doom classics.