Pigskin Pursuit

An eight year odyssey across the backroads of America during the ultimate College Football roadtrip.

Tag: Notre Dame 2009

….And Our Hearts Forever Love Thee Notre Dame

Attempting to describe a football weekend at Notre Dame is an impossible task for me.If you could go to only one college football game in your life, it should be viewed within the historic brick walls of the House that Rock Built.Notre Dame is a transcendent experience simply beyond description.

Instead I will defer to the great Lou Holtz.

“If you’ve been here, no explanation is necessary. If you haven’t been, no explanation will suffice.”

The Main Building (Golden Dome)

 

The side door to the Basilica. Pay special note to the inscription above the door.

Inside the Basilica.

The Grotto.

Hesburgh Library (Touchdown Jesus)

Notre Dame Stadium

 

Final Score: Notre Dame 20 BostonCollege 16

Go Irish!!!

It was great spending the weekend with old friends; Bryce (thank you for scrounging up tickets), Tim, Nebo and Nebo Sr.

Special thanks to both Andrew and Julia for putting us up at their place, and hosting an impressive tailgate despite the weather!

 

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Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs…

I consider myself a purveyor of the finer things in life.BBQ, hot dogs, giant sandwiches, epic burritos and of course Meatball Subs.At its essence the meatball sub is a rather simple creation: spiced ground meat, marinara sauce, cheese and good hearty bread.But there is a subtlety to this art, a subtlety which seems to elude the entire state of Texas. Frustratingly, I haven’t been able to find a serviceable meatball sub in almost three years here, lest you count a limp, soggy sub roll with “meatballs” that just rolled off the Sysco truck.

Given this absence of acceptable meat spheres in a state sorely lacking enough Italian heritage, I was primed for my visit back to South Bend for one of the best meatball subs on the planet at Polito’s restaurant.

Whether you call it a hero, hoagie, grinder or sub, this sandwich at Polito’s is a genuine work of art.It’s the perfect blend of spiced homemade meatballs, gooey mozzarella and hearty marinara sauce.What truly sets Polito’s apart, however, is their bread.They have thicker almost pizza-like bread that has a good firm bite to it.Most importantly, the bread maintains its structural integrity despite being stuffed with enough meat, cheese and sauce to choke an alligator.

These gifts from the Italian gods were a staple of my diet in South Bend, and it’s no mystery why they are an integral part of my annual pilgrimage back to Notre Dame each year.

http://www.politosny.com/

http://www.politosny.com/menu.html

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Fat Willy’s Rib Shack

As you can guess, there’s no shortage of intestinal challenges in the city of Chicago, and if you share the same zest for gluttony and greasy gastronomy that I do, than you relish any visit to the city of corpulence. Sunday before the flight home was our chance to indulge.

After a quick inquiry to my resident townie friend and aspiring mustachio Bill, he laid out a handful of enticing options to challenge the heftiest of appetites. Unfortunately, two of those delightful temptations were closed on Sunday.Were I still living in Utah, I might expect these kind of primitive hours but in Chicago this goes over about as well as a Bears passing game.

The two closed options were:

Mr. Beef: Which requires little explanation other than the fact that it’s called Mr. Beef, and they specialize in Italian beef sandwiches.I salute their no nonsense approach.

Hot Dougs:Which had me at “Encased Meat Emporium”.Suffice to say, Hot Doug’s specializes in serving various types of hot dogs, sausage, and brats.They also give these treats some rather entertaining names, and can even be served up with a special side of “Duck Fat Fries” (French fries deep fried in duck fat).It may be worthy of a return visit for those fries alone.

I think my personal favorite from the menu was the:

The Frankie “Five Angels” Pentangeli

(formerly The Virgil “the Turk” Sollozzo and the Luca Brasi)

Italian Sausage: Keep your friends close, your sausage closer.

http://www.hotdougs.com/

http://www.hotdougs.com/menu.htm

Be sure to listen to the Hot Doug’s rock song as well, and consider adding it to your workout shuffle.

http://www.hotdougs.com/songs/rockmix.mp3
Ultimately, we settled on a third and equally tempting option, Fat Willy’s Rib Shack.And while I had some initial reservations about getting BBQ outside of Texas, my anxiety was soon relieved when I noticed a rather hefty woodpile stacked up out front.

On Bill’s recommendation, all three of us promptly ordered up the pulled pork sandwich, and I snickered amusingly after the waiter asked me if I wanted the full or half sandwich.The brawny sandwiches arrived a few minutes later much to the delight of our awaiting appetites.In addition to being a moist pulled pork sandwich, it was topped with a unique vinegar garlic coleslaw, while the huge pile of meat invited a sampling of Fat Willy’s homemade sauces.

The sandwich was so good, in fact, that I nary had a chance to take a picture of it before I had nearly torn through the entire thing.What you see are the sad remnants of soon to be finished Fat Willy’s pulled pork sandwich of satisfaction.

http://www.fatwillys.com/

http://www.fatwillys.com/greymenu908.pdf

Special thanks to Bill and Rachel for hosting us for the afternoon, and Henry Jr. for the enthusiastic entertainment.

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