* From an e-mail…
Dear Mr. Rich Miller,
I’m working on a project and wondering if I might ask you for some assistance. I’m a student research assistant working with Peter Ubertaccio, PhD, a professor of politics at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. Prof. Ubertaccio may have already reached out to you several weeks ago, but we wanted to send our request along again in case that initial email got lost in the shuffle. The project is at the intersection of political and food culture. At the moment, we are putting together a comprehensive list of the “must go-to” food establishments and events for politicians in each state.
I wonder if you have any thoughts on the food establishments (restaurants/diners) or events (annual dinners/festivals/fairs) that a candidate for political office in Illinois must attend? Not a place to just be seen, but an authentic stop for both good regional cuisine and to meet ordinary voters.
Any thoughts or advice will be greatly appreciated.
Three restaurants spring immediately to mind. 17th Street Barbecue in southern Illinois, which was called “Illinois’ true barbecue mecca” by the Tribune, is a regular stop for campaigners. In Chicago, Manny’s Deli is a must-visit. The restaurant is celebrating its 75th anniversary. I also think Valois, on the city’s South Side, should be included.
There are almost too many festivals, fairs and annual dinners to even count.
* The Question: What are some food establishments (restaurants/diners) or events (annual dinners/festivals/fairs) that a candidate for political office in Illinois must attend?
Keep in mind this question is not about the best restaurant to find local political insiders. And please explain your choices and identify the locations.