Real chowder is cream based and the best New England clam chowder is hotly debated.
So I won’t proclaim Mrs. O’Leary’s “the best”, but I will say along with Friendly’s (of all places), it’s an excellent chowder.
Where does one get Mrs. O’Leary’s? At Pizzaria Uno.
Of course, the story is bullcrap but the soup is the fishizzle. In 1871 if one wanted clams they had to live near a large saltwater source. Chicago is about as far, especially in 1871 distances, from either coast as you can get. So I doubt Mrs. O’Leary ever made or ate chowder, but I salute Uno’s for stealing her name for the soup.
It’s creamy, but not too heavy, and the clam bits are big, juicy and tender. It’s not too salty and like many good chowders, it’s flavor is enhanced by a tiny shot of Tabasco and I recommend you add one.
As an aside, one time I went to the original Pizzaria Uno in Chicago. It was an hour wait. I left and went somewhere else. But I hardly thought I could visit Chicago (a fantastic city, by the way) and not pay homage to the birthplace of deep dish pizza.
As the entire notion of deep dish pizza offends me on most levels, going there was a bit like stopping by Stalin’s birthplace on a wing through the former Soviet Union.
Neapolitan is where it’s at. New York style pizza, if you will.
But I digress…next time you have a hankering for good chowder, hit Pizzaria Uno.