Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chicago: Let's Eat

Avery and I spent a fantastic November weekend in Chicago. We celebrated my stepdad’s birthday. Visited my brother, Mike. Saw a Bob Dylan concert. And enjoyed Sunday Funday watching football with our fantasy league. But most of all, we ate. Lots and lots of delicious food.

We landed in Chicago around 10pm Friday and started our search for a late-night kitchen. We found ourselves at Longman & Eagle. And boy, was that a great decision. I really enjoy fresh, farm-to-table restaurants, but this one was different. The menu was more adventurous. We started off ordering some cocktails and olives. Followed by a shared spread of Beef Tartare, Braised Rabbit, Wild Boar Sloppy Joe, and a cheese plate to end our meal. It was all quite delicious and vanished rapidly. L&E, I look forward to returning.  

Next we ventured to the Slippery Slope and made our entrance through the back alley, true VIP-style. My brother Mike helped open the Slope back in May and I was happy to finally see the place. Their hard work definitely shows. I loved their beer taps made out of old vintage refrigerators, the bottled cocktails, and the glittery bar. They also have skee-ball, which is way cool. And a photo booth. Who doesn’t love photo booths?

Saturday morning was a bit rough after our night at the Slope (I blame Mike). Then came the question, “Should we do brunch?” We headed to Reno. Another great choice offering fresh, local ingredients in a fun atmosphere. I ordered the “Hook” sandwich, which came on a bagel made in-house. Their large wood fired oven was busy, cranking out these delicious bagels and scrumptious pizzas.

After brunch, we headed to our Wrigleyville Condo where we stayed for the duration of the weekend with our family. It was a neat location and the condo featured 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a full kitchen, dining and living area. We made ourselves at home and enjoyed some pre-dinner cocktails. My mom whipped up some Roast Beef and Gravy Sandwiches for the group; a meal that always reminds me of the holidays since it was my Grandmother’s favorite. It was nice to have a home cooked meal before our big night out to see Bob Dylan.  

We ordered our Uber XL ride and climbed in, off to the show. Bob Dylan fans were already gathering outside The Cadillac Palace Theatre, well before show time. We headed across the street to Randolph Tavern and passed time over a drink or two. Then back to the theater, we were all anxious to see Dylan. The theatre was small, seating 1500. A much more intimate experience than the last time we had seen him at the United Center. It was quite the concert with many songs from his album “Tempest.” His two encores included “Blowin’ In The Wind,” which he rarely performs these days and “Stay With Me” from his next album, “Shadows In The Night” to be released in 2015. I was left teary-eyed and happy-hearted by the end; what a show, Bob.

Next, our group headed for Scofflaw for some after-show cocktails and to see my brother, Mike, at work. When he isn’t working at the Slippery Slope, you can find him here. Scofflaw offers gin-focused cocktails and craft beers in a neat atmosphere. We found a place for our group in the lounge area, with cozy couches, coffee tables, and candlelight. My favorite part of the evening was when the clock struck midnight and the staff began serving warm chocolate chip cookies to all of their guests. Roast beef, Bob Dylan, gin, and cookies… My night couldn’t get any better than this.

The next morning, we began our search for eggs-benedict, my stepdad’s all-time-favorite breakfast meal. We searched brunch spots near Wrigleyville and wound up at Lulu Belle’s Pancake House in Lakeview. They offered 4 varieties of eggs-benedict; he was very pleased with “The Basic.” Our good friend and Chicago-resident, “Pork Chop,” joined us for brunch. And afterwards, with full bellies, we headed back to Wrigleyville and secured our seats at Sluggers to watch Sunday Football. We had about half of our Fantasy League with us and were all busy checking our smart phones for point updates (nerd alert). We ended our evening back “home” at the condo with more football and Pequod’s Pizza. They make an excellent deep dish and a really enjoyed their yummy caramelized crust. We also snacked on this amazing cheese ball my mom had made… But that deserves its own future post.

Realizing that our trip was coming to a close, we joined Mike and Natalie for one more night out and had drinks at The California Clipper. The former theater was reopened as a bar in 1937 and renovated in 2002. It was also recently “rebooted” by Chicago Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff who we had the pleasure of meeting that evening. The menu offers more than 70 drinks, needless to say I was pleased by the gin selection.

Monday morning I awoke realizing we only had a couple more meals left to enjoy in Chicago. We started off with breakfast at Salt andPepper Diner, just down the street from our condo. They didn’t have eggs-benedict, but I did enjoy their BLT. After breakfast we packed our belongings and checked out. Goodbye, Wrigleyville Home, we’ll miss you.

We joined Mike at his place in Logan Square and discussed lunch plans, serious stuff. He and Natalie decided to take us to Kuma’s Corner, one of their favorite burger joints. It was a pleasing last lunch in Chicago, in an unexpected place. Don’t let the heavy metal band vibe scare you, their burgers are delish and made from local and homegrown ingredients. They also have a “Charity of the Month” that guests can donate to, how presh.

After lunch it was time for Avery and me to head home. We had seen a legendary performance by Bob Dylan. And we fulfilled our goal of eating as much as we could. The weekend was a success.

Off to the airport. Adios, Chicago. 

- Anna Adams | Condo Hotel Marketplace 

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