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Posts Tagged ‘illinois’

The best meal we had in Chicago a few weekends ago was the last one. Thanks to my awesome cousin who rules Chicago and her suggestion, we went to GT Fish & Oyster. It’s a gorgeous and fun setting, the service was fantastic and the food phenomenal. Easily the best meal of the year so far. Thank you, Chicago!

The menu is made up of small plates so it’s best to order a few. Or five thousand. As we did. Our server was so awesome and he made it really fun for us as we told him we were celebrating Nora’s birthday. Also – he could have sold us a plate of salt if he wanted to. He had us in the palm of his hand. If he suggested we try one more thing, we did. If he suggested we get more drinks, we did. Dessert to split? Yes, please!

So we ordered a lot. I am showing approximately four percent of the dishes that actually came to us. Starting with the clam chowder as you see above. Isn’t it cute how it was presented? And it was so good. You know I love me some clam chowder.

We got some oysters, duh:

Do you know how much fun it is to like oysters? I am so glad I am a fan. Here is an oyster I don’t remember which kind (shame on me for slacking with my Oysterpedia app!) and some mignonette on top. Delicious.

This was PHENOMENAL. Black gnocchi with squid ink, carrot lobster broth, prawns and fiddlehead ferns. AMAZING. I love gnocchi (esp when it’s good) and I love prawns. Excellente.

This is the lobster roll. They were kind enough to cut it in three for us. Also delicious. I’m excited because it’s going against The Mermaid at this year’s Tasting Table Lobster Roll Rumble, which naturally I’ll be at. Also the fried onions behind it – normally couldn’t care less. NOPE. Delicious and addicting.

The last picture of food I’m going to post is the lobster mac and cheese:

Ok these are my favorite kind of noodles that mac and cheese is made with. Yes. And they brought this dish to us last, which we appreciated, so it didn’t fill us up in the beginning (like I said before – we ordered five thousand other things I am not posting.) Perfect.

An all-around excellent meal. I can’t talk it up enough. If you go to Chicago, you must absolutely, absolutely go here. And here’s one last photo of me and my ladies before Kayti and I headed back to Michigan and said goodbye to Nora and my newfound love and appreciation of Chicago:

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So. If I didn’t mention that we were rear-ended when Kayti and I drove to Chicago a few weekends ago – we were. And if I didn’t mention my sister Emily very graciously let us take her car instead – she did. Her one condition: bring back Molly’s cupcakes.

So before we left for our drive back to Michigan – Molly’s is where we stopped. Kayti got some for her mom too. Molly’s has lots of different kinds of cupcakes and I almost didn’t know what to do. I decided to buy six random flavors: The Ron Bennington (chocolate cake, peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache, crushed butterscotch topping), Boston Cream (classic vanilla cake, delicate pastry cream filling, chocolate ganache), Cookie Monster (vanilla chocolate chip cake, raw cookie dough center, buttercream, mini chocolate chip cookie), birthday cake (duh) and something really chocolatey. I got them for my mom, my sis, and my Michelli to do a taste test for me and their winner was birthday cake.

But back to the store – it was cute. Look at this small child sitting on a swing:

I feel like it’s illegal (or just potentially creepy) to take pictures of other people’s kids which is why unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the kid’s adorable face that – I’m sure you can imagine – was covered in frosting.

This is a strawberry shortcake cupcake that Nora bought, which they only have in the summer:

And this is the definition of friendship:

Gotta love Molly’s Cupcakes.

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I’m not sure if pictures will do this place justice. First off, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co is like a cave on the inside. A very old-timey bar and you give your name to a man who does not write it down but remembers your group in thirty minutes any way. So that’s pretty cool. Also – this is not pizza. This is pizza PIES.

But first.

The world’s best greek salad. Nope, the picture does not do it justice. Nor does it tell you it’s size but it is HUGE! And it comes with two dressings, which the server told us are best when mixed. It was true! One was sour cream based (what?) and I think the other was a vinaigrette. Perfect combination. And everyone at the table liked feta.

Now the pizza pies.

Just kidding. I forgot we got another appetizer. Which was bread – Mediterranean bread – because you’re never eating enough bread when you’re getting pizza. This was delicious, especially when you dipped it in one of the dressings.

And now the pizza pies:

They kind of look like mushrooms. The server actually brings them to you faced down and he then scoops out the plate or whatever was below it. It’s interesting. Your options are meat or no meat. Get the meat. It’s a very homey dish. Not really like pizza, kind of like a lasagne or something. It’s good. But it’s not pizza. So if you’re sitting there thinking, “I can’t wait to eat pizza!” you might be in the wrong place. But the salad and the bread. That’s what you need.

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If there is one thing in life I like to do, it is to go on adventures. Of course the actual traveling part to Chicago in an adventure in itself (did I mention we were rear-eneded not five minutes after leaving my mom’s house and the trip was almost Not Happening?) but while in Chicago – why not go on some adventures, like the Lincoln Park Zoo? As you can see, we did and we made great friends with the gorillas.

Also, while at the Lincoln Park Zoo, we rode the carousel. Carousels are like a Thing for me because I imagine the animals are real and always want to pick the very best/coolest ones to ride. You can also see my love for carousels here.

And where can you take better pictures than on a carousel? Let’s be serious. As you can see I was more interested in the fake animals than the real animals at the zoo. I do like real animals too, but they don’t always let you ride them.

AND another random picture of us girlies with some animals in the background. This was at the suggestion of KP who told me of a horse mural nearby her old Chicago apartment.

Yeah, this was pretty much the best trip ever. More restauranty/food stuff posts up next!

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Who loves brunch? Me, me, me! I’ve actually seen Twitter bios where people say “I don’t like brunch.” Sad for you! I mean… NYC brunch can be cray cray and sometimes you have to wait 3.5 hours but when brunch is good, it is good. And it was good at Bakin’ & Eggs in Chicago! So good.

We have the roasted veggie frittata for Miss KMD. And a little chicken apple sausage is hiding. Here whole plate was so good and I know because I hate half of it. What I ordered was a bit too much like a dessert to have for breakfast (imagine me saying that) and soon you will see.

This is Nora’s Southern Comfort Bowl. Yep. What it’s called. Two eggs (overeasy here) with potatoes, cheddar, biscuit and gravy. Southern Comfort indeed. What you see behind it creepin’ is called a flight of bacon.

So we’ve got a few different kinds of bacon here. Maple pepper, jalapeno, honey, mesquite, and cherry smoked. Actually not entirely sure which ones I tried but I did steer away from the jalapeno. I was expecting the bacon to be that really thick kind like applewood smoked bacon, but I’m actually glad it wasn’t cause the thin kind is what I actually prefer.

And then my dessert for breakfast:

Remember when I wondered aloud to myself (and whoever reads this) about bread pudding turned into french toast? Well now I know because that’s what this is. I’m pretty sure there were chocolate chips in it too. It was delicious, but five bites or so goes a long way. Which is why I ate half of Kayti’s instead. We took the lovely french toast (what it’s actually called) home and I hope Nora ate the crap out of it later.

And if you’re wondering if they know how to make their lattes pretty at Bakin’ & Eggs the answer is YES.

Bakin’ & Eggs is GOOD STUFF, people. Would be my new go-to brunch location if it were not in Chicago. Chicago, I do love you!

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I don’t often speak highly of Chicago, mostly because it’s no New York. But – I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Chicago can be a pretty cool town. Maybe it’s because on this particular trip I did zero things touristy (no Bean, no Museums, no Millenium Mile or whatever) or maybe it was because I was with two of my best friends, but I really enjoyed being there.

I saw some great things and thought to myself that maybe Chicago is not the WORST after all. If you’ve never visited Chicago, it’s time you should. The following posts will hopefully convince you.

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