Daily Archives: July 20, 2012

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Eating My Way Through Chicago

I know I promised wedding posts, but since I just spent nine days pretty much eating my way through Chicago, I thought I’d write about that first.  Wedding talk can wait! Smile

Despite having to leave my husband a week into married life, the trip was a lot of fun.  My primary reason for going was work related, but luckily, one of my best friends lives there as well, so I got to spend some time with her.  Also luckily, my sister was visiting friends around the same time, so I got to see her as well!

Before I embellish on my favorite meals in the Windy City, I must mention that all of my pictures were taken with an iPhone.  I kinda sorta forgot my camera at home.  Oops!  Also, because my phone was giving me trouble, I had to get it wiped and reset, so pictures from the first five days of my trip no longer exist.  Double oops!

Ok, on with the food…

Let’s start with the Taste of Chicago.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this event, The Taste, as it’s referred to, is a fairly sizeable food festival.  My expectations weren’t super high, as I’ve heard the quality of the event has gone down in the past few years, but in the end, I was left pleasantly surprised.  The food was better than expected.  My coworker and I, both vegetarians, scoped out the vendors (only 70ish this year), and then began our veggie feast.  We tried black bean sliders, Pad Thai, perogis, potato pancakes, Italian ice, cheesecake, and a few other things I can’t remember – quite a random assortment!  Besides having the sun beat down us with a vengeance, I had a great time walking around and taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes!

My favorite restaurant from this past week is a placed called MANA Food Bar.  Every thing we ordered was absolutely delicious.  And I was a happy girl because 100% vegetarian tapas places are hard to come by.  We ordered beet and cream soup, mushroom sliders (a must try!!!), bi bim bop, creamy polenta, baked goat cheese, chili spiced corn…my mouth is currently watering!

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Roshni and Samir are huge brunch lovers, and they wanted me to try two different places.  On Saturday, we ate at a placed called M Henry’s.  At first glance, the menu looks like any other typical brunch place, so I relied on Roshni’s rave recommendation of the Blackberry Bliss Cake and ordered that as my meal. 

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This was truly heaven on a plate.  The pancakes were fluffy, the vanilla cream was light and smooth, and the blackberry mixture was bursting with a slight tanginess – again, my mouth is watering!

The second brunch place we went to was Lula Café – home of the world’s best blueberry scone.  It seriously melted in my mouth.  I honestly could’ve just ate a couple of these for my meal.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I should’ve done that!

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Roshni and I also split a breakfast burrito (another must try) and a plate of raspberry and peach pancakes. 

If you’re like me, you’ll love this next restaurant – Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.  I love balance when it comes to the crust to sauce ratio.  So, when Roshni told me about this place, I was excited because it’s famous for pizza pot pies. 

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As you can see in the picture above, the vegetarian pies are filled with a vegetable tomato sauce and topped with cheese.  And the pie bowl wasn’t as doughy as it looks – everything was perfectly balanced!

And finally, I met my sister and her friends up for dinner my last night in the city at a Mexican restaurant called Zocalo.  The show stopper was the guacamole trio that was served alongside corn, plantain, and malanga chips.  Amazing!

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The trio consisted of traditional guac, a spicy guac topped with red sauce, and a sweet guac that contained mango and guava.  I’m definitely going to recreate the mango one at home.  It was so unique!

As is this picture of the chips and my sister’s tongue.  She’s such a goofball!

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As you can see, I really did eat my way through the city.  And it was so much fun!  I highly recommend these restaurants to anyone visiting Chicago – each one had something different and delicious to offer.

Do you have a favorite foodie city?