Chicago always lends itself to an epic weekend….courtesy of my dear friends who live in the city and are foodies alike. Hopefully, in the future I will have many Chi-town posts to provide you as the foodie adventures are endless…
No hotel recommendations here as we always stay with our friends in Wicker Park. Yes, there are actually tons of fun places just outside of the downtown Chicago area!
Things to do:
We were lucky enough to score tickets to the opening day of Wrigley Field for a fun Cubs game. Wrigley field is my favorite baseball field…it even trumps over Fenway park….HOWEVER, the wrath of the wind off Lake Michigan is a force to be reckoned with. As Texans, used to the boiling temperatures of baseball season stuck inside a hotbox called Rangers Stadium, we were NOT prepared for the 28 degree windchill that came from this windy city….my recommendation is to wait until spring fully sets in before venturing out to the ballpark… that is, if you want that buy-me-some-peanuts-and-crackerjacks-I-don’t-care-if-I-ever-get-back kind of feeling….. and the view of the signature ivy along the outfield wall…
For an off the beaten path experience, and for beer lovers…check out some of the breweries the city and neighboring areas have to offer! Our friends took us to 3 Floyds brewery at 9750 Indiana Pkwy in Munster, IN, about 45 minutes outside of Chicago. As of the time we visited, the brewery offered the #2 US beer according to beeradvocate.com which is only offered 1x a year. They have many other highly ranked brews that you can try in the bar or pub. Speaking of pub…. On most days they open at noon and there will be a line waiting to get in. The unique concept of reserving the table all day and the pub holding your table even after your 30-minute tour (offered only on Saturdays) means that tables go quickly and people often camp out all day. As such, there are few lucky ones who actually get to eat/visit this pub on any given day. I suggest getting their early and waiting in line…it’s worth it! Not only is the beer list plenty, but the food is delicious! Chefs Pat Niebling and Scout Hughes roll out a new menu each season featuring ingredients from local farms and 3 Floyds beers. The pub also serves up flagship beers along with seasonal and pub-only brews.
For dinner, Chicago offers plenty of various ethnic foods…notably, Arun’s which serves up a7 or 12 course prix fixe authentic Thai meal that did NOT disappoint! This restaurant has earned the 5 diamond award in restaurants….I’ll let a few of the pics speak for themselves…
After dinner, we headed over to The Aviary for a gastromolecular cocktail experience. If it sounds impressive, you should know, it is! The Aviary offers food; however, the true experience is in the cocktail so we opted for a 3 course cocktail experience which focused not only on presentation but fusion of flavors. For us, this is a special occasion place that can quickly become a slippery slope as you see all the other table’s drinks and long to taste EVERY drink from the menu! With drinks averaging $25 a pop or a 3-course menu for $50, this is NOT your pub experience. Let me show you just how each drink is a true experience….
For brunch, I can’t get out of Chicago without going to The Bongo Room…the food never disappoints but the service and wait time (no reservations taken) leave a lot to be desired…if you can stand the 2 hour wait time and mediocre service, the Tomatillo Salsa Scramble, the Crab topped Eggs Benedict, and the white chocolate pretzel pancake are sinfully good!