Chicago Weekend Wrap Up

White Wine Sangria at Wishbone

White Wine Sangria at Wishbone

Without question if I had to choose a city that best fit my ideal lifestyle it would be Chicago.  It provides my perfect mix of food, fun, and culture.  This past weekend I got a chance to do a little catching up with some of my favorite college friends and of course explore the city that I love (especially in the summer time).  Of course I did not stray from my usual agenda of food, food and more food.  One of the best things about a walking city is you have a chance to work up a healthy appetite so you can skip calorie counting and dive in for the favor. In that light I thought I would highlight some of my new and old favs that are a must on my list of things to eat in Chicago.

  • Joe’s Stone Crab: Regardless of if I am in Chicago, Las Vegas or Miami, Joe’s is always a necessity for me.  I kept it pretty simple with this visit as I already had plans for dinner.  I just cannot resist the stone crab when it starts a calling.  As promised the claws are always fresh and delivered cracked to take the manual labor out of reaching the deliciousness.  As great as the claws are, the mustard may be just what sets Joe’s apart.  It is the perfect complement to the clean favor of the stone crabs and with the 7 claws that came with my order I managed to go through four containers of mustard.  Shouts out to the waiter for not judging me.
  • The Girl and the Goat: Normally once I am hungry notice of a 2 hour wait will send me running to the next restaurant.  As a big fan of Top Chef, once my friend suggested this restaurant owned by Stephanie Izard I knew I have to give it, and my patience, a try.  The plus side to the two hour wait is definitely getting some dedicated bar time.  Once you sit at a table it is easy to revert to old favorites. By sitting at the bar, however, there is ample opportunity to see what is popular and which drinks passing by that might strike your fancy.  Their Sidecar was a definite winner for me!  Although a lot more traditional than some trendy drinks, the Sidecar has not stood the test of time without cause.  It’s strong enough to catch your attention, but avoids the in your face taste that some drinkers avoid.For dinner I was lucky to dine with another foodie and we took the tasting vibe from the bar to the table.  For the night we dined on fried pickles, squash blossom Rangoon, diver scallops, pan roasted halibut, however, the favorite of the night came as a surprise.  Their cauliflower is awesome!!!! Only as an adult have I branched out and really developed a love of cauliflower.  As a kid I just remember thinking had no favor at all.  Prepared at The Girl and the Goat my taste buds went in completely the opposite direction.  The cauliflower still had some bite and crunch to it and added with the pine nuts and pickled peppers it was a flavor explosion in my mouth.  I was literally stuffed so finishing it was impossible, well until morning hit and I unwrapped my leftovers for breakfast!  I would definitely put this on my must do’s when in Chicago.
  • Wishbone: I love Sunday’s where you can just take it easy and brunch is usually at the top of my lists on days like this.  Wishbone is one of my old time favorites in Chicago for brunch.  They quickly made a fan of me years ago by serving some delicious chicken sausage.  I know this may not sound like much but when don’t eat beef or pork a breakfast sausage can be hard to come by.  For my companions the hit of the meal was definitely the sangria.  The white wine sangria they offered as a special was filled to the brim with watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, berries and as a surprise a slice of cucumber. The cucumber twist definitely elevated the drink mixing in a refreshing component you don’t always find in sangria.  Add in favorites such as shrimp and grits and crab cake benedict, good friends and a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I cannot think of a better way to close out a fabulous trip!

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