Sunday, July 28, 2013

travel: Chicago we meet again

Hello was nice to get out of town for a couple of days and enjoy a different city. And thankfully the weather was damn near perfect. Warm and sunny for the most part and a smidget of rain. For the most part my trip to Chicago was a good. I did what I usually do whenever I hit Chicago. I ate somewhere new and hit up one of my favorite spots.

No trip to Chicago is complete without a selfie in front of The Bean/Cloud Gate

The main purpose for the trip was of to get out of Indianapolis. The secondary purpose was to meet up with my friend Lizard and meet her current and most likely future fiance/husband Brad. The meeting went well. He seems like a good guy. He's a much better guy than the last guy she dated and he makes her happy, so that's one good thing. I will say though that I quickly got sick of the honey, kiss me every 30 seconds shit. I have nothing against holding hands and being sweet on your sweetheart...BUT when you have a third party with about you save this shit for when you're alone. The whole situation made me realize a few things about her and our friendship. I'm trying to let go of my frustration with the whole situation since it was, what it was.

L to R, T to B: Native Foods Cafe, Gino's East, Do Rite Donuts, Yolk

Anywho, let's talk about food. Chicago never disappoints in the food department. A vegetarian friend of mine suggested Native Foods Cafe. I told Lizard that I was going to hit them up for lunch whether she wanted to join me or not. I opted for the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger with a glass of lavender lemonade. Not the best burger I've ever had, but it was good. I would've liked it more if everything wasn't all shredded and loose. It made it messy to eat. This was my first encounter with vegan meat and cheese. The bacon smelled like bacon and tasted like hot dogs. I'd eat there again.

For dinner Brad wanted a beer and some deep dish (not my favorite, but hey, they had vegan food for lunch with me, so who was I to refuse his request). We stopped by Gino's East. Lizard ordered the Caprisi Salad in a jar and willingly shared it with us. I love mozzarella cheese is all I have to say about that. The pizza was decent. I've definitely had better. Our server looked like John Mayer and the highlight of the night was when I cute lab walked passed with a stick longer than he was in his mouth. He would drop it as if to say he was too tired to carry it, but when his owners would pick it up he's grab on it and say no, no, no this is mine. I wish I'd gotten a picture of it.

The plan for breakfast was our good ol' friend Yolk. Lizard and I woke up early to work out and when we finished she wanted some tea so we ran our to grab some. On our way to argo tea we kept passing people with big boxes of donuts and then passed the Do Rite Donuts. We thought, hey...why not. We first when to go grab tea and then stopped in for donuts. The maple bacon was yum. Light and sweet with a bit of saltiness from the bacon. Expensive ass donuts, but good. We headed back to room to shower and pack and then headed off to Yolk.

Yolk never disappoints. I thought I was going to get the bacon waffles, but as soon as I started to look at the menu I changed my mind and ended up with the Big Easy Skillet. I figured I mine as well try something new. I think at some point I want to try everything on the menu. That just means many more trips to Chicago. I'm okay with that.

Right before heading to the bus I stopped at Hannah's Bretzels (found it via Google maps and the search sandwich) and grabbed a sandwich since I knew I wouldn't be getting back home until almost 11 and I'd be hungry. I grabbed a club sandwich on a pretzel baguette and some crunchy salt and pepper chips. I love pretzel bread. I think it's because of the saltiness and it reminds me of the butter pretzels I used to always get when I lived in Germany. I plan to stop at Hannah's next time I'm in town. Probably when I'm headed back to the bus again. They also had chocolate bars from all over the world. I was very tempted to pick one up, but with the cupcake, popcorn and extra donut in my bag I told myself I shouldn't.

Scorpion Transformers, elephant butts and other random pieces of art. There's always something fun to see on the streets of Chicago. And even though I've walked these streets many times over the last couple of years I always see something new. The headless, armless men looked like elephant butts to me from far away. No one else saw them though. That's okay, that's just my crazy imagination.

Another thing I enjoy about the streets of Chicago is watching all the beautiful men. So many beautiful men, young and old. I could sit on the patio of a cafe all day and just watch the men walk by. I wish I could transport some of them back to Indianapolis. I also appreciate that when men in Chicago check you out the give you the up down and smile and go about their business. Very different from how the perverts in Indianapolis operate. Here they stare you down and then grunt and say something crude and disgusting or have some lame line for you. It's gross and I often feel like I need a shower afterward. They could use a lesson or two.

L to R, T to B: Magnolia Bakery,  The Cupcake Counter, Sugar Bliss, Crumbs

I might be a cupcake snob. I kinda can't believe I bought 4 cupcakes from 4 different bakeries. Here are my thoughts on those:
  • cupcake one - red velvet via Magnolia Bakery:  I judge a cupcake joints on how good their red velvet cupcakes are, this one sucked. The frosting was kinda tasted like cream cheese, but it had the texture of butter. It was off putting AND on top of that the cupcake itself was dry. I was so disappointed. It was also a pretty small cupcake for the price. 
  • cupcake two - cookies n cream via The Cupcake Counter: Brad got the last red velvet, so I picked up the cookies n' cream. It was okay. Much better than my first cupcake. The cookie on top was only half a cookie and it wasn't even an Oreo. That made me sad. As I continued to eat it I noticed the bottom was hard and kind of burnt only to discover there was a cookie on the bottom. I guess that's where the other half of my cookies went, but not really. It wasn't as dry as my first cupcake, but it wasn't as moist as it could've been. Another cupcake fail in my book.
  • cupcake three - vanilla coconut via Sugar Bliss: recommended by an instagram follower. I then discovered I'd actually had a cupcake from this shop before. The red velvet, which was delicious. I decided since I'd already tried their red velvet I'd go for what I probably consider my second favorite vanilla coconut. The frosting was a delicious cream cheese and coconut. The cupcake it self was good, but it really could've been a little more most. I definitely liked the red velvet I'd had there last time.
  • cupcake four - red velvet via Crumbs: After three cupcakes in less than 24 hours I had NO plans to purchase another one, but after checking out what was available in the case I couldn't help myself, but I told myself I wouldn't eat the damn thing until at least Sunday and held out I did. The red velvet was delicious and messy. The frosting was a creamy cream cheese with sprinkles and the cupcake it self was crumbly and moist. While I hate the mess of cupcakes, I feel like when cupcakes are messy, they tend to taste better. I was glad that I opted to pick up one last cupcake. It was the redeemer for all the other cupcakes that weren't so great.
I almost got away with spending less than $200 for the entire trip. I went over by about $10. It was the last sandwich I picked up that put me over. If I don't count the treat to nicely waxed eyebrows from the benefits cosmetics counter then I'd come up under budget. I tried. Still not bad though considering that included my round trip bus ticket, one night in a boutique hotel and food for a day and a half. If I don't make it back to Calif for my birthday, then I'm putting Chicago on the list.

reading - Bali Raw by Malcom Scott
This post brought to you in part by:


Jen said...

What a great trip you had and I love that picture of you! :)

Angela King said...

Crumbs are hands down my favorite cupcakes of all time. Red velvet creep me fave from them are the yellow cake with coconut on top. heaven. they're gonna be our wedding cupcake. That good. :) Glad you had a great trip. Love your pic at the bean.

P.S. why the hell do people carry around ipads to take pics? i dont' get it....

Hippopotamuslee said...

Next time you come you have to try Molly's cupcakes. They're delicious!