And now you may be wondering why an unvegan such as myself would choose to leave sunny Los Angeles for a December weekend foray into the Windy City. With very good reason, in fact, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my sister’s birth. Yes, it makes me feel old to have a sister so old. But I was delighted at the opportunity to spend a special event with her and a good portion of my family. For the celebration, we headed to a restaurant called Province in downtown Chicago.
In the Windy City for a cold and lovely weekend, some friends, family and other converged upon a brunch place called Yolk in River North. On such a cold day, I was surprised to find such a long line of people waiting to get a piece of Yolk’s action. Despite claiming to have a 20-minutes wait, it was a good 35 minutes until we were seated. It was not a good sign of things to come, but a quick glance at the menu made me immediately forgot the wait it took to get there.
Given that you are taking the time to read this food post on this meat blog, I’m going to assume that you enjoy eating delicious meals with great company. We all have friends and family members with whom it is an absolute pleasure to share great meals and last night I had the special opportunity to do just that.
My friend Raffi and I bond greatly over very important things like food and football. Last night, he, his co-worker, and I went to a pizza restaurant in Chicago called Bricks. Bricks is located on a stretch on Lincoln Ave. with few other businesses and, as opposed to having a window-front, simply has an arched red awning over a staircase that leads down to the restaurant. Raffi and I are firm believers that you can judge a restaurant by its cover and even though the outside of Bricks is inconspicuous, it calls out at you and makes you think and/or say, “DAMN, this place is going to be GREAT!”
We all cherish those moments in life where we have the privilege of basking in luxury and feeling like we are rich. Last night, I was extraordinarily lucky to eat with one of my best friends at Smith & Wollensky in Chicago and got to enjoy luxury without any of the drawbacks because, well, he has the hook up.
With seats outside overlooking the Chicago River and downtown skyline on a beautiful night, we were ready to indulge. Immediately after sitting down, our drink orders were taken (I ordered a Diet Coke because I prefer soda paired with food to alcohol), and we were brought a plate of warm, fresh bread. The bread was outstanding, seasoned with salt and garlic, and it took every ounce of our willpower to turn down a second round when we finished the plate. We were voraciously hungry and there for a feast but this would be a marathon, not a sprint. More bread now would come at the expense of stomach room for steak later, so we begrudgingly delayed gratification.
The last time I was in Chicago, about three years ago, the only thing on my mind was pizza, pizza, and more pizza. However, on my most recent visit it was all about the beef. Burgers, of course.
I arrived in Chicago from Los Angeles at 7 in the morning after no sleep, because this wasn’t some ordinary red-eye. You see, I had a four hour layover in Las Vegas, where I left the airport, watched the fountain show at the Bellagio, placed $20 on black and WON while slurping down a few cocktails before returning to the airport, only to realize that I forgot to do one of the most essential things: EAT. So upon my arrival to Chicago, I declared to the only person listening – my cousin Jesica – that this wasn’t just a trip for me, but also my taste-buds and, to that, Jesica and many others directed me to a burger joint called DMK Burger Bar.
When striving to live the high life, there is nothing better than a good, honest unvegan meal at a tasty price. In Chicago, and I imagine in all other major metropolitan areas, knowledge of the specials around town allows us to fulfill our unvegan needs without crippling the budget, especially on weeknights.
On Wednesdays, Rocks, a bar with very good burgers and locations in Lincoln Park and Lakeview, has a special of $5.00 burgers and $5.00 24 oz. beers. The latter is a distinction in which I differ a little bit from some other unvegans. When I am eating, my first choice for accompanying beverage is cola and my second choice is water. As I tend to eat really fast, I really don’t like consuming alcohol with my food.
Once again, here’s a guest blog courtesy of @RGSpiegel.
This week, one of my good friends is on a week-long staycation as she transitions in between jobs. Knowing that I set my own hours, she asked me if I wanted to go to the beach. Given that it was 85 and sunny with a slight breeze, she didn’t have to twist my arm too hard to take some time off from blogging late on a Monday morning.
Perhaps one of the most uniquely puzzling marketing campaigns of the last year has been that of Domino’s Pizza. In extolling the virtues of their “new recipe” pizza and remarking on how much it has improved, Domino’s is tacitly admitting that their old pizza was not, for lack of better words, particularly good. Given that we were marketed to relentlessly by Domino’s back when their pizza was “not particularly good,” why should we give our valuable pizza dollars to them now? Even with their new recipe, Domino’s is only marginally better than upper tier oven pizzas. The answer, though, lies in their prices. Their special of three medium pizzas for $5.99 each is unmatched, right? Not so fast.
For my second meal in the Windy City, we went to a tapas place called Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. It’s a part of the Lettuce Entertain You group, which despite having a suspect name, runs some pretty swanky restaurants. Although this was a tapas place, it also had a special brunch menu that started at 11 when the place actually opened up. Arriving at opening time, we took our seats in the back, since the outdoor area couldn’t seat such a big group, then took a look at the menu.
After a couple of days in Michigan, it was off to Chicago for a wedding, but I wasn’t going to let the wedding get in the way of my feeding. My sister, a Chicagoan for the past few years, recommended we head to La Creperie, so to La Creperie we went. Having been to La Creperie a few times in the past, I was pretty excited to grab some lunch there. The place has a great outdoor courtyard that is perfect for those Chicago summers. If only they could last for more than 3 months.