Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicago wrap-up

During this last trip, I was only in Chicago for four days, and two of them were work days. (As an aside, our Chicago engineering office has a lovely view and really nice engineers.)

Thursday night was the dinner at Topolobampo, and then Friday night we ate at Harry Caray's with some family friends. Despite all the other delicious food that we had that weekend, the dry-aged bone-in ribeye we had there was still a highlight. It was a pretty nice ambiance too; a kind of old-timey sports bar vibe.

On Saturday, we meant to go for a morning run, but by the time we actually got up, it was nearly noon. We decided to do go anyway, and ran over six miles along the lakeshore and then to Navy Pier. The lakeshore was tranquil and scenic, but the air was extremely cold (high 40s), at least by my Californian standards. Afterwards we walked around the Navy Pier area, the Magnificent Mile, and then back to my brother's apartment to shower and change.

At that point it was about 3:30pm and we had yet to eat. Since we were going to Moto for dinner, we didn't want to eat very much, so we decided to try to make it to Hot Doug's before their 4pm closing time, for their super fancy hot dogs. Unfortunately, due to a Google Maps snafu, we didn't make it in time, so we settled for Jim's instead. After that we had just enough time to look around Grant Park/Millennium Park and check out "the bean" before heading back again to change for dinner.

Some of the photos we took in the park:

On the way back, we stopped at More to buy some cupcakes. My brother said that bacon maple and the house special were his favorites, but as it was nearly closing time, they were out of both. We bought some cupcakes anyway, and took them home to save for Sunday's breakfast.

As I already mentioned, the dinner at Moto took six hours! We got home well after 2am and then hung out watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs until we all fell asleep.

We had an afternoon flight on Sunday, which meant we could still fit in a leisurely brunch before heading to O'Hare. My brother had wanted to take us to Table Fifty-Two, Art Smith's restaurant, but wasn't sure if they served lunch. On Saturday, I called them to check, and they said they would be open, but were fully booked due to Mother's Day. On Sunday morning, as headed out on our way to try our luck at another brunch spot, I idly suggested we stop by anyway to see if they had any cancellations. Amazingly, the bar facing the kitchen was free (I guess no one wants to sit at a bar on Mother's Day?) and we were soon seated and happily perusing the menu. Later we learned that they are only open for brunch a few times a year, so we were doubly lucky that day!

Anyway, we ended up ordering chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and mac 'n' cheese. The chicken and waffles were definitely the best (it was a good thing we ordered two plates of it), but the other dishes were good too. We were told the mac 'n' cheese was made with about a pound of cheese, which sounded about right; since we were sitting right in front of the wood oven, we got to watch many times as giant mounds of cheese melted into bowls of macaroni. It was a fitting end to a very satisfying weekend.

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