Sunday, May 13, 2012

Land of Lincoln-Discovering Chicago's Food Scene

During my travel experience I posted a facebook status update that said, "I am beginning to think that Chicago may have a more interesting food scene than New York City."  Obviously from the comments that I received, I struck a nerve.

This was my first journey to the Windy City.  The goal was to eat, walk and shop my way through Chicago.  For the record, I did not shop much, but I certainly walked and ate my way through it.  Who wants to try on clothes when  your underwear band is rolling down because your belly is so full?

Chicago in my mind is similar to New York City except that it is less crowded, there is more space and quite frankly, it is in the Midwest, a new element compared to the Northeast.

Look it even has its own wanna be Times Square statue



During my trip I texted my step-mother and said, "I could live here" her reply, "you would not survive one brutal Chicago winter."  I balked, but she was right, and I have proof, I showed up in Chicago with no jacket, acting like everyday is a Florida day.  Let's face it Chicago has freaky weather.  When we arrived it was drizzly rain and the temps were cool.  The next day, it was 85 degrees, sunny and we were looking for shade spots to stand in during our long walks.  The following day, it was COLD and WINDY-what's up with that?

There were memorable experiences while traveling.  The first one was meeting one of my favorite bloggers, as she would say in the "flesh and blood."  I met Lin the author of the blog www.absenceofalternatives.com.  She was just as amazing in person as she is in my virtual blogging community.

We drank these.....


And ate these.......



We actually ate more than this but just wanted to give you the feel.  It was a great first evening.  I felt like I knew Lin for a long time, and in a way I did.  The virtual world has a way of providing the detail and over time tells the story.

Another memorable experience, we scored reservations at The Aviary www.theaviary.com, if you have been following this blog, you know the cocktails reign supreme at our house.  All I can say about the experience is  "Oh My God!"  The cocktails were a blend of science, art, and design.   It's difficult to describe, it just has to be experienced.

It was weird taking photos in a place like this-almost disrespectful.  Forgive the quality, these were quick snaps before they could see me.



Of course we enjoyed the Chicago Hot dog


We learned our manners


And we enjoyed this...


I know when a blog post is getting too long. I will stop here. Let me say it was an amazing experience. Food and food culture rock my world.  Chicago you rock!
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22 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

A blog post like this is never too long for me. What a gourmet meal!

absenceofalternatives said...

Never. Never too long! LOVE that hot dog sign. And I will confess: I have NOT had the good fortune of visiting Aviary yet. Now it is on my bucket list. (Together with NEXT). It was wonderful seeing you and your other half. Now be grateful that you got ONE sunny day while you were here. Ha!

From the Kitchen said...

Aviary is on our list too. Amazing looking drinks so I'm glad you snapped away. Yes, the weather isn't boring in Chicago. One never knows what's next. I have to say that they are prepared for winter and usually do a top notch job of keeping things moving. Glad you had a nice visit.

Best,
Bonnie

Claudia said...

I ate my way through Chicago last May and it was glorious (helped by beautiful weather which had been missing in MN). We walked 6 miles the first day and blistered our feet but enjoyed every site, every meal and every drink. Travelling is grand, isn't it?

Michelle said...

Mustard only! lol Love these photos and Chicago is one place I have yet to visit. You make it look tempting!

Just Cake Girl said...

The food and drinks look soo amazing :))

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

That looks like one gigantic pickle. Everything looks delicious. I'm a mustard and relish girl when it comes to eating hotdogs.

That Girl said...

We're heading to Chicago at the end of the summer!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

What fun! As you are aware, I "know people" in Chicago - I can't wait to visit again, as I think we've only scratched the surface of all the great food finds in the Windy City. Heck, you can shop anywhere ...

Barbara said...

Ha ha! I KNEW you were going to get comments about your Chicago/New York statement. :)
Well, I managed Detroit winters for many years...don't want to do it again, though.
Fun that you had such a good time!

rosaria williams said...

You made my mouth water for all this great food, including the dogs!

The Japanese Redneck said...

WOW, we never got to eat anything but hotel food when I was there years ago.

Kitchen Belleicious said...

awesome! The food looks awesome and I have always wanted to go to chicago if for anything to have a slice of chicago style pizza! Looks like a great time

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
Wow the food looks awesome !!I hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day with your family this pass Sunday. Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my new Nautical Tablescape.
XXOO Diane

Kitchen Butterfly said...

That picture in Chicago's Time Square and the name Windy city remind me of myself a few days ago in a very girly dress!

I am thrilled you had so much fun - meeting up with fellow foodies is ALWAYS a thrill (something I'll be doing this summer in New York City)! I'm looking forward to all the food!!

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi Velva, I'm so glad you had a great time in Chicago! I lived there for years until I got tired of not being able to garden, cycle, scooter, sit on my back porch and eat outside for six months (or longer out of every year!) I also remember experiencing four seasons in one day including hail and a tornado! But a nice place to visit (in the summer!)

I don't know when they got that Marilyn.....

I'm looking forward to more posts and more photos! I'll be going to The Girl and the Goat, The Aviary, hopefully The Violet Hour and LOTS OF MY FAVE OLD DIVE BARS! I am also going to Mixteco with friends, the owner an ex chef for Rick Bayless! I CAN'T WAIT!

PS: I can't wait to eat some good midwestern MEAT too!

merrilymarylee said...

The catsup prohibition gave my husband a good laugh. Chicago hot dogs are one of his favorite meals. He searches in vain for someplace that makes them exactly like Irving's for Red Hot Lovers did 25 years ago.

You met LIN??? Oh my goodness! Surely someone took a photo...!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Chicago does rock! Since we live just north of the Windy City in the Milwaukee area we are able to enjoy what Chicago has to offer fairly often. But yes, the winters can be brutal unless you own a down coat :) Glad you got to visit!

Rita said...

What I would give to go to Chicago; lately it seems I have been reading or seeing that Chicago is the best place for foodies.
Rita

Mary said...

Oh my heavens, all of that food looks INCREDIBLE! Apparently, I need to add Chicago to my must-visit list.

Chris said...

Having an authentic Chicago dog is one of my food bucket list items.

Fresh Local and Best said...

I'm most jealous that you got to spend time with Lin, that lady is naughty and witty, making her loads of fun. I hope the tulips were in bloom when you were in town.

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