Chicago Part I

9 Oct

Two weeks ago, I took the BF to Chicago for his birthday.  Actually, let me rephrase that, his birthday happened to land on the same weekend as Chicago Gourmet. I’ve been planning this since May when my cousin got the pre-sale tickets.  Perfect time to visit my cousin & his fiance and to celebrate the BFs birthday.

Day 1:
Our first stop on our foodie trip was Kuma’s Corner
Southampton Pumpkin Ale

I got the YOB: smoked gouda, bacon, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic mayo on a pretzel bun

The BF got the Mastodon: BBQ sauce, cheddar, bacon, frizzled onions on a pretzel bun
Kuma’s was the perfect way to start off our trip.  I absolutely loved the burger I got.  The pretzel bun is what made it so delicious.  I later found out that Kuma’s was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. 
Later that night, the four of us walked down the street to a bar.  The thing I love about big cities is being able to walk everywhere. It was a 5 minute walk from their house to any nightlife. We went to Big Star for a late night beer.  
Started off with a Schlitz. It’s Chicago’s version of a PBR or whatever cheap beer people drink. It was actually quite tasty
To continue eating my way thru Chicago, we ordered some tacos

I had the Tacos de Panza: crispy pork belly, tomato guajilla sauce, queso fresco, onions, and cilantro
It was so delicious! Perfect way to top off my night.
Day 2:
Chicago is known for their deep dish pizza, so I knew I had to try it when I was there.  Per my cousins recommendation, we went to Lou Malnatis.  My cousin met us up during his lunch break and we all split the ‘The Lou’
The Lou: fresh spinach, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, sausage, and a blend of mozzerella, romano, and cheddar cheese all on top of a butter crust. 
This picture does this pizza no justice at all.  The pizza was so beyond delicious, I wanted to eat the whole thing. It was different from normal crust pizzas and packed with flavor.  The butter crust was an option, but definitely worth the extra 500 calories.
After lunch, we walked down to Millenium Park for our 2:30 segway tour.  I thought segways were completely dorky until we actually started to use them.  They were so much fun and we covered so much ground in 2 1/2 hours.  The tour guide was amazing and told us about some cool Chicago history. We had previously bought a Groupon from Bike Chicago and highly recommend it.  
Do you recognize this fountain? It’s from the intro to Married with Children.  So neat to see in person.

We segwayed along the lakefront and got some amazing views of the city
When we got back to my cousins, Cecile had bought us some desserts from Bake.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
After we had dessert, we went out to dinner at Buona Terra. We had so much dessert during those five days, it was ridiculous. I no longer want to hear “but it’s my birthday month” ever again
I did their prix fixe meal which included a full size appetizer, any entree, and dessert for $21.95. Such a great deal.
Crispy calamari with a spicy tomato sauce

Rotini di la Nona: corkscrew pasta, proscuitto, mushrooms, peas (yuck), and parmesan cream sauce.
Unpictured: bread basket with the most amazing garlic spread and my peach & pistachio gelato 
Another amazing meal. 
Writing this post is making me very hungry and wishing I was back in Chicago.  We got so lucky with meals because every single meal was perfect and I wouldn’t have changed anything.  Part II will be posted soon. Don’t want to overload you on pictures.
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