Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Everything you need to know, Chicago: Part Two

Saturday,(Day 2)we got an early start, we wanted to make sure we got in a full day of activites in the Chi, just like Day 1 of our Chicago adventure . We headed out for a light breakfast across the street from our hotel, The Corner Bakery on North St.Clair Street. This was a great little spot that was hopping with people getting ready to start their day. There are multiple Corner Bakery locations in Chicago.

I ordered a breakfast scrambler that was delicious and a much needed cappuccino. Kyle got a yummy breakfast sandwich, he was satisfied by it's goodness. We enjoyed our breakfast at an outside table, the weather was perfect, warm and breezy. During breakfast we planned out our day and decided our next stop would be Navy Pier.

Enjoying the beautiful morning in Chicago.
I love him.
Great Breakfast Spot.
My Egg Scrambler.
Kyle's Breakfast Sandwich.

We walked to Navy Pier from our Hotel on St. Clair and Ohio Street which took us about ten minutes. The Navy Pier is a must see when visiting Chicago, I've been to the city numerous times and this was my first trip to the Pier, I was excited. It is definitely a tourist spot, so I would go there earlier in the day before it gets too crowded.

The Navy Pier consists of shops, restaurants, museums, and rides. One of those rides being the famous Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, which we had to go on. We picked up our tickets, $6.00 per person and headed to the Ferris Wheel line, it was about a five minute wait to get on the wheel, which wasn't that bad at all.

The Ferris Wheel is beautiful, it was such a throwback. It went very slow, which allowed us time to take plenty of photos. The view from the Ferris Wheel was amazing, you got a perfect view from the Chicago Skyline, Lake Michigan and it was so cool seeing the hustle and bustle of the city below us.

I love that we took opportunity to visit Navy Pier, it was an experience I will never forget. I must say that it was also a very romantic spot.

Navy Pier, a must see.

The rides at Navy Pier.
Ferris Wheel.
Riding the Ferris Wheel.
View from the top.

After Navy Pier we hopped in a Cab and headed up to Lincoln Park, which became my must live spot if I ever live in Chicago. Lincoln park would remind you of Brooklyn Heights in New York, it has a city feel but it's a little more relaxed. Brownstones line the streets, along with restaurants and cute little shops. I felt as though we walked into a "Pleasantville", everyone was out and about, there were numerous food festivals going on and what sold me was the dog culture. Everyone had a dog, this was the place for me. 

We stopped at a local Starbucks got some Iced Coffees and decided to walk up to Boy's Town where our good friend Zach lives, check out the area and grab some lunch. 

Boy's Town is another awesome spot in Chicago, it would be the equivalent to Chelsea in Manhattan. We met up with Zach and looked for a place to get some grub. We were walking when I looked at this restaurant and said, "this looks like it could be in Greece." Sure enough it was a Greek Restaurant, we said that we would only go in if they served Saganaki, our favorite Greek cheese dish. Well, we hit the jackpot, they had Saganaki. I have to admit, I was excited to have some Greek cuisine. Was I admitting that I missed our Greek experience?  

The name of the restaurant was Melanthios, the menu was large and we were hungry, the best of both worlds. We ordered two types of Saganaki, classic and feta, they were both amazing and I was having flashbacks of Athens after every bite. I had some chicken and pork skewers, Kyle had a lamb gyro and Zach had a chicken pita. All the food was yummy and definitely hit the spot. Then came the dessert.

For dessert we couldn't help ourselves and ordered an array of Greek delights including, rice pudding, homemade galaktoburiko and homemade baclava. The rice pudding was delicious, the galaktoburiko which is sweet cream custard wrapped in filo dough was out of this world amazing. The baclava which is Greek delicacy and my go to for Greek desserts was also very yummy. To say we were stuffed would be an understatement. I haven't had a lunch that large in a very long time and I think I was most definitely in a food coma.

We said goodbye to Zach and headed back to our hotel, to take our midday nap and get ready for the evening to come. We'd be joining Zach once again for dinner at Hub51 aka Foodie Heaven.

Yummy Greek Food.


Feta Saganaki.
Chicken and Pork Skewers.

Lamb Gyro.

Rice Pudding.
Homemade Galaktoburiko

Hub51 is located on Hubbard Street and is a must visit if you take a trip to Chicago. We were lucky enough to get a reservation, let's just say Zach had some pull. The set up of this restaurant is very cool, dimming lit lighting, with exposed oak beams, this is a restaurant where people go to be seen, I was going to eat some great cuisine and enjoy some great company.

We started with a round of Prickly Pear Margarita's, I am a big lover of margarita's, (Thank you Bethenny Frankle!) Hub51 impressed me because they make all of their rita's "skinny" using agave nectar. The Prickly Pear was so refreshing and a cool spin on your classic margarita.

Kyle and I put our trust in Zach when it came to ordering off the menu, he's had experience here at Hub so we knew he'd lead us in the right direction. For appetizers we went for the sushi, let me just preface this by saying I love sushi and I am very particular about my sushi, if it tastes too fishy it's a no go. Hub51 blew me away with their Sushi selection, their take on classic rolls were very creative.

We ordered Spicy Tuna  which was more like a spicy tuna bruschetta, the tuna was on top of braised crusted rice. It was out of this world good, the tuna fresh with a little kick and the rice was cooked perfectly. I vowed that I would learn how to make this fantastic dish.

Next was the BBQ Eel Roll, I always hesitate when ordering an eel roll, because they sometimes end up tasting too fishy for my liking. This however, was amazing, the eel had a more meaty consistency and paired with fresh avocado and a yummy BBQ glaze, I couldn't even tell that I was eating eel.

Along with the Eel Roll we ordered a Tuna Thai Basil Roll, which was also amazing. The great thing about these sushi rolls was that they didn't leave you feeling to full, they were perfect. 

After digesting a bit, it was on to round two. For this portion of the meal we mixed it up a bit, starting with the Shrimp Ceviche with tortilla chips. This was such a refreshing dish, a mix of diced shrimp, tomato, red onion and avocado matched up with crispy tortilla chips.

We ordered some more sushi, trying the very delicious Miso Glazed Salmon Roll. The Salmon was perfect, not too fishy and very smooth. We topped off this round of food with some simple sweet potato fries, which even though simple, they were brilliant, cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside, mushy goodness on the inside.

Once we were done consuming all this amazing food, we took a little drink break to prepare for the grandiose dessert Zach warned us about. For this round of drinks I wanted to try something that caught my eye on the menu earlier, the Chipotle Margarita. I am so happy I ordered this drink, it's made with Hanger One Chipotle Vodka, Cazadores Reposado Tequila and Agave Nectar. It's exactly what you think it would taste like but better, it's very smooth with a little kick at the end. You could say it's the dinner version of a Bloody Mary.

The men at the table went with the Hub Punch, which Hub51 actually has on tap. Hub Punch is Bacardi Dragon Berry mixed with "Secret" ingredients. It looked so refreshing that I had to sample, it was a superb concoction and not overly sweet.

Now onto my favorite part of the Hub51 experience, dessert. We ordered a the Chocolate Pie "smore'd" style, which is chocolate pie with roasted marshmallows on top. This was the most wonderful dessert experience I've had in a long time. It tasted like a hot cocoa, whoever invented this pie could win should win a Noble Prize. (A little far fetched, maybe.)  After tasting heaven we had the Lemon Ice Box Pie, another dessert masterpiece. A perfect dessert after eating the amount of food we did, it was refreshing and cool.

Hub51 was awesome and I will definitely be going back for dinner in the future and I recommend to anyone visiting Chicago. It's the place to go for a great night, great food and great drinks.
Prickly Pear Margarita
Tuna Thai Basil.


BBQ Eel Roll.

Tuna Thai Basil
Shrimp Ceviche
Miso Glazed Salmon Roll.
Sweet Potato Fries.
Chipotle Margarita.
Hub Punch.
Chocolate Pie Smore'd.
Lemon Ice Box Pie.
Once we concluded dinner, we still wanted to party. We headed over to a bar in Bucktown which is right outside the city. The bar was advertising an open mic night. When the cab dropped us off and we looked inside the bar, we decided to keep walking, we didn't want to die, it looked rather seedy. We did however see a group of people lined up down the street, so we walked over to check it out.

The line was outside the Gorilla Tango Theater, the were buying tickets for, Boobs and Goombas, a Super Mario Brothers Burlesque. Yes, you just read that correctly. Since we were a little buzzed and feeling spontaneous, we purchased tickets at $20 a piece and were ready to see what this was all about.

Well, talk about an experience I'll never forget, this burlesque was comical. A group of ten women reenacting the Super Mario Brothers game of my youth, it was a little more risque then I remembered but highly entertaining. Kyle and Zach seemed to enjoy themselves as well, which made me happy.

Kyle and I at Boobs and Goombas.
The Boobs and Goombas Cast.

It was indeed a night to remember, I couldn't wait to see what Sunday in Chicago would bring.

Great Spots to Check Out in Chicago
  • The Corner Bakery (Breakfast Spot) on St. Clair
  • The Navy Pier
  • Melanthios Greek Char House in Boys Town on Broadway
  • Hub51 (Awesome) on Hubbard Street
  • Boobs and Goombas (Different) Bucktown, Gorilla Tango Theater

1 comment:

Gal Meets Glam said...

all of that food looks so good! I hope you have fun :)

xo Julia

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