Sunday was our last and final day in Chicago, so we had every intention of making it the best Sunday in Chicago we've ever had, and after Day 1 and Day 2 , it would be a lot to live up to. Since we fell in love with Hub51 on Day 2, we decided to head over there for some much needed brunch.
I absolutely love brunch and knew that Hub51 was not going to let me down. We sat outside on the patio, so we could enjoy the beautiful Chicago weather. The minute I saw the brunch menu my stomach started rumbling, everything sounded so delicious, what was a girl to do. I'll tell you what this girl did, I picked the most fattening thing on that brunch menu and I didn't feel guilty about it, we were on vacation.
I ordered the Cinnamon Skinny Pancakes and the only thing skinny about these pancakes were their density. These were stacked crepe style pancakes topped with a caramelized cinnamon sauce, this was indeed another encounter with heaven. I accompanied this amazing dish with some fresh squeezed orange juice and a wonderful cup of coffee.
Kyle ordered the Short Ribs Benedict, which is Eggs Benedict but instead of ham, it was topped with tender-braised short rib. The presentation of the Short Ribs Benedict looked like something out of an article for Bon Appetit, amazing! I didn't get to look at this beautiful dish for long because kyle ate everything on there within ten seconds.
|Yummy Hub51 Coffee.|
|Fresh Squeezed OJ.|
|Cinnamon Skinny Pancakes.|
|Short Ribs Benedict.|
Hub51 proved to us not only are they a dinner destination, they also serve a mean brunch. So again ladies and gentlemen, if you are in the Chicago area stop by Hub51 on Hubbard Street for a meal that will knock your socks off and help you gain that weight you were wishing for.
Now I date a professional athlete, so after eating a 5,000,000 calorie meal he felt the need to get in some exercise. He tried to pitch it to me as a sightseeing outing, but I know him all to well. We walked down to the lake so we could rent some bikes and ride along the lake path , to "sight see". Well we rented the bikes and the minute we took off, I got mocked for not going fast enough. I was trying to sight see, Kyle was now training for the Tour De France, I kid, I kid. (Not really!)
|Our "Comfy" Bikes.|
|Pit Stop for a Picture.|
|Views of the Lake.|
|I Want to Live on this BEACH.|
It was an awesome bike ride, which only solidified my absolute love for Chicago. The lake front was hopping and we enjoyed a good twenty mile ride, taking in all the sights and getting quite the workout, my ass still hasn't recovered and I had the "comfort" seat. The cool thing about Chicago that New York lacks is that they have beautiful beach front right next to their skyscrapers, something that I would take total advantage of if I lived there. I was getting envious of all the runners, bikers and swimmers, I need to live here at some point.
After our mini bike race where we burned those 5,000 calories from brunch, we were now required to eat more food of course. I needed to try some Chicago pizza and see what the fuss was all about. Now you have to know that being from New York City we are bred to believe that there is only one type of pizza, New York pizza, anything else is garbage. Being an open minded thinker, I figured I would give this Chicago pizza a try and then I would judge it after, I wanted to be fair.
We headed to the famous Gino's East on Superior St., we got there at the right time, after the lunch crowd and before the dinner crowd. The inside of Gino's was pretty interesting, it would remind you of New York City in the 1970's, there was graffiti everywhere, on the walls, on the chairs, on the tables, on the pizza?( Just kidding, not on the pizza, but that wouldn't be that far fetched.)
I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited to try this pizza, unlike New York pizza, Chicago style is deep dish. I'm more of a thin crust girl, but I am open to trying new things. We ordered a small deep dish with crumbled sausage and then we were told it would take forty-five minutes to cook. What the heck? Forty-five minutes is a long time to wait for a pizza, it better be good.
Well, the forty-five minute wait was well worth it. When the waitress brought out our pie my mouth started watering, I couldn't wait to take a bite. Unlike a New York pizza, I couldn't dig in and eat this pie with my hands, I actually had to use a fork and knife, this was the only turn off. Other then not being able to be a cave man, the pizza was awesome, the sauce sweet, the sausage juicy and full of flavor, the crust crispy and delicious and the cheese was well, cheesy. The small personal pie was the perfect size, because this deep dish is very filling.
|Gino's East Chicago Style Pizza|
|Yummy Goodness, worth the wait.|
My overall opinion of Gino's East and Chicago Deep Dish Pizza is that it is indeed delicious, and worth the forty-five minute wait BUT (Yes, there is a but.) it does not hold a candle to New York Pizza. Sorry Chicago, I give you an A for effort, but New York ultimately wins this battle.
Now it was time for our midday nap, and it was a good one. We wanted to re-energize for an amazing Sunday Night. we really didn't have set plans, we would just see where the night would lead us.
Well, it led us back to Hub51 for a glass of vino before deciding where to go for some dinner. We also went back to Hub to say goodbye to Zach and thank him for showing us around this fantastic city.
We decided that we would end our already amazing trip by going to McCormick and Schmick's for a steak dinner. I felt our vacation wouldn't be complete without a Chicago steak dinner.
McCormick and Schmick's has a couple of Chicago locations, we went to the one right on the river on Wacker Drive. I love steakhouses so I was very excited for this experience, right off the bat I knew it was going to be a great dinner. Our waiter was actually from Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where my family vacations every year. We had a lot to talk about and I feel when you make a connection with your waiter or waitress it makes your dining experience that much better, he was a great guy.
We went all out for this dinner, acting like ballers or something close to ballers. We ordered a bottle Cabernet Sauvigon called 14 Hands, from Washington State. I ordered the Filet/ Shrimp Scampi Combo, cooked medium rare.
Kyle ordered the Dry Rubbed Rib eye also cooked medium rare. And we also ordered a side of Fresh Corn Risotto. Our dishes were cooked to perfection, even though I thought my filet was better then Kyle's rib eye, but who am I to judge.
For dessert the waiter suggested the Creme Brulee and Cheesecake, so of course that's what we indeed ordered, accompanied some espresso. They were both delicious and I was very satisfied with our meal.
|My Filet and Shrimp Scampi.|
|Kyle's Dry Rubbed Rib Eye.|
|Can't go wrong with Creme Brulee.|
Now to keep up with tradition of our Chicago visits, we headed over to Pippin's Tavern on Rush St. The first time Kyle and I went to Chicago was to celebrate his 21st birthday, we stumbled upon Pippin's and it has been one of our favorite spot ever since. It's a great bar, real classic, great beer, great service and great music. We make it a point to get to Pippin's every time we visit. I love creating traditions, that is what I am really all about.
|Keeping the Tradition Alive at Pippin's.|
|Did I mention I love him.|
Our Chicago trip was the best yet and I am counting down the days until we can visit again. Like I said earlier, I would love to live there at some point in my life, hey, it could happen. Stranger things have happened in my twenty-five year life.
If you haven't visited Chicago it is a must, put it on your Bucket List right now! It will not disappoint.
Great Spots to Check Out in Chicago
- Hub51 on Hubbard Street
- Gino's East (Pizza) on Superior Street
- McCormick and Schmick's on Wacker Drive
- Pippin's Tavern on Rush St. (My Favorite)