Category Archives: chicago

Revival Food Hall, Bridgeport, The Wormhole/Wicker Park – frigid Chicago

With subzero temps and icy snow on the ground, Christmas 2017 in Chicago was not conductive to outdoor activity, which is a big change from last Christmas when it was so pleasant we took our dog for a romp on the beach near my stepdaughter’s condo in Edgewater. But this year, we walked as much as we could tolerate, with help from two pairs of socks, down jackets, thick scarves covering our face from the nose downward.

We enjoyed well-deserved hot chocolate at The Wormhole, a bohemian coffee house in Wicker Park and made it about a block in the bitter cold to a little boutique for some post-Xmas sale shopping. At Night, we met my old friend Polly and her husband Jamie (who drove down and around from their home in Traverse City) for dinner at a favorite restaurant, Andy’s Thai Kitchen (the one in Edgewater, which is not only more convenient to where we stay but takes credit cards).

On Wednesday we talked ourselves into thinking it was slightly warmer (it wasn’t but the sky was brilliantly blue over the icy pale blue lake) and walked from my aunt’s apartment on Astor Street to Uniqlo on Michigan Avenue for some sale-priced winter gear and then to chaotic Eataly, the Italian food madhouse for some fresh prosciutto, mozzarella and fungi pizza, sitting at a high top table in the middle of a rush of shoppers. Our only other purchase was rustic bread with cranberries and apples, which made a delicious breakfast today. We kept walking, over the river to Revival Hall, a new food court/Hall in an old building. I’m told the poke place, the bbq place (smoke) and the Thai noodle place are good to try but we only had coffee and some too-sweet bakery goods. I was Intrigued by the”Detroit-style pizza” place, something this native Detroiter never heard of before. Dinner was with my dear aunt at one of her favorite places, Shaw’s for fresh fish, creamed spinach, hash browns and peppermint ice cream with hot fudge.

Today was cold and grey. We wandered a few blocks in Andersonville, shopping at Four point and the bookstore, Women and Children First, and the nearby middle eastern restaurant where we ended up having lunch later after we discovered that Edzo’s, the famous burger place in Evanston, was, alas, closed for the holidays. Now driving in the dark across Illinois. Fortunately it stopped snowing after the city of Peru. Our best meal was Emma’s fabulous homemade Korean brisket, roasted rosemary potatoes, collard greens and chocolate cake (with ground coffee but no flour)…not available to the public, sorry.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under chicago, Uncategorized

when next in Chicago…Food Hall!

From the story above: In downtown Chicago, the 15-vendor Revival Food Hall opened last year on the ground floor of a 110-year-old, 20-story office building designed by Daniel Burnham. The food hall’s developer, Craig Golden, is finishing a renovation of the property, now known as the National. He and the restaurateur Bruce Finkelman worked as partners on Revival, which features taco, seafood, poke bowl and other restaurants as well as a book and record shop.

“We wanted to bring in what we thought was the best food in the city,” said Mr. Golden, whose Blue Star Properties portfolio includes a number of restaurants and entertainment venues. “When people come downtown to work, the choices are limited.”

 

Leave a comment

Filed under chicago

Chicago- Chicago Athletic Association Hotel/Cindy’s; Mango Pickle in Edgewater

On the way to and back from London, I stopped in Chicago to see family and have some new adventures. My Aunt and I lucked into a table at Cindy’s – a rooftop restaurant inside the fantastic Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, formerly a private athletic club circa the 1890’s,  with an open-air terrace looking out across Millennial Park, the Art Institute and Chicago’s skyscrapers to the lake. Glorious.  I’d been curious about the place when I was down at Millennial Park and looked up to see people gathered on the rooftop terrace of the stately old building on Michigan Avenue. The restaurant has a glass roof, so full of light — and good food too (recommend the lobster roll on brioche). We wandered around the building afterwards – very old world, old money. Cool space where the indoor pool used to be. And another interesting-looking restaurant (minus the view0 – the Cherry Circle Room. Glad we were let in!

Also ate at Mango Pickle, an Indian-inspired place in Edgewater, near Emma & Rocket’s. Hard to explain the food – interesting is the best word I can come up with.

Must try again. Joined a big crowd afterwards at the neighborhood frozen custard place.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under chicago, Dining

L.Woods/Chicago (by way of Wisconsin) and Sapp Brothers Gas West of Peru, Illinois 

Uneventful drive from Des Moines to Chicago today on Interstate 80, which is the way I like it although it was strange to think that dirck was flying above me somewhere near on a flight to Chicago and then frankfort and Warsaw. The highlight of the drive was cheap gas at Sapp Brothers ($1.93 a gallon) just west of the bigger Peru exit where the gas was $2.24.

MAT, emma, Rocket and I had dinner at L.Woods in Lincoln woods, just west of the Edgewater neighborhood. The place looked like a real Wisconsin backwoods lodge with piney wood walls, rugged decor, outdoorsmen gear, dim lighting, leather but beyond the kitsch the food was good and yes, hearty. Excellent western style brisket, ribs and fried walleye. MAT liked table 133 (I think) in a less crowded rear room where it was easier to hear our conversation.

Leave a comment

Filed under chicago, Uncategorized

Manny’s! – Chicago

chipix1 I finally got to the real Manny’s in Chicago (as opposed to the mini-Manny’s at Midway Airport) with Noah and Jill. It was a treat. Excellent kreplach soup, corned beef, pastrami, tuna sandwiches, latkes; great atmosphere (reminded me a bit of the Katz’s in NYC’s Lower East Side with its big open dining room). The cafeteria line moved quickly at 12 and all was right with the world! I’ll be back.

chicpix2

 

Leave a comment

Filed under chicago, Dining

Burglary on the megabus? on the road from Chicago to Dsm

Written last night (before safely arriving, an hour late in Des Moines):

There may be a thief among us, here on the Megabus bumping along Interstate 80 in rural Iowa on a dark December night, but you have to wonder why someone on this bus would leave his diamond ring and watch in his coat pocket and then leave said coat unattended during a rest stop near Peru, Illinois. As the theft, or whatever it is was, was duly reported, my fellow passengers looked aghast. Now we had to wait for the police and a possible search of the bus and us (or so one rumor went) and our 7 hour bus ride (from Chicago to DSM, which should normally take 6 hours tops) suddenly threatened to get a lot longer.

Fortunately the police arrived fairly quickly (who knew police drive White Ford 150 pickups?), talked briefly to the alleged victim and the driver and we were on the road again after a 1/2 hour delay. It was a reminder of the downside of taking the megabus (along with yakking passengers and the overpowering smell, in close quarters, of McDonald’s cheeseburgers) but there are upsides too — including the affordability ($41 for this ride) and easy on-and-off – and so I am sad to see megabus service between Chicago and Omaha end, which it reportedly will as of early January.

Leave a comment

Filed under bus service, chicago

The Middle Eastern Bakery, Moholy-Nagy exhibit at Art Institute- Chicago

THe Middle eastern Bakery, Andersonville

THe Middle eastern Bakery, Andersonville

img_0346The weather got colder, as expected, but the wind didn’t pick up and this is Chicago in late December so can’t complain. We had excellent middle eastern food at a restaurant in Andersonville that recently opened up in the front of a bakery/market.retail  I strongly recommend the shawafel sandwich, a mashup of chicken shawarma and falafel (you guessed it) in a wrap with bits of pickle. THe sampler plate with tabouli, hummus, babaganus, falafel was also tasty. The meat in the beef shawarma sandwich was reportedly tough. If I wasn’t taking a 7 hour bus ride back to DSM I would load up an all kinds of hard to find middle eastern goodies in the bakery/market.

near the middle eastern bakery

near the middle eastern bakery

Next stop the art institute which is always a treat. I’ve never been in Chicago at Christmas and all the skyscrapers looked Big City Magical, all lit up with holiday lights.  I bumped into my first cousin in the members lounge, which was an unexpected treat. We also got some excellent free coffee (my stepdaughter and her husband are members). Learned about the Bauhaus design movement in Germany,Europe, and Chicago at the Moholy-Nagy exhibit.img_0350

Leave a comment

Filed under chicago