Thursday, August 09, 2012

Chicago FOOD Recap

I took a bit of a different approach for eating this trip. I did an exhaustive search on restaurants from basically every city guide and trip advisor review. I selected a (large) handful and created map bookmarks for each on my phone. The idea was that whenever it was time to eat we would simply look up what I had bookmarked nearby. I didn't bookmark any breakfast places, instead I used Urbanspoon and chose each one based on reviews and location. We had a 75% success rate with this method. We had a 100% success rate with my other choices.

SO... what did we eat?? Short answer: EVERYTHING.

Long answer:

  • Yolk: pretty typical breakfast place. We both had the build-your-own-skillet and they were awesome. 
  • Meli Cafe: a bit pricier but excellent food and extensive juice/smoothie menu. RB had the special (ranchero skillet) and I had banana pecan waffles
  • Whole Foods: after a big night out we weren't feeling like another big breakfast so we got smoothies and baked goods at the WF conveniently located across the street from Hotel Felix
  • E.Leaven: this was the only flop of the trip. The fresh bakery was appealing but the execution was poor. Go for the bagels but that's about it. 
Breakfast skillets at Yolk

Skillet & Waffles at Meli Cafe

  • GT Fish & Oyster: neither of us likes oysters but the rest of their menu was great. We had the clam chowder, crab cakes, lobster mac and cheese, shrimp bruschetta, and fish tacos. All wonderful. 
  • Avec: based on recommendations from my brother and many city guides we went here on Saturday night. We went early (4:30pm) as we didn't have a reservation. We got in right away but the place was full by 5:15pm so it was a smart move. We had the chorizo stuffed figs, cheese platter, pork shoulder, roasted peppers, and the plum sorbet. The figs are their signature dish and they are crazy awesome. I'd recommend everything except for the peppers which were only okay. 
  • Giordano's Pizza: there are a crazy number of pizza places in Chicago, it's overwhelming. It's also the most popular food to try while in the city. It's worth the effort and a very unique experience! We chose this based on recommendation from Jen, and it was very conveniently located. The pizza is literally a pizza pie - crust - toppings - topped with more crust and sauce. It was excellent. and massive. but excellent. In line a woman told us she liked Pizza Uno better so maybe we'll try that next time.
Meal at GT Fish & Oyster
Meal at Avec
Pizza at Girodano's
Other stuff:
  • The coffee at the White Sox game looked like Guinness and tasted like rotten charcoal. 
  • The beer at the White Sox game made up for it. 
  • We drank a lot of Starbucks. Like any big city they are everywhere. 
  • We had cupcakes down town and they were underwhelming. I did like the idea of a lemon-coconut cupcake but the execution left room for improvement... in my kitchen. 
  • The food at Lolla was surprisingly plentiful, reasonably priced, and pretty good! The fresh made potato chips covered in hot sauce were the highlight. 
Lolla food
We had to chase the brutal coffee with the only available alternative: Diet Pepsi & Miller Lite


  1. Chicago is a great place to get fat. Not that you are. Oh, nevermind. Miss you. Cutie.

  2. I am starving here and should not have read your post :( I love food posts though.

    1. Taking pictures of food during the trip was awesome - food has become one of the biggest attractions for me when travelling.

  3. @Anne - as much as I'd love to live there I just don't think I have the self control for the amazing food available!

  4. mmm, it all looks so good. And now I'm very hungry. Lunch time! :)