Whenever the possibility of leaving Chicago flashes through my mind, the thought that comes in my head first (right after the one about leaving my Chicago friends behind) is:
There would be a hole in my heart and stomach where food used to be.
I am spoiled. There is almost every culinary delight imaginable within a five-block radius. For instance:
Cuisines: Greek, Italian, Thai, Japanese, fancy Japanese, Mexican, fancy Mexican, Middle Eastern.
Foods: Greek fries, pizza, pasta, sushi, veggie tacos, freshly made guacamole, veggie sandwiches, chilaquiles, spicy hummus, falafel, greasy diner food, bar food, bakeries, frozen kefir, gelato, brunchity brunch, McDonald’s, hot dogs.
You may recall that I took a solemn vow against dining out in an effort to save money in 2010. ‘Tis true. But I figured since the anniversary of my birth was this past weekend, it may be cause for exception and celebration. After all, what better way to celebrate getting a little older than by getting a little fatter?
Keep your Tums handy.
Here’s a look at all the food I’ve eaten the past few days:
Liz, Sunya, Russ, Joe and I headed to one of the old Lakeview haunts before the benefit for Haiti at The Spot. I don’t miss the neighborhood per se, but I dream about the foods I used to eat. Like this. Joe’s Pad Thai is playing proxy to my entree. I actually ate Pad Khee Mao. I forgot my camera, and the lighting was too low for the iPhone to capture its deliciousness.
Saturday morning: Brunch.
I have a crush on Jam. I hadn’t been there in a while, so when my pal Sarah suggested brunch, this was the first destination proposed. They always serve a little treat before the meal…this time it was a tiny, chocolate-coated, banana-creme pastry that melted in the mouth. Tres yum.
When choosing meals from the menu, Sarah and I were overstimulated by the amount of tastiness, so we decided to order two different entrees and split them. I chose the Spanish Omelet (middle) with chorizo, roasted peppers, melted onions and garrotxa cheese. Sarah order the Egg Sandwich (bottom) with pork cheek, ricotta and pickled plums on French bollo. Both came with fingerling potatoes, and neither dish disappointed.
Saturday night: Dinner
I hadn’t heard much about Spring before Joe suggested this restaurant as the site for ringing in my 28th year. My belly is still thanking him for the abundance of flavors that slow danced together that night.
We started the meal with the Creamy-Spicy Yellowtail Roll that was served with a tasty wasabi-creme fraiche dipping sauce. Since I’m only eating meat a few times a week these days, I ordered the well-balanced Roasted Sweet Potato Potstickers with bok choy, carrots and light broth. Amazing. For dessert, we ordered the chocolate dome cake, filled with pumpkin cake and chocolate mousse. Ridiculous.
Also ridiculous is the use of flash…one of the seven deadly sins of food photography. It was really dark in there, though.
Andrea’s dining room
Sunday: All day
My friends threw me a sleepless sleepover for my birthday. It was a yoga pants-filled, adult version of a slumber party. Much cake eating, nail painting and trashy TV watching occurred. And, man did we eat. Dre baked homemade chocolate cupcakes with butterscotch and peanut butter chip filling. Megan brought the Jeanine cake (sp?) from A Taste of Heaven in Andersonville. Cake is not even my favorite dessert, but the layers of white cake, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries mingling with the perfectly sweetened icing kill me. Casey and Sarah brought an assortment of treats from Fritz Bakery…macaroons, bread pudding, chocolate chip pastries—you name, we ate it. And for dessert we had cocktails and yummy, greasy, New York-style Santullo’s pizza while watching Mystic Pizza. A day of birthday perfection.
As if I hadn’t eaten enough already, my lovely co-workers took me to lunch at Hop Haus. They have every burger imaginable, plus exotic burgers with kangaroo, ostrich and boar. I always order the Vegan Burger and make a mockery of it by adding cheese. So good! But apparently, I was too exhausted from eating to think about photographing the not-so-Vegan Burger.
Great birthday! If you need me, I’ll be at the gym.