But we finally booked the flights and made our way up there. I know what you are thinking--Chicago in March? Are you out of your mind?
Besides the relentless wind, we were lucky enough to experience sun both days which made it quite pleasant!
My parents live roughly 30 minutes west of the city, so we stayed with them. It worked perfectly to eat a quick and delicious home cooked breakfast before we went into the city both days.
Allyson did all of the food-related research before we left. She's a fantastic cook and loves trying new things and discovering places to eat off the beaten path.
I'm picky and like to go to the same place over and over, so it was really nice to have her choose all the places.
We arrived friday evening and stopped at Portillo's on the way home. That was one of my non-negotiable spots that I required we eat at. It's delicious. And not having access to it regularly means I eat there as often as I can, when I can.
On Saturday we took the train in and went directly to the Art Institute. We walked through a Picasso exhibit that was much more extensive than I could have imagined. We were both surprised to learn how diverse he was. I only think of the abstract/angular paintings, but he's done some pretty detailed and realisitic drawings as well.
After the museum, we made the trek out to Little Goat Diner. The decor alone is worth checking out. It's a neat mixture of retro, modern, and restoration hardware. The wait was about 45 minutes, so we wandered back to the coffee and bread section of the diner.
It was plenty entertaining just to people watch and stare at the bread while we waited to be seated.
Once we sat down, I ordered the Patty Melt and Allyson ordered the Chicken and French Toast. She's a lot more adventerous than I am!
We both loved our meals. I tried a bite of Allyson's dish, and while I could understand the appeal (it was full of deliciuos flavors), I preferred my piping hot Patty Melt.
Before we left, I used the bathroom--which happen to be some of the neatest bathrooms I've ever been in. I also met a lovely blog reader while I was waiting!
We walked back into the city a few blocks and stopped in Zara. We killed about an hour or so shopping on State Street, and met my mom on the side of the road in her car. We hopped in and made our way over to Michigan Avenue.
The plan was to eat at Frontera Grill, one of Rick Bayless' restaurants, but despite arriving 5 minutes after it opened for dinner, the wait was 2 hours! So, we walked over to Maggianos to grab a quick bite before the Bulls game.
Sunday morning we drove into the city and went directly to Ann Sather for breakFEAST. Holy cow the cinnamon rolls were incredible. We were trying to figure out how to split an entree but to also get a side of cinnamon rolls, and we managed to order enough food to feed a small family.
Stuffed, we walked over to Bucktown to do a little resale shopping. A little bit later we drove to Inteligencia Coffee, however the iPhone map directed us to the manufacturing plant of Inteligencia! We finally figured it out and located an actual coffee shop just off of Michigan Ave.
The coffee was delicious. I ordered an Americano, and while it was very bold, it had a really smooth flavor. Allyson got the coffee of the day and enjoyed it as well.
There was a lot of men in skinny jeans, beards, prescription-less glasses, and alternative hair. It was perfectly fitting for a cool coffee shop.
We walked up Michigan a bit, and then drove over to Floriole, a cute cute cute little spot on the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The front of the restaurant is made up of glass panels that they open up in the summer. It was definitely the most charming place we ate.
Finally, we headed back home and ordered in Giordano's. Allyson had her first taste of authentic chicago style deep dish pizza, and she loved it!
We headed home yesterday, and both discussed the need for much exercise and clean eating to compensate for such a scrumptious food-heavy weekend.
If you are visiting Chicago, or even if you live there, be sure to check out the places I mentioned. Allyson knows how to pick the great ones!