Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Food, Food, Food!

So last week my mom came to Chicago to visit me.  We ran our races Saturday morning, but otherwise spent time hanging out, eating, and exploring the city.  There is so much to do and eat here, I must see a new place, or five, I want to visit every week.  I keep a list on my phone updated with all the places I want to try.  This is makes it easier to remember all the places and I can just choose something from the list when someone visits.

My mom flew into Chicago late Thursday evening.  I had to work early Friday morning so we grabbed breakfast at Over Easy, the same place I went when my friend Mari came to visit earlier this spring.  We decided to split one savory and one sweet plate.  We decided on a special omelet with swiss chard and the strawberry rhubarb french toast.  

The omelet was just OK, which I was a bit surprised about because the other two times they have been really good, but this one was just kind of bland.  The french toast however, was fabulous, no syrup needed either.  There was a delicious cream filling and plenty of strawberry-rhubarb compote to go around.  
After several hours at work my mom met me downtown so we could get an early dinner at a new restaurant called Grange Hall Burger Bar.  I read a description and review of the place and new immediately I wanted to try it.  It is a farm to table concept, so they use organic and local foods including grass fed beef.  The restaurant kind of looks like an open barn and since it was a pretty day we sat on the front patio.  The silverware was anitque looking and mismatched along with flowery cloth napkins.  Their menu is pretty simple; beef, turkey, or wild rice burger with your choice of toppings and then you can choose from about six sides.  There was a good selection of beers and drinks as well.  Plus a nice dessert menu that included homemade pie and milkshakes.  The food here did not disappoint. 
We got the beef and turkey burger to spilt and an order of fries and potato salad.  Everything was so good!  The turkey burger, which is made in house, had a great blend of spices mixed into the patty.  The grass fed beef burger was wonderful and everything a burger should be.  Sometimes grass fed beef can be over cooked and a little dry, but this was perfect!  The fries were giant hunks of potato goodness and the homemade potato salad was tasty too.  

We couldn't pass up the homemade pie of the month, strawberry-rhubarb, and got some a la mode.  MMM!  
I will definitely be going back to Grange Hall.  I absolutely loved it!

After napping after the race Saturday, we checked out the new Athleta store here in Chicago.  They have so many great workout and casual clothes.  I didn't end up getting anything, but my mom walked away with a new swimming suit.  
By then we were pretty hungry and went to try the food at Pequod's Pizza.  I have heard lots of people talk about this deep dish pizza and figured it was worth a try.  Luckily we didn't have to wait long to sit down.  We started off with some delicious bruchetta.  I forgot to take a picture, but it was really fresh and served with toasty pieces of bread.  We ordered a small pan pizza with fresh spinach and mushrooms.  One of the unique things about their pizza is the extra cheese put on the crust which caramelizes during the baking process.  The pizza wasn't greasy and tasted really fresh.  
I'm not sure it is the best deep dish I have had but it was good.  We were each satisfied with one slice and took the other two pieces home.  After dinner we headed to the bookstore to look around before heading back to my apartment.

Sunday was my mom's last day so we slept in just a bit and then went off to eat brunch at Orange.  There are a few locations in the city, but we headed over to the one in Roscoe Village.  We got there at the perfect time and were seated immediately.  Once again we decided to go with something savory and something sweet.  I love going to new restaurants with another person because then you get a chance to try more than one item from the menu.  We ended up getting two of the specials for the day the Black Bean Frittata and the Pancake Flight.  
The frittata was perfectly cooked and was particularly tasty with a little bit of hot sauce, avocado, tomato, and mixed greens.  Really a great brunch meal.

The pancake flight consisted of four different pancakes: chocolate chip, vanilla, strawberry, and rocky road.  You can't go wrong with a flight of pancakes, right?  They were all very good!  My favorites were the chocolate chips and vanilla.  I thought Orange was great and will certainly go back for brunch another day.  I saw a few people order the frushi which is fruit sushi so I would like to try that next time.  

We walked around the neighborhood a bit and made our way to Dinkel's Bakery to grab some of there doughnuts.  They are seriously the best doughnuts I have ever had.  The chocolate covered doughnut and raspberry bismarck are my favorites.  Forgot to take a picture again, but if you are in Chicago go get a doughnut from Dinkel's!  We then headed downtown so mom could pick up more Sprinkles cupcakes to take home to Andy, my step-dad, and some Garrett's Popcorn for her co-workers.  

The rest of the day was mostly spent organizing my apartment.  I really don't own any other furniture besides my bed and dresser and we looked for a chair or table, but I couldn't really decide on anything.  Instead we organized some books in my room and cleaned up part of the living room.  We also Skyped with Caroline, my sister, who is in Arizona at the time volunteering with AmeriCorp.
Soon after mom and had to pack all her things and head to the airport.  I walked with her to the train station and said goodbye.  
The weekend went by too fast, but I am glad things worked out for her to visit.  I always enjoy spending time with my mom.  Plus we got to indulge in some more of the tasty food Chicago has to offer!   The next visit will likely be in October when mom and Andy are going to come cheer me on for my first marathon!  
I finalized my training plan and will be posting more about it soon!

Do your prefer sweet or savory for breakfast?  Do you find you indulge more when people come to visit?  I know I do; there is just so much good food to fit in a small amount of time!