Chicago Part Duex
My colleagues and I unfortunately had to work a little during this weekend. Normally, it would not be an issue but the fact is that we were in Chicago for goodness sake! I was about to chuck my laptop out the 19th floor window being stuck indoors, in a city that I had never been to!
“What the shit?!…”
That was the phrase of the week, literally. This is why I took the initiative in deciding for the team as a whole that we needed something great to break up this crappy start to the weekend. Thus, I ordered for us the Chicago icon: deep dish pizza!
We were staying in downtown Chicago and Gino’s East was not all that far away! Turns out that the place actually delivered to hotels and so we had an order of the Cheesy Bread with marinara:
and Gino’s East Supreme deep dish.
The crust had to be at least 2 inch high, which was needed for all the ingredients that were piled into this gorgeous break to a crappy day. It had chunky tomato sauce, mushroom, peppers, onions, and half sausage patty, half pepperoni. Of course, there was an oozy, gooey cheesy layer buried underneath all of that. It was so delicious!
Leonidas Chocolate Cafe
Sometime between lunch and dinner, a pick me up was needed. I was going to get coffee at first yet ended up going to Leonidas Chocolate Cafe because I needed ice cream or gelato ASAP! It felt like an emergency and all the alarms in me were going off shouting, “I. NEEDED. THIS. NOW!” So…
My medium cup of gelato was HUMONGOUS! I got half toasted coconut with almond and fudge, and half Belgium chocolate. I realized as I was eating this was that: my gawd I was so terribly depressed and this is why I am enjoying this even more. Secondly, I should have gotten all Belgium chocolate. It was smooth, creamy, and bittersweet. The best chocolate gelato I’ve had in some time.
Now also in passing, I saw a plate and bags of macaroons being displayed at the cafe. How could I ever pass up the opportunity?!
They looked much better than tasted sadly :(…I should have just stuck with the gelato and maybe some chocolates. Oh well, how could I have known until I tried it for myself? Live and let learn!
Later that evening, when the guys decided the stay in for the night, my new friend/colleague (PR) and I went out for dinner. We were both craving tapas all week and decided we both needed it! However, since we didn’t have the car, we walked the 2.5 miles through downtown to the restaurant. It was actually a really nice walk except for a certain area we had to walk through, but we were both quite hasty in getting to the restaurant so nothing exciting happened.
The spread included (starting from the top and going clockwise): lamb tenderloin with caramelized onions and mushroom, stuffed mushroom caps with cheese, and stuffed peppers with goat cheese.
Goodness gracious….it was an explosion of flavors! PR and I have been feeling trapped with the choices of food we have been eating and desperately needed this change up in our diet. However, just 3 tapas would never satisfy the two of us, so we had an order of the vegetable paella!
The paella was good and it was what we both wanted: something flavorful, fresh, and light too. I had 2 criticisms about the dish: 1. not enough crust! This is the best part of paella in my opinion! Also, when one thinks of paella, one would think saffron being the key spice for the rice yet this one was more tomato base. The entire meal was the best meal we had since arriving to the city!
The following day, PR and I went on an architectural river boat tour which was very informative and fun! I love learning the history of a city and I realized even before the tour, how beautiful the buildings were in the city. After our tour, we met up with the guys to grab a late lunch.
We had another staple of the city that was not all that far from the hotel again! Portillo’s had a fun atmosphere and there were so many options to chose from. However, what I wanted was an Italian sausage, onion rings, and a milk shake! And that was exactly what I got:
Look at the glory that is the delicious, greasy, fatty food that you know you shouldn’t have but you just can’t help it because it has been quite “shitty”.
The Italian sausage was typical, but the bun was a soft crusty bread that was so much better than a hot dog bun! I wish I had grilled onions and peppers to go with it :(…The onion rings were fried super crispy and even though I would normally complain at the number of rings I got that day (very few), it ended up being just enough. The milkshake was a chocolate milkshake with chocolate cake pieces mixed into it. W.O.W. Talk about chocolate overload! It was so rich that I couldn’t finish it and had to recruit my colleagues to help out. Overall I enjoyed myself again with this meal and would do it again in a heart beat.
That was pretty much my time in Chicago. I wish I had more time in the city, but we did our best in between work and commuting. I would definitely be coming back to Chi-town (hopefully not for work) for more!
Leonidas Chocolate Cafe
59 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
1530 s. state st
Chicago, IL 60605