food explosion in the windy city – part one

i know what you’re thinking.  can i NOT talk about food for one post?  the answer is no.  let me tell you a story.

there was a girl who, for a brief time, worked at the same network that i used to call my employer.  this girl was so repulsed by the fact that the rest of us in the department would talk incessantly about food.  she had a post-it note at her desk that read, in all caps, in black sharpie:

NO SUGAR!

NO FRIED FOODS!

NO WHITE CARBS!

she was obsessed with working out and watching suze orman.  just as a point of reference, she was a twig and her husband was rich.  go figure.

but– back to the road trip.

chicago!  surprise, another cloudy/overcast day as we arrive in chi-town.  but hey, look!  that’s the sears tower!  even from far away, pretty damn tall!

oh, hai.

we were also excited to arrive because it was about damn time for us to take a break from our journey across this great land.  two nights in chicago would be good to relax a bit and re-charge before the final push to make it home.

stayed at a swank little hotel called the affinia right off of famed michigan ave.  the hotel restaurant was one of newly-crowned top chef master marcus samuelson’s creations.  too bad the prices were to match.  so we walked literally next door to gino’s east for some serious deep dish pizza.  now, listen here, pizza is a big deal.  i grew up in the land of the thin-crust, fold-and-eat variation.  this deep dish business?  what the hell am i supposed to do with that?  but, when in rome…

and it was kind of good.  I LIKED IT.  the dough was slightly buttery and there was a lot of sauce, which earned extra points in my book.  although it will never be in the same category as my beloved new york style.  you’re just going to have to accept that.

the next day, since we didn’t have to hurry up and leave, it was time to explore the city.  and kittens, get this– it was gorgeous!  the weather gods finally decided to cut us a break and it was warm and sunny out, hurray!  the northern-most city on our journey and we have been granted the best weather, but you won’t hear a complaint from me.  for lunch we ate at the glorious hot doug’s, which we thought we could have taken a train to, but turns out that would have been an ordeal and a half.  it was slightly frustrating on the mere basis of “but, but, we’re not SUPPOSED to drive today!” …on the one day we didn’t have to drive anywhere, we drove somewhere.  at least it was a quick trip and mighty tasty food.  on weekends, this place cooks their fries in rendered duck fat.  did you read that, all 7 of you?  DUCK FAT FRIES.  quite sadly it was not the weekend for me.  so cheese fries would have to do.

ps– they were delicious.

after the feast of meats in tube form, we decided it was probably a good idea to burn some of those calories off.  walked along michigan avenue and checked out all the cool buildings, really amazing architecture.  then we hit up the river, and walked down (or up?) the river to the lake, which is huge.  this was unlike all other lakes i have encountered in my life.  okay, well, i also went to lake tahoe, and that was a pretty sweet lake.  but for the most part– you know, ones with ducks and lily-pads and algae running a-muck.  mosquitoes and mud and yucky things.  this was not that kind of lake.it really felt like we were in a port or harbor and there were greater seas out there just beyond the horizon.  it was a lovely walk, but then our sorry out of shape asses were tired and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the evening.

we had plans.  DINNER PLANS.  and it went by the name rick bayless.

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About mariel

new yorker. tv freelancer. pork bun enthusiast. cat person.
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One Response to food explosion in the windy city – part one

  1. E says:

    I also worked with that lovely “no white carbs” woman! No amount of skinny could fix that personality (or lack thereof). **Shudders**

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