Taste of Chicago

Blog readers will know that Jason's mom is quite the creative gift giver (see 2007's Segway Tour) and she did it again. And since Jason already confessed to her that he bowed out of the latest gift and suggested I take a friend, I can blog about it. This might have been a tricky post otherwise since Nancy is a reader and might have noticed that Jason appears in none of the photos chronicling the Chicago Food Planet Tasting Tour.

This yummy tour took me and my lucky friend to the Bucktown & Wicker Park neighborhoods of Chicago to taste a few of those one-of-kind, best-in-town places. Starting with a classic Chicago style hot dog, with practically everything you can imagine on it, except ketchup! Seven toppings: yellow mustard, relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear, pickled sport peppers, and celery salt. It's really good.

Then iced hot chocolate, topped with a homemade marshmallow at our next stop, restaurant, Hot Chocolate. (I will be going back.)
Followed by a taste of pasta salad at The Goddess & The Grocer, a market founded by a caterer who served major concert tours and then decided to settle in Chicago. Look at those BRICKS of spinach lasagna.A slice of New Haven style pizza and a taste of their own brewed beer at Piece. Yeah, I know, you're wondering why we weren't eating Chicago-style pizza? I learned that 80% of pizza consumed in Chicago is actually the thin crust variety. The other 20% is the deep dish we eat when we have out-of-town guests. Between pizza and the next stop's falafel there's a mini architecture tour through the Victorian neighborhoods of Wicker Park. Welcome, because even day after the tour, I still feel full. Last stop, was iCream, a delicious ice cream shop where you can make your own flavors out of crazy fun stuff like cream soda, caramel, green tea, and hazelnut. They concoct it with liquid nitrogen in a mad scientist-like kitchen, right out of the Jetsons. As we were driving home I called Jason and told him that he might regret not going. Maybe I'll have to sign us up for their other Chicago tour...when I've worked off the 10 lbs I likely added on Saturday. Yep, still feeling full!

And next time we have those out-of-town guests I'll be able to nonchalantly propose that we check out a few hidden gems I've discovered in these neighborhoods. Like I stumbled upon them all by myself. Wink, wink!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad at least SOMEONE enjoyed the tour! Your post makes it sound awesome - something I think I may have to do on one of my visits! Let's see, against threats from my son, what can I come up with next? :)

Claire said...

Keep 'em coming! I love the 'get out of the house' gifts. And maybe Jason likes them because if I'm out it means I'm not hovering over his computer, bugging him?


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