Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chicago Food Scene

In the past I've been really eager to try the best new restaurants in Chicago. When we started saving for the wedding and focusing on getting in shape, I became more interested in cooking at home and eating well. Lately I've been getting excited about restaurants to try again and it's mostly because I've been seeing new trends in places around the city including using local ingredients, organic and natural ingredients, vegetarian options galore and places that benefit the community. Here are some places I'm excited to try. Sandwich Me In

This place uses local ingredients and is TRASH FREE! They go through great lengths to produce no trash. Pretty impressive!

Inspiration Kitchens

One of our favorite places to go that gives job training to at risk members of the community. Oh and the food is DELIC!

Milt's BBQ for the Perplexed

Rob and I have been dying to try this kosher BBQ spot in our old hood. 100% of their profits go to charity. AWESOME!

Mista Pizza

Rob and I only had it once or twice but it's a great, super crisp pizza with organic ingredients. We need to go back!

LYFE Kitchen

I've been eager to try this new casual dining spot in River North that uses sustainable ingredients and has lots of organic and vegetarian options. They also include calories and sodium for each item on the menu.

Blue Door Farm Stand

I'm pumped to try this for lunch tomorrow. They only use ingredients that are in season and I believe local. Can't wait!

Blue Sky Bakery

Similar to Inspiration, they provide job training for at risk teens. I'm excited to try this place for my friend Leah's shower soon!

Monday, April 21, 2014

West Coast Trip

I planned an Alumni Reception in San Francisco this March and had the opportunity to fly out to staff it and extend my visit to enjoy the west coast and have Rob join me! The event took place at the Omni which was beautiful! The event went very smoothly and it was a relief when it was over because it had not been easy to plan. Rob arrived later that night and in the morning we drove to Monterey for a little getaway. It was the most gorgeous day! We checked into our hotel and walked around in the sun before grabbing a hearty and delicious lunch at a vegan Mexican restaurant. It was so, so good! It's awesome to find spots that make it easy for me to eat healthy when we're traveling! After lunch we walked along the water and went to the Coast Guard Pier to see all the sunbathing and super noisy sea lions! It was UNBELIEVABLE! There were just so many of them. I had no idea how loud and aggressive they would be. It was so fun to watch them. We also saw a sea otter swimming and that made my whole trip! We walked further down the coast and found where all the seals sunbathed. They're much nicer. After our walk we got Giardellis - so good - and then took short naps. Then we went to an early dinner at this foodie hotspot in this incredible old mansion in the historic part of town. It was the most interesting restaurant I think I've ever seen! We enjoyed cheddar bacon biscuits for an appetizer and I think I had some sort of chicken. No clue on Rob's dish. We just really enjoyed our fancy little date! Then we went back to the hotel, turned on the fireplace and watched March Madness. Heaven! The next day it was expected to rain so we visited the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. We got there right when it opened and went all the way to the corner before the crowd could meet us. We saw Jellyfish, sharks, tuna, sea otters, penguins and so much more. We also spent some time on their patios looking through the telescopes. It didn't really rain much at all. We loved our time there but got burnt out quickly by the crowds. We grabbed sandwiches at this awesome deli, Compagno's Deli, that Ame and Tom recommended. It was SO good and so filling! Then we drove to Foster City to start our fun with the Liebls! It was so fun seeing the kiddos and spending quality time with Amy and Tom! We got In & Out for dinner that night which is always good! The next day we enjoyed playing outside and even a little babysitting. The kids are such a riot and we love seeing them! We were sad to head back to Chicago after such a fun visit! We can't wait to see them at Hunky Dory this summer! This was the getaway I had been needing after a rough winter. I came back feeling refreshed and relaxed!