Leaving Milwaukee, I headed south to Chicago. I love Chicago, probably because long ago I spent over a week there with family and then friends, and saw lots and walked more. Since then, it has stayed as a special place in my heart – if only the winters weren’t so cold and the summers so hot…ha.
This time, I was lucky enough to stay close to the city with a kind friend and his new wife (who wants company after getting married 6-months previously?!). They were very generous with their lovely condo in Lincoln Park. Jasper was comfortable enough that he almost immediately found his place on the back of the couch.
It was later when I arrived (around 6 – thanks Chicago traffic!), and the 4 of us set out to walk around the neighborhood and head to a Wisconsin brand coffee shop (Colectivo). The beer was limited, but still hit the spot. After our long walk, they encouraged me to go out, and leave Jasper with them. It felt like I had a babysitter for a night out. I was tired, but took advantage of it and went to the Barrelhouse Flat – misunderstanding that I needed to go to the back for the speakeasy, I dumbly sat at the lower bar. It was loud, I am getting so old. But the bartender was sweet, and I was able to read and sip on my Knob Creek Old Fashioned. Very lovely, classic drink.
As typical, I posted it on IG #nightcapswithNatalie, and about an hour into being there, I got a tap on the arm. Uh-oh, should I not be reading at the bar? She asked if I was the wandering accountant. I hesitantly said yes. She proceeded to tell me that they like to give a shot to people who tag them in social media, so what would I like? Uhhh whiskey? It was well (though that happened to be Buffalo Trace #classywell), and after the smooth Knob Creek, I thought it may have been something not so nice.
Saturday was a day of walking…. I think after the weekend was over, we walked around 18 miles. I walked with my friends to the Green City Market – a farmers market mostly focused on veggies and food goods (not like PDX with all the food and clothing options). I then set out to lay on the beach, but plans change and I instead headed out to meet with my cousin for lunch. Saturday night was saved for meeting up with her son (my 2nd cousin) and going to dinner. Dinner reservations proved to be the decider in where to eat, and we ended up at a place called Ceres’ Table. While a year ago when my cousin heard about it may have been good, it was past it’s prime and trying too hard by the time we got there. Not to mention our waiter was quite odd – taking a full 5 minutes to explain how to read the wine menu. What, did he think I was a newbie at drinking? The appetizer crostini’s were ok, nothing spectacular, but my veal tagliatelle was terrible (I’m glad he only gave me a half portion, though I found it odd the waiter never asked). The veal was the consistency of tuna, the noodles were clumpy, and had no seasoning. But the wine and company were great.
Sunday was to be my last day in town, and I spent it again with my cousin, wandering along the Chicago river walk, stopping for sangria and lunch, and finally back to their place to wait for her husband to get home from Germany. My stay was extended, as her son came by, and we all chatted amiably for some time. Finally, I headed out to Detroit City, which I had planned to explore, but was derailed back west (the only time I’ve intentionally gone backwards) to have lunch with my ex-VP from Univar. A good choice, I might add. Chicago Photos
Out of Illinois, and on to Indiana it was at last!
Stayed At: Lincoln Park w/ friends
Ate At: (1) Colectivo – $8 chicken sandwich wrap, $4 beer w/ a dog friendly patio; (2) Barrelhouse Flat – $13 old fashioned; (3) La Pain Quotiden – $14 chef’s lunch; (4) River Shannon – $6 beer – completely dog friendly; (5) Ceres’ Table – $40 bottle of wine, $14 1/2 portion of veal tagliatelle, $7 chocolate cake; (6) Old Crow Smokehouse River North – $10 build-your-own bloody mary bar, $13 Brisket Eggs Benedict (prices are generally based on memory or receipt when I have it)