Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago Part 3: Good Eats!

I was only in Chicago for a few days but I was able to enjoy some of the yummy food that Chicago has to offer. I definitely want to go back to try more of the recommended restaurants. What I did notice was that there was a large emphasis on meat! I felt like I ate a ton of meat! First stop, Gino’s East Pizzeria!

Gino's East

Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza and I have heard that Gino’s East is one of the best. There are several locations in Chicago so I walked to the one closest to my hotel. And of course, a long line had formed in front of the restaurant. When I asked how long the wait would be, the hostess said an hour and a half wait in line and then another 45 minutes inside once we order. Goodness…I was so hungry! So to cut the wait down, I placed a to-go order for a Gino’s East Meaty Legend Deep Dish Pizza, which consisted of Italian sausage, pepperoni, bacon and cheese. I also added some green bell peppers just to feel better that I had eaten some vegetables.

Inside Gino's East

mmmmmmmm

The deep dish pizza was definitely delicious! My eyes were way bigger than my stomach so I was only able to eat one large slice. Luckily, I got hungry again later and ate more! YUM! I would definitely go back but I would try one of their other deep dish pizzas next time.

Next up, Portillo’s for famous Chicago Italian Beef sandwich and Hot Dogs. I ordered fries to go with the sandwiches and I was set. The restaurant was large and bustling. There was a long line to order and an even longer line for pick-up. Waiting for the pick-up was entertaining since their was a cashier that was dancing and singing while calling out orders.

Inside Portillo's

Pick-up area @ Portillo's

Portillo's Hot Dogs

I usually like hot dogs, but I felt like this hot dog was better than any other hot dog I had ever had. And after I finished, I felt like I was craving that hot dog several times throughout the trip. I don’t remember ever craving a hot dog. haha The Italian Beef Sandwich was also really good…but like I said, a lot of meat!

Portillo's Italian Beef Sandwich

Then came the best restaurant of the trip, The Bongo Room in Wicker Park.

Inside The Bongo Room

I had seen a commercial about the unique breakfast foods offered at this restaurant so I cabbed it over to Wicker Park to see what deliciousness I could find. And deliciousness is exactly what I found! I ordered the Chocolate Tower French Toast which was french toast with chocolate inserted between the toast. Bananas were placed on top with banana creme brulee surrounding the french toast. This was the best french toast I have ever had. I also ordered hash browns and the potatoes were perfectly seasoned.

Chocolate Tower French Toast @ The Bongo Room

These are just a few of the good eats that I ate at in Chicago. I also ate at Gibson’s Steakhouse which had a really good peppercorn steak. I tried Frontera Grill and was a bit disappointed by the food. The food seemed a bit salty for my taste and I wasn’t impressed with the enchiladas that I ordered.

If you know of any other foods or restaurants I should try next time, please let me know! Thanks!

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Chicago Part 2: Millennium Park

Luckily, I had a few friends that either currently live in Chicago or have lived in Chicago at some point in their lives. So I was able to ask for recommendations and suggestions of sites that I most definitely had to see. And every time I spoke to someone about Chicago, the same thing kept coming up: “You have to see the BEAN!”

So after some research, I found out about Millennium Park, where the Bean is! The Bean is actually an art piece by Anish Kapoor called “Cloud Gate”. As I walked through Millennium Park, I was impressed by the beauty of all of the artwork and structures at the park. And Cloud Gate was even larger than I had thought it would be!

The BEAN!

So many people taking pictures!

The Jay Prtizker Pavilion is also  in Millennium Park and is a concert and grass area that can fit up to 7000 people. It’s such an amazing outdoor area and I can only imagine the great concerts that take place there. I’m sure that during the summer months the grass area must be filled with thousands of concert-goers enjoying the summer weather.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Here are some of the other shots of artwork in Millennium Park, which includes Contemporary Art from China and the Crown Fountain.

Contemporary Art from China

Contemporary Art from China

Crown Fountain

After strolling through Millennium Park, I headed to the Art Institute of Chicago, which is free on Thursday nights between 5-8pm. I love FREE!

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

Then I headed back to Cloud Gate to see if there would be less people and to see if I could get some better shots. And I was so happy that I went back. There was still the same amount of people but the Chicago lights reflecting off of Cloud Gate looked so beautiful.

Cloud Gate at night

Cloud Gate at night

Next time, I’ll tell you all about the famous architecture in Chicago! For more info on Millennium Park, go to http://www.millenniumpark.org

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Welcome to the Windy City! Chicago: Part I

I just recently went on my first trip to Chicago. I had always heard great things about Chicago such as how clean it is, how similar it is to NYC, how friendly the people are and how beautiful the city is. And all of it was very TRUE!

When I arrived in Chicago, I took the train to downtown Chicago and I was able to see the neighborhoods around Chicago and people watch. To get to my hotel on the Magnificent Mile, I had to hop off the train and take a cab to Magnificent Mile. When I came out of the train station, I was instantly reminded of movies such as Spiderman and While You Were Sleeping. While I was taking in the city, someone stopped me and asked if I was lost and needed help. Isn’t it sad that I was shocked that someone would be that nice to help me in a major city? ha

I have so much to say about Chicago because I absolutely loved it so I will be blogging about the various sites, restaurants and stores that I visited. Hopefully this will help some of you if you are planning a trip to Chicago soon!  I was most impressed by the plethora of artwork and architecture in Chicago.  I also noticed that everywhere we went, really great jazz or soul music was playing. I couldn’t believe that coffee shops, stores, hotel lobbies, restaurants and other places were playing Robin Thicke, Dwele, Musiq Soulchild and Common.

To start off my Chicago posts, here are some shots of downtown Chicago that I took when I first arrived. I was so excited to have my camera with me during this trip. What a beautiful city!

Check back for more posts about Chicago…food, architecture, shopping and more!

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