Chicago Gourmet Recap: 5 products I discovered

Chicago Gourmet is one of those events I had been wanting to attend for a long time. I finally had the opportunity and was thrilled to be among the best chefs, restaurants and brands in the world. Lucky for me, it was extra special because Chicago Gourmet was celebrating their 10th anniversary.

The week long event is thrown by the Illinois Restaurant Association along with the title sponsor Bon Appetit magazine every year in Millennium Park. It brings together renowned chefs, restaurants and wine and spirits. There are tastings, book signings, cooking demos, and wine and cocktail seminars throughout the event. It is truly a “foodie” experience.

This was my first year attending and it will not be my last. I sampled everything from Thai food, types of honey, wine, sliders, charcuterie, truffle mac & cheese and so on. I left discovering so many products I fell in love with. Even a few from brands I have never heard of. Read more at Restaurants & Recipes

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Quest for the Best *Thin Pizza Only

There are a few things that can get me out of the house during winter hibernation or away from my summer Netflix and Chill; pizza,  wine and maybe a manicure. If I’m desperate enough.

There are so many good places in Chicago to eat a good slice, but I can’t stand deep dish. Except, maybe when I’m hungover. Or pregnant. One of those happens more than the other.  But really, I’m a thin crust kind of girl. I have narrowed it down to just three, but there are so many more options in the city. Read more at CGL Food

Your Non-Hipster Guide To Pilsen

If you know anything about the various neighborhoods in Chicago, you would know that Pilsen has always been a predominately Mexican neighborhood. Recently, Pilsen has been slowly gentrifying as hipsters and young families move into the area, the culture is still very present. Although the restaurant scene is thriving with places like Michelin rated Dusek’s and Honky Tonk BBQ, there are still plenty of authentic, Mexican taqueria’s and bakeries. My husband’s family still lives in the area, so we know some less touristy places that might not be as well-known. Plus, he has a discerning taste 🙂

El Milagro (1927 S. Blue Island)- Cafeteria style dining and the only tortillas you should ever eat, El Milagro. I had chicken tacos, rice and beans. You will literally have an entire piece of chicken, bones and all. So good and such a unique dining experience.

Lupitas (1723 S.Ashland) This is a taqueria which serves breakfast all day and homemade FullSizeRender(1)menudo (cow stomach), which my husband had and loved (not so much my thing). I had steak tacos, huge portions and delicious. This mom and pop restaurant has grandma and mom cooking in the back and the daughter works the front. We stumbled upon while walking around the area and so glad we did. Very easy to miss, but definitely a must stop.

Bon Bon Bakery (1457 W. 18th Street)- TRES LECHES (3 milk cake) had me in tears. Seriously, the best in the city. Maybe world. A ittle bit more well known throughout the city, this original location is a must along your way.

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Bright doors and colorful street art

 

Nuevo Bakery (1634 W. 18th Street)- Currently, the restaurant is under construction from a fire they had recently, but the bakery has the best conchas (Mexican Bread). Best when dipped in coffee.

Try out the street food. Don’t be scared. We had some tamales from a lady on 18th street, right by the Pink line. They were fresh, delicious and really, it feels good to shop local and support small businesses.

Jump on the Pink line to 18th Street and do some exploring. Try the street food. Check out the National Museum of Mexican Art and all the street art. Do it. Let me know what you think!

Until next time,

~xoxo~

CGL

 

 

 

 

 

Date Night (or day)

Where to go on the next date? A night or few hours during the day away from the kids? So many places…let me make it a little easier for you.

DAY

The Allis at Soho– This is a trendy, nice brunch or lunch spot during the day. The former belting factory has now transformed into a hotel, bar and restaurant. Allis is the name of the former factory owners. My husband and I sat at the bar and sat for two hours just checking out the scene, sipping yummy crafted cocktails and eating.Pull up a spot at the bar, grab a cocktail and watch your food be prepared or drink stirred. The decor and people watching, and well crafted cocktails (had the Nobel Roselle- I love anything with mezcal) will have you stay awhile  The architecture is fascinating with old brick walls and vintage chandeliers. Prices are comparable for the location and they also serve afternoon tea.

City Winery (Riverwalk)- I love City Winery in the West Loop, but when they opened on the Riverwalk, I was so excited! Grab a glass or two of wine and watching the boats and people pass by. You can even bar hop along the Riverwalk. Or grab the water taxi at Michigan Avenue (an all day pass is $8.00 dollars) and go up and down the river.

NIGHT

Semiramis– This was the second date my husband and I went on (first was a Cubs game). My husband loves Mediterranean food and claimed this was some of the best in the city. I can now agree. It’s located in Albany Park right next to the brown line, BYOB and has the best hummus I’ve ever had. Their lentil soup is my favorite as well  They do take reservations, but it’s a small, quaint place and can get really crowded on the weekends.  No outdoor seating, so it’s perfect when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Osteria Langhe-It’s just amazing. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place. Their Plin (always add truffles when it’s an option) are pillows of happiness filled with butter and thyme. And their wine list is very impressive. My husband had the rabbit and said it was the best meal of his life. It’s romantic and the food is so beautiful, it’s a conversation piece. They have happy hour Monday-Thursday from 5:30-7pm, which is half price cocktails. On Tuesdays, they have three courses for $38 dollars, which I highly recommend. Reservations are definitely needed.

These are just 4 places I love, but there are oh so many more places in the city. Cheers to love and wine!