Recap: Taste Talks

Taste Talks is a 3 day national series filled with seminars, tastings, dinners and parties. It is an intimate way to bring amazing chefs, restaurants and influencers together to engage in conversations through Q & A, demos and sampling. I was fortunate enough to attend the conference on Saturday and the cookout the following day. More about this event on Chicago Taste Talks.  Read more at Travel & City Adventures

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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

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

Getting Fresh Retro at Rhyme and Reason

Between sports bars and brunch spots, it’s difficult to stand out on Division Street. But, Le’Qoinne Rice and Zafer Genc are doing it with Rhyme or Reason, 1938 W. Division. Their 70’s themed interior, menu from Chef Chris de la Cueva, and live entertainment, all help bring a fun, retro vibe to the Wicker Park area.

Plush rugs, velvet couches and mirrors sets the mood for the 70’s eatery with shareable food and innovative cocktails. The mural around the base of the bar is by Jas Petersen, a Chicago visual artist and painter, which surrounds the circular bar. With an open kitchen, large windows, and an outdoor patio with seating up to 75 people, this is a perfect spot to spend the warm summer months ahead.

The Tuesday through Friday dinner menu has a touch of comfort food like fried oysters, lamb meatballs, wings, burgers and poutine, while the weekend brunch has some of my favorites.

On the brunch menu is a delicious edamame toast, an upgrade from avocado toast. For those who enjoy a little heat, the fried chicken and donuts topped with fresno chili is the perfect choice. Their Bloody Mary comes with a slice of house smoked bacon and mini grilled cheese sandwich. It’s like a meal before the meal or a side for your drinks of choice.

The $1 oysters as well as the bottomless mimosas for $18.95 with orange, hibiscus and grapefruit juices are more reasons for Rice’s and Genc’s Rhyme or Reason to be one of your favorite brunch spots too.

During happy hour from 4pm to 6pm, Tuesday through Friday, $5 dollars gets you bites like lamb sliders, fried oysters and the West Town pizzette. Wash it all down with Prosecco on tap and a glass of Retro Fruit Punch.

Tuesdays are special community giveback to Chicago Public Schools. CPS receives a donation of 15% off all sales.

Rhyme or Reason’s music scene is live Friday and Saturday and ranges from local funk to soul and disco. During the week, the vinyl only DJ booth is coolest and brings a unique quality to the venue.

Le’Qoinne Rice and Zafer Genc opened the business in February 2016 and have been friends for years. Rhyme or Reason reflects their relationship, coming from opposite backgrounds, but managed to develop a relationship and now business.

Whether you stop by for food, drink or music, you’ll find there is both rhyme and reason.

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Taking Risks as a 30 something-year-old. Finally

My entire life has been pretty much planned out since I can remember. As a child, I laid out my clothes, packed my lunch, and even put the toothpaste on my toothbrush (crazy, I know) every school night. I knew what college I wanted to go to by Sophomore year of high school. I knew (roughly) when I was going to get engaged. I have been at the same job for ten years. And my son was a scheduled c-section (an entirely other sensitive topic in itself though). With all that being said, every event has been plotted, revised and schemed with perfection.

But now, as a 32 year old, I am finally taking some risks and it feels so good. For some time now, I have wanted to start a blog. I love food, telling stories, giving advice and most importantly, helping others. But I never had the courage to act on it. In fact, I have written this blog post twice because I kept deleting it, too afraid of what could happen. But now, I can say, I am OVER what others say.  I am a mom, wife and have a loving family and with lots of friends. All these people support me, sometimes more than I even realized. I am learning that it doesn’t matter what others say, you are living your own life day in and day out. No one else. Failures are lessons learned. And I truly believe everything and everyone in your life is for a reason. This is one lesson I wish I could go back in time and tell my 25 year old self.

It has been almost a week since I have gone public with The Chicago Good Life and I couldn’t be happier. The support I am getting is amazing and I am so excited what the future holds. I am also making some big career moves as well and there is a still a lot unknown. But that is okay and I will learn. I will continue to build confidence and take steps to being a happy me. And listen to a lot of Beyonce 😉

So thanks for following and I can’t wait to share my adventure with you! Please reach out with comments, questions, or please, any ideas you would LOVE to see here on The Chicago Good Life.

Until next time…

~xoxo~

Christine