Tag Archives: Chicago

Food, Food….and for a change of pace…FOOD!

Well my friends, Chicago has been many things…one of which has been some AMAZING eats.  Lets take a look…shall we?!

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it also happens to be my favorite.

Gotta love a place that has stock Truvia for the coffee!

The menu was HUGE!  I narrowed it down a bit, and finally went with…

West Coast Crepes?!?!  You had me at avocado.

They didn’t skimp on the green stuff, either!

Huge chunks -o- cado!  Yummmmm

Shortly after this meal we walked deeper into the city, where we found a free zoo!  How awesome is that?

MONKEYYYYYY!  Have I mentioned my slight obsession with monkeys?!  There was also a huge exhibit full of sleeping gorillas.  If I didn’t think these gentle giants wouldnt rip me to shreds, I would have hopped in there with them.  I love the monkeys!

But I digress.  Time for more food.

One place I was directed to go for CUPCAKES was a place called Sprinkles.  Considering there are days when I go so far as daydream about cupcakes…I knew this place probably wouldn’t disappoint.

There is nothing like the sweet smell of icing hitting you in the face.  I knew this place and I were going to get along juuuuuuust fine.  How could I choose?!

The carrot cake ended up winning!  The icing looked divine, and everyone knows that is what I go for first!

In typical me fashion, I ripped off the top to save for last…and munched on the actual “cake” part of this beauty.

Super moist, hint of spice…and huge chunks of carrots, and nuts.  Awesome.

Now, what about the icing?!

Best.  Cupcake.  Ever. Seriously, and I am *THE* cupcake expert.

Bravo, Sprinkles…..you sold me big time.

If you are ever in the Chicago area,  you MUST check this place out.

Moving on…….more food!  🙂

The trouble with my brother planning all these food stops, is that he based most of them on “Diners Drive-Ins and Dives” from Food Network.  This made for amazing meals, but not so amazing nutrition facts.  This is a vacation, THIS is a vacation. I had to keep reminding myself of this fact as I was presented with meals such as these…

 

Smoque was a prime example of the classic BBQ joint.  This chopped brisket was great, minus the bun!  I was also not used to a tomato-based bbq sauce…so it was a nice surprise.  I am a fry junkie…and these did not disappoint.

This was also a prime example of a “dive”.  Leave it to my brother to find these places!

Which brings me to a HEALTHY meal!  Trust me, my stomach was more than ready for something a bit lighter.  Let me tell you….I am an official fan of “The Corner Bakery”.  They seem to be everywhere in Chicago, and offer great light/natural/organic options.  Panera like, but better!  I was a big fan.

OATMEAL!!!!!!  My poor stomach was in panic mode, but this meal seemed to calm it back to normal after massive amounts of not-so-healthy options!

Banana/Granola oatmeal with a crisp raisin bread slice.  YUM!

My stomach was also re-introduced to Odwalla juice.  Mmmmm….

Meals like this were few and far in between……but I was ecstatic, and enjoyed every bite.

All in all Chicago has been a great place.  Tons of stuff to do and even MORE stuff to eat.

Back to reality tomorrow, and time for a MAJOR detox for this blogger boy.  I have alot of calories to burn off.  My poor classes are going to hate me. 🙂

Have a great night everyone!  Long day tomorrow with planes, trains, and automobiles!  Back to Tennessee!

 

 

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Hello, Chicago!

Well, in the randomness that is my life, I am currently sitting 24 floors up in this amazing Chicago hotel on a spur of the moment long weekend!

This blogger boy doesn’t get out much, so this impromptu trip to Chi-Town with my dad and brother is going to be too much fun!

The boys have currently left me for a Cubs game (I would rather watch paint dry!) so I have actually gotten to explore alot on my own today.  This city is right up my alley!

Lets rewind a bit to this morning, where a 4:30am wakeup call had us rushing to the airport.  Luckily, I had two friends along for the flight…

Starbucks, & Mens Fitness!  Score!

Now, it is a well known fact that I am pretty much terrified to fly, so here is the much needed “please do not let us fall 40,000 feet to our death” – face.

Luckily, I survived.

Can I just say how hilarious it was that my FIRST impression of Chicago once exiting the Subway was of a homeless man, pantless, drying his bottom half with the automatic hand dryer in the bathroom?!?!?  Wow.  That is certainly a mental image.

Other than the half nude hobo, this place is BEAUTIFUL!

Now, let us move onto the delicious portion of this blog, the FOOD!  Let it be known that while in Chicago, my food choices are NOT going to be what is typically seen around these parts.  Watching what you eat is a major part of my life, but so is moderation.  This weekend may consist of a few SPLURGES (or 40) that while not the healthiest, are an example of how ANYTHING in moderation is not bad!

Point in case, my breakfast/lunch was combined with an undocumented blueberry bagel…so wandering the streets of Chicago, I immediately took my dear friend Shannons advice (pretty much a demand) and stopped by Garrett Popcorn. I mean, how bad could a place that Oprah listed as one of her favorite things be?!

Obviously, NO ONE knows about this place.

CRAZINESS!

Seeing as how I was *in* Chicago…the “Chicago Mix” was a must!  This is a combination of their cheese and caramel popcorn (seems strange…bare with me…)

Ahh.  MAZING.

Your probably thinking, it’s POPCORN, how amazing can it be?!  Trust me, this was unlike any other I have ever had!  I am SUCH a sucker for the sweet/salty combination so this was most certainly the perfect fuel to explore the city with!

As I munched on my popcorn, I spotted a very nice sight.

Trader Joe’s!!!!!  Needless to say I managed to stay for much longer than I should have.  It is a good thing I was alone, I think the boys would have killed me if they had to spend that much time in a grocery store.  Anyone else share the TJ obsession?

Well bloggies, I would love to stay…but I a off to enjoy Chicago a bit more. 🙂  First stop is the fitness room, and then dinner lately.  My brother has found the best pizza place apparently, so I need to do some extra cardio beforehand 🙂

This is where I need you guys.  WHAT do I need to do while I am here?  Great places to eat, shop, neat little stores???  I need your help!  What should I do while in Chicago?!?!

PS this is what happens when I am left alone.


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