I am kind of a Chicago native…well Indiana, but Chicago was so close you could smell it. In July I spent a week visiting friends and their new babies as well as embarking on all the food and great things the city has to offer. Chicago is full of food, midwestern charm, festivities, and oodles of creativity. Now,the winter…that is a different story.There is a reason this city blossoms in the summer!
A great way to see the city and learn about some history is the Chicago Architectural boat tour. So many hidden gems of beauty easily overlooked.
Growing up, Millennium Park did not exist for us…but I have made up for that since it has been open. Grant Park Music Festival is the only free classical shows you can currently attend. The summer also brought free shows with bands like Bonnie Prince Billy, Low, Iron and Wine, Blonde Redhead, etc. Really? I love this city in the summer. Have I said that yet?
The Art Institute of Chicago…Terzo Piano Chicago
Most tourists probably hit downtown, but the neighborhoods are the charm of the city. Brownstone walkups, neighborhoods of shops and restaurants, classic dining, and urban farms. Walking to yoga one morning we came across someone growing corn in their front lawn. My friends have a beautiful house in Wicker Park complete with a terrace patio and garden.
Chicago seems to be booming in the food scene these days. When I was researching where to go there were so many restaurants I wanted to try I could hardly contain myself. Luckily, I had some pretty good foodie tourist guides.
Longman and Eagle was the first place we went that week. Charming, quaint, delicious. We sat on the patio having a drink while waiting for the table. I indulged myself in a root beer and bourbon. Yum! After moving inside we indulged in things like the pretzel with welsh rarebit, rabbit pate, a bourbon sampler,and warm gruyere donuts for dessert…amongst other things!
On Saturday, before hitting up the Folk and Roots Festival, we sat at the bar at Telegraph enjoying olives, frog legs, and sardines while sipping some lovely Rose while my friend’s fiancé introduced us to the owners. I grew up going to Teibels in NW Indiana with my “second family” ,whom lived next door ,where we would eat classic Indiana staples like perch and frog legs. Needless to say I was happy to see frog legs on the menu considering I have not had them since I was a kid. They were a tradition in old fashioned Indiana restaurants.
But one of my favorite meals was the one of my best friend’s fiancé made for us. Not even allowing us into the kitchen he served us a 3 course menu so delightful,fresh, and needless to say delicious and memorable! I have never been served such a large piece of pork…and I still think about it!
A few other favorites of Chicago!