Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chicago - Day 3

My sister and I treated our host to breakfast at Lou Mitchell's. The hostess offered us doughnut holes while we waited for a table (I declined). That was kinda nice. I ordered the apple and cheese omelette - I had expected the apples to be IN the omelette but they were on top. Curious. Even more curious was how sweet the apples were! I couldn't finish them but I finished the rest of the omelette. The service was excellent!

Afterwards, our host dropped us off at Millennium Park where there was an interesting set of statues on display. There were more than the four I provided below and all were quite colorful and patterned in their own way. I just preferred the color blue over the others. ;oP Of course, we had to visit the Bean. Every tourist picture of Chicago includes this "infamous" structure. Surprisingly, the Bean has only been around since 2006 (in its complete form)! I'd say it's holding up pretty well thus far. We took a bus to the Magnificent Mile, a popular shopping area north of the park. For a Friday, there were a LOT of people out shopping. We stopped into a few stores but ultimately did not buy anything. 

We found our way to a Portillo's (a friend's suggestion), so I figured we could split a hot dog and call it a "snack." I believe we got a beef hot dog which included: mustard, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle and sport peppers piled onto a perfectly steamed poppy seed bun. No onions for me, though. It was definitely an interesting combination of flavors and it worked. Half of a hot dog was a good call for us both. :o)

We met up with a couple of my college friends who drove in from Michigan to hang out with me. They had moved to Michigan from Georgia for work a couple of years ago, so I rarely get to see them these days. My sister and I were so thankful that they drove because we were tired of walking, haha. Since it was pretty chilly, we found an indoor place to check out: the Chicago French Market. This place has an interesting parking policy, where you get "free" parking when you spend $20 inside the market. >.> Yep, the quotation marks are there for a reason. Anyway, my friend discovered a vendor that sells rainbow cookies, a childhood treat, so he was pretty happy. We definitely met the $20 minimum to pay for parking! 

The French Market was also a way to kill some time before dining at Little Goat for dinner. Mwah ha ha ha.... A friend had told me about Girl and the Goat but there were no reservations available (and it's also, sadly, out of budget). Little Goat is literally across the street and has a no-reservation policy. The two restaurants are the brainchild of Top Chef fourth season winner, Stephanie Izard. (Atlanta favorite Richard Blais was the runner-up during this season.) The wait time was about 45 minutes, and I got a cup of chamomile tea in the meantime. (I was still not feeling well.) When we got to our table, we asked the waiter what he recommended. Out of all of his recommendations, we predominantly leaned towards the goat burger. This was a great choice, hehe. I ordered the All-American version which included pickles, onion, American cheese, special sauce, lettuce & tomato, on a sesame seed bun. (WHOA... Did anyone else have a McDonald's commercial flashback?) The goat burger was pretty awesome - I didn't even need a side because the patty was 8 ounces. O_o Yep, that's enough to fill you up. 

The night was still young, so we drove around to the John Hancock Center to catch a nighttime view of the city. In lieu of purchasing a ticket to the Observatory, we went to the Signature Room Lounge on the 95th Floor. We each got a(n overpriced) drink which cost less than four Observatory tickets and chit-chatted for an hour or two. The tables closest to the windows were already taken, so we enjoyed the atmosphere more than the view. My sister tried venturing into the nearby dining area to take pictures but was shooed away. However, we discovered the restrooms offer a great, unobstructed view. :o) That was a pleasant surprise! So thankful my friends took me and my sister back to our host's place instead of taking public transit. We'd been walking in boots all day and we were tired. Sometimes a car is nice to have around.

Apple and cheese omelette - Michigan sugar sweet apples and Old English cheddar cheese

Millennium Park

Millennium Park Amphitheater

The Bean

Portillo's Beef hot dog

Chicago French Market

Little Goat 

All-American goat burger

Self-explanatory, don't you think?

Expensive drinks, awesome view. Tables next to the windows were full, so we had something of a view. We found the best, unobstructed view in the restroom (of all places).

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