The Windy City, One Plate at a Time

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | City Guide

Exploring Chicago!

What’s a Southern California girl to do when she’s in Chicago for six days, and the high for the week is about 30 degrees? Take cover in as many restaurants and eateries as possible of course! I may have earned myself a few days on a juice cleanse, but every bite was worth it!

The Staples
This was my second trip to the Windy City, but my first experience with deep dish pizza. I was a little apprehensive that the hype might overshadow the final product; don’t worry, I was very, very wrong. My best friend drove in from her gig in Milwaukee just to make sure a true “local” order was placed (ok, maybe for more than that, but it was an important part) at Lou Malnati’s in Lincoln Park. A bottle of wine and three pizzas (there was a group of us, no judgement ok?) later, I was stuffed, but very happy. I highly recommend ordering “The Lou”.

Deep Dish!

We capped the evening off with a cocktail at State Bar near the DePaul campus, where my NCAA bracket began it’s downward spiral. Thankfully, I was still on a carb high so I didn’t really notice.

If you’re not hearing about Chicago deep dish, someone is probably telling you about the best place to get a hot dog. Our group’s consensus was Portillo’s was the clear winner (thank you Chloe for the suggestion!). The parameters of judgement centered around what came on top of the hot dog, as and having a poppy seed bun. The classic Hot Dog at Portillo’s delivered, with mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, a pickle & peppers.

Unique Finds

I’m grew up by the beach, but spent a decent number of years in Texas, so I like to think I know good sushi as well as I know good barbeque. Did I ever think to combine the two? Not exactly. Thankfully, the people behind Union Sushi & Barbeque did.

If you’re with a group, the samplers are the way to go. We got a little bit of everything; favorites included the Kabosha Squash, the Dragon Roll (with black rice!), and the prosciutto wrapped scallops. I got adventurous with the Uni (sea urchin) but ended up really enjoying it! This a great spot for a date night, it’s got a “hot” vibe. If you’re with friends/a group, I recommend sitting at the counter in front of the grill, watching them “barbeque” the food.

I really love champagne. In college, a friend joked she could get me to do nearly anything if she bribed me with a mimosa (thankfully she was kind in her attempts because, she was right!). Saturday afternoon we were looking for a snack and a place to get out of the cold. Pops for Champagne was the answer! The menu gives a detailed description about the different regions and processes for creating champagne, and the menu offers everything from edamame to caviar. A great spot for an afternoon stop or to start a night out!

What’s your favorite place to enjoy a meal in Chicago?

Love & Travel,
The Escape Artists

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