May 7, 2012 by travelingsole
The food of Chicago is fabulous. Expensive but fabulous. Friday night after the Sears/Willis Tower Skydeck we went across the street to a Giordano’s. We had a half hour wait to get a seat but we were given a menu and we could order before we were seated. The food came soon after we were seated. It was so worth the wait! I must admit that I’d never had deep dish pizza before but… How in the world can it get any better? I could only eat one piece before I was stuffed. So thick and filled with wonderful awesomeness.
Saturday morning we went to Yolk. We got there at 730 and were seated right away. By the time we left there was an hour wait to get in. Get there early or be willing to wait. It was also worth the wait. I had a light fluffy Belgium waffle (sorry no picture I’m not good at documenting everything yet). They serve lots of fresh fruits. Fruit is served as a side.
Lunch Saturday was The Cheesecake Factory. Again there was along wait. While we waited I ran over to Jamba Juice and got a Caribbean Passion Smoothie – Passion Fruit, Mango, Strawberry, Peach, and Orange Sherbet. I’m mildly allergic to mango but I risked it for the passion fruit flavor. It was well worth the risk. We were still full from breakfast so we decided to order appetizers and then… of course cheesecake.
Early evening while we were hanging out in the lobby of our hotel enjoying the free wi-fi we decided we wanted coffee. Connected to the hotel was Lavzza Coffee Cafe. European coffee and coffee flavored gelato. No we didn’t need the gelato but we wanted it. Life was so good.
side bunny trail following
I guess this would be the time to share a little fact about me. Ask Krista she would agree. When I go to a restaurant I always order the same thing. (and she always orders vegetarian) 🙂 Hi Kris.
Steak and Shake- Frisco Melt.
Applebees – Burger Quesadilla.
Vinny’s – Half of a Vinny’s Italian Sangwhich (not misspelled) hot (vs. cold), with no peppers, onions, or tomatoes.
Olive Garden – Chicken Parmigiana.
Subway – 6″ turkey breast and ham on Herb and Cheese, toasted, lettuce, black olives, and light ranch.
Steakhouse of any kind – Chicken Salad.
Cheesecake Factory – Kahlua cheesecake and if we are getting entrees Stuffed Chicken Tortillas or White Chicken Chili.
I could go on but I’ll save you… It takes the stress out of ordering. I know I’ll like what I get.
I know it makes me sound so boring but in my defense I do love to try new restaurants/food. Perusing a menu for the first time is like searching for hidden treasure. I love foreign foods. Don’t get me wrong I like a good meat and potatoes meal… but at home at my mom’s table not in a restaurant where I can order all kinds of exotic, yummy food.
Back on track All that to say the last restaurant we went to our weekend in Chicago was an Armenian restaurant. I have this thing that whenever I see a new kind of ethnic restaurant I have to try it. I’ve never eaten Armenian food so we had to go. Thankfully the others were troopers and they agreed.
Sayat Nova Armenian– This little gem of Middle Eastern cuisine right across the street from our hotel. We weren’t very hungry after eating all day but it was 9 pm and we knew we would be starving later so we decided to order 3 entrees and share. The others had no idea what to order and since the food was similar to a Lebanese restaurant (Aladdin’s) that I love, ordering was left primarily up to me. When it came down to it there were 4 entrees that looked really good. We told the waiter our plan and asked his advice on the final three. He also convinced us to get an appetizer combo. If you’re ever not sure what to order at a new restaurant, ask the waiter. He/she will probably know what is popular and often they know what is a more typical meal from the “home country”. Those are not necessarily one and the same.
For the appetizer we got the Mezza Sampler of pita bread with
Hommos (Chick pea dip, tahini, lemon juice, garlic),
Yalanchi Sarma (Vegetarian grape leaves stuffed with rice, chickpeas, pine nuts, onions, tomatoes), – I don’t care for grape leaves. They are a little bitter/tart
Taboule (Diced tomatoes, green onions, cracked wheat, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil)- by the way Krista this Taboule was better than Aladdin’s. I didn’t think that was possible…
I don’t quite remember but I think for the entrees we got a
Kebab combo (Beef and chicken, with broiled vegetables and rice pilaf) and I think ours had lamb with it too.
Armenian combo (Sarma, boereg, kufta, eggplant)
Chicken Cous Cous (Charbroiled, with sautéed spinach, light tomato broth)
Five people + 1 appetizer + 3 entrees = very happy, full stomachs
And Sunday morning before church (Easter Sunday at Moody Church later)… we went to a Corner Bakery Cafe. A great, fast, breakfast bakery. Fresh croissants and good breakfast sandwiches. The coffee was a little too strong to take black (which is how I like mine) but no more than Starbuck’s.
I’m sure there are many other restaurants that are just as good or better but these are the ones we tried and loved.
A bit of advice for eating out as a group this often…. We had one person pay all the sit-down-restaurant food (excluding Corner Bakery and Jamba Juice), then divided up the cost at the end of the weekend. Chris was nice enough to do that with the motel and the food. Chris would pay and then I’d take the receipt. I wrote it all down in a little notebook and did the figuring in my “spare time”. Most of the time it was fair to just divide it evenly. Like with the pizza and Armenian restaurant. At the Cheesecake Factory Chris and Denise each got an extra piece of cheesecake for later so that was added to their bill. Tip was added onto the credit card so we for sure left enough tip. At the end of the weekend I gave everyone a “bill” and we each gave Chris a check. (He got rewards on his credit card so he was happy)
A little soapbox or two coming up… My dad taught us kids that a generous tip is a must. At least 18-20% and a minimum of $2/person. Don’t be afraid to pull up a caluculator on your phone to make sure. If you are a group and you stay longer than the average person you can tack on a couple extra dollars. Waitresses/Waiters work hard and they deserve the extra. If in doubt tip more. Oh, one more thing. Respect your waitress/waiter even if she/he is terrible. Respect goes a long way in making people have good days. Be the bright spot in their day not the complaining, demanding customer that they wish they could kick out. Ok that’s all. I know you aren’t kids.
Thanks for reading,