Recent Foodie Finds | chicago foodie girl


Recent Foodie Finds

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. As with many of you, Mario and I spent our weekend engulfed in Halloween excitement. It was a fun, but super exhausting weekend - actually, I think that's a great way to describe most of the month of October. The month was filled with some of my favorite parts of fall (bonfires, apple festivals, pumpkin carving, zombie burlesque, multiple birthday celebrations), but it has been a nonstop whirlwind. On top of the fun stuff, I've also been buried in piles of papers and fighting multiple respiratory infections (new job = new germs to battle). I'm looking forward to the beginning of November simply for a week or two of downtime before the Thanksgiving/Christmas madness ensues!

A few food highlights from late September/October...

Sushi Deluxe combo at Akai HanaThis was my first visit to Akai Hana and I have to say that I was really impressed with the quality of the fish. I am a bit of a sushi snob, thanks to a horrid food poisoning incident almost ten years ago involving some sushi that hadn't been kept at the correct temperature (it was so bad that it took me a few years before I could eat sushi again!). Both the octopus and tuna were especially good. I'm definitely planning to visit them again!

Caramel Apple Doughnut & Apple Cider at the Long Grove Apple Festival: The doughnut was everything a caramel apple doughnut should be - filled with sweet chunks of shredded apples, covered in a think caramel glaze, and sprinkled with the colors of fall. So yummy!

Dark & Milk Chocolate Covered Grapes from The Great Grape: My friend, Barb, and I are both obsessed with TGG. We've encountered them at random festivals over the years and just cannot get enough! The grapes always have the perfect level of crispness and the chocolate is high quality (the dark chocolate is my favorite). The taste combination is somewhat unexpected - there's nothing quite like the sensation of biting into a shell of firm chocolate and encountering an explosion of cold grape juice.

Cookie Wow Cupcake at Anna Shea Chocolates: vanilla cupcake filled with chocolate chip cookie dough. I cannot say enough good things about Anna Shea's. The cupcakes are amazing, the chocolate martinis are amazing, the gelato is amazing, the chocolates are all amazing (and gorgeous - just look at them!)... and they hand out free samples! Anna Shea's is my favorite chocolate shop of all time - it's pure magic!

Blue Crab Benedict at Walker Bros.: This is my favorite restaurant in the area for Eggs Benedict. The Blue Crab Benedict is made with real crab (none of that fake crap) and the hollandaise is always the perfect consistency. My only complaint is that the lines to get into Walker Bros. on the weekend are insane! We tend to only go during off times because as much as I love their brunch, I'm just not patient enough to wait 45 minutes for a table on a Sunday morning.

Apple Pie & Cherry Pie Shots at The Great Highwood Pumpkin FestivalDiana and I spent the day carving pumpkins, stuffing ourselves with bad (but delicious!) festival foods, dodging scads of sugared-up kids, and ooohing over all of the adorable puppies in the dog costume contest. These shots were like super sweet mini alcoholic pies - the perfect way to start off our day of festival-ing!

Fried Cheese Curds at The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival (from the C.O.W. Truck): Having lived in Wisconsin for four years, I was already quite familiar with fried cheese curds, but Diana had never experienced the power of the amazing curd until we encountered them at the festival. Let's just say that she's now a believer. ;-)

Chocolate Fondue at Geja's Cafe: Mario and I went to Geja's for my birthday dinner (it was the first time for both of us). Holy amazingness! We ordered the Prince Geja's Combination, which includes a cheese fondue appetizer (bread & fruit), salad, assorted fresh vegetables, beef tenderloin, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, scallops, chicken breast, eight dipping sauces, flaming chocolate dessert fondue, and coffee. We were *stuffed* by the time the dessert course came, but who can resist roasted marshmallows dipped in dark chocolate & rolled in graham cracker crumbs?!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Pecan Frosting: Made by a friend of a friend for a baby shower, inspired by this recipe found on Pinterest. The brown butter kept the cupcakes dense and moist, and the maple pecan frosting was so decadent and delicious. This is definitely a contender for the perfect fall cupcake!

Spiced Pumpkin Latte Cupcake from SweetPea CakesSpeaking of the perfect fall cupcake... pumpkin cake, filled with caramel, topped with espresso buttercream, and drizzled with caramel & cinnamon sugar This was probably the best pumpkin cupcake I've ever had! My first visit to SweetPea Cakes will definitely not be my last!

Birthday Froyo at Forever YogurtThis is my favorite place for froyo because they always have an awesome selection of flavors and you get to add the froyo and toppings yourself (it's sold by weight), so you always get the perfect mix of exactly want you want. I went with a mix of Mom's Cake Batter and Carrot Cake froyo topped with raspberries, mini cheesecake bites, and mini turtles. A delicious and adorable birthday treat! :-)



  1. re: fried cheese curds, I think the words I used were, "you popped my fried cheese curd cherry". Then I looked up and saw the old folks sitting across the table from us. OOPS! :)

  2. Wow. You've had a mouth-watering month! JEALOUS!!

  3. In the next few days, you should do a post or two about no-cook recipes for those of us who may be without power!

  4. oh no all the food is in my belly

  5. WOW! September & October really look like a delicious couple of months for you!! I die at the sound of carrot cake fro two favorite things combined in one- mmm!

  6. All of that looks so amazingly good! (Well except for the sushi — I cannot abide uncooked fish.)

    I think I'll just go sit in a corner and cry, because I can see it but cannot taste it.

  7. @Diana: LOL! That was awesome!

    @Kaitlin: Ugh, that does not sound fun at all. :-(

    @Khushboo: Well, you're only seeing all of the exciting pieces - my daily life mostly consists of fruits, veggies, protein shakes, and chicken. Healthy, functional, but definitely not very exciting to look at. :-)

  8. What an amazing weekend! We are quite envious! Lurve the fried cheese curds most of all!

  9. Everything looks so delicious, feeling hungry! Thanks for visiting me and for your sweet words :)


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