Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I've officially been on winter break for just over a week now and needless to say, I've enjoyed every moment of it. I've spent the last few days cramming in all sorts of winter/Christmas-y fun, including a wonderful performance of The Nutcracker by the Joffrey Ballet with Mario & friends, as well as an all-day foodie extravaganza with Diana that started out with a visit to Christkindlmarket and ended with a tour through some of the stalls at Latinicity (so much awesomeness!). Mario and I are also headed to Star Wars: The Force Awakens later today; we're both crazy excited to finally see the next chapter (especially Mario, who's had an almost lifelong love affair with SW).
Along with having all sorts of fun, consuming obscene amounts of cookies, and generally pretending that I don't have to plan for the next semester (that part needs to come to an end very soon - boo!), I've also been slowly making some changes to the blog in preparation for a upcoming major overhaul. While I'm going to leave the big design elements to a professional (as what I want far exceeds my design skills/knowledge), there are a few small adjustments I'm working on, including the roll out of some new categories. Longtime readers may remember my regular Monday Foodie Porn series - that has now morphed into Recent Foodie Finds, which will incorporate not only restaurant finds, but also foodie-related products. Yay! My blog is definitely overdue for an overhaul and I'm excited to finally get the process started.
Here are a few of my recent foodie finds (follow me on Instagram for even more!)...
Fannie May Holiday Collection Keepsake Box: Mario grew up in Chicago and has been obsessed with Fannie May chocolates (especially Pixies!) for as long as he can remember. So of course, he was so excited to dive into our special holiday collection delivery featuring the best of Fannie May chocolates. We both agreed that while chocolates are fab any time of the year, there's definitely something special about breaking into a box of Chicago-themed favorites during the holidays.
The Colonial Assortment includes Milk Chocolate Almond Clusters, Dark Chocolate Walnut Clusters, Milk & Dark Chocolate Cherry Cordials, Milk & Dark Chocolate Pineapple, and my personal favorites, Trinidads.
Along with the Colonial Assortment, Fannie May also sent us a box of Mario's beloved Pixies in a Chicago Keepsake Tin. A box filled with nothing but buttery, chewy chocolates stuffed with fresh pecans? They absolutely discovered the key to his heart! Also, how cute is the keepsake tin? I think I'm going to use it to store some of our more delicate ornaments.
Fried Chicken & Malted Waffles with sausage gravy at Adamus Lounge. Remember the fab dinner Diana and I had at Adamus last summer? A year later, they've finally expanded their menu to include brunch. While it's not as extensive as their dinner offerings, the food is still quite tasty (especially this dish) and definitely worth checking out if you're in the area!
Cookie Monster Ice Cream rolled in Lucky Charms at Cone Gourmet Ice Cream. As I mentioned on Instagram, my head almost exploded from the combination of sugary deliciousness and pure awesomeness! I can't believe I didn't make my first visit to Cone until this year - I'd say I've definitely made up for it by visiting an embarrassing number of times in the last few months. I love all of their fun flavor options (the buttered popcorn is a must-try!) and cute, old-fashioned decor.
Chili Cheese Curds with chorizo chili and beer battered cheese from Antique Taco. I know I've share this dish before (it made my favorites list from 2014), but really, can one ever get enough cheese curd porn?! I am absolutely crazy for these curds - so much so that I firmly believe they are the best in the city.
Baked Crab Dip from The Tortoise Club. Diana and I stopped by this classic American restaurant for a lovely lunch with the other movers and shakers of Chicago (seriously, the place was full of people in power suits making deals... we were just the two slightly tipsy girls photographing our food in the corner). We both particularly loved this flavorful gooey crab dip with the crusty, buttery bread. Pro tip: if you don't see this dish on the lunch menu, ask for the bar menu.
Wild Berry Shortcake with spiked berry coulis and vanilla whipped cream at The Tortoise Club. This dessert is definitely one of my favorites from the last few months thanks to the combination of the sweet/tart berries and light & fluffy shortcake.
The Mouthful with chipotle bourbon BBQ sauce and fried pickles from Porkchop. After agonizing over their menu, I still had no idea what to order, so I finally went with my server's suggestion. Woo-eeee! This sandwich most definitely lives up to its name! I especially enjoyed the chipotle bourbon BBQ sauce - it gave the sandwich a nice kick and paired particually well with the juicy fried pickles.
Mofongo Relleno de Camarones at Delicia Tropical Café. Ever since Rachell of Eat the Burbs posted several drool-worthy photos from Delicia on her Instagram page, Diana and I knew that we just had to take a trip out to Elgin to check out this family-owned Puerto Rican joint. We finally got the chance to sample their dishes (and to meet the awesome Rachell!) a few weeks ago - soooo worth the drive! Diana loved it so much that she even plans to take her Puerto Rican mother out for a visit.
Spaghetti Frutti Di Mare with shrimp, scallops, and mussels at The Pasta Bowl. I recently had the chance to check out the newest location of The Pasta Bowl with the ladies of Fab Food Chicago. While I was already quite familiar with their original location, this was my first visit to the Wicker Park location (it's so much bigger than the original!) and in the spirit of newness, I decided to deviate from my usual order and try this seafood spaghetti. I'm so glad I did because I absolutely loved the salty seafood paired with the sweetness of the cheese and slightly spicy tomato sauce.