10.03.2016

Recent Foodie Finds

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fab weekend and a great start to the week! After the intensity of the first few weeks of the new semester, I feel like I've finally hit my stride. We're well into the meat of the material and I finally know all of my students' names (I have to admit that it's getting more and more difficult to learn 120 or so names every semester #oldladyproblems); I've also finally settled into my new workout schedule at my new gym (I'm back to jumping around like a fool at zumba), along with my new class schedule (I'm still working my way through a second master's degree).

I can't even tell how happy I am to say hello to October, aka my favorite month of the year *and* the start of my favorite stretch of the year (October-December). It's also the beginning of what my friends and I refer to as The Eating Season, starting with weeks filled with pumpkin, apple, and maple everything, then shifting into our favorite Thanksgiving foods, and finally ending with a month o' peppermint goodies. Soooo much goodness! Along with the usual fall awesomeness plans, which always include a visit or two to a favorite pumpkin farm/apple orchard, I also have an upcoming girlie/foodie trip this month - Diana and I are headed up to Toronto for a mini vacation. While I've been to Canada before (I grew up in Michigan, not too far from the Port Huron crossing), it has been years since I've been there. I've also never been to Toronto, so I am super excited to explore (and eat my way through) the city!

Here are a few of my recent foodie finds (follow me on Instagram for even more!)...


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Polar Pizza from Baskin-Robbins: chocolate chip cookie crust with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, topped with cookie dough pieces, rainbow sprinkles, and drizzled with a marshmallow topping. Baskin-Robbins recently announced they were partnering with DoorDash to offer delivery service in Chicago. I was one of the lucky ones who was offered an opportunity to test the service... an ice cream pizza covered in cookie dough delivered to my door in under an hour?! Um, okay, twist my arm. ;-)


The good folks at Baskin-Robbins also gave me a discount code to share with my readers so that you can get your very own Polar Pizza (or any of their other options like a warm cookie ice cream sandwich or a an ice cream sundae) delivered right to your door: order through DoorDash and use code DASHBR for $5 off your first order of $10 or more!

Who doesn't love an ice cream pizza party?!



Roasted King Salmon served over potato gnocchetti, wild mushrooms, and an heirloom tomato fondue at Riva Crabhouse. After my visit to Blue Door Kitchen for the special King Lear-inspired dessert (part of the Culinary Complete Works), I made it my mission to stop by some of the other participating restaurants to sample their offerings (as this entire program speaks to my Shakespeare-lovin' and food-lovin' heart!). The salmon at Riva Crabhouse was inspired by Henry VI, Part 2, which marks the mounting tension culminating in the beginning of a bloody civil war.


I absolutely loved this simple, but still robust dish, as the flaky salmon with its crispy skin paired perfectly with the earthy mushrooms and buttery Brussels sprouts. Plus, you really cannot beat the gorgeous city-meets-water views at Riva!

Jungle Bird at freestyle food + drink: Bacardi, Campari liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice, and blackberry puree. Such a beautiful (and seriously strong) brunch cocktail!


On one of the final Saturday mornings filled with summer sunshine, Diana, her sister Judy, and I headed down to River North to check out the new brunch menu at freestyle food + drink. While I had visited freestyle for lunch & dinner several times last year (including this epic lunch with Apollo), this was my first time stopping in for brunch. As with before, I greatly enjoyed my visit, as the food is always delightful and the patio space is one of my favorites in the city (it's situated alongside a busy sidewalk, making it the perfect spot for people watching).

The standout of our meal at freestyle was most definitely the Stuffed French Toast with a mascarpone ricotta filling, candied pecans, and milk caramel. Surprisingly, this dish wasn't overly sweet - the candied pecans and milk caramel gave it just the right amount of sweetness, while the ricotta filling added the perfect touch of creaminess. This is definitely a must-order at freestyle! However, be forewarned: it is a massive hunk of French toast, so you will most likely need a nap after consuming.


The Hangover Burger at The Kerryman: all of the best parts of breakfast (eggs, bacon, hashbrowns) combined with a meaty, juicy burger slathered with a Bloody Mary aioli. This is the ultimate in brunch burgers!

Beef Brisket and Pulled Chicken Platter with South Carolina style mustard blend at Blackwood BBQ. Ever since they opened their Belmont location last year, Blackwood has become one of my go-to BBQ joints. I've worked my way though a good portion of their menu and while I've enjoyed everything I've tried, the lean cut brisket and 3 cheese mac & cheese have consistently remained my favorites. Along with the South Carolina style mustard blend, the Alabama style white sauce is not to be missed!

Margarita de Sandia at más tacos: Olmeca Altos Blanco tequila, fresh watermelon, aperol, lime juice, agave, and lava salt. Not only was this one of the prettiest margaritas I've ever had, it was also one of the best!
 
I cannot believe it took me so long to check out más, as the tacos are phenomenal! I usually gravitate more toward seafood tacos, but surprisingly, the Ribeye Taco with chimichurri, queso fresco, grape cherry tomatoes, and shoe-string fries was my favorite. Even better, if you stop by during their happy hour {4-6pm}, you can get two tacos for $5 and $5 margaritas.

Fried Chicken and Corn Muffins from Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Not only is this my old standby, it's also my all-time favorite fried chicken (and the chicken to which I compare all others) - it's so crispy and juicy, and the honey butter takes it to another level. If you haven't tried HBFC yet, you are missing out on some serious deliciousness!


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3 comments

  1. In my country (Japan), I have never seen such a beautiful & cute pizza! I want to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's photos like these that make me miss Chicago food so much! Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That Beef Brisket and Pulled Chicken Platter looks so yummy!

    ReplyDelete

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