May 2017 | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Saved by the Max

From the late '80s to the early 90s, I was all about Saved by the Bell. My best friend and I watched it every Saturday morning (and later on Tuesdays and Wednesdays once it moved into syndication); after each new episode, we would immediately hop on the phone in order to dissect every moment. My heart firmly belonged to Slater, my best friend was totally a Zack girl, and we both semi hated/wanted to be Kelly and Jessie, so we were a perfect match. We each even had the SBTB board game, so we were able to cultivate our devotion to the Bayside crew outside of our TV screens. While my hardcore devotion eventually died out (Beverly Hills, 90210 stole my heart), I continued watching through the (horrible) season of the college years... and I may even still watch the occasional rerun (don't judge me!)

Needless to say, as soon as I heard about the Saved by the Bell pop-up diner in Wicker Park, I knew I had to make my way over there to live out my twelve-year-old fantasies. Saved by the Max opened last June was initially slated to run only for the month, but due to its popularity (the '90s geeks all came out of the woodwork!), the diner extended its run in Chicago twice; now, it's about to close its doors and head out on tour. Luckily, I was able to snag one of the coveted reservations... and I may have spent the entire week leading up to our dinner alternately singing the theme song and reenacting my favorite scenes from the series (of course, the classic "I’m so excited. I’m so excited. I'm so SCARED" scene topped the list!).


Recipe: Tangy Mango Steak Noodles

Happy Monday! I am two weeks from being done with school and I have to say that I am so ready for a break (technically, the spring semester ended on the 12th, but I'm working on some special assessment projects, so I'm on campus for a few extra weeks this year). Between all of the end-of-semester conferences, grading craziness, and the end of my own classes (I'm five classes away from finishing my second master's degree!), I'm a tiny bit burned out. While I am teaching over the summer, it's all online, so I have a few months sans two-hour commute.

Along with the mini-mental break, I'm also looking forward to spending some time in the kitchen. While the hottest parts of the summer are mostly filled with restaurant leftovers, takeout, and salads, (we have a tiny apartment with no AC, so the stove sees very little action), the late spring/early summer is one of my favorite times, as there's so much fantastic produce, along with the perfect grilling weather. I don't know about you, but as soon as we hit May, I want all of my meat grilled and accompanied by all the fruits!


Chicago Eats: Eddie V's Prime Seafood

Thanks to our conflicting work schedules, there are long stretches in which Mario and I don't have much time to hang out together. Mario works a rotating schedule and there are months in which he's just getting off shift as I'm heading out the door, or I'm getting home just as he's about to start the overnight hours. During those stretches, we spend maybe an hour or two together vegging on the couch before one of us has to crawl into bed for an early morning wake up call, but long gone are the days of leisurely weekend brunches and movie dates. After a particularly crazy stretch, we recently realized we hadn't been out together in almost four months (which is a bit of long time even for us!), so as soon as our schedules actually aligned, we knew it was finally time to break our dry spell with night of potent cocktails, delicious seafood, and live jazz at Eddie V's Prime Seafood.

Located in The Shops at North Bridge, the fine dining restaurant offers diners a variety of seasonal seafood from the Atlantic and Pacific (with a 72-hour ocean to plate policy, ensuring the freshness), premium hand-carved steaks, and a wine list with over 200 bottles from around the world (showcased in a very cool floor-to-ceiling glass-encased wine cellar). Eddie V's also features a rotating schedule of jazz and blues trios in a swanky atmosphere filled with a super attentive waitstaff. The restaurant is sexy, modern, and luxurious, making it the perfect spot for a special occasion, a fun girls night out, or as with us, a long-awaited date night.
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