Monday, July 25, 2011

C A L I F O R N I A

Hi! I miss you! I moved to Cali!! The Bay Area to be exact. I miss Chicago. I'm not sure what to do with my foodie self now that I no longer live in the city with the most amazing food around. In fact, I'm not really sure what to do with this blog. Tears. I don't want to give this up because I love it so much. So hang in there while I decide what direction to take. I will however keep it going with some pictures of my trip to Sausalito a few days after arriving. I didn't get to do the road trip thing so I'll just have to make up for it with mini-trips around the Bay. Enjoy.



Oh yea, we stopped for lunch!



I'm going to try to be the best blogger I can be, but please excuse my absence as I'm currently engulfed in books and journal articles. xoxo

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aviary

video

So coming up on my last week of living in Chicago (tears) the bf and I decided to cross off many things on our bucket list. This included a concert @ Millennium Park. Watching Ferris Bueller's Day off @ Fulton Park. Heading to picnic in Evanston. We really tried to take advantage of our last few days together as I'm moving to pursue my Ph.D. and he's staying to pursue his career goals. Unheard of -I know but doesn't distance make the heart grow fonder?


On one of our date nights we decided for Sushi @ Toro in Lincoln Park. Which was lovely as ever, thanks to Mitch and the crew. We headed to The Other Side, as this was the scene of one of our first nights out 4 years back. Then on our way home we opted for a drink @ the Aviary. The much talked about neighbor of Next Restaurant. Dressed in flip flops and jeans I was a little intimidated at first. But what an amazing experience. We each ordered one drink - it was already a heavy night of drinking and I wanted to be semi-functional. He got the Manhattan inspired drink which involved breaking open a ball of ice to expose the drink using a slingshot. And I got a ginger inspired drink of liquid nitrogen that involved a very odd looking straw. A priori a lovely amuse bouche of watermelon and salty flavor really got me intrigued to what followed. It was perfect.

We decided to leave then and there as first off the bill was 50$ for 2 drinks, and also because I was starting to feel the buzz. On our way out we stared at the partition trying to figure out how they made that ball of whiskey.

While staring @ the staff much like you would stare at animals in a zoo we forgot that the partition is actually see through and as we could hear them, they could hear us. So the wonderful host approached us and asked if we'd like a tour of the basement where the drinks formulate. There we met a lovely man who spends 14 hours a day making balls of ice using waterballons. Ah yes. What a simple solution to an intricate drink. I wish I took a video of him. But out of respect for his craft we simply stood in amazement. You pay for these drinks because of the labor that goes into them. Simple as that. I have a better appreciation of my experience because of this and hope to one day come back when I'm back in my favorite city in the world. Chicago. I'll miss you and your surprises.

The Aviary on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 3, 2011

MC Restaurant & Lounge

If you are a friend, family member, loyal reader you know I'm a little psycho about Pho. The art of finding a good Pho means lots of trial and error. And lately I've had lots of both, trials and lots of let downs. So when the bf suggested we check out the new Vietnamese place on Ashland a Sunday hangover called for a good bowl of steaming comfort.

Walking up to MC I was already skeptical. What's with the flashing "Open" signs in the window? And walking in I was even more perplexed. Framed photos of flowers, posters of the Vietnam countryside, a very dated 80's style bar and an empty dining room. Hmm. Do I write this place off? And looking @ the menu I'm not sure what constitutes Vietnamese-French. I don't see French anywhere in this restaurant.

So now that I've completely come across shallow ... yes yes I judge based on exterior. Let me get down to the Pho. ... it was amazing. So good. I haven't had a Pho like this in ages!! Sushi 28 still has #1 Chicago Pho in my book but this comes in as a close #2. Not sure I'd come back for anything or anyother reason than a big bowl of Pho. :) Kudos to you little MC. Let's get an interior decorator in here so the children aren't scared away and you'll surely do well.



Isla Pilipina

I stumbled upon Isla Pilipina online one day a couple years back in search of some Filipino food.. And while I have to say my boyfriend's mother makes the best pancit I've ever had this place has some pretty amazing food. It's very random, and you might miss it driving by but inside it's cozy and always seems to be packed.






Here you have a plate of lumpia: for $3 you can get 10 pieces of deep fried mini eggrolls made with pork, egg, jicama, green onions carrots and sweet & sour sauce, and love (boasts the website). So tasty and a perfect tease to the meal. Next up the usual calamari, here called pusit. This comes with vinegar and garlic dip and is so light and fluffy! I hate really thick calamari so this is always perfect.

Next up you have Menudo which is pork and diced potatoes, prepared with tomato and peppers. Yummm. And finally the staple dish: Pancit. The pan fried rice noodles sauteed with chicken and mixed veggies. So tasty. It's interesting to see how Filipino food has a mixture of influences that over the years have created their own staple and unique flavors. I always love going to my boyfriends parents house and feasting on the wide variety of choices.

But I must say my favorite is this..
Ube ice cream. This is made with purple yam and is sooo sweet and tasty! If you've never had Filipino food I suggest you venture out and try something new. This place is also BYOB with a liquor store right next door!



Isla Pilipina on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 1, 2011

Milk & Honey

 

 

So I didn't actually get to eat but their new sign which states "Now serving alcohol" got me thinkin. So the next time I was craving a yummy bloody mary, which happened to be last Sunday after the pride parade I made my way for the patio. And they were tasty!!

Happy weekend! :)