In the middle of baking raspberry thumb-print sugar cookies with vanilla icing drizzle (if they didn't flatten out to hideous pancakes I would have taken a photo), I got a call that he was off the plane. Woohoo! I went to meet him at the train, and we had to grab some caffeine at Wormhole.
photos from Metromix
Why yes, that is a Delorean in their window. It's an 80's-themed coffee joint, and they have all kinds of paraphernalia from my childhood. Part of me would love to lend them my My Little Ponies lunchbox for their wall of lunchboxes, but I can't part with it...
Sufficiently caffeinated, it was on to Big Star for "lunch" (read: drinks, and if we felt like it, maybe a snack).
I live on this street, and trust me, Big Star never has this many tables open, especially at night-- this place has some of the best and most ridiculously strong margaritas in Chicago.
After this I decided it was a good idea to drag him to my apartment so he could help me make this:
...a whole-wheat pizza dough with fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, and sausage. Can't have the hubs go hungry when I'm out all week ;)
On Wednesday we meandered around downtown Chicago, it being too late to go to the Art Institute.
(weird leggy statues)
...and ended up at Carmichael's steakhouse, a place hidden in a residential area of the Loop, where one of our other friends works. She went all out for us, giving us this seafood sampler of their appetizers-- lobster, crab cake, calimari, bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp... it was some of the best food I'd ever eaten.
We split a steak after this, but it was all I could do to finish only most of my half (I had no trouble with my own bottle of wine, though). If you live near Chicago, and you're in the mood for an mind-blowing meal, GO GO GO to this place!
On Thursday we made a half-hearted attempt to eat a bit better, so I took him to Handlebar, an all-vegetarian restaurant on North Ave. Now, I like my meals meat-tastic, mind you, but Handlebar is no salad joint (although their salads are actually quite hearty and delicious). You should go there too :)
On Friday, I was pretty spent already-- I am definitely not used to eating and drinking out this much, and I was definitely feeling it. I made some brownies and toffee-chip and pecan cookies from scratch for the hubs' game night with the boys, and met up with college buddy for a rapid-fire tour of the Art Institute. He made it with 40 minutes left til closing, so I took him to some of my favorite exhibits, and to the Modern Wing so he could see some of his favorite stuff. I'm glad I had just been there last week so I remembered my way around! At 7 we headed to the Chicago Center for Performing Arts to see my friend in her show Passing Strange. It has one weekend left, and you should go! It's about finding yourself through art and travel, and the frustrations we think we can escape by running away. My description sounds a bit cliche, but it was fresh and funny, and everyone in the show is an unbelievable singer.
I had to be up early Saturday morning, so I didn't go to the after-party, and I'm pretty sure my liver thinks that was a wise choice! I came home hoping to find the hubs and his guys still around, but all I found was this:
Which ones do you think were the cookies that I asked him to take out of the oven? Sheesh, I even set the timer for him...
Anyway, that was my staycation. Sorry this is such a monstrous post, but I hope you all got some good recommendations for eats if you ever come to Chicago. I hope everyone has a great week! Now I'm off to make a veggie burger :)