I’m dubbing my Easter long weekend trip to Chicago my turquoise trip because practically everything I saw, wore, and bought was some shade of turquoise/teal/aqua. But not what I ate. That would be gross. Even I draw the line at turquoise ice cream. (Although I think that’s actually mint and it’s just the light making it look blue.)
I hadn’t been to Chicago since 2009, so it was nice to be back. Great city. The people are so friendly! As a jaded, surly Easterner, I was at first surprised and then embraced it completely. Great city. Unless all you know of Chicago is Chicagoland, in which case you might think you’ll be shot the moment you arrive and it’s a terrible place and why would you ever want to visit? (*cough*Will’s mom*cough*)
And now onto the highlights of my trip, including the food, shopping, and turquoise things. Fair warning: heavy on the photos.
Packing a weekend trip into a small backpack:
I’ve seen kids going to school carrying bigger backpacks than that.
Dinner at Xoco by Rick Bayless:
Guacamole, tortilla chips and salsa, the Milanesa torta, and churros with a chocolate shot for dipping. The guacamole and chips and salsa were amazing. I don’t know why they were so much better than any others I’ve had before, but they were.
Cloud Gate at Millenium Park (i.e. The Bean):
In theory, this must have been a weird idea. A giant reflective bean in the park! In practice, it’s amazing.
Underneath the Bean. Can you spot me and Will?
And the requisite close-up selfie of the two of us. (Note the teal sneakers and teal T-shirt!) We had a really nice weekend together, we’ve both been so busy at work (him more than me, but we’ve been busy), it was nice to spend time with each other.
It’s also gorgeous at night. I’m a sucker for twinkly, sparkly lights.
The Chicago skyline:
I love the architecture in Chicago. People say it looks like Toronto, but it doesn’t. Chicago is so much nicer. (Sorry, Toronto.)
The Chicago River obliged me by being bright turquoise:
Lunch at Frontera Grill (also a Rick Bayless restaurant):
Tortilla soup, Will’s street food platter, my duck carnitas enchiladas, and Mexican vanilla bean ice cream with homemade cajeta (goat milk caramel). The soup was amazing. The ice cream was amazing. Everything was amazing. I ate way too much and honestly felt a little sick afterwards.
Lake Michigan also obliged me by being turquoise:
A day of shopping:
As much as Will and I love to spend time together, we also love our time apart. So Friday was the day he went to do what he wanted to do, and I went shopping. I took the L to the Lakeview neighbourhood specifically to go to the Splendid store, and just to be in a neighbourhood I’d never been before.
I was looking for a Starbucks and instead found a DAVIDsTEA (Canadian chain expanding!), which just happens to have a teal colour scheme.
In the changing room at Anthropologie, wearing a Baublebar x Anthropologie necklace.
The turquoise purchases:
Oh yeah, and this:
(which I can’t seem to find online. It’s similar to this, but it’s simpler than that.)
I spent some time on the crazy busy Magnificent Mile, but I found this little oasis just off of it to stop and catch my breath.
Ice cream for lunch:
I happened upon a Jeni’s Ice Cream store in Lakeview, so of course I had to have ice cream for lunch. I’ve heard about Jeni’s for a while and always wanted to try it.
Salty caramel sauce )I might have taken some home if I weren’t travelling with carry-on luggage only), goat cheese with red cherries ice cream (I love anything with cherries), my cup of goat cheese with cherries and brown butter almond brittle, with amarena cherries and a waffle chip on top. It made for a great lunch.
The Publican for dinner:
It’s a gastropub in the meat-packing district, so it’s really hip and trendy and not usually the sort of place we go. My sister recommended it though, so we tried it. Will didn’t like the trendy communal tables (he likes more elbow room) and our waitress was annoying, but the food was really good. I’d go back just for the food.
Spicy pork rinds (like Doritos but way better!), grilled duck heart crostini, half charcuterie plate (half!), and a full taste of three types of ham. Not pictured: a beet and burrata cheese salad, and a gem lettuce salad with crispy pig ears.
I thought we’d end up with tiny plates of poncy food because our waitress thought we hadn’t ordered enough (we ordered 6 dishes, all appetizers), but the plates were huge. The half charcuterie plate was more than enough for two. I guess it was the Midwest’s version of small plates? (Not complaining.)
This lime curd tart:
At Xoco again, the last thing I ate before I left. I could have eaten 3 of these. (The impending lime shortage makes me cry inside.)