Tag Archives: chicago

Can’t leave Chicago without getting diarrhea at least once.

Michelle’s first trip to White Castle.

Wow, laxatives by the case! Woot!

It takes about a dozen of these little burgers to get full. This was merely a snack.

The Double Cheeseburger.

Chicken Sandwich.

I never understood the insane need for In-N-Out that people get when they come back to the west coast, but I really don’t get why people like White Castle. They taste like the microwavable burgers I used to eat in junior high. Maybe it’s not going to make your innards evacuate, but they’re pretty mediocre. I guess the moral of the story is, stay off drugs. They make you do dumb things like want to go to White Castle.

Some Other Random Shots of Chicago

Here I am underneath Marilyn Monroe’s giant crotch. As you can see, I am terrified.

Guess who’s an American Girl?

At The Second City for some laughs.

Look at us! We don’t get any of the Midwest jokes! Still funny.

The view from our table on the top of The Hancock Observatory.

What you’re looking at here is a load of crap. This is the view from the women’s restroom at the top of the Hancock Observatory. Michelle came out and told me, “You’ve got to see the view from the bathroom!” I went into the men’s restroom right next to the women’s restroom. I saw a tile wall. This is discrimination of the highest kind, the kind against me.

That was Chicago for me, and then I headed to Michigan for work.

Deep Dish Pizza: Meh.

There is a constant war going on between the people, who love their pizza in the New York style versus the people who love deep dish pizza. To me this is like arguing whether you want to get a treat or kicked in the groin. I’m not a fan of deep dish pizza, and I remember disliking it a lot the last time I was in Chicago. Since Michelle had never tried deep dish pizza in Chicago, I figured why not give it another shot.

We decided to try our deep dish pies at the birth place of the deep dish pizza.

I have to say I did not hate the deep dish pizza this time around. It was flavorful, and the crust was crisp throughout each bite. The down side to these pizzas is that there are times you get a mouthful of almost nothing but tomato sauce. Also in order to get the pie crisp, it takes a lot of oil, which you can really taste in certain bites as the oil probably pooled to that one spot in the pan.

Still, Pizzeria Uno had other things going for it like a nice Bloody Mary.

Also, Goose Island beers make everything a little better. Honker’s Ale on the left. 312 on the right.

I’m still a fan of New York Style pizza over Chicago Style, but I won’t go as far as to say I hate the deep dish pie now. Each type of pizza has its place. Chicago deep dish’s place just won’t be my stomach if I’m given the choice.

Chicago Architecture

Chicago’s Architecture Tour was pretty fun. I absolutely do not remember which architect designed which building or why the buildings were designed the way they were, but it was really cool to see all the different styles of building mashed up together in such a small area. I will tell you one thing though. It gets cold on the river, especially for two people from Southern California.

Ruxbin in Chicago

Ruxbin is a hot restaurant that is blowing up in Chicago. They don’t take reservation so there is a line outside the restaurant that forms thirty minutes before it opens.

Ruxbin is located in an odd area of town for such a popular joint. When you walk there from the L, you see taco joints one after another. Walk past Ruxbin, and you’ll  find guys hanging outside of the liquor store looking like they’ve been drinking all day already.

The walls of the restaurant are lined with different culinary books.

The ceilings are lined with papers that appear from cookbooks as well.

That liquor store around the corner I was talking about? Well, Ruxbin is a BYOB place. While everyone else was bringing wine, we brought some of Goose Island’s finest, 312.

Popcorn with seaweed seasoning.

Calamari. Chicken & Pork Farce, Potato Confit, Korean Chili, Peanuts, Pickled Fennel, and Pea Tendrils.

Pork Belly Salad. Jicama, Grapefruit, Arugula, Cornbread, Danablue Cheese, and Citrus Vinaigrette.

Bucatini & Clams. “Ja Jang Myun”, Chinese Sausage, Fine Herbs, Fermented Black Bean and White Wine.

Sable. Maple & Soy with Barley, Pickled Vegetables and Black Tea Broth.

Panna Cotta. Lychee and Toasted Coconut.

This might be the coolest thing in the restaurant. The door is a half cylinder that rotates around you when you want to get in and out of the restroom.

I normally prefer low key restaurants, places that are dives, hole-in-the-wall type places. There’s so little fuss with these places, letting me be my classless self, who sometimes dresses like a hobo according to my wife. I do admit there is a threshold to how good the food normally gets without the ambiance of fine dining. The food at Ruxbin is exceptional but without a hint of pretension that often comes with nicer restaurants. I love that.

Millenium Park: The Non-Bean Part

Across the street from the park is the Chicago Public Library Foundation. Why do all cities have amazing buildings to celebrate public libraries except Los Angeles?

Wrigley Square and Millennium Monument

Jay Pritzker Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry. Gehry’s designs are everywhere, are very recognizable, and are terrible from an engineering point of view.

The BP Bridge is another one of Gehry’s designs swaying back and forth, making for a longer but more enjoyable walk across the street.

Two of these massive structures make up the Crown Fountain.

On the other side, a giant face smiles at you.

Every once in a while the face will spit at you.

If you’re bold and have the powers of a deity (or just the body of a god in my case), you can even walk on the water.

I really like visiting public parks in different places. Michelle and I were saying what a bummer it is that we don’t really have a park in Los Angeles where a lot of people gather. I suppose Venice Beach would be our local playground, but even that pales in comparison to some of the great places in other cities.

Chicago: Bean Town

I make no apologies for what a dork I am nor how incredibly giddy I got when I saw the Cloud Gate, and not even for the first time.

The Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean” is the coolest thing in Chicago. If you look closely, you can see a bride and a groom taking some photos in the city’s skyline.

Look at this thing! It’s giant and shiny! What more could you ask for?

Can anyone guess which of these people is Michelle?

Freaking tourists.

Like I said, freaking tourists.

Please enjoy our front sides as well as our back sides at the same time.

I have no witty captions for these pictures. I love this piece of art.

Bean!

I laughed when Michelle told me our friend said The Bean was the coolest thing he saw on his trip all over the United States. I said, “I’ve been there. It’s cool, but the best thing out of a dozen stops all over the states?” I stand corrected. I forgot just how awesome this sculpture is, and for that I apologize. Bean, you rock!

First Meal in Chicago

Some of you probably didn’t even notice, but I was gone for a week and a half. I have sales meetings in Michigan every one or two years, so this time I flew in early to Chicago and brought Michelle along with me. We landed pretty late, checking into Hotel Allegro around midnight.

Our home away from home.

We walked across the river for a late night snack, braving the cold winds.

The evidence of our late night meal.

Beef sandwich with sweet peppers.

Beef sandwich with sweet and hot peppers.

After travelling, this meal was satisfying. The hot pepper mix was really good. The beef was a bit on the dry side unfortunately. I felt like the Portillo’s sandwich was juicier, even though this dipped in beef juice as well. Man, I wish I could have the Portillo’s beef smothered in Al’s hot pepper mix.

Anyone know where I can get my hands on some of the hot pepper mix? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it at grocery stores locally.

Chicago Preview

Photo by Michelle.