Emilia Babilia
Food & Travel

Babymoon at Chicago

With Zika ruining all hopes of having an affordable sunny, beachy babymoon in the Caribbeans, we decided to go to Chicago instead as we’ve both been dreaming of dining at Alinea. Andres’ cousins also live there and they have very generously offered for us to stay at their place. 🙂

We had lots of good food during the trip. Here are some pics:

Tacos at Taco L Jalisciense
Man were these goooooood. I don’t usually like taco (yes I know I’m weird. I don’t like cilantro and avocado and cheese so I’m sure you can see why I don’t normally like tacos.) but I gobbled this taco up and cleaned the plate!!!

The pork was grilled on a spit and cooked to perfection. The taco just had lettuce, tomato and onions and it’s exactly how I like it. With a little bit of lime to balance it out, it was the perfect lunch.

We had a little bit of an adventure getting to the place too as it’s farther west from downtown and we got off the subway in a place that looked like a scene from The Wire (go watch the series if you haven’t already!) – abandoned grassland with people standing in corners and sitting on benches, and a few people walking around with a shopping cart chained to their belt. It was eye-opening to see this in real life.

Alinea
The highlight and purpose of our trip. If you’re wondering “why all the hype?”, go watch Chef’s Table on Netflix (season 2 episode 1).

The food definitely lived up to expectation. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.

  1. Ice with char roe, pineapple sorbet and passion fruit moose
  2. Langoustine paper with a broth made with tomatoes, saffron and a whole bunch of other ingredients I don’t remember. The broth was so clear and had such depth of flavour.
  3. Maitake mushrooms with blueberry sauce and topped with thin sheets of dehydrated blueberries
  4. The rock is a thin white chocolate shell with miso and chocolate ganache flowing out once you crack the shell. The moss is a matcha shortcake. Lots of crunchy elements along with a white chocolate panna cotta. <3
  5. Nostalgia – bubble gum and sour cherry sorbet with banana gelato and vanilla cake hidden underneath. The transparent film up top is sour cherry flavoured. This dish came with an edible balloon made with banana taffee.

Renaldi’s Pizza
Andres’ cousins brought us to try the stuffed pizza at this place and it was indeed quite good. This restaurant is owned and run by an Italian family so all their other food tasted amazing and authentic too! (We also had some robster ravioli and linguine with white clam sauce.) Take a look at this bread!

Here’s the pizza 🙂

Just a few more food pics… 😛

Fried chicken at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Bone Marrow at Au Cheval
This is another dish I normally do not like but this place made it so well. The place is actually famous for their burgers and we had to wait 3 hours for a table! lol

The burgers are pretty good, definitely better than any burger I’ve had in Toronto. Unfortunately the experience wasn’t the best as the 6 of us were squeezed into a booth meant to seat 4 people and the music was super loud.

P.S. Forgive me for the ugly photo as lighting was extremely dim in the restaurant…

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Onto the non-food part!

During the second day of our trip we took an architecture tour with the Chicago Architecture Foundation. We did the Historic Skyscraper tour and learned so much about Chicago’s history in 2 short hours. We would have liked to do another tour but we didn’t have enough time. Until next time, hopefully a warmer and less rainy time too.

We were lucky to have enjoyed a few hours of summer weather though! We went to the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Botanical Garden that day. The weather was such a tease but I’m so happy with the little bit of warmth and sunshine we got. 🙂

On the last day of our trip we went to the Chicago iconic Millennium Park where The Bean is and then walked up along the waterfront to the Navy Pier. It was rainy and foggy but the scenery was surprisingly beautiful and captivating in its own way. The lake water there is a bright turquoise and the fog on top of the lake made the buildings and the ferries wheel appear eerie yet tranquil.

At one point in time, as we were looking back at the city skyline from the Navy Pier, we saw a clean-cut layer of fog, so neat as if it was a layer of cream on a cake, sitting on top of the horizon, with the top of the buildings sitting atop behind it. The picture took our breath away. Sadly I was unable to capture it on my phone…

We had a wonderful time in Chicago and we had lots of fun with Andres’ cousins (and cats) as well. Thank you again for your hospitality! We hope to see you guys again soon. <3

Last but not least, pictures of Andres’ cousin’s cats – Tom and Lea. I’m more of a dog person (and still am), but these two, especially Tom, were so cute. From the first time I met him, Tom seemed to like me and approached me immediately. I wonder if it’s because of how I smell with my pregnancy hormones. He would cuddle up and sleep beside me every night after I return from my 4 / 5am pee session. 🙂

He also enjoys planting himself inside our suitcase every time I had it open. lol

Tom

Lea

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