Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grahamwich, Burger Fest, and Square Roots

Isn't that an awesome view of the city? I went to my friend's birthday party last night up on his rooftop deck, and it was the 48th floor or something like that. Of course the pictures are never as good as seeing it in person. But I thought it was pretty darn neat.

Graham Elliot has a sandwich shop close to my work called Grahamwich, and I had been there once before and wasn't too impressed. But I decided it was just the my sandwich choice, which was the grilled cheese, and I am not a fan of something dripping in grease, which it was. The concept was great, cause it had cheese curds and tomato marmalade along with the standard cheese and butter, but it made my stomach hurt a little cause of all the grease!

So this time I got the Roast Beef on a pretzel roll, with grainy mustard, arugula, grilled onions and shoestring potato sticks. It was a LOT better than the grilled cheese, and I really enjoyed the flavors of everything together. Next time I want to try the Teriyaki Tofu wrap with pineapple relish, wasabi peas, broccoli florets, and red peppers. Sounds pretty tasty to me!

I also ordered a small bag of the BBQ Cheddar chips, but I could've done without them. They were homemade, but just too crunchy and not enough flavor for me to really enjoy.

I actually was waiting a long time for my food, and they had called about 10 other people's numbers before mine, so they gave me a free drink for my trouble of waiting. I thought that was pretty neat. It was an Orange Ginger soda, and was pretty good. I couldn't really taste much ginger, but that's ok cause too much ginger is overwhelming sometimes.

They have a cute little area for communal seating, but it's not very big! So I took my food back to my office and ate it.

Last time I went, I got one of the ice cream sundaes that they offer. The flavors are always changing, so it was Nutella and Banana back then, and this time they had Cinnamon Stick with roasted apple, salted carmel, and pie crust. I decided to pass on the ice cream this time, but definitely got excited when I saw their case of donuts from Glazed and Infused and Carol's Cookies! I had just been talking to my friends Emily and Emily about these cookies and how good they are, but you can only eat like 1/2 of one because 1 cookie has 900 calories! (or some crazy high number)

The prices were just a little on the high side, and service was slow, but it was a Friday at lunch, so I'll give them a break. I definitely want to taste another sandwich to see if it matches up to the awesome Roast Beef, or the not-so-awesome Grilled Cheese.

Today, I walked over to the Burger Fest in Roscoe Village to sample a few sliders from some restaurants that I've been wanting to try. The first one was from Butcher and the Burger. It had cheddar cheese, onions, and truffle mayo on top. It was really good, but the bun kind of overpowered the actual burger. I'd like to try a full-sized burger from there, cause I have a feeling it would be a better burger to bun ratio. They offer butchery classes at the restaurant where you actually break down a pig, and get to take some of it home! How cool is that.

The other burger I tried was from Rockit Bar and Grill, and it wasn't quite as good as the first one. It was a Truffle Mushroom burger, and was actual slider size, which I preferred. But the meat just wasn't as flavorful.

On Friday night, Brandon and I went to Square Roots Fest in my neighborhood, and I actually liked the  food I had there better than both of these burgers! But no pictures to show you what I ate, unfortunately. We had a burger from The Grafton, and we've been there before to eat their amazing burgers, so it wasn't a surprise how delicious it was. Put some curry sauce on it and served on a pretzel bun, anything is better. We also had a bacon sausage on a pretzel roll from Big Fork Brands, and it was so good! Those win the award for best food this weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Julius Meinl

I love the summer weekends in Chicago. I feel like you can always go do something, even if it's just taking a walk outside to nowhere in particular. There's usually a shop or restaurant that I haven't been to, or something I need from the grocery, so I walk there instead of driving to get some exercise. 

I wanted to sit outside and finish my Hunger Games book today, and I knew Julius Meinl had a little outdoor area I could sit and enjoy some coffee while reading. So I biked there (and got all sweaty in the process, eew) and grabbed a table outside on the patio. 

They have a good selection of drinks, breakfast pastries, breakfast dishes, sandwiches and salads, and of course desserts. Since I was already sweating, I wanted a cold drink, but I'm not really a fan of iced coffee. So I got the Melange, which is espresso with steamed milk, foam, and Austrian cocoa powder dusted on top. Mmm it was delicious (and strong! I'm still jittery a few hours later)

They bring your drink out on a silver platter with a glass of water, how cute! And a carmel biscuit that reminded me of a Biscoff cookie, but not quite as tasty. Still really good though.

I sat for a while and read my book, but will have to remember next time I need to either sit inside and get the hot drink, or get a cold drink outside. Whew!

I had a hard time deciding what to eat! The peanut butter chocolate banana crepes was my first choice, but then I remembered I was trying to eat somewhat healthy since I had french toast and lots of cookies yesterday. So I got the Baked Eggs with cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, and parmesan and multi-grain toast with peach preserves. The peach preserves was awesome. The baked eggs needed something else, like broccoli or zucchini or something with more flavor, especially for the price (it cost more than the quiche and side salad, which now I kinda wish I would've gotten). However, it was a big portion.

I've had some of the croissants and other pastries from here in the past, and they are really tasty. Once I even got an Austrian breakfast, which was a soft-boiled egg, croissant, Emmentaler Cheese, and coffee. It was pretty neat. I tried to pretend I was really eating in Austria (sigh, maybe one day)

I would love to come here on a Friday or Saturday night when they have live music, and maybe just get dessert and coffee. The Opera cake looked pretty rich and delicious in the case. Maybe I'll come when it's cold out and nothing to go do outside! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vintage Bazaar and Baker & Nosh

Today I rode my bike (for the first time since I got it all fixed up!) to the Vintage Bazaar. It's where a bunch of pop-up shops come to one place with their vintage stuff, and it was really neat looking around at all the Mad Men dresses and antiques.

I was so excited when I saw some food trucks parked in the area, so of course I had to try a few! I got some donuts from Beavers Donuts, and a BBQ Asian Pork taco with mango salsa from Duck and Roll. Both things were pretty good, and I wish I could have tried The Slide Ride truck and a few others that were there.

I also bought some goodies from Cacao Sweets and Treats to take home. They just looked too good to pass by!

On my way to the Vintage Bazaar, I wanted to check out a newish bakery that had mixed reviews on Yelp, Baker and Nosh. It had a cute outdoor area, and the indoor area was kind of small, but nice.

I ordered a Pain au Chocolat and regular coffee. The coffee was really good, with a nice strong flavor, but the croissant wasn't really all that great.

The top layer flaked off as soon as I took a bite, and then the rest of it was almost cold and flat. I think I might just be spoiled by the amazing croissants at Hendrickx, but I wasn't too impressed.

They also had a few other baked goods and sandwiches, so those might have been more promising.

I do think I ate way to many sweets today, and now feel like I need to eat only broccoli for dinner to make up for it.

Oooh boy back to work tomorrow! I wish I could do stuff like this every day, but gotta make money somehow.