With all the traveling last week and tinkering away at the new site (so excited for updates!), I decided to take a little break on the blog this week. Don’t worry, to make up for it I’ve got two weeks worth of recap at the ready for you today.
Without further ado, first up is a great event that I had the pleasure of attending a second time: happy hour with Chicagogrammers at Yard House. After my last visit during Restaurant Week as well as the happy hour prior to that, I was so excited to come back for my third round of fun with old favorites while trying new items as well.
For drinks, I got the Jalapeño Spicy Margarita and the just tapped Angry Orchard Rosé. Both were very different but also delicious! The margarita was very spicy and packed with flavor. As for the rosé, I was a little worried that it would be too sweet but the consistency was more of a cider instead and actually tasted really good! Another not to be missed drink (mainly because it looks so cool) is the Beer Yards – they weren’t founded on great food, great music, and great beer for nothing! That’s right, you can actually order a yard of beer. With Yard House having over 110 beers on tap just at the location I went to, getting any kind of beer here is essential. Another fun fact is that they do local takeovers of the taps at various locations, so regardless of which one you go to you’re sure to find something brewed in the area there. Starting in 1996 in Long Beach, California to now 72 locations in 40 states from Hawaii to New York – you’re bound to find one near you.
Now let’s get to the food. To start, we have pepperoni & sausage pizza, ahi tuna salad, buffalo cauliflower bites, and squid ink calamari pasta. For those who’ve been keeping up with the blog for a little bit, you already know how I feel about the cauliflower bites. The pizza wasn’t the best I ever had, but it was good! I didn’t get a chance to try the others, but according to my friends at the event, their favorites of this group were the pasta and the salad – the salad was crunchy and the tuna seared nicely, while the pasta was very savory and flavorful.
This next one is my favorite thing (along with the spinach artichoke dip) to get here: the poké nachos. With wasabi soy sauce, avocado, jalapeños and ahi tuna, it’s no question why it’s the number one appetizer for the restaurant! If you’re going to Yard House for the first time, get these for sure!
Just before we moved on to the final course, we got some wings as well. Again, I didn’t get a chance to try these but my friends said they really loved them – the sauce on them had just enough kick.
The final trio was probably my favorite of the night to try because I already knew that the molten Chocolate Soufflé was mouth watering from last time. The other two were the Peach Apple Cobbler topped with caramel ice cream as well as the Mini Crème Brûlée with vanilla bean custard, chocolate, & caramelized bananas. Every single one of these was to die for. Every. Single. One. All melt in your mouth and the flavors each offer something different from the other. Don’t skip this no matter how full you think you might be!
Next up, I got to learn some very cool tips and tricks when it comes to Influencer Marketing through another social media seminar with Oak Street Social. Super informative and learned a lot when it comes to appealing to brands as well as different apps to have in your arsenal too. Plus it doesn’t hurt that we got to munch on Swirlz cupcakes again too! If you want to attend the next one in July, here’s the link to register!
On my way back home that day, I stumbled into a food truck festival going on and knew I had to stop to try one of the more famous trucks around the city: The Fat Shallot. The Fat Shallot has done so well that you can actually buy it at Revival Food Hall in the Loop as well as the truck itself. Their most famous sandwich (though all sounded really good along with the different styles of fries) is the Truffle BLT, composed of bacon, arugula, tomato, avocado and truffle cream on challah bread. I think I just found my new favorite sandwich – this blew my expectations out of the water. The bacon was crunchy, the truffle had just enough flavor, and I loved that avocado was added. Be warned, this sandwich is quite big and definitely messy to eat so prepare to use both hands for this.
Then it was off to Nashville! I’ll be doing a separate post on this so stay tuned for more details but I couldn’t tell you how happy I was to be back in one of my favorite cities. Here’s a few highlights thrown in for a little sneak peek!
Fast forward to the past week and back in the city. Since I wanted to show my friend, Sami, who went to Nashville with me around; we ended up going to this classic spot: 3 Arts Club Cafe inside the Restoration Hardware showroom in Gold Coast. I had only been once before and was still amazed once again by all the decor like chandeliers and fountains.
In the theme of truffle, I knew I had to truffle their truffle grilled cheese since I heard so many great things about it and last time I came here we didn’t really order a full meal. I was happy that you could actually see the black truffle inside and since it was cream it added to the gooeyness of the cheese. The fries had a nice crunch, a little bit on the saltier side but the garlic aioli paired with it helps. I got a peach bellini to wash it down with and it’s one of my favorite bellinis I’ve ever had (again, had it last time).
We finished off with their famous chocolate chip cookies topped with sea salt (baked in-house). They were nice and hot and a little undercooked to make them melt in your mouth. The perfect amount of sweet to compliment the savory meal. We then walked around the showroom (4 floors including a rooftop) oohing and ahhing at each room we walked into. I loved the vault-inspired bar cart in one of the rooms and the rooftop is probably my favorite part besides the chandelier courtyard, which you can actually see from each floor through windows! Definitely go when it’s a rainy day as you’re inside the whole time and you can’t bring alcohol outside on the rooftop anyway. Also if you’re looking to avoid the wait (they don’t take reservations), go on a weekday. We got seated in under 10 mins and my prior visit during the summer on the weekend was about 2 hours.
Going back to the homefront for a little, we were hoping to see all the Murray brothers at their newly opened Caddyshack Restaurant but sadly they must have filmed the press conference days earlier so only one, Andy, was there. However, we were not disappointed by the food. For drinks to start, we got “Birdies”; made with prosecco, Absolut Pear vodka, and elderflower liqueur. Very refreshing and dangerously good. They threw in an amaretto cherry too!
The menu was honestly pretty tough to decide on. There were a ton of options and you couldn’t really go wrong. I ended up with the creole pasta – just the right amount of spice and the creaminess of it was so yummy. If I wasn’t so hungry that day, I probably would’ve taken part of it home. All the portions here are pretty big. As for the aesthetic, all around the bar you can see quotes and decor (note the plaid booths and 80s style fireplace) from the movie Caddyshack as well as posters from Bill Murray’s other movies like Ghost Busters and Space Jam (his jersey is framed). So if you’ve seen one or all of his movies, you’re bound to find a reference you’ll like. He also has his Cubs jersey from when he went to multiple 2016 World Series games framed as well as posters and signs for it along the walls.
Speaking of Cubs, we got to go to the Cubs vs Cardinals game at Wrigley the next day! Though I stay neutral since both have family connections (I know, I know, unpopular opinion), I always like to see them both regardless who wins. We stopped at the newly opened West Town Bakery to try one of the new treats. I got the Peanut Butter Mousse bar – holy yum! It was so fluffy and chocolate cake was centered in the middle of it topped with peanuts. Bonus – I could take it inside the park! The only bummer about the night was it was FREEZING. As one of the other attendees said, it was Ap-brr-ril.
Before saying bye to my friend, we stayed local and went to brunch at one of my favorites (you can read about them here and here): Holt’s. I’ll probably be doing a separate post on them soon because I’ve started to slowly but surely work through their entire menu 🙈. I’ve never had anything I didn’t like so that’s a good sign! So since it was a weekday, they didn’t have brunch when we went this time (whoops) so we got lunch instead. I tried the create your own burger because you could add cheese curds (duh) though I was kind of hoping I could just swap the fries with curds instead. Anyway, it was delicious. The patty was nice and juicy and I added lettuce, red onions, and mozzarella as well.
To our surprise, we got to try a newly added menu item courtesy of the restaurant, the Peanut Butter Mousse topped with whipped peanut butter and candied nuts. This was absolute heaven, y’all. I would 100% order this again. At first I wasn’t sure if one would be enough for both of us, but the richness of it gave us the clarity we needed. Definitely share it, there’s more than you think. I also think this mousse would be a great birthday treat for someone if you’re out too.
Down to the last three outings – are you still with me? Send me an emoji via Insta DM and I’ll be very happy to know you’re a trooper.
Anyway, I had the pleasure of seeing many blogger friends at the opening of Weihenstephaner & Sierra Nevada’s new collab beer, Braupakt. It was a light beer (more on the pale ale side) with notes of banana and stone fruit. Crazy that Weihenstephaner is literally the oldest brewery in the world (!) hailing from Germany. We even got to see a ceremonial beer tapping (see my highlights for the video) where you hammer the spout into the barrel and drink from it. Thanks to Chicagogrammers for the invite!
Right after the beer event, I quickly stopped by at Alex (Sassy Confetti)’s Stella and Dot party to see cute items like tassel earrings and pom pom bags – everything was so cute! If you check her page you can see a recap. I also got to hang with Chloe of Chloe’s Cravings once again, she is a part of Shop Buzzed (here, here and here) which you guys have heard me talk about. I also got to meet Lexi of Lex and the City, who is hosting an Instagram workshop with Chloe about photography that I’m attending next week at the Acme Hotel. Sign up in their stories, I’m super excited! Both are so sweet.
The final outing of the week is with Emma and Hannah, who haven’t seen since Christmas time. They just launched a new insta for their blog and working on a relaunch (yay!). I had been meaning to try Brunch (yes that’s its name) since I heard so many good things so off we went.
We started out with the Make your Own Mimosa Kit which came with a bottle and your choice of 6 glasses of several juices from classic orange, to grapefruit to peach and then finally cranberry. We mostly wanted to stick to orange this time around so we just got that and one cranberry. The orange was freshly squeezed which really added to the experience.
As for the food, it took a while for us to decide (so many options – I want to go back to try more), so we ended up splitting everything. We got (in order of apperance) the Chicken and Waffle Bites with maple syrup, and the Cast Iron Cinnamon Roll appetizers, the Chilaquiles with over easy eggs, and finally, the insta-famous Flintstone French Toast topped with RumChata cream. The only one I wasn’t super crazy about was the Cinnamon Roll – it was a little too charred for my liking. Everything else was amazing though, I want to come again and try their Blueberry mimosas and some of their other menu items.
Local Spots I Checked Out: Yard House, The Fat Shallot, 3 Arts Cafe inside Restoration Hardware, Murray Brothers Caddy Shack, West Town Bakery in Wrigleyville, Holts, Brunch
Events I’m Looking Forward To: Do it for the ‘Gram Seminar with Chloe and Lexi, Meeting Nick Jonas at Nordstrom, Happy Hours at Five Roses Pub with Oak Street Social, Brunch at Baptiste & Bottle inside the Conrad Hotel with Nikki,
See you in the next post!