Chicago is a special city.
It’s where my parents lived after they got married, and it’s where my brother was born. I have many fond memories of visiting Chicago with my family when I was younger, and I have always loved going back. This past weekend, I visited my brother, Ethan, who now lives in the Windy City. From turkey burgers to torrential downpours, traveling (a.k.a. “together time”) with the Schilds always makes for hilarious memories that I will cherish for years to come.
The best soy latte that you ever had (and me)
One of our first stops was for coffee, of course. I had my first Intelligentsia latte (which my parents were – rightfully so – raving about for weeks leading up to the trip). Intelligentsia is a coffee brand that originated in Chicago in the mid-1990s, and it maintains its original calming, minimalistic experience. I also appreciated the cute neon signs and tasteful typography in and out of the store. (Well done, Intelligentsia.)
Bonus points if you can name the song that features the lyrics “…the best soy latte that you ever had…and me.”
“This is sick.”
Apparently, the word “sick” now also means “really good.” That’s how I would describe lunch at Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen. From veggie salads galore to burgers for carnivores and herbivores alike, Doc B’s had an amazing menu that made it difficult to decide. After all, I didn’t want to leave anyone (and by anyone, I mean any food item) out.
What I ordered: The turkey burger with sweet potato fries.
Also great: Quinoa salad.
Happiness level: 11 out of 10.
Fullness level: 10 out of 10. Very satisfied, but not greasy.
“Can we please just get one normal photo of the four of us?”
At one restaurant, we asked the waitress to take a family picture. (Yes, we were “those people” – but it is rare that we are all in one place, so it was important to document the moment.) My parents, brother and I had assumed our camera-ready poses for nearly five minutes. We were ready. The waitress snapped a picture and ran off before she could tell that the photo was completely blurry and white-washed due to the poor lighting.
The next morning, we ate at Oak Tree, one of our favorite Chicago restaurants. Oak Tree “did brunch” before it was the trendy to wear shirts that say “Brunching is my cardio.” I ate possibly the best, most flaky, perfect raisin toast I have ever encountered in my life. (If I close my eyes and try really hard, I can still taste the cinnamon swirls.)
Afterwords, we asked the waitress to take a picture of us. Looking back, we were so focused on getting this picture – partly because we were all together in one place, and partly because we needed to redeem ourselves after the previous photo disaster.
Less than ten seconds before the shutter snapped, our table and/or one of the benches fell/dropped and made a dramatic crashing sound. How this happened will forever be a mystery. The waitress pretended nothing happened. We smiled through our teeth, cracking up about the whole scenario. At this point, we didn’t even care about the picture – we just wanted a quick escape.
So long, Chi-Town.
It was a wonderful weekend spent with the whole “crew.” Ethan, I am so happy for you, and I can’t wait to see you again sometime soon. You are doing a great job with everything, and it’s awesome to see you back in your old stomping grounds. (*insert our funny voice here* “Keep up the good work!”)
Want more Chicago? (Who doesn’t?) Check out the video below:
I am down to my last two full weeks at home before I head back to Florida for my sophomore year of college. It’s crazy to think about where I was one year ago – getting ready for my freshman year (but don’t worry, that’s another blog post).
Here’s to the Windy City, raisin bread and good times all around,