I don’t know about you, but whenever I head to a restaurant, I always grab a safe dish. Even though I like quite a range of food items, I’m just nervous about having diner’s regret. But when I went to Chicago to meet up with my BFF, her mom and her mom’s BFF, we all lived on the wild side when it came to ordering from the menu. Upon arrival, we were all starving, and headed to Pappadeaux’s which was 3 minutes from our hotel in Westmont, IL. The restaurant was huge with lots of dining choices inside and out. We chose to dine al fresco and Erica and I actually split a dish. Our waiter spoke kind of fast so I don’t really remember what we ordered. But it was good. And the dirty rice was great – but so spicy!
It was also my first time trying gumbo. It was AMAZING. Not too spicy, but definitely had a kick. We also shared the Praline Cheesecake and wow. I don’t know why I’ve been so scared to try a praline. It was awesome! Here’s my review of the restaurant on Yelp:
The next day was breakfast at Dunkin’s (and you already know how much I ended up LOVING their iced latte) and lunch was to Rock Bottom Brewery. They have specials on their beer and this was $3 to try out. I didn’t review it on Yelp but the beer was good and the burger amazing.
After a long day of dress shopping (and finding The One) we had asked the bridal shop for recommendations on dinner. Always ask locals!!!! We ended up walking about 3 blocks to Tavernita (which also had Barcito attached for our pre-dinner drinks). The tapas style restaurant had a wide range of options to choose from. We chose 4 menu options and all were amazing. But my favorite was the gnocchi and also the pear flatbread pizza. Wow. If you’ve not been to Tavernita on W. Erie, you MUST go!
My review on Yelp:
Saturday we hit downtown Chicago to walk around and play tourist – which was an easy role since we all were. We decided to have lunch at Cafe Grand Lux. We found out it is a sister company to Cheesecake Factory – which explained the huge portions of everything. We all ordered dessert. Chocolate Lava Cake, Banoffee Pie (which was mentioned in Love Actually and which is why Erica ordered it!), and beignets. OMG everything was good. The Banoffee was super sweet because of the extra caramel sauce layered between the banana pudding and the cookie crust. The beignets were amazing. I had 2. Maybe 3. I can’t remember. The portion size was insane.
Ever heard of 4th meal? Yes, Taco Bell coined the term a bit ago and Jon and I use it every vacation. Well, the ones with room service. 4th meal is a meal around 10 pm because you’re still hungry. I wanted pizza and HELLO we were in Chicago. I called the front desk and asked them for the best one around. Giordano’s is where they put me in contact with. I ordered the stuffed hawaiian, but I received a thin (ha “thin”) crust hawaiian. I was disappointed BUT it was delicious. The cheese was so good and the sauce so flavorful. I also had it for breakfast on Saturday. LOL
Saturday night we redeemed ourselves with ordering from there again, stuffed pizza and also a salad. It was really good. That cheese man. So yum.
Before we left Chicago, we purposefully had later flights so we could grab brunch before hitting the road. A quick search again on Yelp pulled up a new place – Citrus Diner. It was right across from our hotel and the place was SO cheerful. Yellow, orange & lime green color palette touch every detail. There were so many cute displays and touches that I wanted to snap photos of. I didn’t want to go all blogger-azzi on them so I just took photos of our food.
We found out it had opened earlier in May and I really hope they get a lot of business because the food was so so yum. Here’s my review on Yelp:
Oh and one other thing I learned about – Chicago Style Popcorn. Who knew? It’s a mix of Caramel Corn & Cheddar and wow. so yum. I grabbed a small bag from Garrett’s but really should have bought the large. I thought Jon wouldn’t like it since he’s a popcorn aficionado and really only likes it one way – homemade. But this? He gobbled up. I can’t wait to get more from there…someday.
So yes, lots of places to eat in Chicago. We barely made a dent. But I don’t care. I had so much fun and loved trying new food items!