An amazing weekend in Chicagoland. The purpose of the trip was Jeff and Danielle’s wedding in South Bend. My previous experience in South Bend involved my birth which I don’t remember and a Michigan State ass kicking of Notre Dame which I remember fondly. It was fun to meet some of Jeff’s old buddies from back in the day. Wallace, I, Jeff, and his buddies Matt and Scott hit the town a bit on Friday after the rehearsal - a sort of mini bachelor party since this was the first time we were all present. Nothing scandalous like getting kicked off a train (cough, Portland, cough) but lots of good beer. South Bend is a nice midwestern town and the Beiger Mansion is an awesome venue for a wedding. I was honored to be a groomsman for the affair - Justin in monkey suit pictures forthcoming. It was a beautiful wedding, Danielle looked amazing, and Jeff was there too! :) These two were made for each other and this day was a long time coming. Fantastic is all I have to say! Twas also the day of the OSU vs MSU game and just my luck the Wedding Minister was a MSU Alumni and already had the game on at the bar. Saved, you can’t look like an ass if you’re watching the game with the Minister!
And back to Chicago… Did I mention we got Bears tickets? Oh yes we did! Da Bears vs. the Cam Newtons! Simon, Christine, I, and long lost pal Doug C. I was so happy to spend time with Doug for the first time in a decade. This mofo ran three marathons last year. I’m a chump! None the less it was a great Sunday. Pre-game at Harry Caray’s on Navy Pier, water taxi to the game, Bears ass kicking of the Panthers, post game tailgate, Chicago style pizza for dinner, and Sunday Night football at a sport bar. Nice!
Monday was pretty chill, I was wiped from the previous three days. After lunch I did the architectural boat tour and then headed out to west loop for a culinary adventure. If you don’t know, I’m a bit of a Top Chef fanatic. Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard has a highly acclaimed restaurant Girl & the Goat out in West Loop so off I went. As luck would have it that’s Doug’s neighborhood. We sat down for an amazing meal (at the bar as reservations fill three months in advance). Spicy bacon smoked oysters, confit goat belly, escargot ravoili, a beef tongue chilaquiles type dish, and pork fat doughnuts. One of my favorite meals of all time. After that a drink at the top of the Hancock building, and some delicious Bell’s Beer at a sports bar while watching the Tiger’s take care of the Yanks.
Tuesday was another nice treat - lunch at Fontera Grill of Rick Bayless fame. Among his many accolades he won Top Chef Masters Season 1. :) Delicious upscale Mexican. I had a spicy pork taco entree which was an excellent blend of sweet and hot. Well worth the coin but not nearly as mind blowing as ‘Goat’. After that I hopped the train to the airport and headed home. Still don’t think I can live in Chicago but dear God I love to visit!