Life Update

Life Update

Sooo I realize that I owe all of you a life update, and I know it’s definitely overdue. If you follow me on Instagram, which you should, you might have noticed that I moved from Los Angeles back to Chicago. I got a new job, which I love, and I’m having a great time exploring a city that I’ve been away from for eight years. While my time in Los Angeles was fun, it was time to leave and start a new chapter of my life. Being back in Chicago has allowed me to be back with family and friends, explore new restaurants and just be me.

From here on out my posts will be a combination of old posts from LA and new ones from Chicago and my travels. Stay tuned for some fun places and restaurants to try!

Chicago’s Hidden Gluten Free Cafe

Chicago’s Hidden Gluten Free Cafe

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When you think of food in Chicago, you typically think of meat and potatoes, not a gluten free café. When one of my friends took me to Wheat’s End in December, I was in awe that such a place existed and that it was absolutely delicious. Before I went to Wheat’s End I knew that certain brands of gluten free products were good, and that items on a restaurant menu could be decent, but I never expected to crave gluten free food. I have a pretty sensitive stomach and I recently decided to cut out as much gluten as possible to see if that helped keep things calm; I also can’t have a lot of dairy or rich foods.

When we went to Wheat’s End, I decided to have a yolo moment and order and eat anything I wanted to. To start off our feast I ordered a mimosa and a soy latte, because you can’t have brunch without a mimosa and coffee. Next we each got a Popover with mushroom gravy, which was AMAZING! I couldn’t tell that I was eating gluten free, and the gravy perfect- it wasn’t rich and had the right balance of mushrooms and gravy. We split the breakfast potatoes and nitrate free bacon (probably some of the best bacon I’ve ever had). To top off our meal we split a pumpkin cinnamon roll, which hit the spot. It tasted and had the same consistency of a non-gluten free cinnamon roll, and the pumpkin flavor made it the perfect cinnamon roll.

During this meal had more food than I typically eat in two meals, and I didn’t feel stuffed or like I over ate. The food was amazing, and I have been dreaming of it since December and I can’t wait to go back in April! If you’re gluten free and live or are traveling to Chicago, then you definitely need to go to (or live at) Wheat’s End!

Let’s Talk About Goats

Let’s Talk About Goats

2016 was a big year for the City of Chicago and goats. The Cubs FINALLY WON THE WORLD SERIES, breaking the curse of the Billy Goat, and it was the year I discovered Girl and the Goat and Little Goat.

Girl and the Goat

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During my time home, I went to Girl and the Goat with my BFF and her BF, and it was probably my favorite foodie adventure with her. When we initially sat down, it was 10:15pm, and we were just eating dinner. Seriously who eats dinner at that hour- my parents thought we were crazy, but the craze about this restaurant was worth the late dinner time. I immediately noticed the vibe of the restaurant, modern but comfortable, and I knew I was going to like it. Our waiter was probably the most helpful waiter I’ve ever had, he thoroughly walked us through the menu and marked his favorite dishes under each category. This made the experience for two newbies much more pleasant and less overwhelming.

We ended up ordering the Sautéed Green Beans, Roasted Cauliflower, Escargot Ravioli, Pig Face, Goat Belly, and Caramel Corn and Malt Balls and the Dark Matter Pot De Crème for dessert. All the food was AMAZING! Every bite is designed to please each taste bud, and balance each type of flavor (sweet, salty, bitter, etc.). I have never enjoyed each bite of a meal like this before, so it was worth it to wait until 10:15pm to eat. For the amount of food, we ordered and one drink per person, the bill was quite reasonable- which surprised us! Since I loved this experience so much, I made it my goal to go to Little Goat when I came home for the Holidays in December.

Little Goat

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Flash-forward a few weeks, and I’m back in Chicago, and ready for my next exciting dinning adventure. This time my friend and I went to Little Goat, which has more of a rustic diner feel. We arrived a bit early, and went to the bar on the other side of the restaurant to wait. I got the Moscow Goat and my friend got a Pinot Noir. The menu at Little Goat is even more overwhelming/expansive since they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I knew that we had to get the Tempura Mashed Potatoes, but really had no idea for how to tackle the menu. We decided to each find an entrée and then we found some sides that we were intrigued by and just selected three. We ordered the Bi Bim Bop Breakfast Bowl, Bull’s Eye French Toast, Tempura Mashed Potatoes, Goat Chili Cheese Fries, and the Hot Crab Dip.

Everything at Little Goat felt more like eating creatively made and presented comfort food. It was delicious and we definitely over ordered for two people. I would say my two favorite items at Little Goat were the Bull’s Eye French Toast and the Goat Chili Cheese Fries. I loved the combination of flavors in the Bull’s Eye French Toast- sweet, salty, and savory all in one bite. As for the Goat Chili Cheese Fries- I a) had never had goat on fries before b) loved how all the flavors just made one amazing bite. Little Goat is also affordable- just make sure you don’t over order 🙂

If you’re going to be traveling or live in Chicago- I highly suggest that you make reservations at one or both restaurants. If you want to go to Girl and the Goat at a normal time, then you definitely need to book it months in advance. Both restaurants have amazing food, and I suggest that you pick one based off either your desire to try something completely different or if you want more unique comfort food. Happy Eating!

Unique Gift Ideas

Unique Gift Ideas

Since it’s the Holiday Season, and people are trying to finish up their last-minute holiday shopping, I thought I would share some of my favorite items to give as gifts.

For the Person Who Love Art…

 

One of my favorite stores in Chicago is Ignite. It is a glass blowing center, and they have a store that sells ornaments, bowls, vases, bottle stoppers, and much more. Everything is handmade at the facility, and looks beautiful! Some of my favorite ornaments are the candy canes and the icicles.

If you’re the type of person who would rather give the gift of a memory, then a tangible item, then Ignite also offers different glass blowing classes!

 

For the Person Who Loves Personalized or Patterned Items…

I love to design and personalize gifts, but my talent for making homemade gifts is non existent. I like to create personalized gifts for people on May Designs. They sell super cute notebooks, calendars, stationary, desk accessories, and so much more for a great price! I’m a huge fan of the notebooks, and when you first go to their website they give you 15% off your first order for entering your email address. Now who doesn’t love cute and affordable gifts?!

fullsizeoutput_8c9

 

For the Person Who Lives Far Away…

For the people who live out of state, I think that giving something compact and that is a favorite of yours is always nice. One of my favorite things to give people is chocolates, but not just any chocolates, I get people Frango chocolates. Most people haven’t heard of them, but they used to be made in Marshall Fields (now Macy’s). To me they remind me of home, Chicago, and are delicious. I like to write a nice long card with a box of Frango chocolates, because everyone deserves a sweet gift!

fullsizeoutput_8fa

I hope my gift ideas help ya’ll! Happy Holidays Everyone!

Hot Chocolate Hunt

This winter I have been on the hunt for unique and delicious hot chocolate around the country. Even though I only found stellar hot chocolate in two cities, I am super interested in receiving recommendations for more hot chocolate travel destinations.

While I was in Chicago for about a month, I rediscovered an old favorite, hot chocolate at Walker Brothers Pancake House. While I am sure it isn’t anything super unique, it always is delicious and makes me feel like I’m home.

IMG_1030
Walker Bros

 

My next destination in Chicago, was Cocoa + Co. I discovered this super cute café in Old Town on a cold winter day. While I was there, I got the Mocha X’Tasy, which was a great blend of chocolate, caramel, and sea salt. There was a rich chocolate flavor, and the other flavors mixed perfectly. I highly recommend this shop if you are looking for a cute café in Chicago.

IMG_1041
Cocoa + Co

 

Finally, when I got back to Los Angeles, I stumbled upon Choco Vivo. It was a very unique experience because there are so many different types of chocolate, blends, and intensities. I loved the drink that I developed, and I definitely need to go back to try more varieties. If you’re in Los Angeles and craving hot chocolate, this is definitely a place you need to venture to.

IMG_0991
Choco Vivo

If you have any recommendations, please share them with me and I will do my best to try them. I love traveling and being able to try new things!

CUBS WIN!!!

Ok, so I’ve already divulged that I’m from Chicago, which makes me either a White Sox fan or a Cubs fan. I am a CUBS fan, born and raised on the North Side. TONIGHT THE CUBS BEAT THE CARDINALS and I am the happiest person ever. Seriously though, being a Cubs fan can drain you emotionally, and this year has been quite the ride. I am so proud of the Cubbies and I’m rooting for you from the West Coast.

CUBS

Sweet Home Chicago

This weekend I was lucky enough to go home to celebrate my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. While I was home I explored some new eateries (for me) and bars around the city. Friday night, I ventured to Cape Cod in the Drake Hotel. I had the scallops as my entree and then for dessert I had the S’mores. Both were delicious and definitely worth a try.

IMG_0691 IMG_0692

Saturday night, I enjoyed a Chicago classic, deep dish pizza from Giordano’s. This is by far my favorite pizza place in Chicago, and I definitely recommend it if you ever visit.

IMG_0694

Finally Saturday night, I ventured to a bar called Three Dots and a Dash. This is a hidden Tiki bar located in River North. I enjoyed a drink called Saturn, which has a lemonade base.

IMG_0695

I know I’m biased, but all of these places are definitely worth a trip to the best city in the country.

Subscribe to get my guide to LOVING Solo Travel!