by Jenn (eating bender) on July 18, 2011

The jam-packed summer adventures continue!

This weekend, my fantastic friend Sam and her boyfriend, Alex, came into town for a Windy City reunion. Sam got in late Thursday night — just in time for the midnight premiere of Harry Potter!

I wore my Gryffindor scarf for the occasion. :) Jill, Sam and I were thrilled to be there. The movie was just as epic and incredible as I thought it would be, with nonstop action and goodbyes from all of my favorite characters. The ending was tear-filled and bittersweet. I’ve been reading the books since I was 12 years old — even before the first movie came out — and have re-read them at least five times. No joke.

Needless to say, I ended up seeing the movie a grand total of three times this weekend. I think I’ve officially gotten my fix before it comes out on DVD but clearly it was very hard to say farewell to people I feel like I’ve known half of my life!

Between the Harry Potter showings, there was a lot of great food. On Saturday, a group of us met up at Hot Doug’s, a well-known Chicago hot dog restaurant. So well known, in fact, that we waited in line outside for two and a half hours before we even got to order! Fortunately, there was plenty of conversation and picture taking to help pass the time.

When we finally got inside the doors, we were greeted with an array of reds, blues and yellows.

The menu at Hot Doug’s boasts an impressive list of ingredients — and creative names — to choose from.

There is also what’s called the “specialty dog” menu.

Yes, you are reading it right. Meats you never even knew existed made themselves readily available. After debating for several minutes, I finally decided that you only live once and went with the Mountain Man sausage, topped with roasted yellow pepper sauce and cumin gouda cheese.

You know me and that “g” cheese. Not surprisingly, I found that this dog was ridiculously good-a!

The fries were also delicious and perfectly crispy. Sam snapped photos for her blog, too.

The following morning, our group met up again — this time for breakfast at The Publican.

The menu was absolutely incredible, with so many options to choose from! I kicked things off with a Publican mimosa, made with Pascual Toso Brut from Argentina and freshly squeezed orange juice. It hit the spot on a hot morning.

The entire table shared orders of the ricotta and zucchini bread, topped with honey, hazelnuts and black raspberries. After gobbling this up, it’s safe to say that there is some zucchini bread baking in my future.

For my main course, I chose the omelette, which came with cauliflower caponata and pecorino cheese.

Yes, it was that beautiful. I was drooling before I even took my first bite. Truly delicious! The rest of the table ordered some phenomenal looking food, as well. Bobby, Alex and Katie chose the soft shell crab sandwich, made with a biscuit, cheddar cheese, bacon, fried egg, potatoes and braised greens.

Alex’s brother, Andy, ordered red wine poached eggs, served with prosciutto, sourdough and bearnaise.

Sam ordered the waffle, served with roasted apricot jam and honey butter.

And the entire table munched on side orders of bacon — the thickest bacon I’ve ever seen in my life.

We left The Publican perfectly full and excited to return!

Sam, Alex, Bobby and I said goodbyes to the rest of the group before making our way to Wrigley Field.

Sam and Alex found us great seats for the Cubs game against the Marlins!

The game was certainly exciting — tied at 4-4 by the 8th inning, when an umpire unfortunately made a bad call that led to the Marlins scoring three runs in a row, securing their win.

But even though the Cubs lost, we still had a great time!

The weekend was over way too quickly. Sam and Alex are back in New York now with plenty of amazing pictures to share on their blog in the coming weeks. Miss them already!

As you can see from our glimmering faces, it is H-O-T in Chicago this week. I’m planning to stay inside as much as possible! The humidity has a way of making me feel like I could sleep for eight hours within five minutes of walking out the door.

What was one exciting thing you did over the weekend?


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan (Braise The Roof) July 18, 2011 at 11:21 am

Seriously, I am staying inside as much as possible this week! Tell Jill that I subbed in for her volleyball team on Thursday night- know I know where she was! 😉 Looks like you had a great weekend. I really need to go to Publican for brunch one of these days- looks amazing!


2 Jenn (eating bender) July 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

Haha! That’s awesome. :) I will definitely let her know. And we should also plan a foodie trip to Publican. SO. GOOD!


3 Amy Anderson July 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

So fun to see you, Sam and Lauren all together again! Sounds like a great weekend. :)


4 Erica July 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

What a fantastic weekend! The hot dog place looks like so much fun- I’d be all over those fries! And brunch!!!!!!!! My favorite meal. The ricotta and zucchini bread sounds amazing and that waffle? Holy Huge! Weekend was good over here! Got lots done, spent lots of time with friends and family! We went to the movies too- but we saw horrible bosses :)


5 Lauren July 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

So much good food and good memories with friends! Glad it was a wonderful weekend!


6 Samantha July 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I know I am in for a good time when I see Jenn! Thanks for the wonderful weekend and I hope to host you in NYC soon!


7 Jess July 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I saw HP too and loved it! And I like your scarf:)


8 BroccoliHut July 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

So much delicious food! I want that waffle!


9 withasideofhope July 19, 2011 at 7:19 am

Looks like such a fun weekend! That hot dog place really has some unique sounding hot dogs! :)

The highlight of my weekend was booking a venue for our wedding and picking a date! Yay!


10 Melissa @ TryingToHeal July 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Ah, what a great weekend with Sam and Jill and well, everyone! So fantastic! I can’t wait until we hang out at…FB?!?!??!


11 Mitra @ My Midwest July 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Yay, we’re t-shirt twins. I was given that bird shirt a few years ago as a birthday present :)


12 Kate @ FittingintotheWindyCity September 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm

brunch and a Cubs game is one of the best summer combos! I need to try the Publican, that bacon looked AMAZING.


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