Making The Most Of Chicago: Part One

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 28, 2012

Thank you all so much for the wonderful well wishes on our big move! You’re amazing!

As you might expect when given six days to sell and pack everything you own, it has been a little crazy over here. I’ve taken up a part-time job as a Craigslist Poster (not an official position, but it should be) and so far, we’ve had a lot of success with selling all of our furniture.

Yes, all of our furniture! Bobby and I were originally planning to rent a truck to drive across the country, but since we have a car, that means we would have to drive separately – not to mention the fuel costs of a truck that gets 10 mpg. After crunching the numbers, we’ve decided to send the majority of our belongings to Arizona via UPS. The important things will still be in our car, of course, but I’m really hoping that “brown” can do a lot for me in the next week.

Amidst all of the packing and hair pulling, Bobby and I had the chance to make the most of our great city on Saturday. We decided to devote the day to friends and eventually came together at night with the entire group for dinner and games.

My excitement began when I met Lauren for lunch at David Burke’s Primehouse in the James Hotel. We recently bought a LivingSocial coupon that included a glass of wine, lunch entrée and dessert.

I decided to go with the Terranoble Cabernet Sauvignon to start, a delicious Chilean red wine.

For my entrée I couldn’t resist the 40-day dry aged prime steak burger, a specialty of the restaurant. It was topped with garlic spinach, crispy shallots and bacon mayonnaise (yes, bacon mayonnaise) on a toasted potato bun. I also added a slice of cheddar cheese to make it extra healthy…

It was absolutely incredible! I couldn’t get over how rich the flavor of the burger was. By far one of the best I’ve had – perhaps steak makes the difference? Don’t even get me started on the truffle fries. I was swooning.

Lauren was pretty excited, too:

I couldn’t clean my plate, but it was truly fantastic. Plus, I knew there was more to come. Executive pastry chef Jove T. Hubbard’s ice cream, to be exact. On the flavor menu that day was either apple pie or pineapple upside-down cake. Lauren chose the former, while I went the tropical-paradise-in-a-bowl route.

It was scrumptious, with big pieces of pineapple and cake in every bite. I skipped the cone (I’m a cake cone girl) but adored the presentation. Once we had all but licked our bowls clean, another dessert was served. Lauren had it on good authority that the red velvet cake was not to be missed. Of course, we were too full from our ginormous meal to enjoy them right away, but we decided to order the red velvet cupcakes for the party later that night.

I couldn’t resist showing my excitement before they were all boxed up.

After lunch, Lauren and I walked around the city with our half-dozen cupcakes for a while, ultimately finding ourselves back at my apartment where we decided that both we and the cupcakes needed to cool down. It was hot outside! We hung out and watched random TV shows and YouTube videos for the rest of the day, which is pretty standard. Eventually, we met up with the group at Lou Malnati’s. I was still ridiculously full from our big lunch, but hey, this is my last week as a Chicago resident. I’m going to eat Chicago deep dish pizza!

I had a slice of “the Lou” with fresh spinach, mushrooms and sliced tomatoes covered with a blend of mozzarella, Romano and cheddar cheese. The pizza was good, but the company was even better.

We all made our way back to our box-cluttered apartment for game night. My friend Kelli surprised Bobby and me with a cake from Bennison’s Bakery in Evanston. Seeing the icing on the cake – literally – made it all real.

It was the start of an emotional night for me. The cake was amazing – vanilla with chocolate buttercream frosting – and the sentiment behind it even more so, but it was certainly bittersweet to say goodbye. We are excited to move, but we’ll miss our friends.

Thank you so much, Kelli. You really made the night extra special. I may have shed a few tears when everyone left and the apartment was empty, knowing that we would never entertain our friends here again. But as I’ve said before, I know this is not goodbye. There are still plenty of memories to be made in Chicago when we are no longer residents.

And I still have my share of the red velvet cupcakes in the fridge to comfort me.

It’s a win-win.

What have you been up to this week?

Share a story to keep me entertained while I procrastinate pack!


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner August 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

Bittersweet, indeed. But hopefully you’ll be entertaining new friends soon! (Also, I’m dying to know what your shirt says in the last photo…looks funny!)
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2 Jenn (eating bender) August 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

It’s my favorite shirt! I got it from Threadless last year – it appeases the inner word nerd in me. :)


3 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner August 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

Ha ha! Love it. Threadless has the best shirts.
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4 Erica August 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

I cannot imagine how much work you’re doing right now! Pure craziness- how are you even posting? You=amazing! Those fries…need to get in my belly. Love the ice cream cone dessert- how cute.
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5 Cara (Twinthusiast) August 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Again on the ice cream cones, Jenn, really! Aw, that cake is awesome. And you are too cute with the cupcakes.
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6 Kelli August 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I’m so glad I was able to join you on Saturday night. Not to sound like a broken record, but I’m really, really going to miss you Jenn. You better come back quick so that you, me & Lauren can continue our outings and perhaps even spend a weekend in Michigan! You’re so sweet to include a note about the cake. It is not a proper send-off without a cake, and I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. :)

Best of luck with the rest of your packing, have fun in MN and know that you always have a home here in the windy city! xoxo


7 Megan (Braise The Roof) August 29, 2012 at 9:47 am

I can’t believe how quickly your move is coming up! It sounds like you’re really on top of everything, though. I love David Burke’s! I went there for restaurant week once and it was incredible. :) I’m glad you’re making the most out of the rest of your time here!
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8 Irina @ Chocolatea Time August 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm

How bittersweet! At least you’re making the effort to make the most out of your final days here. Life is about to get so interesting and exciting for you, I can’t wait to read more!
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9 Katherine September 1, 2012 at 10:47 am

How fun!

Wanted to let you know about this upcoming 7-day smoothie challenge
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10 Simply Life September 8, 2012 at 5:49 am

wow! all those desserts look fabulous!


11 Tony December 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

Well, you’ve convinced me to go to David Burke’s Primehouse. That burger looked great. Is it ok to eat burgers in the morning for breakfast??


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