Sunday, 9 August 2015

USA 2015 Part 9: Chicago Diner

The one good thing about going to Indianapolis was that it is very close to Chicago, so of course I went to Chicago. And the reason I went there? Chicago Diner. I left Indianapolis on a 6 am train to Chicago, a five hour trip. It was about a tenth of the cost of flying! The scenery was certainly nothing compared to the beautiful Amtrak Cascades route in the Pacific North West, and the train was older and a bit bumpier, but I listened to podcasts, had a nap, ate some snacks...

2015-06-07 07.16.00

It was raining when the train was coming into Chicago, but the skies cleared and I magically managed to get on the right bus to my AirBnB. I had chosen a room in a house in Lakeview, just a 9 minute walk from the diner. However due to circumstances I had to move to another of the host's properties, an adorable little one bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park, about 20 minutes walk to the diner. However a bit of extra walking was not going to do me any harm given my food intake! I dropped my bags and then hit the pavement.

The Chicago Diner

And there it was! Years of dreaming, and I was right in front of it. I had spent the last few months carefully deciding what I was going to order when I arrived. It all starts with the Radical Reuben sandwich (without caspicum!)...

Radical Reuben at Chicago Diner

Add a side of Mac and Teese...

Mac and Teese at Chicago Diner

And extra side of Waffle Fries, because you should never have to choose between carby goodness...

Waffle Fries at Chicago Diner

And a Carrot Cake Milkshake (yes, I know everyone gets the peanut butter cookie dough chocolate shake, but I love carrot cake!)...

Carrot Cake Milkshake at Chicago Diner

And it was GLORIOUS! Everything I had every hoped and dreamed, for years, and it lived up to every expectation!! The reuben was amazing, best ever! The sides were great. The milkshake was insanely dessert like but so very yummy. I will dream of this meal for the rest of my life, and be glad that I ate it. Group shot!

Perfect lunch at Chicago Diner

After this glorious moment in history, I waddled slowly back to my apartment and entered the most serious food coma of my life. There wasn't even any napping involved. I think I just sat and started for about 40 minutes. It was a lot of food. I'd recommend it. Once I roused myself from my torpor, I had the distinct joy of doing some washing in a washing machine rather than in a sink!

I am not sure how I decided I needed dinner, but I did. I took a long, meandering walk to the Lincoln Park Urban Vegan, a vegan Thai place I had heard good things about. It is kind of inconspicuous, I didn't see it until I was upon it!

Urban Vegan

They start by giving you some miso soup.

Miso Soup at Urban Vegan

They had some set dinner specials, but I cannot say no to trying every Pad See Ew that crosses my path. Unfortunately I was a little underwhelmed with this one. The sauce was just okay, and I would have liked a better tofu and broccoli to noodle ratio.

Pad See Ew at Urban Vegan

Chicago also has several Wholefoods and Trader Joes. I visited two Wholefoods (one near Chicago Diner and one in Lincoln Park) and the Lincoln Park Trader Joe's on my travels. Going into a Wholefoods after visiting the mammoth one in Austin is a shock... they all seem so tiny! I also remembered why I don't like Trader Joe's, it is all confusing in there! However the fruit is much cheaper than at Wholefoods. I got a few things for early morning breakfast snacks from each of them. The cherry juice is amazing!

Trader Joe's and Wholefoods

The next morning I woke up early, and after some fruit and yoga took a walk through a park to see the lake. It is the biggest lake I've ever seen! I know technically it is a lake, but I feel they need another word for it.

Park at Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan from Lakeview

Lake Michigan from Lakeview

I was torn for breakfast between going to Chicago Diner or trying out one of the other places nearby. Obviously I need to eat at Chicago Diner at least once a day, however Chicago has many other places. I ended up at Pick Me Up Cafe, also a 20 minute walk from my place. Also, it opened earlier than Chicago Diner, which was good!

Pick Me Up Cafe

I decided to order their famous vegan French Toast. French Toast baffles me a little, I've had it a couple of times and been underwhelmed. Thankfully there French Toast is pretty damn good, because they came out with the largest plate of it ever. Five huge slices! I ended up taking the last slice home with me. Apparently on weekends they do it with fancy toppings as well.

French Toast at Pick Me Up Cafe

On the way back to my place, I did end up stopping by Chicago Diner to get one of their famous cinnamon rolls to take away. I didn't eat it at this time, we will come back to this cinnamon roll later in my travels, and you will discover why it is the best damn cinnamon roll in the world.

Cinnamon Bun from Chicago Diner

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Another cute photo of my Dim Sim that my mum Instagrammed for me.

1 comment:

  1. I shouldn't have read this - so hungry now! Om nom nom nom nom.