Saturday, March 22, 2014

Eating the Alphabet - "B" is for Bellwether

Our second stop on the "Eating the Alphabet" series (for the letter "B") was Bellwether.

We went to Bellwether last Saturday when we were out celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. We both decided to choose items that they had for Saint Patrick's Day that are not normally on the menu. I choose the Guinness mac and cheese, and Timmy chose the Irish Burger. The Guinness mac and cheese is pretty self explanatory (it had Guinness in it). The Irish Burger had corned beef hash and a fried egg on top.

The mac and cheese was good, but let's be honest: when is mac and cheese ever not good? (The answer is never.) I was more impressed with Timmy's menu choice. The corned beef on top of his burger was ah-maz-ing. I wish they offered a plain corned beef sandwich on their usual menu. I had never had corned beef before. Timmy has ordered corned beef hash several times throughout our relationship, however, it never looked tempting to me. The corned beef on Bellwether's burger though? How could I not try something that looked that delicious. Timmy's burger came with sweet potato fries which were some of the best sweet potato fries I've had; they had the perfect amount of salt. To be honest, I was jealous of his food. Again, it isn't that my mac and cheese wasn't good, it is just that Timmy's burger was special.

Bellwether's decor is swanky, but their atmosphere is relaxed, which I consider to be a winning combination. Our waiter and the hostess were both friendly, and our waiter was attentive. I loved that they had pear cider on tap, and it was some of the best cider I've had.

>>>Click here to see all the posts in the "Eating the Alphabet" series<<<

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What I Wore - Saint Patrick's Day jumper

I love this dress but don't so much love the dress for me; I'm not one for bare arms or showing off my legs. So, I was pretty excited when I came up with the idea of wearing this dress as a jumper with a button-up shirt underneath (I usually wear it with the leggings, but with a cardigan over, instead of a shirt under).

I wore this dress on Saturday to go to the dyeing of the river for Saint Patrick's Day, to a movie, and for some walking around. The wall I am posing in front of used to have a cuddly t-rex on it, so, I was a bit disappointed that it was gone (even though the new art is still quite cool). Don't let my smiles fool you, it was quite chilly (I took my coat off for the photos).

And then I made my photographer (my boyfriend, Timmy) get in front of the camera.

I definitely foresee this wall making a reappearance in future outfit post photos.

Sad bear is sad.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Eating the Alphabet - "A" is for Avanti Caffé

The first restaurant in my "Eating the Alphabet" series is the Avanti Caffe. I became quite excited about the series when I was looking on-line for a restaurant that started with "A" and I came across the Avanti Caffe. The photos of their tostinos (grilled paninis) reminded me of the most amazing sandwich I have ever had which was at Il Panorama Cafe in Howth, Ireland. Seriously, before my sandwich at Il Panorama Cafe, I did not know that it was possible for a deli meat sandwich to be so delicious and special. Il Panorama Cafe shaves their meat fresh for each sandwich! I do not know if Avanti does that because the sandwiches are not made in front of you.

I cannot speak to eating in at Avanti because I got out of work late, and we didn't get to Avanti until 15-20 minutes before they closed. They close at 5:00 pm during the week (4:00 pm on Saturdays, and are closed on Sundays). Unfortunately this is pretty common in downtown Chicago since most of the business that restaurants receive is from those who work downtown. The employee working the counter said we could eat there but we are not one of "those" people that pretend those in the service industry have no life outside of their work. Luckily it was one of the warmest days we have had here this winter, so, we took the sandwiches to a nearby park to eat. Avanti has their pop machines where customers can refill their own drinks which I love; that is a rare occurrence downtown.

I ordered the smoked turkey and Swiss tostino, and my boyfriend Timmy ordered the roast beef and cheddar tostino. The sandwiches were delicious, however, I am not sure they lived up to Il Panorama Cafe. In Avanti's defense, I am not sure it was possible for them to live up to my memories of Il Panorama Cafe since it was part of such a special day on our Ireland vacation. I loved Avanti's bread, so much so that I would have been happy with just cheese and tomato on the bread; in fact, about 3/4th of the way through my sandwich, I took the rest of the turkey off my sandwich, and gave it to Timmy so I could do just that. The pickle spears that come with the sandwiches were great too. I love homemade pickle spears. Avanti's pickle spears had a hint of jalapeno to them, however, I am not sure if that was just because there was also a pepper in the food container.

>>>Click here to see all the posts in the "Eating the Alphabet" series<<<

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Eating the Alphabet

Those of you who saw my post last week teasing my new blog project called "Eating the Alphabet" may be wondering what it is all about. My boyfriend Timmy and I will be eating our way through the alphabet; each week or so we will be picking a restaurant to eat at that starts with the next letter of the alphabet. Monday we ate at the Avanti Caffe for the letter "A." Our next stop will be a restaurant that starts with "B," then "C," and so on.

I am excited about the project because I am a safe eater; I tend to prefer eating at restaurants that I already know that I love. So, this project will force me to try new places; I have already stipulated that we cannot pick any restaurants that we have been to in the last six months (ideally we will pick all new restaurants).

There will be a blog post for each place that we visit. Since I am not good at describing food, the posts will contain a couple photos and usually just some quick thoughts from me. I will be publishing the post for the Avanti Caffe within the next few days.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What I Wore - Dinosaurs and Lipgloss

The "Dinosaurs" part of this blog title is obvious, the "Lipgloss" part, probably not so much; the necklace I am wearing in the photos is from Syl and Sam of Lipgloss & Black.

I have followed Syl and Sam since they were on LiveJournal, which now seems like a lifetime ago. I admire Syl and Sam for their unique sense of style, vision for their business, and most of all, their drive to make it happen. I had never bought anything from them before, so, when they had an awesome sale for Black Friday, I decided that it was time for me to pick up a Lipgloss & Black piece.

Awkward closeup to show off my earrings.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Eating the Alphabet

Intrigued by the silly title? I hope so. New blog project, called "Eating the Alphabet," coming within the week.