Punch Bowl Social

Punch Bowl Social is a new spot in the West Loop, it is essentially an adult playground. They have one of the largest spaces and it is great for large groups. They have lounges, arcade, bowling, duckpin bowling, virtual reality, karaoke, tartania, and backyard games. We have been here a couple of times with different groups of friends and it is always a great time! The best part of this place is, you can go in the morning or afternoon and have a good time, but you can also come here at night. The scene and crowd changes as the day goes on!

The drinks are good, and there is a large selection of specialty cocktails and beers available. The food here is actually very good, the last time we went here I tried ordering a SECOND BURGER since it was so good.

The best part of my night was my #1 fan taking pictures for me before we left!

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Eataly: Where I Fell in Love With Charcuterie

I lived in Chicago when Eataly first opened, and I recently moved back to the city and can’t believe I’ve never been! We were in the mood for charcuterie one evening, and a few people recommended we go to Eataly. The minute I walked in I was in heaven! The first floor was a market: I think I wanted to buy everything. We walked right past the market and made our way upstairs. It seemed like I was in a different city, there were so many food options. There are currently 4 restaurants upstairs along with booths where you can buy fresh meats and cheeses. We decided to try Osteria Di Eataly and order a bottle of wine and the chefs choice charcuterie board. This is where it all started! We loved everything about that board!

After we were done, we wanted to get some fresh meats, cheeses and jams. Of course we couldn’t forget the imported crackers, so about $100 later, we had all the tools needed to make the perfect cheese board at home!

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home made cheese board

This board was from Crate&Barrel, given to us as a house warming present from my cousin and her husband. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOARD! We can’t even count the number of times we skipped dinner and made a charcuterie board for dinner this summer. It has been a quick and healthy alternative for us (as long as you keep it easy on the crackers)! We can’t wait to go back to Eataly and try all the other restaurants there. In other news, Eataly is now on Instacart, so we are about to have fine meats and cheeses delivered to our door in the near future!

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Umai

Udon & ramen are always a hit or miss in my opinion. Also, it never tastes as good as takeout: we found this out the hard way! I have had my fair share of terrible ramen, to say the least.  We decided to check out Umai since it is down the street from our new building, and we needed a quick lunch on moving day! We were in and out in 20 minutes, and the food was actually very good. It was seasoned well, and came out piping hot, with so may different options to choose from. They even let you add ingredients to the bowl, for example, the one I wanted didn’t have an egg so I added it. The leftovers also traveled well, they separate out the noodles from the soup and pack them in different containers. This prevent the noodles from absorbing all the liquid and becoming soggy. Definitely going to be our favorite spot this winter when you need warm ramen!

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A Night Out In Chinatown

One night we decided that we wanted to get some Korean BBQ, and we narrowed it down to Daebak Korean BBQ in Chinatown. They don’t take reservations, and there was an hour wait, so we decided to kill some time and walk around in the area. Our first stop was Aji Ichiban, a candy shop filled with SO MUCH CANDY! We bought a number of different green tea flavored candies and POCKY, in flavors we had never seen before! Our second stop was Chatime & TTNoodle. We were in the mood for some bubble tea while we waited for dinner. We got milk tea and chai milk bubble tea with tapioca. Both were good choices!

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By the time we were done with our bubble tea we got a text that our table was ready at Daebak. The food was amazing, and cooked right in front of us! We got a few different meats a la carte, and our favorite by far was the marinated short ribs. There were SO MANY sides with our meal. Two of my favorites were cooked around the burner, the corn topped with cheese and the egg yolk.

There was only one way to top this wonderful dinner, DESSERT!  We decided to get rolled ice cream at Legend Tasty House. Watching the dessert be made was probably the best part!

Our food crawl through Chinatown was truly a success. We can’t wait to go back and try all the things we missed!

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3 Arts Club Cafe

I have wanted to go to 3 Arts Club Cafe located inside of Restoration Hardware for a while now. The few times I have tried, the wait time was over a two hours. A friend suggested that we go on a weekday around lunch. Fortunately, NO WAIT TIME!

The food is inspired by Northern California and Mediterranean cuisine and the courtyard seating is beautifully filled with natural sunlight and olive trees. We started the morning off with some flavored ice coffee on draft along with a late brunch. There were so many amazing options on the menu but of course I picked the one that had truffle and cheese: truffle grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread served with fries and garlic aïoli. My friend, on the other hand, chose the breakfast route and ordered the RH scramble: farm eggs, crème frâiche, avocado, chives, Texas toast.

After our wonderful brunch we decided to continue enjoying our day and ordered a bottle of wine. We got a bottle of Riesling: Leitz, Rheingau, Germany, 2016. 3 Arts Club Cafe isn’t only a wonderful brunch spot, but it is also a great spot for drinks.

We had already been at 3 Arts Club Cafe for a few hours are this point, and decided to spend the rest of the afternoon on the rooftop since the weather was beautiful. On our way to the rooftop we stopped and got another draft iced coffee and doughnut. They have doughnuts from Doughnut Vault, which were DELICIOUS! Definitely have to go and try all their flavors soon! On our way out, we walked through all the floors and praised the gorgeous furniture we hope to one day have in our home!

Overall, our day was well spent at RH. We can’t wait to go back!

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Let’s Taco ’bout It

You know a restaurant has good deserts when you go there ONLY to get desert. Especially when their food is also pretty amazing. If you are in Chicago looking for a yummy desert, go to Parlor Pizza and get their desert tacos.  Not only are they photogenic, they taste equally wonderful. Order a TACOlato and you won’t be disappointed. The biggest debate of the evening was, “should we get Go Nuts or Unicorn Dreams?” After long thought and consideration we went with Go Nuts, because come on, how can you mess up Nutella+ hazelnut?

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BRB Drooling

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A Burger Better then Au Cheval?

When articles came out stating there was a burger in Chicago better then Au Cheval, we had to try it! Many people were claiming that The Loyalist burger was better then the infamous Au Cheval burger. It was time for me to figure out the validity of that myself. The Loyalist is located under Smyth…there is an arrow that directs you exactly to the right spot. We went St. Patty’s Day weekend on Saturday night and ironically there was no wait. We got seated immediately, which was \thrilling because we heard there is usually a line there depending on what time you go. For starters, the ambiance was nice. It was in the basement and there were tall tables, booths and bar seats. The drinks were good too…I ordered a green drink in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. We were so excited for the burger we couldn’t even wait. We ordered the Loyalist cheeseburger and we weren’t disappointed. It was cooked just right, it was nice and juicy and there were caramelized AND raw onions on it. The fries were served with a side of garlic aïoli and vinegar which paired great with the burger. Even though it wasn’t “better then Au Cheval” in my opinion, it was pretty satisfying! I think the two burgers are very different and both amazing in their own ways.

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Brunch @ Beatnik

We picked Beatnik for an anniversary brunch and I was very excited because I had heard about how cool the inside of the restaurant was. The interior was inspired by Bohemian lifestyle and aesthetic sensibility of the 1950s in America and Europe. It truly felt like a Mediterranean farmhouse. We sat in the front half of the restaurant, and there was a lot of natural light. The foods were a fusion between Eastern Mediterranean, Asia and Latin America. We ordered some amazing cocktails and of course we got a burger! We also got a Muffaletta Sandwich which was served on a Arepa Style Bun– which was essentially a masa bun.

After brunch we decided to continue the celebration on the other side of the restaurant at the bar. This side had a completely different vibe. It was beautiful with a lot of greenery. We got another round of cocktails followed by the famous chai cinnamon roll– this was probably one of the best things we have ever tired! It was extremely sweet and rich but worth every bite!

Can’t wait to come back and try the dinner menu! I also want to see the decor at night, must be a completely different vibe.

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Au Cheval Almighty

I can’t believe that I tried my first Au Cheval burger less then a year ago, but now I know what all the hype was about. I truly was missing out, until I finally went last fall, I was told that it was “the best burger ever”. There are some tricks on how to get a table at Au Cheval.

  1. Go with a small group ≤ 4 people
  2. Go on off peak hours, like after 11:30 pm
  3. Go prepared to wait, and be ready to have a drink while waiting– doesn’t make the wait as bad!

I have been fortunate to usually go to Au Cheval with seasoned veterans, and I don’t think I have ever waited over 20 minutes for a table.

I keep it pretty simple at Au Cheval, always ordering the same exact thing. A single burger + the juicy thick cut bacon and an Old Fashioned. This last time, I went outside of the normal order and got fries, which came with a side of mouth watering garlic aïoli sauce– best add on ever!

There was a little hiccup in the burger last winter…they changed their bun and it was very disappointing. Fortunately the OG bun is back and the burger is better then ever!

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Brunch @ The Allis

I think brunch is honestly the best meal to enjoy in the city of Chicago, especially when the weather is nice because there are so many places that you can go! Me and one of my girlfriends went to The Allis and absolutely loved it. I had never been but a friend had referred to it as “very Instagrammable”. It felt like we were having an adult tea party. The decor and ambiance were absolutely amazing, and so was the food. The best part was the baked deserts! If you are looking for a cute brunch spot, the Allis is definitely the place to go. The best part about this place is you can go when the weather isn’t beautiful and still have a wonderful time.

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