chicago was fun. joe’s thirtieth was fun. it was a good weekend. it was just so much fun.
we started off friday night the day of his actual birth at home in allegan. i made him a fantastic birthday dinner of his favorite kind of food. heart stopping fattening comfort food.
i made a cheddar polenta/grit casserole with jalapeños, homemade yeast rolls, coffee rubbed new york strips, bourbon glazed carrots and a “the best” cake from sweet paul magazine. oh and woodshed margaritas. (i’ll share that recipe later). we hung out on the porch and he opened his present ( a shinola watch) (have you seen them? they are sweet!)
saturday morning we woke up and packed up the car and headed to chicago for the rest of the weekend. we arrived around noon and went to andersonville for an extra boost of coffee. we walked up and down the streets and checked out some fun shops including my favorite in all of chicago, brimfield. if you haven’t been there yet it is one of the absolute best curated and merchandised antique/vintage designed stores i’ve ever been to.
after a walk around the neighborhood we went and checked into our hotel. we stayed at the godfrey and honestly, it was one of my favorite hotels i’ve ever stayed in at chicago. the rooms were a great size, super clean and super modern. the thing i liked the best was how super friendly the staff was. i find it incredible when they remember your name as you come and go throughout the day. the location was perfect for us. off of the main michigan ave but close to boutiques and trendy restaurants. i will definitely be staying there when i return to chicago. my only regret from the hotel was that we didn’t eat there. everyone says (and the reviews back them up) that the restaurant there is incredible. next time. oh and the complimentary bottle of bubbles for joe’s birthday definitely helped their cause. i love them.
after we checked in to the hotel we walked to eataly but it was so packed we decided another time for that place. we went and parked ourselves at green street smoked meats for a few hours. we had an incredible meal of smoked brisket, frito pie: fritos, chili, pulled pork, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños and baked beans and a couple beers. we walked around the neighborhood for a bit and then went to a few shops around michigan ave (tried to find new wine glasses but none were suiting joe’s fancy). we headed back to the hotel to charge our phones and get ready for dinner.
we headed to oak and char for dinner. it was a pseudo tapas style restaurant but mostly american style food. we split the wontons, the lamb carbonara and the pork collar. it was amazing. especially when we got free donuts for joe’s birthday. after a delicious dinner we took a cab to the laugh factory where we saw the “best of chicago standup” it was about 5 different comedians and they were actually really really funny. comedy clubs are kind of a guilty pleasure for both of us so it was really fun to do at night. plus tickets were only like $25 so cheap entertainment.
here is where we get old. the show got out at like 10pm (which is 11 our time..) after a day of eating and day drinking we were tired so we decided to call it a night so we are rested up for brunch tomorrow. lol. welcome to your next phase of life haha.
sunday we woke up at like 6am which is actually like sleeping in because it was 7 our time. we watched hook because it was the only thing on tv. i was reminded of the boo box. anybody remember that scene from hook? how can that even be a kids movie? the boo box haunted my nightmares forever when i was a kid. we then headed out to our brunch reservation at the nightwood. the food was heavenly. i had a bellini with fresh grapefruit and joe had a mimosa. we split a concord grape filled donut with peanut butter glaze and caramel corn topping. then for brunch i had a white cheddar and braised beef polenta breakfast bowl and joe had a pork belly scramble with avocado toast. it was delicious. absolutely delicious. the atmosphere was awesome as well. very hipster but grown up hipster. most of the hipsters had babies with them. totally kid friendly and open and airy. loved it.
after a huge breakfast we needed to walk around a bit before heading home. luckily there was a small flea market taking place inside a parking garage. it was the vintage chicago garage. i’ve always wanted to go but didn’t want to drive down just for the event because it’s so far but i found some great things (and joe was cool with it) i bought a sailboat glass pitcher for $10 and this adorable 70’s glass condiment tray for like $15. lots of smalls and tons of retro vintage clothing. after about an hour of walking around there we headed home listening to the tigers game.
we got home around 3:30 so i did some work around the house and joe mowed the lawn before the rain came. we ordered a pizza because eh why not go out on a bang right? other than that we just relaxed and went to bed early after an awesome birthday weekend!