Archive for September, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Recap

A while back, we bought a Travelzoo deal for The Wit, a trendy little hotel in the Loop.  Between its blackout dates and our schedule, there was just one day we could use it: September 4th. So we went back down to Chicago on Sunday.  We were only on the 6th floor, but we had a corner room, which was nice and a view of the Chicago theatre sign. I like the blue, pink and red color scheme and the chandelier lamp.

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We went up to the roof-top bar, aptly named Roof. It was pretty busy for a Sunday afternoon, but we managed to find a seat facing a wall. I ordered a French 27 and H had a drink called the Lonely Polygamist, which was pretty good; it has a nice basil flavor.

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For dinner, we were going to go to Frontera Grill. We left early, around 6:00, because we figured we would have to wait a couple hours for a seat. Well, they are closed on Sundays, so we went across the street to the very not crowded Roka Akor.  We were seated immediately.

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I still ordered a margarita – blood orange flavored with chili salt. It was a little watered down, but the chili salt was great.

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To eat I had the Burnt Tomato Salad with Grilled Eggplant and Soy Vinagrette. The dressing was delicious.

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The Organic Vegetable Roll, without mayo. It’s nothing special, but it’s more vegetable variety than you can get in Woodstock.

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And the Japanese Wild Mushroom Rice Hot Pot without butter (since when did the Japanese start using butter in their dishes?) It is served in this fun hot pot, but the dish is rather bland. Maybe I should have ordered it with black truffle, but that was $14 more and I was not sure it would be worth it.

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On Monday, I put on my new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 and went out to the lake front path. I switched back to Brooks, because I like the effort it puts into green technology.  These shoes use BioMoGo, the world’s first-ever biodegradable midsole for running shoes. It was so windy that morning. Lake Michigan looked like an ocean with the big waves. I finally turned around when the wind was blowing sand against my legs. It was so great to be out there again.

Then we went to the newest Native Foods in Lakeview. It offered a special labor day chimichurri burger, thinly sliced seitan, topped with warm grilled zucchini slaices, sweet roasted peppers, caramelized onions and freshly blended chimichurri sauce and served with garlic fries. It was incredible!

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I tried a beer from Two Brothers, which was good.

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H ordered the bacon cheeseburger, which he loved. The “cheese” was very believable. The sweet potatoes were a little better than my garlic fries.

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For dessert we had a cardamon rose cupcake. Maybe I was just too full, but I didn’t think it was that good. The vanilla and chocolate were better. It is definitely prettier though.

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I might have to buy the cookbook the next time I go in. I need to know how you make seitan like that!

Baigan Bharta Pizza with Daiya

I found this recipe for pizza on Sunshine and Smile (her pictures are great!) and thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea. I was looking for a pizza recipe to use the pizza dough I bought at Trader Joe’s, so I didn’t follow the crust recipe.  The eggplant takes a while to roast, but other than that it is a pretty easy recipe (especially with store bought crust!). The only adjustments I made were using Cheddar Daiya and parsley because Jewel was out of cilantro.

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