The Hangry Chef Takes on Chi town

Last weekend I took a quick trip to Chicago with my mom. Neither of us had been there before and we knew it would be a great place for a mother/daughter trip.

During our 48 hours there, we feasted hard (deep dish pizza included). Despite only having a short amount of time we were able to try food from a variety of cultures: Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian, Asian & American, and each meal was definitely memorable!

Similar to my post about London and Sicily, I wanted to share some of the great meals I had during my travels last week. If you are headed to Chi town or have been considering going definitely check out these spots. We loved all of them!

Saturday Lunch – World Dumpling Fest

We just so happened to be in Chicago for the World Dumpling Festival where we sampled dumplings and more from all over the world. For $12 we each got 3 tastings (each tasting included 3-4 dumplings). We tried pork gyoza (pictured above), Polish pierogis and chicken bao. Crazy enough we waited in line for the bao for about 25 minutes but it was definitely worth it!

The festival was a fun way to taste a variety of flavors and see one of Chicago’s biggest tourist attractions, Navy Pier.

Saturday Dinner – Pequod’s Pizza

You can’t go to Chicago without trying deep dish! This has been on my bucket list for a while now and we saw Pequod’s was recommended by several blogs so we gave it a go. I was shocked to find out it takes 40-45 minutes to cook the pizza! We definitely had to have some appetizers ahead of time.

We did half mushroom half plain and I’d say overall it was definitely good but I’m still a New York pizza girl at heart.

Sunday Lunch – Velvet Taco

The Magnificent Mile is another Chicago staple and that’s where you’ll find Velvet Taco. Don’t expect your generic chicken and beef tacos when you walk into this place. It’s known for wild taco creations with ingredients you wouldn’t normally expect in a taco. Take the “Picnic Chicken” as an example: rotisserie chicken, avocado crema, warm honey-dijon potato salad, crispy chicken skin and cilantro. No, I did not order this one but I debated it for a while.

We ended up with a pulled pork taco and salmon taco (and a marg because #vacationmode). The shells were hibiscus corn tortillas, hence the pink color. They were really good and would definitely return to give that Picnic Chicken taco a go.

Sunday Dinner – Purple Pig

Sunday dinner was our “go all out” meal and we were recommended to try Purple Pig by my mom’s co-worker. It’s a mediterranean tapas restaurant so we tried a bunch of different plates.

Plate 1 – Ricotta Cannoli

Plate 2 – Squid

Plate 3 – Ricotta Gnocchi

Plate 4 – Pork Sausage with Beet Tzatziki Sauce

I still can’t decide which I liked the best because they were all so different but I think I’m leaning towards the ricotta cannoli because cheese stuffed in a pastry shell? Yes please.

Sunday Dessert – Palmer House

It wouldn’t be a vacation unless we indulged our sweet tooth! We popped into the Palmer House and had this “Chicago Brownie” with gelato and surprisingly enough, Cracker Jacks. Not sure if Cracker Jacks are a Chicago staple but it actually worked well with the brownie, a little salty and sweet action.

And that’s how we ate our way through Chicago! We didn’t have a whole ton of time but we definitely made the most of it and had some great meals along the way.

Until next time, Chicago!

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