First days in Chicago

Day 1 – My time in Chicago started with a visit to Intelligentsia on Randolph, and had a shot of Black Cat, and a Macchiato with Honey Badger.  Asking for Naomi, I learned that she changed shops and met Jason who told me which shop she was now at.  The fact that a Portland coffee geek was visiting seemed really cool to them.

Afterward, I met up with Mary at the Cultural Center for a Chicago Greeter tour.  We went north and west along the river, heading south and around the loop, ducking into buildings for history lessons whenever possible.  We then made our way to the waterfront near the Field Museum, and then back north to the Cultural Center.  One of the coolest buildings was the Fine Arts Building along Michigan, which was 10 stories of art and music studios and stores, including piano teachers and a violin maker.  Then I went north across the river to Lou Malnati’s for a deep dish pizza.  To catch the train at Clyborne I then went up to the “hipster” part of town for a couple beers before heading west to the station.  The Local Option was identified as the “hipster” bar of the area, and spotted a black Gorrin Bros. cadet cap on a guy with skinny pants, so it was very much hipster.

Day 1 food list:

  • Intelligentsia – Black Cat espresso, and Honey Badger macchiato
  • Lou Malnati’s – Classic Chicago deep dish pizza
  • McGee’s – Mac ’n cheese with bacon, Great Lakes Brewing company Edmund Fitzgerald.
  • The Local Option – Oak aged imperial stout from Great Divide Brewing, it taste almost like a sour.

Day 2 – My second day I went looking for Naomi, David’s friend at Intelligentsia, but that shop was closed.  So I end up back at the same Intelli.  From there I went through Millennium Park toward the Field Museum, taking photos along the way and meeting a local photographer working on a project with the Cloud Gate (Bean).  The next few hours were spent viewing history at the museum.

From there I wandered south looking for a cool place to eat and stopped at Kroll’s.  At Kroll’s I had a Kroll’s Original Cheeseburger, with a buttered bun and raw onions.  It tasted like I remember McDonald’s hamburgers tasting, very strange.  The beers were quite good though, and thinking I had time for two caused me to miss the train back out to Tyson’s.  I then needed to wait an extra 90 minutes for the next one, once on the train I discovered my 10-ride pass was missing!  There went $40 in train tickets.  Luckily, James the conductor remembered me and asked “I remember you. You had a weekend pass right?” The tone suggested, “I remember you, and know you’re a tourist, just say yes and I’ll let it slide.”  Thanks James.

Day 2 food list:

  • Intelligentsia: Black Cat macchiato and scone.
  • Kroll’s: Original Cheeseburger with buttered bun, and started with North Coast’s Old Rasputin’s Russian Imperial Stout (It was magnificent), and The Poet, an oatmeal stout from New Holland Nrewing.

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