Monday, July 2, 2018

Sew Cute in Chicago vol. 1

Hello friends! Today on the blog I'm starting a new series called Sew Cute in Chicago. With this series I hope to share new Chicago eateries, dessert places, coffee shops, you name it that I try while I am living in the city. As a suburb girl, I never had the chance to fully explore neighborhoods and areas of Chicago outside of the loop or "true downtown". So, you better believe I am going to be eating all of the things while living downtown for the next year. I'm not sure if I'll be staying in the city another year after this lease, so I have to take advantage of my city living while I can! 

With that, I will be giving you guys reviews on things I try at places in Chicago as I try them! People are always looking for food recommendations and this way I can update you hopefully on a weekly or every other week basis on things I've tried! 

Summer House Santa Monica | First up is Summer House Santa Monica House. I ate here for the first time last summer and really enjoyed my prime rib sandwich. So, I wanted to go here for my 23rd birthday dinner to get the same meal. To my disbelief we show up at the restaurant and my sandwich was TAKEN OFF THE MENU!!! I was so upset. The main reason I went to dinner there for my birthday was because of that dish. Then I had to find something else to order off the somewhat small menu. I opted for the chimichurri flat iron steak, which was on the seasonal menu. I will say it was very tasty! I am not a fan of spice so I was concerned it would be too spicy, but it was seasoned well. Their fries are skinny and very tasty as well! I got the Ricky Bobby cocktail which had vodka, lime, and grapefruit. It was a bit tart (my boyfriend warned me of that...), but I still enjoyed it. Summer House Santa Monica is for sure a place you go for the atmosphere vs. the food. The food is good, but nothing crazy here. But, the interiors and environment is quite lovely. 

Parlor Pizza Bar Wicker Park | I've been to Parlor Pizza Bar's West Loop location and was very happy with my food! The Wicker Park location met the same expectations! Their pizza is nice and thin and the crust is very tasty. I will say the crust is very filling as it is pretty hefty. My mom and I were going to split a custom pizza, but they didn't do half and half toppings *sigh*. So we opted for a basic betch margherita pizza. It was still very good! I've gotten the french fry appetizer from there as well and that is sooooo good, lots of good unique dipping sauces to try. The atmosphere is nice, a lot of people were eating outside as it was a nice day. If you want to sit outside I recommend getting there a bit early on a weekend. There was a longer wait to sit outside then inside! 

Windy City BBQ | This BBQ place is super close to our apartment which makes it a great easy meal. Their pulled pork is very good, nice and tender and smokey. Add a side of fries and it's a great easy meal. And it's pretty affordable too! 

Mahalo | I was pretty hyped up to eat at this Hawaiian inspired eatery in Wicker Park. I've seen so many cute photos of this place I was pumped to try it! Sadly we got seated in what I called a "boring" area. All of the fun decor was upstairs, which when we were seated it appeared to be closed. We went at 6:30 on a Friday night, which is early to eat dinner in the city. But, what can I say the grandma life chose me. But, the downstairs area was still pretty cute, just not as cute as I was hoping. The food was pretty good, put nothing to write home about. I ordered the chicken sandwich which came with fries. The fries were very spicy for my taste. I'm a weenie when it comes to spice though, so don't trust me if you can handle spice like a champ. I did enjoy my frozen pina colada. Our waiter wasn't the best so that didn't help the experience. Overall, I would go back for drinks, but probably not for food! But, if you are into Asian cuisine this place may be your cup of tea! 

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea | One of my favorite places in the Loop is the small Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea at the Chicago Athletic Club. The Wicker Park location is a large traditional coffee shop with lots of places to sit and relax. I brought my laptop to get work done during the day as I work from home and it was a great spot to get some work done. Of course until the loud kicking child came along... gotta love kids right? But, my food and drink were great! I opted for the acai bowl (the traditional not seasonal) and the Butterfly Pea Flower Arnold Palmer. This Arnold Palmer was SOOO GOOD! I would get one everyday if I could. It was so refreshing and light. I am more of a tea gal then coffee so this was the perfect summer beverage for me. This is on their seasonal menu, so I'm not sure how long it will last. It gave me major Disney Flower & Garden Violet Lemonade vibes. So tasty! 

Magnolia Bakery | Although I am not new to Magnolia Bakery, I have been stopping by their State Street location as a treat yo self moment recently. My go-to cupcake is the chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream. But their seasonal strawberry cupcake is very tasty as well! Magnolia Bakery is originally from New York so be sure to check out their other locations. 

Sweet Mandy B's | This Chicago local sweet shop serves up "old fashioned desserts". From cupcakes, brownies, cookies, you name it this place has it! It feels super quaint and cute with adorable purple booths and decor. I got the cookie monster cupcake which had a chocolate chip cookie cooked into the bottom. While my boyfriend got a mint chocolate brownie. Both treats were very tasty! With an extensive amount of choices you could go back time and time again to try them all. 

Stay tuned for more Sew Cute in Chicago posts! Let me know if you end up trying any of these places for yourself! 

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