Weekend Trip to Chicago

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The Chicago skyline from the steps of the Shedd Aquarium

This weekend, we finally concluded Weddingpalooza-2014 with a friend’s ceremony in Chi-town. We also managed to sneak in a few touristy outings and meals, so I hope you enjoy the recap.

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First of all, we stayed in the W Chicago City Center, which bore the expected modern cool of the W brand.  Our bed appeared to levitate with blue lights coming from the floor, while the geometric wallpaper mirrored the 3D wallpaper found in the elevators. Only bummer: look out the window of that upgraded Fabulous level room, and you’re staring at the L train, my friends.  The loud, constantly-running L train.  (Click “continue reading” to see more!)

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photo 3 (10)However, after checking in we were quickly whisked off to our first meal of the weekend, a Chinese feast held at Minghin Cuisine in the city’s Chinatown district.  There we enjoyed numerous traditional dishes, including my favorite the whole pan-seared fish in ginger sauce.

After dinner, we headed back to the North Park area of town for some flaming after dinner cocktails at Three Dots and a Dash, a hidden basement tiki bar with flaming cocktails. Yes, flaming cocktails.  Made with lots and lots of rum. I’d highly recommend it.

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The following day, we got to check out brunch at the famed Frontera Grill, where I’d previously enjoyed one of the best meals of my life on a previous Chicago trip.  While my chicken mole enchiladas were very good, they weren’t the mouthwatering-i-wish-that-came-by-the-bucket-so-I-could-bathe-in-it-mole.  But, still tasty.

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Our second brunch opportunity came on Sunday, where we dined at The Publican, a new-American restaurant with a diner feel with communcal tables and hundreds of glass-ball like light fixtures.  Carl enjoyed his tuna melt topped with a fried egg, while I picked jealously at my fried chicken salad.  He clearly had made the better choice this day.

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Next, we succumbed to the sell of the touristy stuff and went to check out the aquarium and the Architechture Boat Tour.  Both of which were fun and interesting, with great views of the City. (The Sears Tower, above, is really friggin’ tall.)

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Finally, just before we needed to head to the Airport, we heard the call of traditional Chicago dining calling our name, so we stopped by Portillo’s original Chicago location for some Italian beef, Chicago dogs, and very Italian pasta.  This 24-hour joint is apparently like the Whataburger of the Midwest, and it did not let us down.  Delicious!

So all in all, another great trip. Did we miss any of your Chicago favorites?  Let us know in the comments.