December 06, 2009

Chicago is my Friend

Have I said "I love Chicago?". Did I tell you that Chicago is the beast? Has anyone ever told you how much I like to visit the windy city? NO?!!!! Well I have only been there three times in the last three weeks, so go figure! There is some goooood eatin in that town, I am hear to tell you and I am wearing my belt a bit looser too because of it. Yowza!
Okay this story needs to start three weeks ago. Yes you guessed it this does tie in to my Pioneer Women experience. When my friend Dee and I went to see PW we had to check out someplace new, we were in a city with 50 bagillion restaurant choices. Why would we go to someplace we could eat at home or had eaten before. BORING. Sorry, that is very boring and I am gonna stick to my opinions about that sort of behavior. We decided to seek out a Diners-Drive-ins& Dives restaurant. Since we both love Mexican food, and discovered that we are both mole' lovers, we went to a place I had seen on the show. They made this amazing looking mole sauce. The whole segment on triple D (above mentioned show) was about this restaurants mole sauce, and how the father flew back to Mexico every so often to get the special spices, it makes my mouth water just writing about it. So we drive all over the place looking for this joint, because Gabbie gets silly sometimes and can't figure out a restaurant from somebodies back yard. Gabbie by the way is our navigational system. So FINALLY we see the sign, Cemita Puebla- authentic cuisine famous for our mole sauce, right on the sign. Yahoo, we could taste it, all spicy and chocolaty. As we stoond there and looked over the menu, the owner greeted us and offered to help us with our choices. I say, "I don't see mole on the menu any where" AND in a thick (but very cute) accent he says "no one a order the mole, I take off menu". WHAT! Are you flippin kidding me??? Is this a bad joke? Dee and I give each other the wide eye, and recover quickly from our near fainting experience. We enjoyed our food very much, it is very cheap and plentiful, and the staff was helpful and friendly. But we laughed our hineys off once we got in the car, because we thought the cute old man was probably saying "none of you will eat my mole, two white chicks walk in here and want the mole!"
Now our family Chi-town adventure! We were a little more conservative with our food adventures, because the kids have there Chicago favorites. Lou Malnatis the best deep dish chicago pizza by far in our book, a must try. And if you are willing to veer from pepperoni try Lous favorite with mushrooms and garlic and lots of spinach. Super Yummy! My youngest had never been to Ed Debevics so we had to go there. Ed's is all about the atmosphere. Don't get me wrong the food is always more than edible, but the show the waiters put on is very fun! We had the meatloaf, ribs, hamburgers, and other normal kids fare. The shakes are worth the calories, my daughter ordered butterscotch, and it was addicting. We also started out with the chili cheese fries and the platter looked like we had all gone around and licked it. Don't judge us we were starving after a day at the Planetarium and Shedds! We went to one of our ALL time favorite breakfast spots for Thanksgiving day dinner , Ann Sather,(which was very odd for us, but we had done our at home Turkey feast the Sunday before turkeyday). The cinnamon rolls weigh at least 100lbs each and they seriously give mine a run for their money. We started our thanksgiving day dinner out with a platter of cinnamon rolls, and other delectable baked goods and ended with pumpkin pie. In between we had the traditional turkey and all the fixens, well almost all.( Hey, Ann you got sumthin against green bean casserole!) If you have to eat out on Thanksgiving in Chicago I would recommend it. Well we also sought out a triple D this week end and it was the HonkyTonk BBQ on 18th south west of downtown. TO DIE FOR! A must try. But two things , make sure you have gone potty ahead of time, cause I guess there toidy gets plugged easy and they ONLY take cash. Everything is all homemade everyday. Must try the mac&cheese if you are a pecan pie folk then do that too!

Okie Dokie, I was back in my home away from home this past weekend. I was a passenger on the D express! I went with one of my favorite foodie friends (hey triple F), Demetria. We stayed with her sister who lives in Chicago, so that was a bonus. More money to eat with my dear...... We tried a place called Mixteco. Guess what? They had MOLE'! I can hear the angels singin..... Or was that me? Oh did they have mole. It was not some place I would take my kids, I could take my kids there, but it was more of an adultish kinda place. The dinner prices were around 14-20bucks a plate. But we were stuffed. That could be because whe had two appetizers and who can leave with out trying the Tres Leches and the Flan! Its on the corner of W Montrose and Ashland. (sorry this is going to have to be continued I have to get something done around here I was just gone to Chicago for three days!)
Phew! Okay I'm back. Sorry about that. My kids had no undies so I had to get some washed! On Saturday we went to the "One of a Kind Show" that was pretty cool. I didn't really buy much, it was just fun seeing ALL the stuff people think of. Check out the link and go next year it was super cool. Okay I have to admit. I did buy one very super cool thing for my boys that I am feeling very selfish and not wanting to share. But I am gonna get over my self...................okay I am over it and now I am going to share the Pook. You MUST check this hat out. The demonstration these guys gave was fit for SNL. Demetria had to reign me in I almost bought 6 of them. (I bought two for my boys)
Two more places we ate were Garrets THE popcorn heaven in my life. I actually went to Chicago three times and only got popcorn at Garretts once. What is wrong with me? The three of us bought about 50lbs of chicago style popcorn (cheese and carmel mixed). It was all warm and we could not wait to eat, so of course we dug in to it as we headed to catch our train we looked like we had a run in with an orange marker, orange fingers, orange lips, "oops little on your nose there". Who can stop eating it? It is more addicting than Mcy D's fries. So quickly two last places I ate in Chicago LeShets, awesome german food! Brought back many a yummy memory of my days in Deutchland. And then last but not least Paulinas a great breakfast spot, near Andersonville. Hey anytime you all are up for a eating adventure in Chicago, I'm your girl!


  1. Hi Sheila. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. Tonight Demetria mentioned you, and I said, "Oh, THAT Sheila Johnson!!" :)

    She was saying that we had to read your post on this trip. Sounds like lots of yummy fun! My cousin lives in Chicago, and her husband is a food rep for upscale restaurants... lots of great ideas from him! I'll have to hook you up next time you girls head over to the windy city for a bite! :)

  2. Forgot to say... Lou Malnatis is my FAVORITE! Have you tried the chocolate chip dessert pizza?

  3. Try Jake Melnick's for bbq next time you are in Chicago. Man vs. Food's Adam Rich went there to try their ghost chili sauce which we go to sample. Yowza.

    I worked for a few years in Chicago on the corner of State and Wacker -- just a few blocks from the Macys. It was pre-kids and my paycheck didn't last long. ;) I love Chicago and ask my hubby when we can move back there.

    Jen (aka Jacob Bement's Mom)

  4. That should be "got" to sample. Whoops.

  5. Hey Sheila....I was at that show too! friend had a booth and that's what brought us down to Chicago...those hat guys were hilarious!