Chicago, Part 1

Note: All of my photos transferred small and funky. I blame iPhoto. But still, it sucks. If I can restore them at a higher quality, I’ll replace them below.

I’m FIIIINE.

Really, everything is great. My job continues to be incredible, Avi is doing well, D and I went out of town (more on that in a bit in case you failed to notice the title of this post) and our future is brighter by the minute thanks to some other awesome developments. I’ve just been busy and tired. And lazy. And unmedicated. But I got that last part corrected, and lo, suddenly I have time and motivation and follow-through and sticktoitiveness again. #science.

So last weekend we went to Chicago. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my best friend for also being D’s cousin, thereby ensuring that friends=family. It’s tremendously convenient. Also, thanks for marrying an incredible gal we also went to school with, creating in us the most awesome foursome ever, with an infinite number of inside jokes and shared experiences to draw from. The only part of me that doesn’t thank you are my sides, which spend much time splitting when we are all together.

We drove Thursday evening, leaving a lot later than we would have liked. This was more of an issue Friday morning when I got up to work remotely, but at the time we were energized and excited for our trip. The drive is a simple one, and Ohio isn’t so bad to drive through when it’s dark. We got a discount at a truck stop in Indiana because the cashier was from Mt. Pleasant, i.e., Pittsburghers rule.

Our first glimpse of Chicago came at about 4am local time.

Isn’t it beautiful?

And of course the lateness didn’t prevent us from hanging out for awhile before we all crashed. Three of us had to work Friday, but we were rewarded with reservations at a lovely little spot in JAAK’s old neighborhood, Yoshi’s Cafe. And thus began the real theme of the weekend: food.

Note: Gawd, these pictures are terrible.

Appetizers were plentiful and delicious. Tuna tartare. Served with guacamole and an oyster shooter, which normally I’d be horrified by but this one had sake, yuzu ponzu (a citrusy vinegar sauce), cilantro and jalapeno.

Note: I seriously die a little every time I see that amazing food in such a crummy photo.

We also tried a shrimp tempura roll with avocado and onion rings because, why not?

Dinner was party-style so we could share. In a place like this it would be criminal to do it any other way.

First up: a burger like you’ve never seen it before. Wasabi blue cheese and carmelized onions on the most remarkable Wagyu beef.

Look. At. The. Juices.

Next, salmon and catfish served with corn (fresh from the cob!) and asparagus.

There was a light pesto sauce with salmon and a wasabi mayo with the catfish, but in my opinion both sauces were superfluous. The fishes were excellent.

And finally, sirloin steak and rosemary french fries.

Note: Dying.

Dessert was possibly even better than dinner. And efinitely prettier.

This was magic between two layers of magic, topped with ice magic. Flavors of chocolate and cinnamon and maybe pecan or butter nut? I have no idea. It was magic.

We also had chocolate lava cake. And berries. Made better with more chocolate.

Thankfully there was  long walk to get back to the subway Metro train El (is that right?) because otherwise I probably would have fallen asleep in the car.

Part 2: more Chicago food in more Chicago places.

Part 3: Chicago food that we cooked ourselves.

Stay tuned.

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