Chicago 2010 – Happy 3rd Anniversary (Day 2)

July 13, 2010 by  

After Jason and I found out that we were having a little mini-us, we decided that we would take a trip somewhere for a few days without her for our anniversary each year. If you have been a reader of ours for at least a year, you will recall that last year we went to New Orleans and it was a big eat-fest. Our trip to Chicago this year was quite similar to that. Follow me as I take you through our vacation :)

Waiting for the bus

Day 2 – Thursday

Jason and I started the day bright and early by picking up breakfast at Pierrot Gourmet before hopping on a bus to Lincoln Park Zoo. We happily ate on the bus on the bus and I took a few shots before we wolfed it all down.

Pierrot Gourmet

Canele, which we’d both never had before but loved. It was like a chewy/crispy bread pudding.

Pierrot Gourmet

If there’s an almond croissant to be ordered, you can be sure I will be ordering it.

We got to the zoo and were pleasantly surprised when we found out there was no admission fee! We did feel a bit odd though being one of the only few people there without children. I think I made up for it with my excitement and enthusiasm though. I haven’t been to a zoo in a really long time so it was pretty surreal to see giraffes and zebras. I couldn’t help running from exhibit to exhibit!

Lincoln Park Zoo

After the zoo, we headed to a newly opened lunch spot that Jason had chosen, The Purple Pig.

The Purple Pig The Purple Pig

It was pretty busy when we got there around 12:30 so we grabbed two seats at the bar to avoid the wait time.

The Purple Pig

The lightest, fluffiest focaccia I’ve ever had

The Purple Pig

Ayinger beer on tap

The Purple Pig

Mortadella spread with aged balsamic and crushed pistachios

The Purple Pig

Jamon iberico

The Purple Pig

Camembert

The Purple Pig

Spring peas, farro, feta, mint, and lemon salad. I need to replicate this at home or an impromptu trip back to Chicago may be in order.

The Purple Pig

Pig’s ear with crispy kale, marinated cherry peppers, and fried egg. The richness of the egg yolk cut by the tartness of the pepper along with the crispiness of the ear and kale made this dish irresistible. I loved it with my beer.

The Purple Pig

Porchetta panini with a salsa verde spread. The pork was great and the salsa verde made an untraditional but delicious condiment. We were so full at this point that we were only able to eat half of it though.

I highly highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in the Chicago area. Every single dish that we had was a hit and the beer on tap is great too. They also have an extensive wine list, which we didn’t take advantage of at this meal, but we came back two days later and did then. Yes, that’s how good it was. We were on a 5 day trip and we “used up” two meals here.

After our rather gluttonous meal, we cabbed it over to Shedd Aquarium (it would’ve been a long walk!). I love going to aquariums so was really excited about going here. Unfortunately, other than the aquatic show, it was kind of a disappointment. It just didn’t compare to aquariums I’ve been to in the past, especially the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It was run down and dark without much to see. It cost us $30 a person to boot! Compared to the zoo that’s free, this didn’t hold a candle.

Here are the pics I took during the aquatic show.

We took the bus back up Michigan Ave to the Hancock Observatory after that. The price of admission is a little bit high for what it is (riding up an elevator and walking around the top floor of a building) but they include a free self-guided audio and visual tour narrated by Chicago native and actor, David Schwimmer. It sounds a bit cheesy but the information included in the tour about Chicago is actually quite interesting.

After the observatory, we headed around the block to the Four Seasons Lounge for dinner. Our friends S and C, who went to Chicago last year, highly recommended the sliders there and Jason is not one to pass up a recommendation for a good burger. The lounge literally looks like a lounge with sofas and coffee tables. This made it a little awkward to eat but the casual atmosphere, coupled with the fact that there was practically nobody there, made it perfect for sitting back and relaxing.

Four Seasons Bar

Complementary trail mix and Asian snack mix. We devoured the snack mix and left the trail mix for the birds :)

Four Seasons Bar

Aforementioned sliders which were in fact, one of the softest burgers I’ve ever eaten.

Four Seasons Bar Four Seasons Bar

Homemade Chicago style hot dog. Everything on the plate but the bun is made in house.

So ended our second day in Chicago :) Stay tuned to the next posts where our friends J and C join us on our trip!

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