Monthly Archives: March 2018

Chicago: Giordano’s

Giordano’s
130 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 616-1200
www.giordanos.com
(Multiple Locations)

 

In Front of Giordano's

Have you ever flown to Chicago for the day just to get Deep-Dish Pizza? Well, I have and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

 

I’m obsessed with pizza and will go to great lengths to eat the world’s best pies.

Last year, my friend Carlos told me about some cheap flights to Chicago and how he was going for the day just to get Chicago-style pizza. He encouraged me to do the same.

 

So one cold October day, my sister, her girlfriend, Anna, and I hopped on an American Airlines flight to O’Hare to spend the day in Chi-Town.

We rode the L, saw The Bean at Millennium Park, enjoyed a few brews at Goose Island Beer Company, had an ice cream cone at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (see my previous posts about Jeni’s and Goose Island), walked through Wrigleyville, viewed the city from the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building and most importantly, got to experience Chicago deep-dish pizza!

 

Now, I know everyone has an opinion about where the best pizza in Chicago is but I asked several trusty natives and they told me to go to Giordano’s. It was amazing!

 

The wait was about 30 minutes but totally worth it. We snapped some photos of the famous pizza joint and enjoyed a Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale while we waited. It only seemed appropriate to have a Chicago brew with our Chicago-style pizza.

Beers at Giordano's

 

Once seated, we ordered some of the Fried Mozzarella Triangles. They were lightly breaded and served with house-made marinara. It was the perfect way to curb our hunger while we anxiously dreamed about the arrival of our Giordano’s deep-dish cheese pizza.

Fried Mozzarella

 

The good news is the wait wasn’t that long! Giordano’s takes your deep-dish order when you reserve your table to ensure you don’t wait too long for a fresh pie. Genius!

Although the Fried Mozzarella was good, the magic really happened when the pizza hit the table.

 

It was a glorious pie with crunchy crust, ample sauce and some of the most beautiful cheese pulls I’ve ever seen. Giordano’s did not disappoint.

Giordano's

The pizza was so good we seriously considered buying a few of their refrigerated take-home pizzas to bring back to Florida in our carry-ons. (We didn’t end up doing it.)

But in case you’re wondering, it is completely okay to bring pizza through the TSA checkpoint. I may or may not have Googled it. 😉

 

You might think we’re crazy (and we are) for flying to Chicago for the day just to get pizza but I’d do it again 50 times over.

Chicago, we love you and your pizza! We’ll be back soon!

– JK

 

 

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Philadelphia: Manayunk Brewing Company

Manayunk Brewing Company
4120 Main St.
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 482-8220
www.manayunkbrewery.com

 

Manayunk Beers

Another city, another brewery. That’s how I choose to live my life.

While in Philadelphia, I made my friend, Vanessa, embrace this lifestyle with me. (Well, at least for the evening.)

 

We took a little trip into the “hip” area of Philly called Manayunk. There they have a huge brewery/restaurant appropriately named Manayunk Brewing Company.

 

The building is multi-level with a dining area, sushi bar, private event room and multiple bars throughout the establishment. On the Saturday night we went, the place was filled with patrons in the mood to eat and drink.

We opted for the outside bar, which was a little more secluded and quiet. It had a riverfront view, although it was hard to see amidst the falling snow.

 

I perused their brew menu for a tasty new beer to try. This was a difficult task, as I’m not a big fan of decision-making.

Fortunately, the solution to my indecision was listed on the top of the menu – a beer flight featuring the nine brews Manayunk was currently offering.

Manayunk Beer Flight

 

This visit’s beer sampling included:

Light Bohemian Blonde – Light Blonde Ale made with German hops (3.4% ABV)

The Pilgrimage – Belgian-Style Coffee Stout made with cold-brewed coffee beans (6.5% ABV)

American Sardine Ale – Belgian-Style Blonde with notes of lemon zest and black pepper (4.5% ABV)

Brett Monk – Belgian-Style Trippel aged in wine barrels with Brettanomyces and made with pilsner malt and noble hops (9.0% ABV)

Simcoalition – Hazy Northeast IPA made with Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic hops (7.1% ABV)

Dr. Drei – Brett IPA made with the Drei strain of yeast, has notes of mango and pineapple (5.8% ABV)

Cuvée De Yunk – Belgian Style Sour made with apricots, has a hint of vanilla flavor (5.0% ABV)

Crunch – Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter with chocolate and coffee notes (6.0% ABV)

Brotherly Love – Pomegranate-Cranberry Cider (5.2% ABV)

 

My favorites were the Light Bohemian Blonde Ale and Cuvée De Yunk. (I’m a sucker for sours.) The beers paired well with Manayunk’s complementary house-made seasoned popcorn. So good.

 

As if the beer flight wasn’t enough, I also tried one of their canned brews – SRP #3. It was a Dry-Hopped Sour Ale (7.4% ABV).

Manayunk Sour AleIt was so delicious, I wanted to export some back to Florida. But then I realized it wasn’t allowed in my carry-on home.

 

Maybe next time.

– JK

 

 

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West Palm Beach: Avocado Grill

Avocado Grill
125 Datura Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 623-0822
www.avocadogrillwpb.com
(Other location in Palm Beach Gardens)

 

Avocado Grill

West Palm Beach is my home turf. I’ve been here most of my life. With that said, I’d like to think I’ve got the lowdown on the best food here.

Avocado Grill in Downtown West Palm Beach is some of the best food. It’s brunch time perfection. (But really anytime perfection.)

 

My first date with Avocado Grill was in August 2016. I went to celebrate my friend Marc’s birthday. The food was superb and so were the drinks. It was love at first bite…and sip.

 

My sister and I were impressed as soon as we got our first taste from Avocado Grill’s menu. We shared the stuffed Zucchini Blossoms.

Zucchini Blossoms

If you’ve never tried a stuffed Zucchini Blossom, I suggest you get adventurous. (We used to eat Squash Blossoms as a kid, so we already had the intel.) They are exquisite and I get them every time I go here.

These bad boys are stuffed with goat cheese, walnuts and mint. They are served with an out-of-this-world tomato jam, it’s the perfect compliment to the blossoms. If you retain anything from this post, it should be that Crispy Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms are a must!

 

Another must is their AG Benedict. Sure anyone can make Eggs Benedict but this one is far superior to most. It tastes fresh and doesn’t skimp on flavor.

The AG Benedict has smoked salmon, sautéed spinach, avocado, and truffle Hollandaise sauce. The truffle Hollandaise is everything. Get a little of it on the breakfast potatoes that come this dish – it’s scrumptious. Sip on a glass of Rosé with this and it’s the best kind of Sunday morning.

AG BenedictRose

 

Speaking of drinks, if you like tequila, the Avocado Margarita is highly recommended by my sister, Kerri, and her girlfriend, Anna. (I tried a sip of Kerri’s and I can vouch for its awesomeness.)

It may sound atypical but the Avocado Margarita is a genius libation – a little tang, a little tequila, a little Avocado. So yummy.

Avocado Margaritas

 

I know it may be difficult with all the amazing bites and drinks at Avocado Grill but I urge you to save room for dessert.

Last time I brunched there, I managed to save a little room for dessert and it was fantastic.

Avocado Grill Desserts

If you like Nutella (who doesn’t!?) go for the Nutella Avocado Mousse. The decadent mousse is served topped with caramelized hazelnuts and espresso whipped cream. Honestly, I could just eat that whipped cream and live my happiest life.

The Dulce De Leche Lava Cake is a fun spin on the traditional lava cake. It’s packed with caramel flavor and plated atop a tangy raspberry sauce. You can’t go wrong with either dessert.

 

If your crew is looking for the perfect spot for brunch (or dinner), Avocado Grill is where it’s at. It’s South Florida al fresco dining at its finest.

Whether you sit inside or outside, your dining experience will be bright, airy and full of top-notch cuisine and drinks.

– JK

 

 

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