Tag Archives: Chicago

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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Chicago: Goose Island Beer Company

Goose Island Beer Company
1800 W. Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60612
(800) 466-7363
www.gooseisland.com
(Multiple Brewpub Locations)

 

Goose Island

I’ve been to many breweries but Goose Island Beer Company now takes the reigns as my favorite.

Goose Island Beer Company makes some delicious brews. I’ve always been a fan of the 312 Urban Wheat Ale and the Goose IPA. They’re the best beers to drink while watching a ballgame at Marlins Park!

 

The deliciousness I’ve always known grew exponentially when I visited the brewery.

Goose Island Taproom

BeersThe Le Gardein, Juicy Double and Old Man Grumpy danced gleefully atop my taste buds in the tasting room. Check out what they’re all about below:

 

Old Man Grumpy – Dry Hopped American Pale Ale, light bodied pale ale with a tropical flavor, made with Huell Melon and Mosaic hops (5.8% ABV)

Juicy Double – West Coast Double IPA, fermented with with orange juice (8.3% ABV)

Le Gardein – Bière de Garde, French style farmhouse ale brewed with pears (5.9% ABV)

 

My sister, Kerri, her girlfriend, Anna, and I drank these fantastic libations in Goose Island’s Fulton Street Brewery & Taproom. It’s a hip urban watering hole.

The décor is very fascinating. There are maps and cityscapes featuring iconic areas in Chicago. I’m a sucker for cool bar art and Goose Island certainly delivers. Their duck logo on everything is so cute too.

The handcrafted wood art and dim lighting make you feel like you’re drinking in really cool Midwest-cabin. If I lived in Chicago, I’d probably happy hour there all the time.

Goose Island Decor

 

As hitting up breweries is kind of our thing, we had to reserve a spot for Goose Island’s brewery tour. It’s $12 and well worth it.

You get a cool souvenir pint glass, a pair of nerdy-cool goggles to wear on the tour, tasty samples along the way and a lesson in the beer-making process exclusive to Goose Island.

Beer Tour

 

If you’ve been on a beer tour before, you know the drill; you go learn about the ingredients, the production process, how they bottle their product and you try samples of the brewery’s staple and limited edition beers.

Sure, Goose Island did all of this but in my opinion, their tour went above and beyond.

Our tour guide, Nick, was so knowledgeable in all things Goose Island. He gave us background stories on some of the beers, went as far as to explain about the farm where the hops come from, showed us the barrel-aged vault and described the lengths people go through to get their hands on the special releases. (Think Black Friday-esque lines at the liquor store.)

Beer Vault

It’s always nice to go on a brew tour where the guides are passionate and, pardon my French, know their shit.

 

In case you were wondering, on the tour we sampled:

Sofie – Barrel Aged Saison, a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale aged in wine barrels with orange peels (6.5% ABV) *Also great for Beer-mosas!

Green Line Pale Ale – American Pale Ale, has a bright hop aroma and citrus flavor, notes of biscuit and toasted malt (5.4% ABV)

Matilda – Belgian Style Pale Ale, fermented with wild yeast Brettanomyces giving it a spicy flavor, with fruit and clove aromatics (7.0% ABV)

 

After my experience at Goose Island, it’s going to take a lot of impressing to change my mind about my favorite American brewery.

Goose Island Sign

 

So if you know of something that tops beers like the Juicy Double and Matilda, city-themed woodwork decor, a sweet duck logo and bubbly staff – I’m all ears.

– JK

 

 

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Chicago: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
3404 N. Southpoint Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 348-7139
www.jenis.com
(Multiple Locations)

 

I can’t exactly pinpoint where my love affair with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams started.

I think I stumbled upon an Instagram photo of an ice cream cone from one her scoop shops.

From there, I went to her website and looked it over as a puddle of drool painted my chin. The flavors Jeni’s offers are the stuff dreams are made of. Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam, Brown Butter Almond Brittle and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries – oh my!

 

Their social media guru got me. I needed to try this ice cream, like yesterday.

 

So I found the closest retailer to me, The Fresh Market, about 25 minutes from me. I scooped up my ice cream (pun intended) and it was love at first bite of Brambleberry Crisp.

 

Over the last year or so, my sister, Kerri, and I would fill up shopping baskets with Jeni’s, send pints to our home and hit up scoop shops if we were visiting a city that had one. We’re kind of obsessed.

Jeni, if you’re reading this, South Florida really needs some of your ice creamy goodness. *Hint Hint*

 

A few months ago, my sister, her girlfriend, Anna, and I took a trip to Chicago. Three days before the trip, the magical social media team for Jeni’s posted a picture on their Instagram of one of their Chicago scoop shops. I totally forgot they had scoop shops there. OH. EM. GEE. We’re going to Jeni’s!

 

We took the L to the South Port Scoop Shop.

 

It didn’t even matter that we were from Florida and it was like 34 degrees out. We had to get our cones!

I had a waffle cone with three scoops – Sweet Corn, Gooey Butter Cake (my all-time favorite) and Sweet Potato Eclair.

Although you can never have enough ice cream, the visit was enough to satisfy me until my next tryst with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

– JK

 

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