my kind of town

1:48 PM Sian Mei Yeoh 1 Comments

i mentioned in my past entry that my girl friends came from california for a visit to chicago two weekends ago during memorial day weekend. i finally got some really pretty photos from them.. (thanks! :) )

saturday| downtown evanston

drink-in-hand: the popular joy yee's bubble tea. we walked around downtown evanston, exploring the little shops while i give them a tour of what i love about evanston. the sun was out but it was a tad chilly under the shade. 

i mentioned chicken wings at some point and kumitaa was excited about it since she loves them... there are two places in evanston: buffalo wild wings and buffalo joe's. since she wanted buffalo wings, buffalo joe's was the place to go. the wings here are really small though, kinda like mini wings but it is tasty. oh i love those buffalo chips (aka waffle fries) from there. although the fries are inconsistent in terms of texture: sometimes it's crispy the way i like it but sometimes it isn't, it still goes so well with  thai sweet chili sauce. (p.s. love my fedora!)

dinner was home made. they requested for something that i cook so i came up with wonton noodles since it was easy and quick. bought  a whole roast duck from a sun wah chinese restaurant in argyle to go with it. the rest of the menu was a vegetable soup and a packaged and marinated chicken that ryan cooked over the stove. 

i bought the fresh wanton noodles from a grocery store in argyle. the sauce i made was just a combination of garlic oil, freshly cracked black pepper, some oyster sauce and thick sweet soy sauce. my friends said that it reminded them of the ones they get back home and that's a huge compliment. that makes me happy :)

sunday | downtown chicago

we took the 'el' to downtown chicago pretty early in  the morning since there were much to do there. thank goodness for us the weather was warm, awesome and sunny. we stopped at chicago red line station to head to our first destination, gino's east for what chicago is famous for, deep dish pizza (aka chicago-style pizza). we visited their original restaurant just off of michigan avenue.

when we got there at about 10:40am, there was already a line waiting outside of the restaurant and it doesn't even open until 11am.

gino's east is not only famous for their deep dish pizza, they are also popular for the graffiti and etchings on the walls in the restaurant. when you get in there, don't be surprised if you see a ton of writings on the wall. they allow guests to write whatever they want (no profanities pls, thanks) on any surface they can see within the restaurant. it's a rather interesting sight.

they write on the seats too. lol. while we waited for our food, they provided us with an activity page (mainly for kids.. lol) and brought us crayons. it's been so long since i colored a coloring page. the wait for pizza was typically 45 minutes to an hour so that was a good way to keep ourselves occupied. haha. 

what's different about their deep dish is the crust they use. they use corn meal in the crust giving it a different texture and flavor from their competitors. my friends thought that the crust went well with the toppings, cheese and sauce but it was too dry when eaten on its own. sauce was alright and the general taste was pretty good. i personally will not go for deep dish pizza (i'm a regular pizza kinda gal) but gino's east would probably be my choice if i was going to have some.

we walked around magnificient mile to burn off some of the abundant cheese we had over lunch.

after a few blocks we made another stop: garrett's popcorn. this is a must have for people who has never been to chicago to get some of the yummy chicago mix popcorn: cheese and caramel crisp popcorn. (as written in past entry).. they said they liked it cos it's so different but as expected, first bite is always just overwhelming but after a few bites, it turns into an addiction.

more of downtown chicago and made some stops at starbucks for coffee since they didn't get enough sleep the night before: they needed their daily dose of caffeine..hmmm...there seems to be starbucks every few blocks or so.

an obligatory blackhawks photo: they won the stanley cup on wednesday after 49 years. it's a pretty huge deal in chicago and they had a parade in honor of them yesterday and another one today!

we walked all the way to the other must see place in chicago: cloud gate (fondly known as beanie). it captures the chicago skyline on this metallic bean.

we planned to bring them to xoco for an evening snack but unfortunately xoco is closed on sundays and mondays, very much to our disappointment. so instead we just skipped ahead to our next item in our itinerary for the day: the john hancock building.

not a lot of people know about this but this is one of the best places to get drinks at and enjoy the view of chicago from the sky, the signature room on the 95th floor of the tower. this was also my first time here and boy, was i glad my colleagues at work recommended this place to me. when we got there, there was a line to the elevators but we only waited for about 5 minutes before it was our turn. 

sadly, when we got up there all the seats by the window was taken so we found the second best spot.  we ordered our drinks and stuff but we were still looking around to see if anyone was about to leave. when one couple who was sitting by the window asked for the bill, i accidentally blurted out a tad louder then intended that they were leaving (omg it was embarassing). well.. i was excited! they asked us if we wanted the table (since we were all basically staring at them haha) while they paid which was so nice of them. so we quickly swooped in and took that table. oh, if you're wondering if the tiramisu was good, i didn't like it much. too sweet, not enough espresso flavor and not enough the cream.

the view was gorgeous and it was indeed one of the best places to get drinks. i bet it would be breathtaking at night too. i thought that was a great way to end the day of touring downtown chicago. :) we headed home and had dinner at my favorite thai restaurant in evanston. 

what i didn't know was they planned a birthday celebration for me that evening. i thought it was somewhat fishy when they insisted on getting a cupcake/cake from somewhere after dinner cos they kept mentioning they were craving for it. the starbucks cafe inside barnes&nobles that had splendid cupcakes was closed when we got there so we went to whole foods to check out their pastries and got some mini pastries as well as a mango parfait. ryan was in on it too...he was the one who bought the candles...
it was so sweet of them though and i was totally surprised considering my birthday is not until another month. thanks, you guys :) <3

it was definitely a weekend to remember :)


Jeny said...

yup, it was awesome. thanks to you for making us fat :D

you stole all my pictures and I was the only one who did not need any caffeine. YAY :P

Love you hun and just in case, I can't make it to wish you on your birthday, I will wish you here: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AH BEE.