Food Review – Chicago 11/30/18-12/2/18


Welcome to a Chicago edition of my latest food blog! Today I will review my latest visit to my brother Brett’s neck of the woods.

The sad part is I do not get enough time to enjoy the city of Chicago. We usually roll in late evening between 8-10 on a Friday, and we leave by 2 ish on Sunday. We try to pack in as much activity as we can, I mean alcoholic beverages.

The beverages of the weekend are a maple old fashioned, that Brett made. The second and third were mulled wines from the Christkindlemarket in Downtown Chicago. There was a regular Gluwein and an apple cinnamon version. So darn good!

I am going to center in one particular meal from the weekend. We were within a short walking distance of an Italian restaurant called La Scarola, which is a building right next to the iconic old school Richards Bar (you can still smoke inside this bar) on Grand Avenue.

The place we had a reservation for 8:00. It is a small and quaint place, but the restaurant sure knows how to pack the customers in.

We started off by sharing a bottle of wine. Then immediately came the bread and butter; Matt is a happy man right now. The bread had some Italian seasoning, which would have been very delicious on its own, but I had to put some butter on it.

We waited for a good amount of time, so our wine and bread can settle in, which absolutely no complaints at all. Honestly I ate too much bread, because when I got my main dish, well you know.

I ordered the lasagna. They had some creative fantastic sounding entrees, but I know what I like, so lasagna it is. Oh my Chicago, that was the best lasagna I’ve ever had. If only I would have eaten less bread. Still, I 100 percent appreciated the presentation, temperature of the food, texture and taste. In my family, I’m the one who “almost always” finishes their meal. Except this meal, I did not. My family thought I was sick, honestly! No I’m kidding, my Mom knew right away!

And the price for four entrees and two bottles of wine, was a very good value for a Chicago, $200 including a 20% tip.

A no brainer 10/10 in my books. One of the best experiences of the year.


Labor Day Weekend Review Part 2

Sunday morning, we got off to a great start, food wise and went to Glazed and Infused and again had a variety of doughnuts.  Then we got a cab to go to the heart of downtown Chicago.  We settled on a snack at a local concession stand; cheese fries and nachos.  This was simply a filler so my grade won’t be an A for these two days.

Sunday afternoon we grilled at Brett’s place.  Brett bought some Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst at the local Publican Meat Company, just a few blocks from his house.  So we had those, along with a variety of deli salads.  This was the most enjoyable meal we had during these two days.  Nothing lacked flavor at all.

Thunderstorms were nearby, but we took the risk and had one last snack/meal for Sunday evening, a bar just a few blocks from Brett’s called “The Aberdeen Tap”.  We ordered 2 servings of their homemade macaroni and cheese bites, along with an order of hush puppies.  I could tell the mac and cheese was fresh, but the breading is what made the bites.  Crispy and flavorful!  The hush puppies were a little dry and needed some ranch; otherwise, good.  Top notch overall.

The last day of the trip, Labor Day, we went downtown and ate at Chick-Fil-A.  I had a spicy chicken sandwich with fries and cheese sauce.  I also had an amazing Vanilla Shake.  If I’m leaving Chicago today, I’m going out in style with a 2000+ calorie meal! Then I capped it off with a 5-piece buffalo chicken tenders from Burger King along with a double cheeseburger.

I give the Sunday and Monday food a B.  The concession food, the hush puppies and Burger King, played a factor in the grade, but the cookout and the mac and cheese bites were the highlight of Sunday/Monday.

It was sad to leave the beautiful city of Chicago.  Calorie wise, I don’t miss it, but sometimes you just have to say WTF and enjoy your life!

Labor Day Weekend Review Part 1

A – Let’s go through the details

Today is Thursday.  It’s been almost a week since I went to Chicago with my family to enjoy the Labor Day Weekend.  Anytime we visit my brother, Brett, or he makes the trip to Wausau, we always have a lot of food experiences.

We hit the road a little after 6 pm on Friday, and let me tell you, we might leave that late more often, because traffic was hardly an issue!  We arrived to Brett’s place around 11 pm.  We settled in, got going on alcoholic beverages and had a late night snack:  chips and some Tombstone Classic Sausage Pizza.

On Saturday, for breakfast, we went to a local doughnut shop near Brett’s place called “Glazed and Infused”.  I’ve never seen a doughnut place like this.  It had the combination of a big city, local and cozy atmosphere.  We sampled many donuts:  creme brule, old fashioned cake, apple fritter, maple long john with bacon and classic glazed.  My favorite was the creme brule (apple fritter close 2nd).  A nice toasted glazed with amazing flavor and creme filling.  I have never had a doughnut with bacon on it, so I thoroughly enjoyed that experience.

For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant just a few blocks from Brett’s called “Mart Anthony’s”.  Brett found a deal on GroupOn for a price that lured us in.  We ate outside to begin with, which started the great experience.  Then they brought out some bread with some olive sauce to dunk it in.  We all mixed the olive with parmesan cheese to make it more of an amazing flavor.  Then we ordered some pizza bread (equivalent to thick crust pizza fries) and a mozzarella/tomato salad for appetizers. The main dish I had was lasagna, which was absolutely fresh and full of flavor, plus it was a big portion.