Our trip to Chicago was great. We were able to see a few friends and eat some great food. We also got to be tourists – something we didn’t do when we were residents there for 6 years. Here’s how it all went down.

We got some Crazy Stripper action on the bus from the airport, unloaded our bags and borrowed a car of some friends (thank you SO much for that!). Since we have had some serious ethnic food withdrawals in Nashville, we went to our favorite old Thai place in Evanston for lunch: Siam Pasta. I had my favorite, Spicy Crazy Noodles (LOVE that name!), which has wide noodles, chicken and shrimp stir-fried with a bunch of veggies, limes and jalepenos. YUM. Huz had a lunch special with an entree and appetizer. Our total bill was around $13. How I miss that place.

Next we went to a cool little neighborhood called Lincoln Square and shopped. Purchases included apple wine from a German market, running shoes for Huz and a running bra for me at Fleet Feet, and a couple of CDs at a music store.

Then we went downtown to the restaurant of the best damn Mexican chef there is. Frontera Grill (Rick Bayless’ casual restaurant) rocks! We both had a margarita (his with some fancy liquor in it and mine had a bunch of fruit), shared an appetizer of sopes filled with different ingredients (one with chicken and mole sauce, one with chorizo and black beans, and one with plantains and queso anejo), and enjoyed an entree (I had beef tacos al carbon and Huz had pork tenderloin in a mole sauce). Dee-lish!

We went to yet another favorite restaurant for breakfast – just so I could have an apricot flakey that I love so much – with a college friend of mine. She and I went shopping while Huz (ha ha, I just accidentally typed Zuh instead of Huz) visited a former professor. I bought a cute sunshine face made out of black clay from a Mexican shop and an adorable pair of shoes.

Palladium shoes

Then we went with our car-loaning (and bed-loaning) friends to our first Korean dining experience. Basically, you get some raw marinated meat and you barbecue it in a coal pit right there at your table. Plus, there are a bunch of little bowls of side dishes that literally fill the whole table (Nashville, forget Meat and Three – try Meat and Twenty!). It was pretty tasty, despite the surly waitstaff who basically kicked us out at the end because we were chatting and taking up a table (again, welcome to Chicago!).