I had an amazing time spending a whole work week in Chicago for a conference. While the weather was stormy (parts of Chicago actually flooded!) it was a great way to get to know my new boss and a ton of the people working for my larger parent company.
We stayed at the historic Drake Hotel just a step off the Magnificent Mile. (My room had a "beach" view!") The hotel is definitely circa 1920s in some respects, like decor and layout. There are SO many random half-levels and steps all over the place. I think one of my favorites was the powder room nearest to the lobby; it was totally set up for ladies to each have their own special bathroom stall and a lounge sort of setting. I can only imagine the gossiping and primping that went on in there back in the day.
I also had a change to get some good eating in... It's Chicago, after all! I'm going to write reviews of three of my favorites (Bandera, Volare, and Gino's) but there are definitely some quick honorable mentions...
I grabbed a matzo soup and sandwich at Goddess & Grocer, which I found via Urbanspoon.
I really liked the soup and grilled three cheese sandwich. It wasn't too heavy, it hit the spot, and I would go back there in a heartbeat! Perfect on the somewhat chilly day that I grabbed a bite at this place nearby my hotel. They also had a TON of carryout salads and options.
I also stopped by Water Tower Place for a couple quick bites. The food court there is AMAZING. My friend and I chose MITY Nice for a quick drink and a bite, and I wished I was eating every meal there!
I got their fresh strawberry lemonade with some vodka, and we split their phenomenal flatbread pizza and macaroni & cheese. The macaroni was so absolutely delicious. I seriously liked this place so much, and there were SO many other options within the food court.
My friend also recommended that I taste the delicious Asian buns at Wow Bao while I was in the neighborhood. I love dim sum, so this ground floor fast stop at Water Tower really hit the spot. I had their housemade pomegranate ginger ale, as well as three different buns: spicy kung pao chicken, spicy mongolian beef, and BBQ pork.
I think the mongolian beef was my favorite of the three, with BBQ pork being my next favorite. The bun were so soft, and perfectly sized.
And of course being within a couple blocks of an H&M I did a little shopping damage. Such good deals! It's hit or miss for me in that store, and this trip was a hit. I had to be creative in packing my suitcase to go home.
Last, but CERTAINLY not least... there was a Sprinkles cupcake ATM. Yes, they do exist! I bought a banana cupcake from the store and it was fresh and delicious. But I had to snap a pic of the ATM.
Stay tuned for a few more Chicago restaurant reviews! :)