#whatkellyeats

From Korea to New York, bonding over food has been a big part of my life. Those moments with family & friends were savored and well documented, whether it was cooking up a recipe at home or dining out at up and coming restaurants. Then to share my love for food along with some traveling adventures, #WhatKellyEats became to be!

Chicago Eats!


 

A little overdue, but here's a breakdown of what I tried and savored back in August while I was in Chicago. Super sad that I didn't get to try Hot Doug's or Girl and the Goat -- but I'll be definitely be back... for the food and for the lovely architecture and buildings. OH AND JENI'S. #BestIceCreamEver (if you never tried Jeni's, shame on you!)

 

AVEC
While researching all the places I should try in Chicago (prior to getting on the plane), I came across avec at least dozens of times, really -- and I was not disappointed. First off, the decor and interior were super clean and lovely: wooden chairs and tables, along with their bar table across the restaurant that showed the cooks cooking delicious dishes. It was definitely a bit crowded (visited on a Thursday night), but definitely worth visiting and worth every bite. It was also my friend's birthday, so avec was a perfect spot. #BirthdayGirlApproved.

Recommendations:
The best paella that I have ever tried was the Seafood Paella from Ninja (New York), but I think this Wood Oven Paella (with confit chicken) at Chicago beats it. The sausages (a bit salty but still good) was super savory and delicious. Sorry New York, sorry Ninja. Next up, Roasted Wild Salmon (with sumac, lima beans, roasted beet-walnut muhammara): overall very fresh & very delicious. These 2 dishes were perfect for two people to share. Last but not least, I would recommend the dessert, if I could remember the name of it for the life of me. Pecan pie, I think. Try it if you see it. It may be a seasonal thing.

 

JENI'S
This is probably one of the best and most "splendid" ice-creameries I have ever tasted in my life. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to really get a good photo of this amazing goodness... you know, up-close-and-personal (it was super hot and windy this day, the cone melted within five minutes, tried my best to get the melting ice cream all over me), BUT, I guarantee you the upmost quality and taste (whoa that was a lot of commas, is that grammatically correct?). My friend has been raving about this place since she's ever tried it -- and yall gotta believe us. The taste, the texture, the experience = all perfection. SO, do yourself a favor, and get some Jeni's from Wholefoods (check the website, most likely if you don't have a location in your town) for a night in with your friends or if you just feel like devouring a whole pint to yourself. Oh and here's me devouring a cone outside of the Southport store. 

Recommendations
Brown Butter Brittle Almond & Black Coffee. Or better yet, try every flavor if you can. 

 

LOU MALNATI
They call it "Deep Dish", I call it WHOA MAMA because with just one bite, I was hooked. Seriously. Really. Truly. I mean I consider myself #TeamNewYork #AllDayEveryDay with them thin slices of pizza... but I think I truly enjoyed the thick slice as much as the thin slice of pizza. The amount of sauce, the amount of cheese, along with the carb packed crunchy crust: it was SO good. SERIOUSLY. The pepperoni made the pie even more perfect (you'd think it'd be a bit much, but not at all). Hoping to see if New York's Emmet's is just as good as Chicago's Lou Malnati's. Who wants to come with?

Recommendations:
So obviously, the Malnati Chicago Classic and if you want to be (tiny bit) healthy while eating this WHOA MAMA, get the Spinach Salad.  The salad includes strawberries with some balsamic sauce and goat cheese (& lots of red onions too). 

 

PORTILLO'S
I don't know what I enjoyed more, the cheese itself, or the cheese on the french fries (and on the hot dog...). My friend looked at me all shocked when she realized I was trying to scraping the last bit of cheese with my french fries... I LOVE ME SOME CHEESE. Anyways, hot dog was enjoyable, although not "the-best-dish-I-have-ever-had", and the Chopped Salad, suggested by my friend. Bacon Bits = #nom. I loved the decor in here though, very fun and festive! This is definitely a place to come with your family or your friends and just pig out!

Recommendations:
the regular Hot Dog (it has everything you need), but my friend says one of the most popular dish here is the Italian Beef, and she loves the burgers and the Chopped Salad. If only New York or Jersey had some Portillo's... #COMETOTHEEASTCOASTPORTILLOS!

 

WALKER BRO'S
So, this was the first place I headed over to when I landed in Chicago. It was a lovely-cozy pancake-diner-house. I would definitely dine here once a week if I lived in Chicago. Everything was amazing, including the service. & yes, this is the place with the Mean Girls reference.

Recommendations:
"Venetian Benedict" (because I'll probably recommend every Eggs Benedict wherever I go #TeamForeverEggsBenedict), and "French Toast" (make sure you drip that syrup alllllllll-over). Oh and some bacon on the side of course. Close up shot of the thick bacon slices taken by my friend, Sarah. She loves bacon.

 

WAFFLES CAFE
What is a Wonut you ask? Not a Cronut, a Wonut. Well it is yet another hybrid of two amazing things: WAFFLES and DONUT. Unfortunately, though, it wasn't as good as I thought it'd be... perhaps because I picked them up at 5pm: "not-so-out-of-the-oven-fresh."

Recommendations:
Since I wasn't able to pick and choose what I really wanted to try, I can only say, out of the two I tried, Cinnamon Sugar and Mexican Chocolate, I enjoyed the Mexican Chocolate more. The Cinnamon Sugar tasted like just like any other donuts really, not really that special. What I would have liked to try is... *are*.... White Ganache, Green Tea, Blueberry, and Pineapple Upsidedown Cake Wonuts. Perhaps I can whip this up in my own kitchen... Anyone would like to join and go for a Wonut-baking-session?