Winter Things To Do in Chicago- Christkindlmarket!

The Christkindlemarket in Daley Plaza is an authentic (and free!) European (German mostly) Christmas marketplace. You can get handmade ornaments, scarves and hats, Christmas decorations, mugs, cuckoo clocks, candies and much more. They also sell German food, hot cider, beer, and warm spiced wine- yum! Pro Tip: go after work during the week instead of on the weekend, it’s prettier at night and you can beat the crowds!

The Christmas Tree in Daley Plaza, Chicago

The Christkindlmarket, Chicago

Authentic German Christmas market, Chicago

Authentic German food is available at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago

Authentic German food is available at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago

Handmade ornaments from all over the world are available at The Christkindlmarket in Chicago

You can get fun international candies at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago

 

 

Winter Things To Do in Chicago- The Holiday Train!

Yes, the Chicago CTA Holiday Train is a real thing. It travels each train route thru the holiday season. You can see where it’s going to be on the CTA schedule.  It’s super cute and lots of fun (even if some of the people in the pics don’t look too thrilled- they are secretly holiday lovers or they wouldn’t have gotten on the train!). The trains are decorated inside and out and they play Christmas music inside. So festive!

waiting for the holiday train, cta, chicago

waiting for the holiday train, cta, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

Oinkety fave: Montague’s Parlour Colorado Springs

Montague’s Parlour at 1019 South Tejon Street deserves its own post because it is so charming and has the best cake in the city, maybe even in the state. Plus they have really good hours and stay open late most days.

The decor is full-on granny old lady tea parlour, which I didn’t like at first, but it eventually grew on me. Think mismatched antique tables and chairs and vintage china.

Linda, Tori, and Mike at Montague's Parlour

Linda, Tori, and Mike at Montague's Parlour

They serve lots of different soups, salads, sandwiches and daily quiches. They have a decent vegetarian selection and breakfast on the weekends.

Cream of Broccoli soup at Montague's Parlour

Cream of Broccoli soup at Montague's Parlour

Pot pie and chili from Montegue's Parlour

Pot pie and chili from Montague's Parlour

Delicious turkey on croissant at Montague's Parlour

Delicious turkey on croissant at Montague's Parlour

These are the best cakes in the state!

These are the best cakes in the state!

The most fabulous coconut cake- you have to try this cake

The most fabulous coconut cake — you have to try this cake. This particular cake is the best cake on earth.

They also have breakfast pastries like croissants, scones, danish, etc.

They also have breakfast pastries like croissants, scones, danishes, etc.

Lots of different drinks, too. This is an Italian cream soda.

Lots of different drinks, too. This is an Italian cream soda.

Many many different kinds of tea, both hot and iced.

Many many different kinds of tea, both hot and iced.

Assorted espressos, teas, and snacks. Something for everyone at Montague's.

Assorted espressos, teas, and snacks. Something for everyone at Montague's.

If you haven’t been to Montague’s, you should go. You’ll like it.

Gunning for second place

It’s that time of year again, where we shamelessly ask for your vote on The Independent’s annual Best of Colorado Springs survey.

Last year, we tied for third with then-Business Journal writer John Hazlehurst and decided that he must be destroyed. He has since moved to the Indy, which means that while he still pens a regular column, we have not seen any Hazlehurst-specific “blog.” Consider yourself destroyed, Mr. Hazlehurst.

The first-place winner was a coupon thing, so whatever with that. Who can compete with bargains? The second-place winner is a member of Big Media, and who can trust Big Media?

It’s time for Oinkety to be the Springs’ No. 2 blog.

You have to vote for at least 15 things for your ballot to count. Here’s a sampling of what we voted for:

  1. Best Wait Staff: Detz Cafe.
  2. Best Restaurant for Tourists: Paris Crepe.
  3. Best French Restaurant: La Baguette. The one on Chestnut.
  4. Best Patio Dining: Shuga’s.
  5. Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Taste of Jerusalem.
  6. Best Food Truck: Phat Hattie’s.
  7. Best Burger: Drifter’s.
  8. Best Place for Ice Cream: Dogtooth Cafe.
  9. Best Local Beer for Winter: Bristol’s Venetucci Pumpkin Ale, of course good luck getting any.
  10. Best Breakfast: Smiley’s.
  11. Best Caterer: Blue Sage Catering.
  12. Best Place for an Over-the-Top Gift: Pink Kitty Studios.
  13. Best Photographer: Pink Kitty Studios.
  14. Best Naughty Business: Pink Kitty Studios.
  15. Best Local Twitterer: @barelyescape.
  16. Best Local Blogger: Oinkety!

Adrienne and I agreed on a few of the categories. But we disagreed on a bunch, too:

  1. Best Neighborhood Restaurant – West: Adrienne enjoys La Baguette, but I like Cucuru.
  2. Best Neighborhood Restaurant – Central: Adrienne went with Shuga’s, while I went with Detz.
  3. Best Restaurant for Dining Alone: Adrienne would rather go to Shuga’s alone, and I prefer Poor Richard’s.

In fact, for just about every category, Adrienne picked Shuga’s. Best Happy Hour; Best Patio; Best Place for a Wedding Reception; Best Appetizers; Best Soup; Best Bartender (Kevin); Best Place for a Fancy-Pants Cocktail. Someone has a Shuga’s addiction.

Vote for Oinkety or this cat will cry

We sometimes write about cats. That alone is worth your vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mitguards are playing on Saturday at Rico’s

We enjoy the music of The Mitguards a great deal, and they’re playing Saturday night at Poor Richard’s. If you’re downtown, it’s worthwhile to stop in for a listen. The show is free and starts at 7:30 p.m.

From their website: “The Mitguards bring a unique and non-traditional perspective to folk music, combining sharp, insightful lyrics with haunting melodies and flawless harmonies. Roots-based Americana takes on a new, Southwestern air in the talented hands and voices of Deb and Chris Mitguard.”

The Mitguards

The Mitguards are playing Saturday at Poor Richard's.

Also, if you’re downtown, the new 7-Eleven opened today at Pikes Peak and Tejon! You probably need a beverage or a magazine.

The Mitguards performed at Rico's a few weeks ago.

The Mitguards performed at Rico's a few weeks ago.

Paul enjoyed an Anchor Steam beer at Rico's.

Paul enjoyed an Anchor Steam beer at Rico's. Mom had a pinot grigio, and I was adventurous and tried the Bourbon Barrel Stout. I will probably have to try it again.

The Peppermint Patty at Rico's.

We haven't come close to trying all of the food and drink at Rico's. We're on our way, though. This is the Peppermint Patty (hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps) and a shot of Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey.

Dessert at Rico's, Colorado Springs

You'll want to save room for dessert. We shared the chocolate sundae. Jealous?