So much amazing food in Chicago

Some of you might have noticed that we like to eat. For a lot of people, eating is something they do to stay alive. They call it a necessity.

But for us, eating is a hobby.

Lucky for us, Chicago has a few places to indulge us. We’ve been pretty busy, and we’ll talk about some more of these in greater detail later, but for now, here’s a list of some of this city’s amazing food offerings we’ve enjoyed:

  • Uncle Sammy’s: Our first night in Chicago, we were having a horrible time finding a place to park a UHaul truck. At about midnight, we finally found a place and were walking home when we stumbled onto this gem. The Pilgrim is a very fine sandwich.
  • Kitchen Sink: Good, simple sandwiches.
  • Floriole: Adrienne loved it. I thought it was only OK. Quiche, apparently, is to die for.
  • Pasta Bowl: Delicious and affordable pasta.
  • Tzatziki Grill: Excellent Greek place that also has a pretty solid Italian Beef sandwich.
  • Margie’s Candies: It’s like time travel at Margie’s. Egg-salad sandwich and the Terrapin Sundae: Recommended.
  • Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria: Our favorite pizza in Chicago so far. Pizza in Chicago is like barbecue in other towns: Everyone has a very strong opinion. We loved Lou’s, but we’re still open to trying others.
  • Lito’s Empanadas: Delicious — and cheap. For $2.50, one of these little guys is great for a snack. Get two, and it’s lunch.
  • Del Seoul: Weird little Asian dumplings that are oddly addictive.
  • Paciugo: Gelato. Can’t go wrong with gelato.
  • Pret a Manger: This is Target’s cafe. Yes, I know. Why eat out at Target? But you see, here in Chicago, even going to Target is a dining experience.
  • Brown’s Chicken: Fried chicken place in one of the downtown pedways. Scenery wasn’t great, but loved the biscuits and mashed potatoes.
  • Bobtail Ice Cream: An almost-overwhelming amount of goodness.
  • The Edge: Cake!
  • The Grove: More time travel. Open-face turkey or meatloaf sandwich, with bottomless coffee.
  • Red Hen Bread: Tip: Get the day-old stuff for a little less money (same deliciousness, though).
  • Taco Joint: Best Mexican so far in Chicago. Lebanese Pork Taco: must have (available only on Thursdays).
  • Chicago’s Dog House: Our favorite dog place in Chicago so far. Good choices, good service, good prices.
  • Clark Street Dog:  Got caught in a storm and waited it out in here with a couple of dogs and a couple of beers. There are worse places to end up when it’s raining.
  • Red Hot Ranch: Our first hot dogs in Chicago. Our first experience with french fries on a hot dog. Interesting.
  • Big Star: Gourmet tacos. Service was only OK, but the decor was great. After Taco Joint, though, hard to compare.
  • Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse: Best service of any of the restaurants we’ve been to. A shoutout to our server, who happens to be a Lincoln Park neighbor! Desserts are insane. And tall. You’ll need to share. Oh, and also: $$$
  • Filini: Ultra-modern, ultra-hip dining at the signature downtown building Aqua. Sotto Bosco pizza was impressive. As was the Carciofini spinach dip.
  • Rosebud: Best Italian so far in Chicago. Two must-tries: Penne Bolognese and their Cavatelli Alla Rosebud.
  • Toast: Great service. Outstanding breakfast burrito.
  • Stella’s: Delightful breakfast options.
  • The Bourgeois Pig Cafe: Carrot cake!
  • Goose Island Brewpub: We didn’t eat here, but for some great local brews, it’s worth a try.
  • Dunlays on Clark: $5 Cheeseburger special = delicious.
  • The Burwood Tap: One of the oldest continuously operating bars in Chicago. Really good free food Mondays through Thursdays (my fave was the chicken).
  • Smoque: Been having a hard time finding some barbecue out here, but this was fantastic.
  • Pizzeria Due: After a too-long wait at Malnati’s, we ended up here. Not quite as good as Lou Malnati’s, but if LMs is a 10, Pizzeria Due is a 9. Very good.
  • Portillo’s: Iconic. Worth it for the atmosphere. Still, Chicago’s Dog House wins out.
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop: Grilled Chicken Mediterranean is a fine, fine sandwich.
  • Matisse: Did not expect deliciousness when we ordered the Reuben Potstickers. We were pleasantly surprised.
  • Do-Rite Donuts: You’ll find lots of Dunkin’ Donuts here, but few local places. These guys do donuts right.
  • Wow Bao: Quirky little place with neat little fluffy dumplings. A must-try.
  • Devil Dawgs: It’s worthwhile to try all of Chicago’s hot dogs.

So much food in this town — how do people here ever get anything done?

Sundaes, treats, floats. Plenty of tasty options at Margie's Candies.

 

If you're after treats, Bobtail is also an excellent choice.

 

What's this? A hot dog? Yes, I guess so. Underneath the french fries, anyway. Interesting technique, Red Hot Ranch.

 

The S'mores cake at The Edge. Cake did not last long.

 

The best Chicago hot dogs, in our opinion. Chicago's Dog House.

 

A very full meal at Smoque BBQ: Chicken, mac & cheese, baked beans, and cole slaw.

 

Carrot Cake! At the Bourgeois Pig.

 

We don't only take pictures of food. We are also capital-A Artists. Or, maybe this is the view after we'd eaten too much and had to lay on the floor. Hard to say.

 

 

Our favorite Colorado Springs restaurants

We got so busy in the last few months we were in Colorado Springs that we didn’t have time to do very many posts. So I’m going to do a few Colorado wrap-up posts in the next few weeks before embarking on full force Chicago entries.

These are some of our favorite restaurants in The Springs. Give them a try if you haven’t been.

Adam’s Mountain Cafe:

Honey pot at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Honey pot at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Adam's Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs, CO

Adam's Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs, CO

Veggie Enchiladas at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Veggie Enchiladas at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Insanely good brownie from Adam's Mountain Cafe

Insanely good brownie from Adam's Mountain Cafe

Borriello Brothers Pizza: 

Veggie Pizza from Borriello Brothers

Veggie Pizza from Borriello Brothers

Downtown Burrito Company:

Downtown Burrito Cart Man!

Downtown Burrito Cart Man!

Mediterranean Cafe:

Mediterranean Cafe

Mediterranean Cafe

Mediterranean Cafe's food is good if you can abide their idiotic hours.

Mediterranean Cafe's food is good if you can abide their idiotic hours.

Falafel at Mediterranean Cafe

Falafel at Mediterranean Cafe

The fries at Mediterranean Cafe are good but not as good as Taste Of Jerusalem's

The fries at Mediterranean Cafe are good but not as good as Taste Of Jerusalem's

Cucuru Gallery Cafe:

The outdoor space at Cucuru Cafe and Gallery

The outdoor space at Cucuru Cafe and Gallery

A tasty veggie sandwich from Cucuru

A tasty veggie sandwich from Cucuru

Lemon cake and cheesecake from Cucuru- yum!

Lemon cake and cheesecake from Cucuru- yum!

Detz Cafe: (not sure what’s going on with the pictures on this website, they’re for sure not of their food):

Everything is good at Detz Cafe

Everything is good at Detz Cafe

Calicrate beef burger from Detz Cafe

Calicrate beef burger from Detz Cafe

Perfect french toast from Detz Cafe

Perfect french toast from Detz Cafe

Mmmm grilled cheese from Detz Cafe

Mmmm grilled cheese from Detz Cafe

Gold Hill Java:

Egg salad sandwich lunch special from Gold Hill Java

Egg salad sandwich lunch special from Gold Hill Java

Healthy Mediterranean wrap from Gold HIll Java

Healthy Mediterranean wrap from Gold HIll Java

Go right away to have the most amazing affogato at Gold HIll Java!

Go right away to have the most amazing affogato at Gold HIll Java!

Heart Of Jerusalem:

Falafel from Heart Of Jerusalem

Falafel from Heart Of Jerusalem

Heart of Jerusalem

Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Jake and Telly’s:

Soup and appetizers at Jake and Telly's

Soup and appetizers at Jake and Telly's

Janel enjoying some apps at Jake and Telly's

Janel enjoying some apps at Jake and Telly's

Lofty’s:

Chicken salad from Lofty's

Chicken salad from Lofty's

Reuben sandwich and pasta salad from Lofty's

Reuben sandwich and pasta salad from Lofty's

 

McCabe’s Tavern:

Cheeseburger and cider at McCabe's Tavern

Cheeseburger and cider at McCabe's Tavern

French dip from McCabe's Tavern

French dip from McCabe's Tavern

The Melting Pot:

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

Paris Crepe: (You must go to Paris Crepe. Check out our official review with more pics)

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Pizzeria Rustica:

My parents enjoying Pizzeria Rustica's patio

My parents enjoying Pizzeria Rustica's patio

Locally sourced antipasto tray

Locally sourced antipasto tray

Shuga’s: By far my favorite restaurant in Colorado Springs, or really, just about anywhere. We’ve written a ton about them on this blog.

Shuga's has an excellent happy hour

Shuga's has an excellent happy hour

Fabulous sandwiches at Shuga's

Fabulous sandwiches at Shuga's

One of the daily pasta specials at Shuga's

One of the daily pasta specials at Shuga's

Fancy roast beef sandwich at Shuga's

Fancy roast beef sandwich at Shuga's

Smiley’s:  Another place we’ve written about before, here and here.

Breakfast at Smiley's

Breakfast at Smiley's

Smiley's cute decor. They've recently expanded to the space next door, doubling their size- shorter lines now!

Smiley's cute decor. They've recently expanded to the space next door, doubling their size- shorter lines now!

 

So there you have it, the first of my Colorado Springs wrap-up posts. Be sure to visit these places and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

How to make butterscotch sauce at home in less than 10 minutes.

You may remember my post about homemade chocolate sauce and how easy and delicious it is.  Well, I have recently discovered homemade butterscotch sauce. It’s also super easy to make and yummy, too. You for sure don’t need to ever buy that horrible stuff in the jar from the grocery store anymore.

You start with ¼ cup butter, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup heavy cream. I used dark brown sugar because that’s what I had on hand, but light brown sugar would make it look lighter and more like the butterscotch we are used to. Put it all in a pan and cook it on medium heat, stirring till it’s  melted and combined.

Home made butterscotch- easy!

Homemade butterscotch — easy!

Bring the mixture to a low boil and cook it for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The flat spatula worked great for this part.

Home made butterscotch only takes a few minutes to make.

Homemade butterscotch only takes a few minutes to make.

After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in 1/8th to 1/4th tsp of salt (I used 1/4th and thought it was a tiny bit too salty), and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Home made butterscotch- almost done.

Homemade butterscotch — almost done.

Let it cool down, then spoon it over some ice cream — perfect! This recipe makes enough for four small sundaes, but you can easily double it if you need more.

OMG So Good- home made butterscotch topping over vanilla ice cream.

OMG, so good. Homemade butterscotch topping over vanilla ice cream.

What’s the difference between butterscotch and caramel? Butterscotch is basically brown sugar, butter, and cream mixed together and cooked, while caramel is white sugar cooked with water, then butter and cream added at the end. Caramel is harder and more dangerous to make because it is easy to accidentally burn the sugar and water mixture (there is nothing that smells worse or is harder to clean up than burnt sugar) or to have it bubble out of the pan and burn you. Butterscotch, on the other hand,  is a cinch to make and pretty hard to screw up. Butterscotch also doesn’t get stuck in your teeth like caramel does.

What’s your favorite ice cream topping? Do you make your own or use store-bought?

Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

We love Dogtooth Coffee Company. They close at 6pm in the winter which is kind of lame, but everything else is awesome.

They have a patio, where you can sit AND bring your dog.

They have delicious espressos and other drinks.

Their food is really good, especially their sandwiches.

And they have the best gelato in town. Even better than places that just sell gelato!

Anyhow, here are some pictures so you can see what I mean.

Enjoy a latte and a donut on the patio at Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

Enjoy a latte and a donut on the patio at Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

Or if it's too cold, enjoy it inside- they have nice big tables and cushy chairs.

Or if it's too cold, enjoy it inside- they have nice big tables and cushy chairs.

The turkey avocado melt at Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

The turkey avocado melt at Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

The Magnificent 7 (vegetarian) sandwich at Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

The Magnificent 7 (vegetarian) sandwich at Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

The best, freshest gelato in town- Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

The best, freshest gelato in town- Dogtooth Coffee Company, Colorado Springs

So go there. And let us know what you think!

 

Our favorite cafes: Rico’s, Shugas, Montagues, and Dogtooth

We love Rico’s. Sometimes we sit inside, sometimes out on the back patio, and sometimes on the sidewalk cafe area.

They have all sorts of fancy wines, and they sell them in 3 oz. as well as the usual 6 oz. glasses which is really great if you don’t want to drink too much or if you want to try a few different wines from their extensive list.

They also have a few beers and some cocktails. Happy Hour is 4-6 Sunday -Wednesday.

They have really good coffee drinks, teas, an iced tea bar, and hot chocolates. Recently I had one of their spiked espresso drinks with vanilla vodka and chocolate liquor. Yum!

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar, Colorado Springs

As you probably know, Shuga’s is my favorite place in town.
They have a full bar including a bunch of really creative and unusual cocktails, a full espresso bar, and a great food menu. The menus all change seasonally.
They have Happy Hour from 3-6.
We usually sit inside because it’s so pretty but they do have a nice back patio as well as sidewalk seating in front.
Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

Shuga's, Colorado Springs

We’ve only recently discovered Montague’s at 1019 South
Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO. (719) 520-0672
The decor is full on Victorian old lady, but the coffee and desserts are awesome. They have pretty good food, too.
They don’t have a website but they do stay open pretty late- you should call for their hours- they vary.
Montegue's, Colorado Springs

Montegue's, Colorado Springs

The cakes at Montegue's are really excellent. They even have some gluten free.

The cakes at Montegue's are really excellent. They even have some gluten free.

Another one of our faves is Dogtooth Coffee. You can get a yummy sandwich, or espressos, or the best gelato in town. We like to sit outside on the patio, and you can bring your dog!

Tasty cinnamon donuts at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

Tasty cinnamon donuts at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

Housemade gelato at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

Housemade gelato at Dogtooth Coffee, Colorado Springs

What are your favorite cafes in town?