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25 or 6 to 4: the beginning of a Chicago expedition

12 Apr

(Disclaimer: Yes, I plan on using song titles from the band Chicago for all of the posts from Chicago. How could I not?)

Chicago: there are so many things to say and have already been said. I really love this city; it is huge, full of dark history and amazing food. I have been visiting Chicago on the regular since about 2011, I have a very close friend who lives in the Andersonville neighborhood. It is going to be hard to break free from my regular spots in this city, but since I have literally 5 weekends in a row in the Chicagoland area, I think I can hit some of the old and some of the new.

Let’s start with the old. I rolled in to town with a hankering. It was a hell of a drive, there were tornado warnings all through Illinois and the rain was not messing around. So I knew I wanted something comforting and lovely that I could take with me to the hotel. My brain took me to just the place.

Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits is a tiny sliver of heaven in the Logan Square neighborhood (side note: when I lived in Chicago for about 3.3 seconds: this is where I lived). I have been here numerous times, but have ever had their savory items. I always just ran in for a slice of pie. Today was the day.

                                                     

I got the chicken pot pie and a slice of the rhubarb ginger crumble pie to go. I wanted to stay: but the little shop was packed and since the weather was very touch and go the pie garden (outside seating) wasn’t really open. So I had them warm up the savory pie before I left and away I went.

Oh man, it was worth the wait. Huge shreds of freshly roasted chicken, veggies, and a cream sauce that was divine. But the crust: OH the crust. Buttery, flaky goodness. Just melt in your mouth beautiful.

                                    

The rhubarb pie didn’t disappoint either: tangy, spicy and well balanced. Beautiful. The rhubarb was the most amazing color, you could tell it was super fresh. A perfect meal for a scary rainy day.

In Summation: If you haven’t been to Bang Bang, you are truly missing out. They have a seasonal menu, so watch for new and fantastic things from them!

Let us skip a couple of days of me working and having to eat with staff so buying them things like Panera, Five Guys, Jimmy Johns and the like (when you gotta feed the masses…). After my event on Saturday I was feeling a little run down (still am: damn spring allergies). What fixes that? Ramen, of course.

Urban Belly  is my go to ramen in Chicago. I know there are a ton of ramen shops, and I have the plan to hit a bunch of them during this season. However, since I was not feeling great and wanted serious comfort, off to Fulton Market I drove.

                                                               

(this is the living wall by the bathrooms at Urban Belly/BellyQ. How cool is that?)

They have a menu that is succinct, which I appreciate. So many restaurants have far too many choices, it makes it difficult to find that thing you are gonna love. I am a total one trick pony at Urban Belly, I always get the Urban Belly Ramen. Pork belly, veggies, a soft boiled egg, a spicy broth, and ramen noodles. It is perfection. I wanted to try the cheeseburger dumplings as well: which were good but they came with ketchup on them (side note: I hate ketchup. Yeah yeah I know, how can I even call myself an American). The ramen was just like I remember it, a deep broth of spicy and savory. It was exactly what I needed.

                                  

In Summation: Yes always yes to Urban Belly. One of these days I will hit up BellyQ, which is connected to Urban Belly. Maybe next weekend!

Note: If anyone has recommendations for restaurants for me to hit up: please let me know! I always like to hear new stuff!

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