Chicago wrap-up

We had so much fun in Chicago. And we ate. so. much. I can highly recommend:

Ethiopian Diamond
Burt’s Place
Half Shell

They were all recommended by friends and/or Anthony Bourdain, and all places I would most definitely visit again.

My favorite has to be Burt’s Place. Best deep dish pizza I’ve ever had. The secret from what I hear is that Burt puts a little cheese under the pizza so it makes a caramelized, crunchy crust as it bakes.

We almost didn’t have dinner there because we were told at the door that we should have called ahead and it would be at least an hour and a half before we could eat pizza. But feeling travel weary, we sat down with drinks and the time flew by. Why? Because this place is an amazingly quirky gem. Tucked in a residential street it’s dive bar tiny and covered wall-to-wall in old radios, newspaper articles, toys and other random items like a gigantic whisk. Because, according to Burt’s wife, he collects this shizz and has to put it somewhere.


While we waited over garlic bread and salad, a slew of people came in to pick up orders, including a woman three sheets to the wind who harrassed Burt’s wife to no end because her order wasn’t ready. Finally she sat down and had a beer, but even our pizza came out before hers. When she left, I thought maybe the whole restaurant would clap.

Anyway, when our spinach pizza arrived it was fantastic. Just full of all the simple flavors that make pizza taste so good, and not as much bready crust as other deep dish pies have. We also tried Gino’s East, for the record, and it was wonderful. But I think Burt’s wins.

As for the other two places, Ethiopian Diamond is a pretty good sized Ethiopian restaurant serving the traditional injera – shared meals of curries on top of what I would call a huge, bubbly crepe. We ordered a sampling of different ones, and found that some were better than others, but we found plenty to love.

Half shell is a basement bar in Lincoln Park with a gruff bartender, gruff waiter and incredibly fresh, tasty crab legs. I’ve never seen so many crab legs on one plate (for less than $20 at that). It was another one of those places Mike and I agreed we never could have found on our own.

So what else did we do? Oh you know, everything.

A little Wrigleyville.

A little Sears tower. (A helicopter flew by while we were up there).

We saw Sue. Hi Sue!

Tired feet. TV in bed. Wasn’t our hotel room nice? We stayed at the Knickerbocker.

Familiar faces…

Nerds.

Sisters.

For me it was a getting to know Chicago trip because with a sister in residence I am sure I will be back again. Now that I’ve checked a lot of touristy stuff off my list, I can focus on the rest, and I really look forward to that.

Butter says…

Some of you may recognize this guy from another blog.

He’s my friend Julie’s dog, Butter. Isn’t he cute? I think he was saying, “let me out of here so I can go back to my window and look for the mailman.”

Butter has it out for the mailman. Luckily he liked us. We gave lots of belly rubs.