Our second day in Chicago was such a good day. We got up at the crack of dawn to go on a run, but really it was so I could see Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) without gobs of tourists. There ended up being a couple photographers with big cameras set up and some people showed up right before we moved on, but I got the picture I wanted! We ended up doing a 6 mile loop of the lake front area. It was fantastic.
We grabbed brunch at a place called Beatrix with some friends that live up in Chicago. I had the light and fluffy lemon pancakes and a couple blueberry-basil mimosas. It was so good. The lemon flavor in the pancakes was quite prominent, but I loved that. Tim had his normal eggs over easy with toast and other sides. After breakfast we all headed to The Dawson (right on the edge of the West Loop and West Town) for a couple more drinks before parting ways.
Since we started drinking at brunch, we decided on and to make an afternoon of it. Why not, right? We hopped on the train and went to Wicker Park since it was an area recommended by a couple of people. It’s more of a night spot, but we still had an okay time for the couple hours we were there. We stopped into High Noon Saloon for a beer before heading to Big Star for a margarita. If we hadn’t still been full from brunch, we probably would have ordered a couple tacos from Big Star. They looked delicious! Their patio was pretty great, but our margaritas from there were actually quite disappointing. Whomp whomp.
We headed back downtown and stopped in at The Purple Pig. It was like 3 o’clock in the afternoon and there was a wait for a table. We lucked out and found a spot at the bar. We ordered a kale caesar salad and the fried manchego cheese app, which came with an apricot sauce. It was such an unexpected and tasty combination. We also got cocktails because…well, because.
We had dinner at Quartino that night, just two blocks from our hotel. The bacon wrapped dates with gorgonzola and honey were so delicious, but the rest was only okay. It’s not that those other dishes were bad, but I’d probably order other items instead if we were ever to go back.
We ended our night with an architecture cruise down the Chicago River. It was pretty neat to learn about the buildings lining the river and the architect’s intentions when designing the buildings. At the end of the 90 minute tour, the boat stopped and we watched the fireworks being lit off the Navy Pier.