Monday, August 11, 2008

Chicago, the Foodie Perspective

In this post, I continue with my recap of Chicago. Top tourist destinations in the Windy City: Sears Tower, Wrigley Field, Lake Michigan. Me? I ask to go to Trader Joe's. Yes, I know I am obsessed.

Continuing from where I left off in my last post: I don't have a pic of breakfast because I left my camera at my uncle's condo the night before. I guess I got so carried away with watching the fireworks at Navy Pier (and watching Michael Phelps on TV!) that I left my purse behind. Anyway, I assure you that my breakfast was an exact replica of Saturday's.

We headed to St. James Cathedral for church after breakfast. It's an Episcopalian church, like our church at home, but there were still marked differences. It's always interesting to see the variations among parishes of a single denomination. Trader Joe's was just around the corner from the church, so we stopped there to pick up a few things for hotel room munchies. My dad snapped a pic of me admiring the broccoli. Below are also a few pictures of my favorite food finds. (I guess I was in a blueberry mood?) For lunch we headed to Water Tower Place for lunch. We went to Foodlife, a new food court concept in which each diner receives a card and swipes the card at as many stations as he/she likes. My dad and I opted for the stir-fry station. I filled a bowl full of the veggies I wanted in my dish, handed it to the cook and ordered tofu in a vegan mushroom sauce (as denoted on the menu). Piled atop a mound of brown rice, it made for a delicious (albeit salty!) lunch. I was so full after eating this. My parents were invited to a wedding for the evening, so I was on my own for dinner. After a great workout in the hotel gym (in which each machine was outfitted with a personal HD television!), I decided to make use of the goods I picked up at TJ's. I had a spinach salad with Beluga Lentils, fresh salsa, three-layer hummus, mini pita breads, and another Cultural Revolution yogurt. Although I thoroughly enjoyed all the dining experiences I had, it's always nice to have a meal prepared at home (er, hotel). We stayed in a Residence Inn, so I had a full kitchen at my disposal--love it!
For snackage, I opened up a new find from WF--Honey Cinnamon Almonds. These are so delicious! I couldn't stop popping them into my mouth all night.
Same old oats for breakfast, but this time I also had yet another brand of Greek yogurt, Voskos. This was truly a delight in a cup. The consistency is similar to that of whipped cottage cheese, minus the curds and with subtle figgy sweetness. I wish they sold this in Birmingham.

Immediately following breakfast, we headed for the airport. I reluctantly bid farewell to such an exciting city. I'll be sure to return soon.

Whew. I'm spent for the evening. Be back later this week...Happy Monday!


eliser1028 said...

That last picture: I think that's actually a fig on the package, in which case I am dying to try fig greek yogurt! Where did you find this?

ChickPea said...

Eliser: You are so right! I thought it tasted a bit off for a pomegranate yogurt. I bought it a Whole Foods on Halsted in Chicago.

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Fun post! I love the picture of you grocery shopping. :) You got some really good finds at TJ's! I love how that box about the fig walking into a bar...haha. I almost bought that same package of beluga lentils one time there too, they look so darn good! I'll have to get some next time. And those mini pita breads look delish and adorable!

Your hotel must be awesome...HD tvs in the workout room, a full kitchen. Niiiice. I'm jumping out of my chair I'm so excited for your next Chi-town post. :)

VeggieGirl said...

LOVE the Trader Joe's shot, haha :0) So fun!! And of course all of the food looks delicious - yum!!

sportsnutritionliving said...

You still make great meals even in a hotel room!

Kimberly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimberly said...

I'm so glad you had a great time! That shot of you with the broccoli is too cute. And I totally understand being born in the wrong place -- after I moved to NYC, I knew I could never live in a suburb ever again.

Next time you hit Chicago, you should check out that place Cereality ('cause I'm so curious.) I may not like cereal, but I can respect a brilliantly simple marketing concept!

Jenn said...

More great pictures!! I love the shot of you inside TJ's - and that Anti-OXidant mix is really, really good! One of my top three favorites from there.

I had to smile when I saw the amazing dish you whipped up in your hotel room. That's truly impressive. My family would never even dream of doing that - even though I would actually love it!

And I have yet to see Voskos yogurt, but if I come across it I am definitely giving it a try!

ChickPea said...

Ruby: TJ's as so many good finds! I was a little disappointed that I couldn't take advantage of all their frozen items though:( I LOVE the mini pita breads--they're better than the Pitettes I find at the regular grocery store.
VeggieGirl: Ha! I felt a little silly getting my picture taken in a grocery store!
SportsNutritionLiving: Thanks, although it was just a bunch of stuff dumped on a plate to be honest.
Kimberly: Glad to hear that someone else understands my city-suburb dilemma.
I really want to go to Cereality. You're so right--it's all about brilliant marketing. I'm on the dining committee at my university, and I tried to convince them to bring a Cereality to campus, but it hasn't happened yet.
Jenn: I recognized the AntiOXidant mix from your blog, actually! Thanks for introducing it to me.
My dinner was really simple--just plopped things on a plate.
It was my first time seeing Voskos, but I am SO glad I tried it! (I think it was even on sale! So of course I enjoyed it even more).

Erin said...

The stir-fry and the hotel-made dinner both look so good! I'm going to keep an eye out for that triple layer hummus that's a really cool idea. Glad you had a good time in Chicago!

ChickPea said...

Erin: Truth be told, I went back for more hummus after dinner...I just couldn't get enough of the cilantro flavor!