Gus is from "Chicago" and by Chicago we mean a suburb of the city that is like an hour away from the city so when we say we are going to Chicago, we are essentially going to something along the lines of a larger version of Maple Grove, which in all honesty ranks second as my personal version of hell. My first version of hell being my un-air conditioned cube at City Hall, where I sit and swelter as I type this.
We headed to the Windy City (sort of) on Friday and rolled into town about 4:00 p.m. We had to get Gus's mom her birthday present, a laptop, and then we took her out to eat. We had Asian buffet where there was lots o' sushi and I even indulged in a couple pieces. I got so excited about sushi that I way overdid the wasabi, which cleared out my sinuses for sure.
Saturday we got up early and it was grocery shopping for the baby shower. Gus's brother, Paul, was in town. Paul is a chef at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, FL. Paul with Gus as sous chef did all the cooking for the party - Thai beef lettuce wraps with lemongrass and ginger oil, braised short ribs with sweet chili sauce, sweet and sour pork ... it was so delicious! It was great to see family and also my good friend from college, Kristen, who is also expecting a little girl, was able to make a guest appearance since she lives nearby. The present opening was a little chaotic because all of the cousin's small children were clamoring to help tear paper, but not necessarily open cards and remember who gave what. But we made it out alive with some good swag - car seat, changing table, crib, and mattress, among other things.
Sunday was my day for Chicago style food. Lunch at Portillo's for an Italian beef sandwich with hot peppers. Then dinner at Lou Manati's for real Chicago style pizza. The Italian beef you can get in Minnesota, but I'm skeptical whether you can get a pizza like this. The cheese is on the bottom and there are fresh tomatoes on top. We had 1.5 pieces leftover and I was super disappointed on my drive home yesterday when I realized that I had forgotten them in the refrigerator. In fact I must have said, I wish I had that piece of pizza about 10 times on the way home. Last night I even checked Old Chicago and Green Mill to see if they made something similar, but no luck. I guess I will just have to wait until next time.
It was a busy weekend and I'm still exhausted.