chicago

day 6 & 7 | chicago & minneapolis

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Miles: 1521 - 1780
On the radio: Voyager chapters 24-28, John mayer, A Fine Frenzy, Bee Gees

Miles: 1780 - 2231
On the radio: Voyager chapters 29 - 31, Serial

This was all a blur. When I got to Chicago, I was so tired I mostly didn't leave my friend Sara's apartment (and hung out with Deuter the whole time). But not before finding a *FILIPINO GROCERY STORE* and stocking up! It was heaven. I loaded a basket up with filipino pasties and three kinds of ube and I tried to buy one mango and was told I'd have to buy the entire crate. I was a little sad to be in Chicago because so many friends weren't there. But finding this little bakery was like finding a piece of home in the middle of being so far from it. (And nesting with Deuter for the evening was exactly what I needed.)

Outside of the bakery, since most of this time seems like a blur (Minnesota is really long), I've made a list of things that are good (and bad) to eat on road trips, particularly when driving:

Good
empanadas
pork buns
all buns
sponge cake
ensaymada
anything with a straw
sandwiches
bananas
chips

Bad
mac and cheese
palabok
most all noodles
this water bottle
mangos
eggs

Places went and loved
Uni-Mart - the filipino grocery store in Chicago
Bachelor Farmer - where you can meet a friend a friend who is awesome, and simultaneously be really awkward while you wait for her
Mall of America - I know, I know. But when I jokingly debated going and they responded to me on Twitter within 4 minutes with a Leslie Knope gif, how could I not?

mindy's hot chocolate

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I popped into Mindy's on a whim while I was killing time in Wicker Park. The kitchen was still prepping and the entire place felt empty because of it. I sat back and waited, half enjoying the uniformity of the tables and half wondering how good my mint chocolate shake would be.

I can't say much for the menu since I was in and out, but the simplicity and design of the space clearly left an impression.

(For the record, the shake and cookies were amazing. And their head pastry chef is a James Beard Award winner.)

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spacca napoli

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Confession: I don't really like deep dish pizza. There, I said it. I'm sorry, Chicago! I prefer my pizza to be saturated with basil and garlic-- not cheese. I like the pizza-oven-smokiness from thin crust. And I like that it's acceptable (and standard) for one person to eat the entire pizza by herself.

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Enter:

Spacca Napoli

. I don't think any of the pizzas on the menu had more than 4 ingredients (we shared a marinara and a mushroom truffle oil pizza bianca). I loved that the pizzas came unsliced, that wine was served in tiny, flat glasses, and that I almost completely forgot that cheese belonged on pizzas during this meal.

No bad, Chicago. Not bad.

spacca
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a lakeside picnic

berries and figs
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montrose harbor
bries
aileen
duck
pretzel bread!
twilight
fondue

It's wonderful to see how something as simple as a picnic can brighten up a day.

It wasn't much, when you think about it: strawberries and figs, pretzel and seed-filled breads, chilled lambrusco, and a tiny chocolate fondue set.

It was something we were looking forward to since it'd been planned. When the time came, there was something special about knowing that we were exactly where we wanted to be.

lakeside picnic
with the skyline