We came down to Chicago on Friday. I’d picked this weekend because it was the first one when I thought I could stay over till Monday since the library conference/Super Bowl/blizzard weekend.
We walked over Publican straight from the train and it was kind of a miracle. One minute we were standing there with all our luggage and the next minute our bags were checked and we were seated waiting to order.
We got frites and what they called barbecued carrots – I’d call them chile-rubbed – and ribs, and a plate of bread. I think I’ll have to recreate the carrots – they were really good. And the ribs came with a slaw with peanuts – also really good. Mark decided the ceiling lights were kind of garish – but I like them.
On Saturday, we got up and tried to get Grateful Dead tickets – for two hours – nothing doing. We went grocery shopping at the Mariano’s on S. Clark, and bought food for breakfast, then went for a walk and had coffee at the Intelligensia in the Monadnock building – where Jacobs Bros. Brothers bagels used to be. And I guess a one brother version of Jacobs Bros. Bagels is back, up on North Ave. as Brobagel. I’ll have to check them out my next trip.
We met John & Megan at a Pho place up on Argyle St. The Pho was amazingly good. I had beef. Then we went to see the Punch Brothers at the Riviera – which is a dump, but historic, designed by Rapp & Rapp. I’m not sure if I’ve been there before – I know I’ve been to the Uptown – even saw the Grateful Dead there – and the Aragon Ballroom, which are both spitting distance from the Riviera, and the Vic, another crumbling movie palace converted to a rock club, a little south of the others.
On Sunday we were supposed to have brunch with Al, but he didn’t feel up to it, so we walked to Lou Mitchell’s. I’d been wanting to take Mark there – I never ate there when I lived in Chicago, but had been there one time on my own, when I’d come back as a tourist. I had poached eggs on rye toast. The potatoes were just right – cooked through and some really brown parts but not mushy. Served with real Heinz ketchup – at room temperature from the bottle on the counter. The best. Our old lady waitress was a bit confused, but got the job done. There must’ve been a midday Bulls game; there were a lot people grabbing breakfast before.
We walked up to Mark’s favorite Starbucks at the Intercontinental, then walked back to the South Loop stopping for a paper. I graded student assignments until almost 5:00, then made chocolate chip bars to eat with Downton Abbey season finale.
Monday morning Mark went to work, and I packed. Can’t figure out why I needed three bags to get down to Chicago, and only two to get back, after only leaving a few things – although I am sure the extra pair of shoes was key.