My Favorite Foods and Best Restaurants In Chicago

I lived in Chicago for years before moving to San Francisco, and I miss it so much (only the summertime, of course, I’m not a lunatic). The absolute best part is the FOOD. There are so many amazing restaurants and chefs that set up shop there, you can gain 10 pounds in a week! You know, not like it’s happened to me personally… it’s just a hypothetical! Anyway, I was there last week and thought I’d share some of my favorite places (not necessarily the highest rated by foodie professionals or the most expensive, just places I loved to frequent) when I lived there.

BRUNCH

Three Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware.  Pro tip: they open at 10am and don’t take reservations, so plan to get there by 9:30am and wait in line if you want first seating. Otherwise, show up when you can, but expect 1-2 hour wait on the weekend. The good news about the wait: JUST LOOK AT THIS ROOFTOP. You can get a drink from the bar, snag a free donut and hang out until they text that your table is ready.IMG_7143IMG_7147The restaurant is in the Atrium of the building. Gorgeous light, trees and a fountain fill the space. They have these huge comfy cushioned booths that make you feel like a celebrity. Get one of those. Continue reading “My Favorite Foods and Best Restaurants In Chicago”

Sunday Brunch in San Francisco

What to do when you have no plans and a small pomeranian on a Sunday? Duh, patio brunch! We’ve been dying to try Zazie, a quaint French restaurant that’s a Cole Valley staple. There is always a wait and every time we go, we give up immediately when we see the line, because obviously we are already hangry and need food to stay married. This time we went right when they opened and only had to wait about 45 minutes, during which time I fantasized about snatching food from people’s greedy little fingers and running away into the sunrise with Roxie. BUT, I didn’t and you GUYS! it was totally worth acting like an adult. Check out that Pain de Mie French Toast and that Eggs Vincent. It tasted even better than it looked.

What’s great about this place is how they treat their employees. It’s not a tip-based serving job. All of the menu prices include a living wage, revenue share, paid family leave, fully funded health & dental insurance, paid time off, and a 401(k) with employer match for all employees. All those things!! Having been a long-time server, I LOVE knowing that waitstaff is taken care of. It makes a giant cafe latte even more enjoyable (no handle! you sip it from a soup bowl). Now, on to the food.

IMG_8196 Continue reading “Sunday Brunch in San Francisco”

Easy Lunch: Italian Kale Salad

Back to work after the long weekend, ugh. I get so bored buying my lunch out during the work week. How much Chipotle can a girl eat? Plus it gets expensive here in San Francisco – $16 for a Caesar Salad?! NOPE. But then there’s the other me that whispers: “But you are so lazy and you hate chopping the vegetables necessary to make your own salads at home.” Truth, other me. Truth.

The antidote to a delicious salad on the cheap with minimal chopping? The Italian Kale Salad. I timed myself and it took me 15 minutes (+5 for cooking the tofu) to prep three salads for the week.That’s about 6 minutes a salad, seems worth my time. Dressing: Lemon, salt and pepper (ZERO CALS). Bonus: Because it’s kale, the salad doesn’t get soggy, so you can leave in the fridge for a few days.

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Continue reading “Easy Lunch: Italian Kale Salad”

Cheap + Cheerful: Breakfast

So, two things:

1) I’m pretty convinced breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day. The most important meal of the day is obviously the 4pm snack I have at my desk while I dream about how I’m going to strike it rich and finally go to the Maldives. That aside, I like to eat a healthy, yummy breakfast.

2) Like everyone in the world, I enjoy coffee. Exclusively iced coffee. I drank iced coffee when it was -30 degrees outside in Chicago, and felt no shame. It brings me all the joy. It’s also an expensive habit, and since I prefer to spend that money on outrageously priced lipstick, I found a cheaper option. No, I’m not going to preach to you about french press or steeping beans in water for 48 hours or whatever, I don’t have that kind of time.

But let’s talk coffee first: I make a pot of coffee, preferably with hazelnut or French Vanilla beans. I buy beans and grind them vs. already ground, because that just tastes better in any coffee instance. Then, I pour that big pot of hot coffee into a pitcher (any pitcher with a lid will work, I have this one) and put it in the fridge overnight. VOILA! Iced coffee in the AM. I actually prefer my coffee to store-bought. Not to say I don’t live a little on Saturdays and get a Starbucks from time to time, I’m not a saint, but at least then I can truly enjoy it for the glorious beverage it is.

Now for the simple math: One pot is enough for 3-4 days, at about $.25 a cup vs a $4 drink at a local coffee shop. Over the course of the work week – I save $18.75! In a month $75! In 3 months my thrifty coffee has bought me a facial. You can totally buy your coffee out, if that’s your thing, I get it too. But if want to spend .05 seconds thinking about how you’ll get your coffee fix and 1 hour enjoying your facial, try this instead.

 

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Now for breakfast. Here’s a low-cal, almost zero sugar option that my friend Shannon got me hooked on due to how delicious, cheap and FAST it is.

Ingredients:IMG_6563.jpg

1 Egg, 1-2 slices of ham (I like Canadian Bacon), 1 wheat light english muffin, 1 slice of cheddar cheese. Try adding avocado, or subbing avo for ham if you’re a vegetarian)

Continue reading “Cheap + Cheerful: Breakfast”