Last weekend I traveled to Chicago, IL to see the newest trends hitting the coffee and tea industry. Coffee-Fest 2013 was arabica bean heaven for me since I am an ardent lover of anything coffee-related. In addition, I also took an architecture tour, ate authentic deep dish pizza and modeled chic fashion wear by Archer Townsend.
When I have spare time, I will post a few separate entries on notable products found at Coffee-Fest and reasons why Archer Townsend is the best fashion brand to ever come from Chicago, IL. Until then, I guess you’re stuck reading a post about my vacation experience.
Before I gab about what went down during my trip, I want to state that I have always wanted to go to Chicago.Ever since I saw The Lakehouse starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in theaters, thrice over, I wanted to see all of the architecture, eat the food and feel the love. I get that movies are just illusions of grandeur but my Chicago vacation felt like a delicious dream—literally. I ate a lot of good food.
As a foodie, I had to unearth Chicago’s culinary wonders in the span of three days. One of my favorite dessert places was Glazed, which was located right by Archer Townsend (Chicago’s best fashion brand). The doughnut shop wafted of warm sweetness and the staff was genuinely nice. I had a wonderful experience at the store and hope to go back there again in the near future.
Ever since I visited Ma Petite Shoe in Baltimore, I became a fan of Vosges dark and milk chocolates. Chicago is home to Vosges and if you visit a Vosges store, you get to sample 4-5 different chocolates. After I noshed on bacon flavored chocolate (yum), I bought a few pieces to take home with me. Too bad my bf and I ate all of those tasty morsals before it was safely ensconced in my luggage. Sigh!
I get that the typical tourist-y thing to do is eat deep dish pizza and hot dogs, and I already did all of that the first day I was in Chicago. The moment the plane landed, I scarfed my face with half-burnt hot dogs sans ketchup anddeep dish pizza slices. Done and done. I wanted to be sort of unique and compare how Indian food in Maryland differed from Indian food in Chicago. And there is a stark difference between the two.
Food in Chicago tastes much more fresher and India House gives a wider selection of Indian entrees than other Indian brunch places I’ve frequented in the DMV. Chicago wins my vote for amazing Indian food! Altleast D.C has Rasika to ump the ante.
Nonetheless, the D.C area is teeming with sushi lovers and I am often surprised by that. I’ve been eating sushi for several years now and I don’t get the hype behind it. It’s just raw fish laying flat on patted down rice. However, after eating at Sunda, I realize that I only liked specialty sushi rolls with exquisite mayos, veggies and fish.
I was going to save this ad for my Coffeefest entry but, oh well. It made me laugh so hard and even the guy from the poster commented that, “We Indians understand what this ad really means to us.”
If you think I ate at White Castle, you are dead wrong. I wanted to keep track of places where Kal Penn (Kumar) and John Cho (Harold) were last seen.
Equally important to visiting Coffeefest this year, I also went to the Chicago Blues festival and Midsommerfest last weekend too. My full-course Polish lunch from Midsommerfest left an indelible impression with me. Wish there were more Polish or even Swedish (Ikea does not count) restaurants in the DMV. Just saying.
In contrast to eating like a boss, I also saw some interesting sights. Here’s the 411 on what went down.
Chicago Sights and Sounds
- Stayed at the exclusive Hilton Hotel located near Millennium Park. It’s the same place where “The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford was filmed at.
- Took an architecture boat tour across Chicago. Ed was an interesting tour guide, too bad I assumed he didn’t know where Silver Spring, Maryland was located. I’ve never seen a tour guide turn bright red and walk out in a huff before. My bad!
- I was on the top floor of the Willis Tower, and had to wait an hour in line to see the world for 5 minutes.
- Took a segway tour with this hilarious guy named Timmy. By the end of the night, he also became our stand-up comedian and performed a comical rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” with the audience.I guess it’s creativity at it’s finest.
- Navy Pier has this cumbersome maze full of tricked-out mirrors and intimidating sound effects. After you go to it, check out the stained glass museum. It’s not boring, I promise.
- Visited Bommers Chocolate shop and was disappointed they didn’t have tours open to the public. At least the street smelled like Hershey Park though.
- The day before I flew to Chicago, I saw Weird Al Yankovic at Ramshead Live. Initially, I was pushed to the back of the crowd since I came 20 minutes late to the show. But with some clever maneuvering, I was able to snag a place by the FRONT of the concert. It’s quite impressive for a 5’1 chick amidst a sea full of titans.
Tune in next week for my recap on Coffeefest 2013, reasons why Archer Townsend is the BEST designer in Chicago and what I thought about World Trade Organization’s Women Who Span The Globe event featuring Debbie Phelps (Mom of Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps).