Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this week:
While walking to dinner one night, we randomly came upon a gathering of people listening to live music and dancing. On six Thursdays during the summer, our little city hosts a free event featuring a dance lesson with accompanying music in a different dancing style each week. We didn’t partake this time, but enjoyed the music and people watching as we dined al fresco at a nearby restaurant. Summertime here is pretty great.
Our dear friends and their two kiddos drove all the way from Dallas to come visit us this week, on their way to a family reunion in Wisconsin Dells. We had a great time showing them around our ‘hood and doing a little sightseeing in downtown Chicago, including the obligatory tourist trip to the Bean (I mean “Cloud Gate“) in Millennium Park. The kids had fun creating optical illusions with their reflections, exactly none of which I captured with my phone’s camera. All of our friends are what we miss most from Dallas (even more than Tex-Mex!), and it was wonderful to have them here to share a glimpse of our Chicagoland life.
Another must-see during our Chicago tour was the view from the observatory deck on the 94th floor of John Hancock Center. Our friend Matt was the only one of us brave enough to try the new Tilt! feature, which allows you to lean 30 degrees out from the building and look down to the street that is 1,000 feet below. Nope. Matt said it was awesome, and we sincerely took his word for it.
We recently tried the authentic Liege Belgian waffles from a little cafe near our condo, and they did not disappoint. The waffles are made with dough instead of batter and are dusted with pearl sugar (imported from Belgium) that caramelizes on the outside of the waffle when it is baked in a special waffle iron (also imported from Belgium). Topping options include homemade whipped cream, Nutella, and fruit. You do not want to put syrup on this waffle, lest you ruin the lightly crispy, sugary outer crust by making it soggy. We may never eat any other kind of waffle again.
Ever since we saw the movie “Chef” (which we highly recommend), we have been craving a good Cuban sandwich (also a good grilled cheese sandwich, but those are more readily available). We found exactly what we were looking for at the aptly named Taste of Cuba restaurant, and we’ll go back there the next time we are jonesing for that perfect combo of thinly sliced ham and roasted pork with cheese, mustard and pickles, expertly pressed between two slices of buttery bread.