Saturday began with an empowerment workshop and ended with a visit to Eataly. Hold on, I’m going to share all the deets. I’ve already shared with you about the Manifest Your Vision workshop in a post from last week. If you missed it you can find it here. After the workshop we planned to connect with my Uncle and Aunt who live in the Chicago area. Before we met up with them my sister wanted to show me a place called the French Market. I had not looked it up or checked it out but, she said they had food and really that is all that mattered. The market was still in the downtown area not too far from the hotel but far enough to grab another Uber. We Ubered all over the Chicago.
I didn’t know what to expect when we got there. I didn’t know if this was a grocery store, a farmers market or what? What I learned is that it is what is called a food hall. Upon arrival at the French Market the first thing you see is several places to get hot food. All different kinds of food from a variety of vendors. This place would remind you of something just above a food court. With hot food being made and sold and a place to purchase fresh meats and vegetables also. This is where I would like to have lunch everyday. I would alway be able to have something new.
My first purchase at the food hall were pirogi’s. I fell in love with perogi’s at a food festival and I think it was in Chicago too. I had to try them. I picked potato and cheese and spinach and potato. They both were melt in your mouth delicious and I didn’t even use the sour cream this time. My next purchase was an apple pie empanada. Ok, I love empanada too. I had my first one in Chicago too a few years ago. That one was a beef and veggie one. Ok there might have been more than one on that day. But, let me just say that anything with a warm filling and some type of pie crust attached is getting eaten by me.
The next thing I wanted to purchase but did not was a lobster roll. I did not get the lobster roll because I knew I couldn’t eat it all and the ticket price on that baby was not cheap. I didn’t want to be full when I knew we were going to have an early dinner with my aunt and uncle very shortly. But, Lobster Roll I’ll be back for you.
Inside the Food Hall you could find canoli’s, corned beef sandwiches, donuts, sushi, crepes, belgian fries, alcohol, cajun food, vegan choices, cheeses, breads, candies, espresso and more. This place is the perfect place for foodies.
Next we caught our ride over to Oak Park for Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles. It was right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. I mean how lucky can one get to be able to walk right across or down the street for some straight up soul food? That would be my dream…. We all sat at a table for four and caught up on each other’s lives, celebrations and new beginnings. It was a very nice outing. I decided not to get the waffle because I had pancakes the day before but boy, it was a hard choice. I again got the basics, chicken wings, greens, sweet potatoes and macaroni & cheese. Everything tasted just as it should. Nothing surprising except the super fast turnaround on the food. My uncle got almost the same as me except he got the potato salad. He ate it all. So, I would have to say that he enjoyed his too. My aunt did get the chicken and waffle with macerated strawberries and whipped cream. They did not get her order right the first time but did immediately correct it. It looked very delicious with those strawberries on top. The restaurant did not have anything on the menu for plant based eaters so my sister just enjoyed the water and the conversation. The menu was very well rounded with soul food and could probably please the palate of almost anyone looking to fill their belly with goodness.
After dinner they took us on a tour from Oak Park to our hotel in downtown Chicago. It’s nice to be shown the area by people who actually know the history behind it. We made it back to the hotel decided for one more outing before calling it a night.
The last stop on our foodie hit list was a place called Eataly. An Italian food lover’s paradise. Groceries and restaurants are housed inside this building. When we got inside I was confused. Is this a grocery store with a hot food station that serves wine? Nope. They have groceries, housewares, wine (yes, you can shop and drink at the same time) and several restaurants for you sit down and eat at if you choose; including a bread shop and a sweet shop. This place was meant for me and could not be conquered in one trip. Saturday was just an introduction and I will be coming back to Eataly for the full experience. This place was the bomb.
On Sunday I made a quick trip to everyone’s favorite Garrett’s Popcorn just to see if I had been mistaken all this time when I thought I didn’t really like it. I thought I try it and compare it to Nuts on Clark, the kind my mother preferred and requested that I bring some back. After the taste test I have determined that I too prefer the Nuts on Clark caramel popcorn. I like a hint of salt with my sweet and N.O.C. has got the ratio of sweet/salt just right.
From now to on that’s my stop right off the train….