Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Loop Lunch Options on Wells

The strip on Wells near the Loop is burgeoning with eateries catering to the most discerning of palates.  The professionals working in this area have more disposable income and are willing to shell out some cash for a hearty lunch.  The yuppies here are sick of the global fast food chains and are searching for a mid-day culinary pick-me-up.  The street's offerings have drastically evolved over the past few years.  A Halsted Street Deli just opened up and right next door to it a place that will offer healthier options such as quinoa bowls is in the works.  

Cafecito opened up a second Chicago location on Wells and whenever I pass by during lunch time, there is quite a line for it.  Today I was craving something filling and greasy (which is unusual for me) and headed over to pick up their cubano, which is considered #1 in Chicago by some sources.  I was anticipating warm toasted grease, but greasy it was not.  Any other day I would have preferred the clean panini, but not today.  However, it was still delicious with its pickles, mustard and pork gooeyness.

Cafecito on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Whoa Wow, It's Boba Bao!

This past July the same people who brought us Forever Yogurt, opened its first Bee & Tea location in Wicker Park.  (More franchise locations are set to open throughout Chicago.)  They specialize in customized bubble tea drinks, smoothies, baos and bowls.  Since it was chilly outside, I ordered a hot black milk tea, lightly sweetened, with honey tapioca boba.  I really liked that I could choose the sweetness level, since most other bubble tea places have overly-sweet pre-concocted mixes.
The baos were available with so many fun and creative fillings.  I am not a big fan of dumplings or the encased version of baos that contain a homogenous mush of unknown ingredients.  I liked that the baos at Bee & Tea were open-faced since I could see the various, colorful ingredients.  I especially liked the small but crucial detail of labels on my individual baos.  Oftentimes when I order a sampling of various bites such as tacos, I wonder which one is which when I am served; I probably don't get the full taste experience because it's almost as though I'm eating blindfolded.  The little stickers on my baos told me precisely what I was eating, which for me, intensified the rich and spicy flavor profile.  The baos I ordered had tasty Chinese, Indian, and Mexican influences, respectively.  I was really curious about their other cool flavors, including veggie kung pao, asian sloppy joe, cold crab salad, pb&j, and even dessert baos s'more and hazelnut banana split!
Bee & Tea on Urbanspoon
I was not compensated for this post.  I was, however, given vouchers to cover the cost of the food and drink I reviewed.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Twisted Farm Food

We headed out for dinner and I asked Stan what he was in the mood for -- greasy or healthy.  What a stupid thing to ask!  We ventured out to the best drunk food place Hash House a Go Go, right on State Parkway off the crazy Division bar strip.  It was his first time there, so I suggested he order their "New York Times Favorite" Sage Fried Chicken & Waffles that comes with an outrageous heaping waffle tower.  Unfortunately, the server was new, so she made a mistake and I didn't realize until re-reading the menu just now, that he actually received Andy's Sage Fried Chicken.  Honest mistake since both dishes feature their prized fried chicken.
I wasn't in the mood for greasy and was pleasantly surprised that they had a few healthier options.  The hash house salad with grilled salmon was perfect for me and I was pretty surprised that it was modestly-priced, considering the neighborhood.  Since Hash House is situated just a bit north from the flashy, place-to-be-seen, ritzy restaurant hub of Viagra Triangle, it was relatively empty, which is not such a bad thing.  
Hash House a Go Go on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fast Easy Curls

I met Kiss representatives at the 2013 BlogHer conference in Chicago.  They gave me nail stickers, press-on nails, and fake eyelashes to try and review.  Recently a Kiss rep asked me to try out their InstaWave Automatic Curler.  Sure, why not? I was curious about the instant, automatic curling iron concept; perhaps even a bit terrified that my hair would get sucked up, tangled in, and torn out by the rotating rod.  But surely, why would a brand I know push a product that doesn't work or rips out your hair?  I read the instructions and looked at the diagram photos and still wondered how it could work.  But I followed the directions and placed the tip of the curling rod at the top of my sectioned hair and pressed the switch, while I kept the rod parallel to my hair.  Sure enough the barrel started rotating and gently captured my hair as it revolved.  It was fast, easy and painless -- it really works!  It's so easy that I was taking selfies while curling my hair; hence, the slightly blurry focus.  My hair is normally (not naturally) curly, but my friends could see the difference in curls.  The InstaWaved side was soft-looking, loose spirals while my untouched hair was crinkly and messy.  This is a great addition to the Kiss product line that keeps in mind the stylish and busy woman on the go.
I was not financially compensated for this post, links, or tweets.  However, I did receive a product sample to facilitate my review.