Here’s to second chances.
Recently I had the opportunity to accompany my friend Missy to Chicago with a group of gal pals for her Bachelorette Party, second chance style. I’ll get to the food part in a minute, because it was GRAND; but first, the bride. As a group my core contingency of friends has endured many complexities in the past two – three years. Everything from a parent death, to domestic violence, to a handful of divorces, from first born babies to depression and back again, we faced these challenges as a group and hoped for the day where we could FINALLY celebrate a second chance. This trip to Chicago was the first of many second chances. Cheers to Missy and her pursuit of her happy ever after.
Back to your regularly scheduled blog post. Speaking of cheers. What goes best with cocktails? Fabu food of course. On this second chance tour, we used a pink goblet (32 oz) to procure free beverages, and a bridal veil to elicit many unique looks from passers by. We even had a flash back to 22 when some of us made our first BIG mistake, and decided that we are glad to be in the range of 30 years old finally. The food however, the FOOD WOW! We did a bang up job in the dine out category. Our visit to Opera Chicago was a really, really good choice by Fancy Nancy. At Opera, from the veg side of the menu, we enjoyed mushroom won-tons with a green salad and miso dressing, veggie egg rolls with a teriyake reduction, Kung Pao tofu, Malaysian vegan flat bread, and Hainanese Kaipong (cooked in a Lotus leaf which Missy tried to eat for additional fiber!!). All beautifully plated and wonderfully light and tasty. Asian fusion Chicago style is not to be missed at this place. Do NOT forget to sample the pickles and spicy nut mixture they put on your table. That was the best pre-dinner bite I’ve had in a long time. Beware the Thai chili pepper if you are not in to spicy with the sweet. Please visit.
For breakfast the following morning, we got up at the crack of 8:30, and made our way down to perennial fave, The Bongo Room. The wait on a typical weekend is well into the 2 hour arena, but if you get there early, when they open at 9am, your wait is nill as I guess Chicagoans don’t like to eat before then and consequently you get a table lickity split. We agonized over the menu and finally ordered the sweet potato black bean burrito, special eggs benedict (veggie), the breakfast burrito, chorizo omelette, and of course two very special pancakes: red velvet and walnut with vanilla creme’ anglaise, and white chocolate, caramel and PRETZEL. I’d honestly like to see a cracker jack, popcorn pancake soon…oh, they have a dish that our new found friends at the table next to us ordered, banana, oreo, chocolate pancakes that looked like a must try for next time. Eat here, but drink your coffee while you wait from Starbucks across Randolph. Caution: The Bongo Room has lackluster coffee. I’d opt for the fennel bloody Mary instead. Cheers.