Oh my goodness! With the holidays, I simply haven't had time to get on in ages. So, the results of my trip:
We ate at one of my favorite Chicago restaurants, even though it isn't haute cuisine or extreme cusine, and certainly not the best Chicago restaurant, but a favorite nontheless...Grand Lux Cafe.
I ate an appetizer as my main course. It was the Potato Spring Rolls, an absolutely wonderful, original way to create a dish that has home-cooked flavor. The spring rolls were filled with potato puree, topped with cheese, apple-smoked bacon, and green onions, served with sour cream to dip. They were presented almost like lincoln logs on a white platter. There were approximately six of the tiny spring rolls and they are absolutely divine. If I am ever on my death bed, I want these spring rolls as the appetizer at my last meal, because they combine innovative presentation and technique with wonderful down-home, comforting flavors.
For dessert, I had the apple pie at Grand Lux. Now, at Grand Lux you have to order your dessert when you order your meal becuase they bake them to order. My eyes were certainly bigger than my stomach in this case! The pie (actually more a gallette) was big, gorgeously brown, and served with very hot with quickly-melting ice cream. It was okay, sweet and sour, and the crust was good, but it wasn't out of this world.
I also went to another old favorite, Berghoff's, for some good old German food! I was there over Thanksging, so I tried their Tom Turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. It was delighfully tender, falling apart in the mouth, and the rest of the meal was great, too. I washed it all down with a root beet and set off into the Chicago cold.
I also happened to be at the Drake Hotel for their Thanksgiving Tea, a new tradition. It was okay, nothing spectacular, but great fun to people-watch. They served us turkey and cranberry sandwiches, ham and sweet potato sandwiches, and cucumber and tomato sandwiches. We also had pumpkin bread, raisin scones, and several tiny desserts, including a cranberry-streusal tart. They completely forgot to bring us the amusee, which was a pumpkin dip with sweet potato chips. Once I finally asked, it wasn't worth the waitress bringing it out anyway, as it was only fair.
There, now that I've filled you with no new knowledge as we only ventured to familiar territory this time around, I wish you all a Happy 2005!