358 Days to go: 355 Things to Do: Day 4 in Chicago
11. Lunch from Gaudi Cafe
12. Drinks at Simon's Tavern
To celebrate being at home in my own bed once again, I sleep far too late this morning. I still have limited groceries in the house so my roommate and I order lunch from Gaudi 624 N Ashland. Gaudi is a cute little cafe just around the corner from our apartment. It is a Spanish - Mexican fusion BYOB. We've ordered there several times, but I have yet to go inside. They serve breakfast all day on the weekends (bonus) and everything I've ordered from there has been great. Today I get the Greek sandwich - chicken breast with cucumbers, feta cheese, and olives. I tend to like any thing with feta and olives - this is no different. And their fries are quite tasty.
I've got dinner plans with a group of friends in Andersonville. Several of our co-workers are in town for meetings and Megan has volunteered to cook for everyone. I put together a list of possible 'new experiences' in Andersonville while we're there.
Two things worth noting from dinner - first, Megan and Len still have Mardi Gras decorations up in their apartment. While I think this noteworthy, I do not think it's odd. I think it's fantastic actually. Mardi Gras is a good time. Second, we stop to buy beer on the way and discover that Magic Hat has a summer seasonal, Wacko. Can't pass that up, both because I like Magic Hat and because it's called WACKO, so we buy a couple six packs to bring with us. Drinking the first one we discover on the label 'made with beet juice color'. Intrigued - it doesn't taste like beets - we pour it into a glass and sure enough, it's red. Honestly though, I don't remember the last time I ate beets so maybe it DOES taste like them, who knows. Not your typical summer brew, but I liked it.
Around 10pm a couple of us break away so I can experience my new thing for the day (there was discussion whether or not the beet juice beer counted, but we determined no. magic hat is from vermont after all). We head to Simon's Tavern 5210 N Clark. At first, I wasn't too sure about this place. Even at 10pm on a Saturday it wasn't very busy and I got the feeling everyone there knew everyone else. We were definitely outsiders. After a beer though, when we weren't obnoxious, the atmosphere seemed friendlier. They have an excellent and slightly obscure beer list and quirky, random decorations - like a wizard lamp, a viking statue behind the bar, and bronze cherubs hanging from the ceiling. I ordered the Leffe they had on draft. There's also a cozy fireplace and couches in the back. The juke box, kind of like the beer list, was excellent and slightly obscure - I put in $2 and won over another couple of the regulars with my first pick, She & Him
I have a theory that everyone has three things they do better than anyone else in the world. Big or small, everyone has three things. It's a fun theory. Every time I share this little tidbit with someone new, he or she immediately tries to figure out what his or her three things are. I'll tell you what I tell them - take your time. It's three things that you do better than ANYONE in the whole WORLD. That deserves thought. And maybe experimentation. One of my old roommates claimed he made the best potato salad in the world. I was skeptical until I tasted it; he was right. One of my three? Working a juke box. It's a gift. (The other two are kind of dorky and work related so I'll spare you for now)
Back to Simon's. Stephanie, one of the friends I dragged along on this little adventure, at some point in the evening went and had a cigarette outside with the bouncer and they started chatting. She asked him about the sign. Andersonville is the old swedish neighborhood in Chicago so the fish like creature is a herring and he's drinking martinis - getting 'pickled'. Get it? Pickled herring? Ha.
357 Days to go: 353 Things to Do: 4 Days in Chicago = 9 new experiences