The Time I Ate Chicago

As many of you may know, I have worked with Spoon University for quite some time now. While my time as a student is almost over and I am now the “Editor at Large,” (that term just sounds so funny, like I’m an editor on the loose or something) I got to spend my final semester with Spoon doing something completely awesome: going to Chicago to attend Food Network in Concert, interview Food Network stars, and eat all the foods I could put my hands on. It was awesome.

While I came to Chicago to eat work, I was lucky enough that my parents just so happened to be in the mood for a vacation and tagged along. Even though I was “working” Friday morning and was eating all throughout Saturday at the concert, I did get to squeeze in a few stellar dinners with my homies, the parental units.

My trip went something like this:

Thursday

My parents and I arrived at the airport at 6:00 p.m. famished so we decided to get dinner at one of Chicago’s most popular new restaurants, the Purple Pig. Unfortunately there was a wait (even at 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday), so we pregamed with some wine and a little too much cheese.

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Then the Purple Pig happened and we went a little overboard with the meat.

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Pork secreto with roasted red pepper, leeks and a pickled watermelon rind

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Milk braised pork shoulder with mashed potatoes

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Wagyu sirloin tip with fingerling potatoes, cippolini onions, olives and bone marrow vinaigrette

We also got a pig’s ear with crispy kale, pickled cherry peppers and a fried egg, a foie gras and membrillo smear, and a corn bread. It was a lot.

Friday

After the extravagant meat-filled Thursday night, I woke up Friday with lots of work/eating to do. I started my day cohosting a segment of Finnigan’s Finds at one of Chicago’s newest restaurant’s, RPM Steakhouse.

What you don’t see in that video is me taking a sip of the gin-absinthe martini at noon. That’s probably for the best. Then we ate some ramen at Ramen-san.

Kimchi and fried chicken ramen with buttered corn

Kimchi and fried chicken ramen with buttered corn

….and then there was dinner at Fulton Market Kitchen.

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Prime Angus steak with blue cheese glazed potatoes, bacon roasted green beans, and a red wine sauce

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Bay scallops and sweetbreads with crispy lemon, spiced tobiko, and truffled aioli

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Lamb with marinated cucumbers, spiced cauliflower purée, mint, garlic crumbs, and feta

This place was awesome.

Saturday

This was the day of the feast. This was the day of Food Network in Concert. As if I wasn’t already full enough, this day stuffed me to the brim and made me resent food for at least 4 hours. I wrote a more in depth recap of the day on Spoon University, but here’s a little overview of the day for you.

Yeah. We ate. A lot.

Food Network stars also talked to me about their favorite drunk foods! It was inspiring.

Here’s a little slideshow of the day incase you don’t think those videos sum it up:

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Throughout this trip I ate too much, Instagrammed way too much, and exercised way too little. If “work” (when I actually get paid, this term will not be in quotes) trips are always this fun, I want to work all the time, everyday, forever.

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