On the Road Eats: Chicago

I have something to share with you.

I travel for work.  Lucky for me I am usually able to do a quick one night visit to most cities since I work with a small number of clients in each metro area.  I can very easily fly into Kansas City, Chicago, St. Louis or various other cities, do a couple visits, spend the night, do a few more visits and then fly home.  Yes, it means an early morning at the airport but it means I may get to kiss my daughter goodnight the next evening.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I love to eat and exploring the local dining scene makes work travel much more enjoyable.  I don’t visit national chains but opt to check out the more local spots that are getting great reviews.  OpenTable, Eater, Chowhound and the local magazine for that city are great resources for finding a great spot.

I was in Chicago recently, one of my favorite cities to visit and had a few great meals.

Nico Osteria:
Sometimes it is nicer when someone else orders and so I can explore new foods rather than my tried and true favorites.  My client did all the ordering so we each began with a glass of wine, one white, one red, started the meal with a hamachi crudo, shared the branzino as our main and ended with the Nico Torte.  The restaurant is great for a dinner with friends, with a partner/spouse or even a client.  I definitely enjoyed my meal and will be back!

Little Goat:
I have been to Girl and the Goat and loved it.  So I thought while I was in town, I would stop by Little Goat for a drink and a quick bite.  It is a bar, coffee shop, bakery and diner all in one.  If I had more time, I would have ordered more but I was off to the airport to make it home in time for my daughter’s bedtime.  We tried the Crisp Shrimp ‘”Cocktail” which is somen noodle wrapped shrimp served with cocktail sauce and lettuce cups.  Delicious!

Catch 35:
I needed to grab a quick lunch before a client visit and my hotel recommended Catch 35.  I sat at the bar and was given a special bar menu which was half price due to it being Agency Day.  Bowl of bisque and a lobster roll for under $15 – great way to stay within per diem.

The Wit:
Love this hotel!  It is a Doubletree(part of Hilton), the rooms and suites are all very modern and the location is fantastic.  Also, as a gold elite, I enjoy a complimentary breakfast at the restaurant State and Lake(my favorite perk as a gold member).  They have a rooftop lounge where you can end your evening and the hotel staff always provide great service.

Have any other recommendations for me when I return to Chicago?


I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for….

I have something to share with you!

I’m a working mom and I travel for my job a few times a month.  In order to make work travel a bit more enjoyable, I explore the local restaurant scene.  With a five year old, the main dishes on our kitchen table are chicken, pasta and pizza.  I do experiment a bit and some nights it’s like being at a restaurant where my husband and I have one meal and my daughter has another(usually cheese tortellini with grated cheese).  But when I am on the road, I like to EAT!

Before a trip, you will find me on OpenTable, Chowhound, Eater, Epicurious and numerous other food blogs and websites.  Checking out the newspaper and magazine for the city is a great place to see restaurant reviews.  I don’t have to go to the fanciest restaurant in town(although sometimes they do have the best happy hour) but I always avoid the larger national chains.  And for me, dessert is a very important meal!

Do you like Ice Cream?  I have been to some great ice cream shops.  An article in one of the food magazines caught my eye one day that listed the must try ice cream shops and a few were in cities that I travel to for work.  SO, how could I not stop by for a visit.

Let me tell you about Jeni’s………if I am headed to Ohio, I make a stop each day of my trip to get Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.  It is amazing.  I can eat it on a hot summer day or in the middle of a blizzard.  I just get this happy feeling.  But they have other amazing flavors too.  Brambleberry Crisp, Salty Caramel, Seasonal flavors like Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows.


They now sell Jeni’s at Whole Foods in Texas but only a limited selection of flavors.  But I cannot get the Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet so I guess I will be headed up to Columbus before the end of the year!