On the Road Eats: Chicago

Hotel: Sheraton Grand Chicago
Would I stay again?  Maybe.  The location was not too convenient to where my client meetings were but the room was clean, I was able to grab a quick breakfast and bottled waters in the lounge and my room had a good view of the river.

Restaurants:

Lunch: Frontera Grill
Would I dine again?
Yes.  I have walked by this restaurant so many times and always thought, I must eat here.  Well, after 10 years of traveling to Chicago I did and it was great.  It was a Tuesday so I ordered the pork milanesa lunch special – Crunchy-coated pork shoulder, roasted tomato-serrano sauce, black beans, pickled red onions served with an arugula salad. Delish!

Dinner: Portsmith
Would I dine again? No.  I was underwhelmed by my whole experience.  The restaurant was empty, my meal- shellfish risotto- was just ok and there are too many other spots to try in this city.

Lunch: Tanta Chicago
Would I dine again?
Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  My lunch was fabulous and I think it is because I was able to order a sampler and try various dishes.  Order the power lunch marino which includes criollo cebiche, calamari jaleita, and criollo rice and you will not be disappointed.

On the Road Eats: Kansas City

Hotel: Residence Inn Kansas City Downtown/Convention Center
Would I stay again? Yes. I was reserved at the joint Courtyard but they did not have any non-accessible king rooms left so they moved me “next door”.  I did go into the room and they were clean which was good to know for next time.  For me, the location was convenient and the Residence Inn gives you access to a nice lounge with breakfast or to use for a common area to work. I don’t love hotel breakfasts so I stopped in just for coffee. Room was clean and they upgraded me to a two bedroom which for one person checking in at 9pm wasn’t really an upgrade.

 

Restaurants:

Dinner: Le Fou Frog
Would I dine again? Yes.  My dinner was great. I loved that they had a whole second menu with specials and during cooler weather they had a great little outdoor section. We missed happy hour but the food specials looked good.

On the Road Eats: Kansas City

I have something to share with you.

The best part of work travel is eating local. And Kansas City is a great place to do so.

Rm 39
I started my Kansas City trip with a stop to Rm 39, a farm to table restaurant, for lunch. I had to meet some clients down in Overland Park, Kansas and there was a pocket of great restaurants on my way back towards Kansas City.  A quiet seat at the bar, I enjoyed a small hangar steak with the most wonderful crispy garlic fries. The team there was great and Jen made a recommendation for dinner. Of course, I followed her advice.

The Antler Room
I made a reservation at the bar. Solo diner. View of the kitchen if possible. The Antler Room was named by Bon Appétit as one of the best restaurants of 2017. I showed up during the last 30 minutes of happy hour with some wine specials. Jared, the bartender, made suggestions for my meal and they were all fabulous. Smoked hamachi tostada, Maltagliati with escargot and a final dish of Octopus with duck fat fried potatoes. Wow!

 

 

Parlor
For my final lunch I made a visit to the new food hall in the Crossroads district. Seven restaurants, 2 bars and a modern open seating concept. I chose Yaki-Ya and enjoyed an osaka-style Okonomiyaki, a savory pancake topped with all sorts of deliciousness including pork belly and fried egg.

 

 

Good thing I had to leave after lunch- I am going to be full for days!

 

 

On the Road Eats: Kansas City

I have something to share with you.

I have been to Kansas City so many times for work and almost always have a great food experience.  And there is one restaurant that will remain on my favorites list!

Oklahoma Joe’s
My favorite spot – I can visit the original location at a gas station, eat great barbeque and be in and out within 30 minutes.  Pulled pork and coleslaw on a sandwich – AWESOME!!!

Gram & Dun
It’s been a few years since I have been here but the food is always good, it’s an easy walk from the hotels on the plaza and they are on OpenTable.  After a crazy rain storm that forced allowed me to get some work done at the hotel, I walked to the restaurant with iPad in hand and got a high top table in the bar.  A glass of wine with the double cut breaded pork chop, creamed brussels sprouts with house-smoked bacon – my happy dance took place on the way home!

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Tavernonna
I admit, I didn’t love this restaurant but I think they had an off day.  I had the lunch special – salad and pasta (and added a meatball ).  The caesar salad needed to be chilled – it was as if they plated it and left it sitting on the line while they waited for the hot items.  As for the pasta, should have been cooked a minute or so longer to be perfect.  The flavors were good and I would return but there are too many other great spots to try.

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Residence Inn Kansas City Country Club Plaza
I stay here quite often IF I cannot get a room at The Raphael Hotel.  It’s super convenient to walk to many of my appointments and a block off the plaza.  It’s quiet and clean and they have a good amount of parking.  One night, Marriott points…all is good.