Thursday, March 19, 2009


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Yesterday, thanks to my darling selfless husband (who took a day off work and spent it at home with the children), my dear BYU roommate Jen (who flew in Monday for spring break) and I had a most perfect day.

What made it perfect, you ask? Well, for starters we drove up to Chicago, which meant a good five hours of wonderful conversation and general catching-up. Then there was the quick little jaunt through IKEA, wherein I picked up some goodies to perk up my bedroom. And the leisurely stroll through Woodfield Mall and all its glorious tempting stores (I was seriously tempted by the LEGO store, where you could just buy scoops of LEGOS from the bulk bins. Much to Neil's dismay, I resisted. Another time, perhaps).

And then...there was the food. Southport Grocery, to be precise, thanks to a recommendation on design*sponge. Any place whose website features a cheese box (loaded with artisanal cheeses, grapes, baguettes, and nuts) is my kind of restaurant--and it didn't disappoint. I loved that the design was just as lovely as the food--it only seats 24 people, so it has a very intimate feel, plus I loved everything--the deep chocolate and airy blue paint scheme, the pendant lights, the open kitchen, the battered wooden table near the front window, the adorable neighborhood.

And the food--oh my, the food. (want to salivate? browse the menu here.) We started off with a tasting platter of rich nutty hummus, the most delicious piping-hot pita bread I've ever eaten, and a liberal array of crudites. Then I ordered a club sandwich (turkey, Nueske bacon, lettuce, apple, avocado, and an apricot compote that added the perfect finishing note) on challah that came with a side of broccoli-peanut-sunflower seed salad. It was absolutely divine. Jen had a grilled turkey sandwich (flawlessly house-roasted turkey, Russian dressing, muenster cheese, caramelized onions and watercress) with a side of red potato mash (incidentally, the recipe for the mash is posted on their website). Also divine, which I can fully attest to since we switched the second halves of our sandwiches. I took a little menu pamphlet home so I can recreate things until I can visit again.

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Then we finished up with what the signboard outside the restaurant calls "The King of Cupcakes."

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Seriously. So. Good. European-style butter, Nielsen Massey pure vanilla extract, plus a swirl of the most delicious buttercream frosting I have ever eaten. I had to restrain myself from licking the wrapper. It was good, good, good, and I am not usually a cupcake person. I could have eaten about five more.

But our perfect day wasn't over yet--we visited our second Anthropologie of the day (cannot get enough of that store), then headed over to the Chicago Art Institute, where we said hello to all our favorites. One of my fond memories is of the summer right after our freshman year at BYU, when Jen flew out to visit me, and we took the train into Chicago and spent the entire day at the Art Institute (this time, we were smart enough not to wear four-inch heels).

And then we wandered over to Millennium Park, took the obligatory pictures at the bean, and drove home, after a quick stop for some Thai food.

A perfect day with nothing to mar it--the food was delicious, the Impressionist exhibit was reopened, everything (weather included) was lovely, and we did not get lost once (no small feat in Chicago). Perfect, perfect, perfect, plus that adorable husband o'mine had orange extract-flavored goodies waiting when we arrived home. I do love that man.

1 comment:

lanada said...

Such fun. Next time: Phoenix.

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