Hola, Chicago

29 Oct

So a few years back, I helped my best buddy pack up and move to a bigger and better place – Chicago. Her roots. She will always be a southern belle, but she still has that Yankee twang. And we hit the road for 16 hours.

Icicles!! On a mountain side! I had about 22 pictures on my camera that she took. It just isn’t something we see in the south. And damn did it get chilly. Cold in the south is anything under 50. And here we are, bracing Chicago in January. And after getting lost and being way freaked out in the industrial area of Indianapolis, we made it.

One reason we are such awesome buds is cause like me, she likes to eat. And she will try anything once. Being half Chinese, dim sum is a treat. Like the Japanese have sushi and Caucasians have brunch, we have dim sum. Dumplings every way possible. Served table side on carts. We just point and say, “Two please.” And in Savannah, we no longer have any Chinese restaurants that have dim sum. So sad. So whenever we hit a big city, Chinatown is a must. And every turn is a place with fresh dim sum. So our first stop in Chicago, Chinatown!


We were starving. We found the biggest restaurant there. It was 3 stories. And nothing but big tables and about a thousand carts full of awesomeness. And in minutes our table was full of it all.

And we ventured out. She wanted to try chicken feet. And I am surprised that my dad has never made me try it. I’ve even downed a tiny piece of that 100 year old egg thing. A little vomit just crept up as I reminisce. So, chicken feet. We figured dousing it with hot sauce would make it go down easier. And it kind of did. But really it was like eating steamed fat. The cartilage stayed. I don’t get the whole concept of chicken feet. You are paying for nothing really. It reminds me of sucking the head of a crawfish. Which I don’t do. Gross. But I do eat that little bit of meat in the tail. This doesn’t have that little piece of meat. It is just sucking on literally a foot. Weird.

Her face says it all. We will stick to the pork dumplings and shrimp dumplings and steamed dumplings and fried dumplings. Yum. So, adios Chinatown. And chicken feet.


So her brother told us about a bar that isn’t really advertised. There isn’t a sign or anything out front. And it’s lit solely from candles. We were intrigued and found a cab driver who knew where to take us. He dropped us off in Wicker Park at these doorsteps. The Violet Hour. Intriguing name, yes?

Our senses heightened a bit as we walked through those doors. Darkness. And then through layers of velvet curtains, into a tastefully decorated lounge with a bar. Candles. Everywhere. All along the bar. All along the walls. All on the tables. Cool.

And the drink menu is definitely for liquor connoisseurs. I had to read the menu ten times before just telling the bartender what I liked and didn’t like. And this is what we got.

I couldn’t tell you what it was. But It isn’t something I would order again. Yet it was drinkable. The drink menu isn’t your typical selection. Which fits the Violet Hour. Cell phones aren’t allowed either. So this is a good place to go for a first date or just to catch up with an old pal. Nothing is more irritating than sitting and watching someone text the whole night. Touché Violet Hour. Definitely a venturous place to check out if you’re looking for something a little different.

We stopped at Avec next for a quick, good ole bottle of wine. And who did we see and not meet cause we are too chicken (No feet here)?? Rick Bayless!!!

And to call it a night, we sat waiting for the train at the station. Sipping a brew and eating our leftover dim sum. Perfect.

And then we got yelled at by security for sitting in the middle of the floor. Till next time Chicago


One Response to “Hola, Chicago”

  1. ouryellowdogblog October 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Oh WOW!!!!!!!!!! Look at those old pics!! i remember when we saw small specs of snow fall from the sky when we were driving and said to each other, “what the hell is that?!” And our snow-woman were one of a kind!! The Velvet Hour was so awesome. A Saloon right out of an old western! And I have the bestest bud for venturing the trip with me!! Next time I wont make you try chicken feet. We’ll move on to something as equally adventurous, but somewhat edible…like duck pate!!!

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