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Thanks amoncada, jazspin, ray thomas, masha, nycchitown, jbw, toniacita, nsxtasy and jamtart

Colin | Jun 6, 200801:45 PM

Remember - UK Couple need help with dinner, brunch & bars?

Just got back after 5 fantastic days in Chicago and thought I'd give you all a quick report and offer my thanks for helping to make our trip so memorable

Saturday - arrive late and ate (outside) at Pizzeria Due. Atmosphere and service were great. As predicted by others the Sausage and Cheese Deep Dish was fine but didn't knock me out and we needed quite a few beers to wash down the very hefty crust!

Sunday Morning - Original Pancake House. Outside again - how cosmopolitan! Had the massive Apple Pancake yummy and Keeley had equally massive Omlette. Very Nice

Sunday Night - Few drinks at Old Town Pub and then dinner at Salpicon. Service and atmosphere were great - the place was packed. To start I had Tamalitos which were fine although a little stodgy, Keeley had Tostaditas de Tinga which were delicious.

For main I had Chuleta de Puerco en Manchamanteles (Grilled Brookfield Farms double-cut pork chop in an earthy Oaxacan chile ancho mole garnished with grilled pineapple, sweet potato and plantains; served with white rice) which was good although I think would had been nicer if the chops where thinner

Keeley had Pollo en Mole Poblano (Miller's Farm free-range chicken breasts charcoal-grilled and topped with a classic Pueblan mole; Mexican rice) which again was really nice if not a little too spicy for comfort (and we're used to spicy food being bought up in Birmingham the home of the indian curry)

Monday ate at the Blackbird - again great atmosphere.

I had Cheese Plate with roast beets and rhubarb to start followed by braised organic pork belly with grilled spot prawn, boiled peanuts, sugarsnap peas, cornbread and gumbo consomme

Keeley had charcuterie plate of mole country pate and smoked eel rillette, with green almonds, cucumber, haricots verts and sesame brittle followed by grimaud farms smoked duck breast with braised parsley, marinated white asparagus and graham cracker crumbs

For dessert we had milk chocolate cremeux with coconut-curry ice cream, cashews and lime and also sweet pea sponge with licorice-marscarpone, bacon and carrot sorbet (thats right! curry ice cream and bacon ice cream). The chocolate dessert was fab, the other ok but more of a novelty item.

Much Champagne was drunk to celebrate my birthday

I spoke to the chef to compliment him on the meal - what a really nice guy. I hope the success of the Blackbird continues ,,, they deserve it

In a bizarre coincidence we we're sat next to two (Michelin-starred) chefs on a visit to Chicago from our home town - the coincidence reached epic proportions when we discovered that Keeley went to school with the wife of one of them, their children went to the same school as our niece and nephew and that one lived within 100 yards of Keeley's parents - this called for a(nother) drink and we all retired to O'Callaghans bar (W Hubbard St) for more drinks and eventually stumbled home in the very early hours...a top night!

Tuesday ate breakfast at the Bongo Room...very trendy and funky (our waitress a very lovely and gentle girl called "Peach" was wearing two different shoes to emphasis how treny this place is) - Keeley had the Vegetarian Croissant (Cheesy and Spinachy), I watched my waistline with Berry-Banana Cheesecake Pancakes. Both breakfasts were tasty and massive.

Tuesday night we tried to get a table at Frontera but were faced with a 2 hour wait so instead went to Harry Carays (which I understand is a little bit touristy??) on the recommendation of our newly found chef friends who had had a steak there on their first night. The food was absolutely fantastic...really. Not sophisticated but great. Keeley had Chicken Vesuvio and I had Chicken Parmagiana. we followed with Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan pie...again brilliant. Much Champagne was again drunk. We also had a great waitress who was a real foodie and knew ever restaurant in the city. We met up with our chef freinds in O'Callaghans again for a nightcap or three (They had just come back from Charlie Trotter's who they thought was amazing)

Wednesday - Had Stuffed crust pizza at Giordano's. Brilliant (much nicer than Pizzeria Due)

Apparently our home city, Birmingham is "sister cities" with Chicago...we're very proud to be associated with such a great city. All in all a fantastic trip - Brilliant City, Great food and above all amazingly friendly people. Thanks so much for your help in making our trip great.

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