One of the things I love best about Milwaukee is how close it is to Chicago—just a hop, skip and a train ride away. I visited twice in the past week to see my friend’s improv show, go to the Christkindlmarket and scope out as many used bookstores as possible. Good food and good times were had. Here’s the highlight reel…
Willy Wonka! So wise. I spotted him on the side of a candy shop in Andersonville. A friend said I should do some Christmas shopping there on Clark Street, which had the perfect mix of antique stores and artsy boutiques. Not to mention the Middle East Bakery & Grocery, where I got super cheap Turkish figs, tandoori chicken spice and assorted baklava (demolished in a day’s time).
Food is so beautiful. Especially the brunch I had at GT Fish & Oyster. This bowl of shrimp and grits was creamy and delightful, but the chilaquiles with duck confit were the real winner—sorry, the grits were just more photogenic. And this caramel-toffee monkey bread was BANANAS.
Excuse me while I drool some more…
I went to Open Books in the West Loop on Saturday, then went back on Wednesday because I loved it so much. First off, the used prices there are so reasonable—and there was a sale when I visited, so I scored two hardcovers for $8. Even better, the store’s a nonprofit that supports literacy efforts in schools. I snapped this pic because I’m still convinced there’s a Berenstain Bears conspiracy. It’ll always be spelled “Berenstein” in my heart.
After the bookstore I dragged my friends to the downtown Christkindlmarket to ogle shiny German-made ornaments and sip some glühwein, AKA mulled wine.
It tastes better if it comes in a souvenir mini boot mug, obviously.
Last stop: Ramen! I’m all about that pork belly and broth, especially in wintertime. I’ve also been under the weather this week, so this warm dish from Arami was the ultimate comfort food. I sipped, I slurped, and I left Chicago a very smitten kitten.
YOUR TURN: Where are your favorite spots in Chicago? Got any ramen recommendations?