Category Archives: Chicago

Restaurant for Two: Burrito Beach

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Sarah, a PR contact, and I had lunch recently at Burrito Beach, a Chicago staple of 20 years. 

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Burrito Beach, with its 4 central locations, is the perfect antidote to a long work day. Whether its a lunch break or a meal you bring to the beach at 5pm, the restaurant offers delicious, made-to-order, Mexican-American fare.

Their new Beach Body Menu includes a Mexican Organic Quinoa Salad which we topped with grass-fed beef barbacoa. The beef was really flavorful and the grilled veggies added a great crunch to the sometimes-boring quinoa. Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Burrito Beach

Restaurant for Two: Lone Star BBQ Bar

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. My friend, Janelle, and I drove west to check out this new BBQ joint. 

In the far western Chicago neighborhood of Dunning sits a new barbecue restaurant called Lone Star BBQ Bar. Deemed one of the top safest neighborhoods in the city, Dunning is more Oak Park than downtown Chicago. Lone Star is beautifully renovated with wood panelling, a long bar and a large outdoor patio. It is a shining gem amongst the older, sagging nearby stores.

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Best of all, the quality and taste of the food meets the new appearance. Lone Star is known for their smoked meats which isn’t surprising seeing as their smoker was made in the heart of BBQ country: Texas. The menu is filled with every sort of smoked meat: baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, and hot links. Order the BBQ Sampler Platter to try a bit of all of this yumminess. Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Lone Star BBQ Bar

Restaurant for Two: Bella Bacinos

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Coworker and new friend, L’Oreal, and I rode the Italian train at Bella Bacinos! She’s a blogger, too, so she helped contribute to this post. 

Chicago is known for its Italian food…deep dish pizza and Little Italy, anyone?! So when L’Oreal and I went to Bella Bacinos, we had high expectations. Can the pizza be as good as the famous Lou Malnati’s? Will the pasta rival its competition? By the end of a seven course meal, we were officially stuffed, satisfied, and completely sure that this restaurant was delizioso!

Appetizers

Seasonal Bruschetta

“Love at first bite” is a real thing, especially when it comes to the seasonal bruschetta. This isn’t your basic bruschetta. With slices of prosciutto and balsamic drizzle, L’Oreal would have gladly eaten an entire plate of this delicious appetizer to herself, though she’d have to fight me for it.

IMG_6351 Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Bella Bacinos

Restaurant for Two: Nando’s PERi PERi

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Lucky for me, I was able to bring TWO friends to Nando’s. Thanks to my partners-in-crime, Kira and Janelle, for joining me!

Nando’s PERi PERi may have over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, but they’ve only just broken into the US market. After establishing a pretty strong presence in the D.C. area, they decided to make Chicago their next stop after receiving countless requests from Chicagoans.

On a trip to London, the students I traveled with convinced me that Nando’s was the place to be (apparently One Direction is in love with their food), so we made a special trek around the city in search of the official chicken of 1D, and boy were we glad we did! So, when I read that Nando’s was coming to Chicago, I was stoked. I went to their soft opening last year with friends and I was just as in love as when I’d gone in London. We tried a variety of dishes, each one more flavorful and yummy than the last.

Let’s start with the name: PERi PERi is a Portuguese/South African blend of Bird’s Eye chili, spices, herbs, garlic, and lemon. Nando’s marinates their chicken overnight and grills it made-to-order over an open flame. Whatever the secret is, PERi PERi chicken is moist and tender with spicy flavor. You can even choose the spice level of your sauce; from Extra Hot to Plain, there are six options, including my personal favorite – the sweet and tangy Lemon and Herb. Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Nando’s PERi PERi

Restaurant For Two: Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Thanks to my gal pal, Lindsay, for eating along with me at Luella’s Southern Kitchen!

After my trip to New Orleans last March, I’ve been hooked on Southern cooking. So when the chance to try Luella’s Southern Kitchen crossed my inbox, I was in! The menu changes for the seasons, but sticks to the traditional and creative interpretations of Southern favorites from Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Carolinas – think mac and cheese, catfish, and blackberry pie.

With an impressive resume under his belt, chef/owner Darnell Reed uses locally sourced ingredients to make classic fare with flare. Luella’s menu is made for sharing – like Southern U.S. tapas! Choose from appetizers, small plates, sandwiches, sides, and desserts to make a meal that the whole family or a group of your friends can all try. Continue reading Restaurant For Two: Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Fave 4 Chicago: Yoga Studios

In this new series, I’ll share my fave 4 lists of things to see, eat, and do in Chicago. Today, my holiest of hobbies: yoga!

I have been practicing yoga for nearly half of my life. My first class was my freshman year of college and I have been hooked ever since. I finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training in California, luxuriated at two yoga retreats (Cambodia and India), and taken countless classes in really cool spaces.

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My traveling mat in Cambodia

Now that I’ve been in Chicago for 3.5 years, I’ve tried out plenty of studios and wanted to shout the good word about my favorite four.

When choosing a yoga studio, there are a number of factors to consider:

  1. price
  2. location
  3. types of classes
  4. ability to try it out, take a free class
  5. instructors

Without further ado, my Fave 4 Chicago: Yoga Studios! Continue reading Fave 4 Chicago: Yoga Studios