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Travel

A Weekend in Chicago

Homemade Pickles, Mrs. Murphy and Son's Irish Bistro, Chicago | Love in a Suitcase

We spent this past weekend in Chicago. We had a wedding to attend on Saturday, so we decided to make a whole weekend of it and spend as  much time with friends as we could while they were in town. On Thursday night, we stayed with my friend Kathryn in Wrigleyville. Her and her fiancee took us to Mrs. Murphy and Son’s Irish Bistro for a  late dinner and drinks (none for me, obviously).

The restaurant itself was pretty dead, but I’m guessing that was due to the weather – it was probably the first hot day all year – so no one wanted to sit inside. We didn’t mind though. In fact, I was pretty happy to sit in some air conditioning after melting from the sun in the car for 6 hours. (Yes, it took us 6 hours to get to Chicago when it should really only take 3).

Regardless of the weather, the food was great. We all shared a homemade pickle plate for an appetizer, which had pickled brussels sprouts, onions, cucumbers and mushrooms on it. Marc opted for the burger, and I got the shepherd’s pie. The burger was amazing – extra greasy and served on a pretzel bun – and my shepherd’s pie was huge and perfectly savory. I’m not sure I loved the flavor of the lamb, but my tastebuds may be slightly off at the moment, so I can’t say it was bad. Either way, the meal as a whole was fantastic.

Shepherd's Pie, Mrs. Murphy and Son's Irish Bistro, Chicago | Love in a Suitcase

After dinner, we went back to Kathryn’s apartment and hung out on the rooftop for a bit. It was a beautiful night, even though the wind was a little out of control.

Chicago Skyline | Love in a Suitcase

In the morning, we checked into our hotel. We booked on Hotwire with the hopes of saving some money and still being close to the wedding activities. We got The Allerton Hotel. It’s located right on Michigan Avenue, and it’s a really cool, old hotel. The rooms were a little small and WiFi wasn’t free, but the room was clean and the hotel staff was really friendly. Overall, I think for the price, we were pretty lucky considering the location and quality of the hotel. I’d definitely stay there again – if the room rate was relatively the same – and I’d definitely book through Hotwire again (we chose a 4 star option just to be safe).

After check-in, we immediately went in search of food due to the fact that I was absolutely starving. It was a little early though, and most lunch places weren’t open yet. So we killed some time by stopping in a few stores before grabbing lunch at Grand Lux Cafe. The restaurant is actually a chain, but there aren’t many locations. I ate at the one in Scottsdale with my mom a few years ago, but I think that location has since closed. It reminds me a lot of The Cheesecake Factory with its enormous menu and similar decor. Anyway, our lunch was just okay, so there isn’t much to say about it.

The Allerton Hotel, Chicago | Love in a Suitcase

After lunch, we stopped at Eataly. My mom’s been talking about this place for months now, so I figured if we were that close I had to stop by. I don’t even know how to describe it though. It’s a two level complex that’s part grocery store, part cafeteria, part housewares, part bookstore, etc. It’s all centered around food, and it was definitely fun to walk around and look at all the stuff. I really want to go back with my mom, but since she wasn’t there this time, I picked her up some candies to add to her Mother’s Day gift.

The we shopped around for a quick second and went back to the hotel to take a nap. We really ended up watching a movie, but it was nice to just relax for a bit, since we knew we were going to be out late. We spent the night catching up with lots of old friends – people who were in town for the wedding – and we had a great time.

Chicago Tulips | Love in a Suitcase

Chicago Building | Love in a Suitcase

In the morning, we walked to meet some friends of brunch. We went to Hash House a Go Go – it was recommended by our friends and it had great reviews online. Apparently, they serve brunch all day, everyday, and they have a bloody mary menu. It was so hard to decide what to get. I ended up going with the pumpkin flapjack, which ended up being one giant pancake. Seriously, this thing was bigger than my head.

Pumpkin Flapjack, Hash House a Go Go, Chicago | Love in a Suitcase

Marc ordered the chorizo hash. A hash is apparently the same as a scramble, except the eggs are done separately so you can have them anyway you want. All of the food was pretty over the top presentation-wise. It was pretty fun to see the giant stacks of chicken and waffles and huge sprigs of rosemary sticking out of everything.

Chorizo Hash, Hash House a Go Go, Chicago | Love in a SuitcaseVintage Chicago Mailbox | Love in a Suitcase

The wedding was later that evening at a beautiful venue. The ceremony was so sweet, and the bride looked unbelievably amazing. Her dress was so, so beautiful – all lace, which always looks so romantic. The reception was so much fun – the food was really great, the decor was gorgeous and everyone had a fabulous time. Of course, I was pretty tired so I cut out a little early and went back to the hotel, but I was pretty bummed that I didn’t feel up to staying.

Wedding Table

After checking out of our hotel, we stopped for a quick lunch at a restaurant nearby – Elephant & Castle. The food was just okay, but it was close and not very expensive, so I can’t complain. We were really ready to get home, so we didn’t sit for too long, and luckily there wasn’t much traffic on the way back to Green Bay. We were home in about 3 hours – just in time for Mother’s Day dinner.

Lunch | Love in a Suitcase

Where else can we go together?

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