Hello hello! Wooooooo-eeee. This month has been non-stop. All good stuff, but let’s just say I’ve upped my caffeine intake a bit 😅. I can’t wait to catch you up on everything though!
Starting with…. Part 2 of Chicago!
We woke up Father’s Day morning and drove to Kasama as soon as they opened. I had a feeling there might be a line given this Michelin starred Filipino pastry shop’s popularity. I underestimated just how popular this spot was! The line when we arrived (before they even opened) was all the way down the sidewalk (I’m guessing at least an hour wait). It was a warm and sunny morning, and there was no way Quinn was about to chill in that line for that long. We didn’t want to give up on this restaurant we had so been looking forward to trying, so we put an order in online for pickup. It was still going to be about a 45 minute wait. We found a McDonald’s parking lot, sat in the AC in the car and entertained Quinn with toys, books and some home videos to get us through the whole 45 mins.
Finally it was time!! *Said in the voice of Rafiki*. I picked up our order and couldn’t wait to dive in. It took everything in me not to peak in the box and nibble on them before we got back to the hotel. At least I had an iced matcha to tide me over.
Now for the GOODS! We started with their cardamom kouign amann. This is one of their most popular items. It was great, and I don’t even particularly enjoy the taste of cardamom, but DJ said this was his favorite of everything we had.
Next up- the black truffle croissant! Listen to this description: this croissant is “laminated with 82 percent European butter and filled with black truffle and Delice de Bourgogne cheese, topped
with honey and truffle oil and fresh shaved black truffle”. It was a true mouthful. I love anything truffle and my taste buds exploded with this. It is so rich in flavor, it was almost overwhelming! I wouldn’t say it’s the type of croissant you’d just want to sit and eat on its own- it’s a great thing to have a couple bites of though.
Alrighty. Time for the foils gras danish with blackberry-cherry jam, pistachio, almond, and foie gras ganache. Truly one of the most stunningly unique creations I have ever tried. It was delicious!!!
And we also grabbed a chocolate croissant for good measure.
To cut the sweetnesss, we also tried their breakfast sandwiches. I loved these. Perfection.
The one thing we didn’t try that we were hoping to was their staple Ube and Huckleberry pound cake since they ran out. I think we had our fill though 😄.
Overall thoughts: Incredible bakery. When it comes to individual items- still nothing tops the Koignn Amann from B. patisserie in San Francisco and nothing yet tops the croissant from Arsicault also in SF. I’d say the star for me was the foie gras danish or the sandwiches. DJ says for him it was the cardamom kouign amann.
After the spectacular taste testing (with no crumbs leftover), we headed out to explore the city more! We walked past Millenium Park again and then a few more blocks to Shedd Aquarium.
This was such a fun activity that DJ suggested!! Quinn enjoyed it very much. This aquarium was epic.
They even had a dolphin viewing area.
Here are Quinn and DJ looking at some Beluga whales. It took everything in me not to start singing Babyyyy Belugaaa.
We fed Quinn her lunch we brought along in one of the cafes they had. Then time for dessert! It was a scorcher of a day, so nothing sounded better than ice cream. Lucky for us, there was a Chicago favorite, Rainbow Cone, right outside the aquarium.
Rainbow cone is known for their Original 95-year-old classic Rainbow Cone stacked with five flavors (sliced not scooped): Orange Sherbet, Pistachio, Palmer House, Strawberry, and Chocolate.
While a fun concept, I played it a little safer (and less messy) with a half scoop of chocolate and half scoop of strawberry. Of course, Miss Ice Cream Queen helped herself to a few tastes. She had a death grip on the thing 😂.
We started the long haul back to the hotel, but the ice cream made it much more enjoyable! (Ghirardelli’s is better from a flavor and creaminess standpoint, but we had to try something so fun and local!). While we went to the food truck, they do have other shops around the city!
On our way back, we stopped to splash in the Face Fountains.
We all took a little afternoon siesta and then it was time for dinner! We had originally booked a hotel that had babysitting services offered, but they cancelled their contract before we had our trip. Originally, we were going to treat this dinner as a date night, but Quinnie joined us. When all was said and done, we were so glad the babysitting services fell through because we had such a ball with her (per usual) and she loved the food. What dish in particular? You may be shocked to find out- stay tuned!
The dinner spot, a Chicago favorite, was The Purple Pig. Side note- we had a hard time actually finding the restaurant, so if you do go, it’s inside a bigger building on Michigan Ave.
This restaurant has received Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand awards since 2011, so you know it must be good!
The menu is diverse and extensive, truly something for everyone. It was a tough decision! We started with a bold and delicious glass of Cabernet and the crispy pig’s ear with kale, pickled Cherry peppers and a fried egg. YUM!!!!!!! A must try!
Next up were the mushrooms three ways with pickled onions and a truffle and mushroom three ways. I loved this.
Then with the hopes that Quinn would nibble on this dish, I got the roasted baby squash with ricotta cheese, pesto, almonds and lemon. She didn’t care for it. It was definitely good, but the least impressive of everything we tried.
When she started fussing and all other toys/efforts failed, we set up Ms. Rachel very quietly so we could continue to enjoy our conversation. We joked that Ms. Rachel was our fill-in babysitter.
For his main dish, DJ had the pork belly with ginger glaze, carrot, espresso and frisee. This is the dish to get!!!! It was SPECTACULAR.
I had their squid ink pasta, because I have a hard time turning it down if I ever see it on a menu, but it was just ok. Definitely should have ordered the pork belly.
But you want to know who was all about the pasta (“it’s not about the pasta!”) (sorry can’t resist a VPR reference)- QUINN. This girl could not get enough. It was hilarious the way she shoveled that pasta down- I was quickly googling to make sure squid ink pasta was even safe for a toddler lol.
And of course we had to get a family pic to remember this Father’s Day, celebrating this absolutely amazing Dad. DJ is the most selfless man, he makes Quinn laugh more than anyone, brings the fun and goofiness to our home, has such a steady temper and never complains (I mean never, it’s kind of incredible). He sacrifices a lot of time and energy for us, which may not always be shown here, but I just have to take a minute to express my gratitude for the stellar Dad and partner he is in life and in this parenting journey! Quinn adores her Daddy! And she definitely said Dada before Mama 😆.
The next day we had to get up bright and early to hit the road. We quietly ate our room service breakfast near the door so we didn’t wake Quinn. I ordered salmon lox and DJ ordered some memorably tasty pancakes. Side note- it was tough to eat this quietly; there were a lot of dishes to accidentally “clink” lol.
When Quinn woke up, we shared some of the pancakes with her. She was all about em’!
Then it was time to hit the road! The ride back was much smoother than the ride over.
Questions for you:
– What are you watching/reading currently?
– Are you on any food kicks right now?