Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Star-Studded Week!

First, I want to thank everyone for their comments on my last post!  You all really made me feel better, I truly love you!

I am now down 55 pounds and officially 5 pounds from the elusive 199!  I am still nervous, but very excited!


Catherine had posted a comment asking me if I track my progress so that I can go back and look to see if there are any patterns.  Well, I do and all the information is located on the right hand side of my page under the label "Progress Information".  If you click on the links you will be brought to my documents that I use to track my progress.  I could not live without these, they keep me in line.  If you are new to this and don't track, you really should - it is actually rewarding once you start seeing the numbers and charts showing your success!


Okay, now onto the amazing week I just had...


Dan and I have have avoided partaking in NYC Restaurant Week because we feel like you won't get the same experience as you would if you went and paid full price.  We are true foodies and don't mind paying for a great meal.  With RW you have a three course Prix Fixe menu for $35.00 pp, which often offers "safe" dishes.  Meaning dishes that pretty much everyone will like, so it can be limited.  However, in an effort to be be open minded Dan surprised me with reservations to Butter.  I was a little disappointed that this is the place he picked because I am not too crazy about the chef, Alex Guarnaschelli, she kinda gets on my nerves.  Plus I have heard very mixed reviews about Butter.   
The only reservation they had available was for 5:30 Monday night - yikes so early!  We got there around 5 and had a couple of drinks at the bar.  As I was coming out of the restroom I saw the chef preparing her staff for dinner service - that's how early we were!  Then, when I went back upstairs to finish my drink she came out of the bar area and patted us on our shoulders and said "You guys are our first Restaurant Week guests, welcome!  I feel like I should throw some confetti!"  I thought that was nice of her to stop and acknowledge us. Once we were seated for dinner my worries were put to ease.  I am here to tell you that the food and the experience were really good!  We will definitely go back again and experience the full menu offerings. 


Then Thursday night we flew out to Chicago.  I was going there for work and we decided to make it a little mini vacation and go together.  Both of us have been there many times for work, but never together.  I go out ever year for a conference and never get to actually see the city, so this was a great opportunity, plus work paid for my flight and two days of our hotel and food.  Can't beat it!  We had a great time, what a beautiful place...


We did the Chicago Architectural River Tour the first day...





Then we went to XOCO, a Rick Bayless restaurant.  You may recognize him from Top Chef Masters last year, but we know him from his show Mexico, One Plate At A Time.  We have been watching that for years so when we saw him Top Chef we were really happy!  Anyway, this restaurant, one out of three, serves authentic Mexican Street Food - So Good!  Dan was lucky enough to run into Rick!  It is so awesome to actually see the chefs in their restaurants!

I didn't take this pic, I just googled the sandwich and this was all I could find.  It is the Milanesa sandwich, which was crispy chicken from a local farm, black beans, artisan Jack cheese, pickled jalapeños and tomatillo-avocado salsa.  Unfortunately I had to skip the salsa as avocados and my stomach haven't been playing nice over the past few years.  Dan had some and said it was awesome though!  I ate the crispy end pieces of the bread because I was nervous I would get stuck.  It was quite interesting to eat the inside without any utensils!  Needless to say, it was a little messy, but oh, so good!


We sat at the tables outside.  The place is jam packed, in fact while you are waiting in line they offer you drinks.  Of course Dan and I accepted their offer and had two beers each before we got to eat!



The next day we went on a tandem bike ride along the lake, so awesome!  It was a little difficult to start and go on the bike - you really have to communicate with each other!  Our little ride took us to the Buckingham Fountain, which is the one in the beginning of Married With Children!




While we were walking around the city there were all of these streets blocked off because they are filming Transformers 3!  We got to see some of the sets...


On Sunday I ran into Nicko McBrain, the drummer of Iron Maiden, at our hotel.  Now many of you probably don't care - however I know that Band-Babe might get a kick out of it!  They were staying at our hotel for a couple of days while they were doing a show in Chicago.  Dan is a huge fan of them, and he was golfing at the time and was so mad when I told him!  That night we went down to the lobby and saw Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer - Dan was very start struck!  Bruce was running to the car so we didn't get a picture, however a few minutes later Nicko came out of the elevator.  Dan was like a little kid, he would not approach him, so I did and got this picture!


Our last night there we went the Cubs/Astros game at Wrigley Field.  Neither of us like either teams, but this was a Networking Event for my conference...


Dan went golfing the last day with the Director of International Sales for our company who works out of his home office in the suburbs of Chicago.  They had a great time, but I had an even better time going to Frontera Grill, yup you guessed it, another Rick Bayless restaurant!  This is a tradition that some of us have every year for the conference.  On the last day we usually wrap up around 12 and then head over for lunch!  So good!

This is the Sopa Azteca, like tortilla soup.  The presentation is amazing, they bring you out a bowl with a pile of tender pulled chicken, cheese and perfectly crispy tortilla strips.  On the side of the bowl is one lime and a few slices of avocado, again I had to opt out on the avocado, boo!  Then they come and pour fresh broth over it and you stir it all together and dig in - amazing!


Then I "forgot" that my belly is very limited in space and ordered the Enchiladas de Mole Poblano, which is homemade tortillas rolled around chicken from the local farm and covered in his famous mole sauce.  It was incredible, but way too big!  I managed to get half of a tortilla down and then just pulled all of the goodies out of the remaining tortillas and ate a little of that, soaking it up in the mole!  Yummy!



Wow, that was a lot of stuff!  Sorry if I bored you, I hope you are still reading!

That's it for now!

15 comments:

Kristen said...

AHHH i love the photo montage! Can you guess which my favorite picture was? Of course the one with you in the sox hat! So freakinc cute!! It sounds like you had an amazing time, thanks for sharing all the food porn lol.

Carmen said...

<3 maiden!!! my bf would be so jealous if he saw those pics!
you a sox fan & hubby a yanks fan? must be interesting! GO YANKS!! ;-)

Darlin1 said...

Wow sounds like you had a great time. I love tasting little bits of everything.

Thanks for the tour!

Jen said...

Great pics!!!! Love Love Love Frontera Grill!!! It was not far from where we lived when we were in Chicago and we went there quite a bit!!! I sat next to Rick Bayless years ago on a flight and was so intrigued b/c he was writing down menus!!
I'm jealous of you in Chicago!! I miss it and wish I was going soon!!!
YOu look fantastic! So Excited for you to hit Onederland!!!

Linda said...

OMG - we are related! I am planning my whole BOOBS trip around going to Frontera Grill and getting Soupa Azteca. I dream about it and their margaritas. We've gone to Topolombo (Rick Bayless' more upscale restaurant) too and it's even more fabulous(and you can get the soup there). You guys should try to go next time.
Sounds like you had a great week!

Bianca J said...

Looks and sounds like you had a great time. Congrats on 55 pounds down!

Gen said...

Wow exciting! I want those mole enchiladas!!!!! Frontera Grill for BOOBS!

Tina said...

I love Rick Bayless-We watch that show all the time. Now I am even more sad that I cannot go to boobs.

Tina

Bonnie said...

OMG - not bored at all. Sounds like so much fun. My husband worked the AT&T National Golf tournament a few weeks ago and saw Bon Jovi - was actually right beside him. He wasn't quite as starstruck as I would've been.

Angie said...

So fun and SO YUM! I love that we all still love and enjoy food so much with our bands - maybe more now because we eat more consciously. Love ya colls! xoxox

Kerri said...

Love all the pics, good post! Glad you enjoyed Chicago. I want to do the architectural tour someday.

LJ said...

I'm know Australia has some great food but we have nothing compared to the Mexcian food you can get in the States, nothing comes even a tiny bit close.

We were in the States this time last year and ate as much Mexican as we could fit in, and now all we can just dream of it, look at your pictures and get jealous.

DB said...

Love the pics! Sounds like you had an awesome time. Congrats on the loss!!!

carla said...

Awesome pics and it looks liek you had an amazign week!!! Look forward to seeing you on Sunday :-)

Nella said...

Love all the photos! It sounds like you guys had a FAB time! Me love me some Mexican food. We have fam in Chicago so hopefully we can visit soon and you know where I will be! Cheers to a great one!