One of the things I miss about living in the city is the sheer choice of what to eat when. French food Friday night, a chicago-style hot dog (somehow, I doubt it was Vienna Beef, tho’) for lunch on Saturday, then a quick CTA trip uptown for a bowl of noodle goodness at Penny’s Noodle Shop in Wrigleyville for dinner before braving the crowds at Northalstead Market Days – the longest street fair in the Midwest. Loud music, (mostly) polite crowds, nice weather. I had totally planned on ordering the Lad Nar – stir fried broccoli, carrots and ginger in a light gravy served over crispy pan fried wide rice noodles chicken – other noodle shops make it, but Penny’s is the best. HOWEVER. Sitting on a street side table under an awning; the Thai Iced Coffee oh, so refreshing; I changed plans and opted for the Thai Ravioli – homemade shrimp & pork dumplings served with BBQ pork, lettuce, green onions, cilantro and ground peanuts. It wasn’t a spicy dish, but the addition of some of Penny’s garlic pepper sauce took care of that. mmmmmm. I was not disappointed.
Rich enjoyed a red curry chicken (all my talk of experimenting last week got to him), and our friends Bob and Don had Spicy Basil and Hot Pepper Noodles. All was good. A good time was had by all at Market Days. Freshly full from dinner, we resisted temptation in the form of funnel cakes, corn dogs, barbecued ribs, chocolate dipped strawberries on a skewer and so much more, and the slightly overcast evening made for a less sticky crowd experience, always a good thing – tho’ some bars’ sangria was far better than others – the last one I had was red wine poured over fruit in the glass. Literal, I guess, but not inspired.
We headed back to our Loop digs in the early evening to share some of Brasserie Jo’s justly famous chocolate mousse with Bob and Don before they had to brave the crowds on Metra to head home (this is also Lollapalooza weekend here in the city).
Now it’s a hot, slightly sticky and overcast Sunday morning, and our thoughts have turned to brunch, specifically at a new (to us) place – Flatwater. We’d thought about our old downtown standby Bin 36 (great corned beef hash – which is one of my guideposts to judging a breakfast) – but are choosing to experiment.