Every mother – no matter how much you love your little peeps – needs a break:
And when Mr MIP asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I immediately asked him if we could go downtown and hang out. My wonderful in-laws took the peeps and my wonderful mom took the animal peep and we had a whole 24 hour vacation!
We took the South Shore Line into Chicago -ate at the Cheesecake Factory (without getting cheesecake!) at the bottom of the John Hancock Building. Stayed overnight at a nice Doubletree off of Michigan Avenue. I even….get this…spent an hour by myself at the Borders on Michigan Ave. BY MYSELF. It was dreamy.
But! The main reason I wanted to go downtown was to eat at my celebrichef crush’s restaurant. His name is Rick Bayless and he won the Top Chef Masters and I (and others) were impressed by his great leadership and his great character that came through even on the show. He owns three restaurants downtown: Topolobampo, Frontera Grill and XOCO. We ate at Topolobampo and loved it. Seriously one of the top ten meals of my life. Mr MIP even liked it! If you want more info on the restaurants, visit their site. Frontera Grill is in the same building as Topolobampo and would be just as great (Topo is a little bit quieter and “fancier” in decor and atmosphere.) The outside isn’t very pretty – but, trust me, the atmosphere inside is great. I had the Pollito “Ahogada”: pan-roasted Gunthorp heritage-breed rock hen with tomato arbol chile broth. Toasted Labriola artisanal bolillo, organic black beans, oregano-scented pickled white onion, arugula salad. Yum. Really. Yum! And the guacamole and chips were the best we’ve ever had.