Food Day Funday: Lakeview Edition

I’ll admit… I’ve been mopey lately. Why? Because I have three weeks off… I know, I know. That is the worst reason to be mopey, but so be it.

Thankfully, my husband is very considerate and kind and patient with my moods lately, and this Sunday, when he found me moping in bed at 1pm, he suggested we go to the city (which I LOVE) and eat food (which I LOVE). Poke to be exact (AAAAAH SO MUCH LOVE).

So we drove down to the city, with the rules that 1) I drive, and 2) he picks music. So as we drove to the city, listening to Kanye West’s best album (Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), we plotted our attack on food and came up with that day’s hashtag (#fooddayfunday).

Our first stop was Aloha Poke Co. Coming from Hawaii, poke is a food that I crave quite regularly. It’s a bowl of rice, with sashimi grade fish (usually ahi tuna) and lots of topping. My fondest memory of it is getting it at the grocery stores and eating it at the beach. Poke has become pretty trendy in Chicago over the last few months, so I was excited to try it and see if it lived up to my childhood expectations.

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We decided to share a kahuna size bowl. We went with the marinated ahi poke, with brown rice. We chose 808 style (with everything on it). IT WAS REALLY GOOD… considering we got poke in Chicago. It was definitely different from the poke I grew up with, but a good replacement. It could have used more fish, and the marinade that the fish was in could have been stronger, but overall, it was a solid poke bowl!

Next, we decided to walk over to Jenni’s Ice Cream (AKA the most incredible ice cream in all of the lands). Along the way, we passed Cassava, a paleo restaurant that serves empanadas made with cassava flour. I had been there a few months ago, and remember it being great, but the hubby hadn’t so we stopped in for an empanada and a few cheese breads.

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We had ordered three different cheesebreads (bacon, original, and BBQ I believe), but they gave us just one flavor. A bit disappointed by that, but they were still good. We got the pulled pork empanada, which was great. We have been buying these cassava breads at Costco, and thought that in all honesty, those were better. The ones at Cassava were a bit too chewy for our taste. It’s a great option for eating out while paleo though!

We continued on our food tour, and wound up at Jenni’s. As always, it was busy, which is good, because there about 500 flavor options, and I am as indecisive as it gets! I wound up getting a trio, and the hubby got a cone.

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Pictured above – the darkest chocolate (99% cacao ya’ll), churro (cinnamon ice cream with churro pieces – kind of disappointing), and BISCUIT AND JAM. Guys, go get this flavor. It was amazing. UGH. The husband’s cone was whiskey and peans, which was good, but not the best.

We pressed on, and found ourselves at a new to me coffeeshop, Cafe Tola. The design of the store was so quirky and cute, that we had to stop in. Outside, they had a patio of chairs with a spray painted pink fence, which was great for people watching.

I ordered a small americano, which was strong and lovely. The hubby got a large iced coconut coffee, which had such an interesting flavor. We expected it to be overly coconutty, but it wasn’t!  We also got two empanadas (ricotta and spinach, and beans). The crust was great, but the filling was a bit bland. This coffeeshop was fantastic though, and I’ll definitely stop by again!

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To end our Food Day Funday, we made a stop by Dimo’s Pizza. Along the way there, we walked by Wrigley Field. A Cub’s game was about to start, and the energy out there was so much fun to be around.

We got to Dimo’s and ordered a slice of mac and cheese & a slice of margarita. The mac and cheese definitely stole the show.

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With our stomachs full, we decided to call it a day, and drove back home. Overall, we had such a lovely day in the city. Lakeview is such a fun area to walk around, and the food spots are fantastic. Kudos to the husband for helping me to not be mopey all day as well 😉

Feeling 22

As of this weekend, I am officially into my 5th year of adulthood, or as my husband kindly said, a super senior of being a grown up.

This weekend was wonderful. The best birthday I’ve ever had. Celebrating birthdays as I’ve gotten older have gotten different, in the most beautiful of ways.

My birthday was full of cake(s), steak and quality time with the hubby.

We went to lunch at Fogo de Chao, which we had looked forward to for some time now. Earlier this year, we tried out Texas de Brazil during restaurant week, and had heard that Fogo was better.

The food was pretty good! Nothing exceptional, but great steak, and good sides. The cheese bread stole the show (as I had predicted).

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We went to go see a movie, Bad Moms. It was surprisingly good for the terrible title name.

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Hubs, sporting a trendy neck pillow and my purse. 

After the movie, we went to the Cheesecake Factory. Cheesecake is my weak spot, and I try my hardest to save it for special occasions. On this occasion, I got three slices and I have zero regrets.

Up first… the Kalua cheesecake.

This was everyone else’s favorite, but my least favorite. I thought I would love it, based on my love for coffee liquor. It tasted quite tart to me.

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Next up, is the mango key lime cheesecake. This was AMAZING. The crust had coconut. The mango was incredible.

 

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Last, was the ultimate red velvet cheesecake. I LOVE red velvet. I also LOVE cheesecake. So this was clearly my favorite, and also, everyones least favorite. Maybe I just have strange taste buds.

 

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So that was my birthday. Lots of cake, and lots of food. We also stopped at Naf Naf because they’re fries are everything.

Now comes the cheesy part…

Going to the Cheesecake Factory, and ordering cheesecake. That was a personal victory for myself. I remember on my 16th birthday, my friends took me there. They knew cheesecake was my favorite. I primed myself all day. “Jeanette, it’s your birthday. This happens once a year. You can eat the cake.” I couldn’t. I just couldn’t do it. I ordered the low carb cheesecake (AKA BLANDVILLE) and had one bite. One bite. I cried in the bathroom that night.

The next year, my seventeenth birthday, my parents bought me a cheesecake from Costco. I don’t know if you know, but Costco is THE place for cake. They’re rich, and decadent, and everything cake should be. I couldn’t bring myself to eat it. I didn’t even make it to the bathroom, I cried at the table. My dad spent the rest of that day driving around with me trying to find a cake I would eat.

Looking back on my previous birthdays, I can’t help but to think. I am beyond elated that I am past that period of my life now. I am so happy that I can have my cheesecake, and eat it too, sans tears. I am so happy that I’m learning balance, slowly but surely. I know that I have bad days, but I also know that as the years go on, the good days begin to outnumber them. I am so thankful for that.

Cheers to year 22 on this beautiful planet. Cheers to cheesecake.

Kids Say the Darnest Things

I haven’t posted in a while, and life has changed in a million ways.

Since the last time…

  • I took an amazing trip to Israel with my brother13422429_10153731857360017_7206828911368831057_o.jpg
  • And then extended it to a few days in New York13443042_10153731586435017_7524114076919009994_o.jpg
  • I started teaching (woah what????)13713440_10153813729385017_1516904633_n.jpg

Transitioning from my very lax college schedule to grown up life has been interesting. The work is long and hard, but so so worth it.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the job is the things the kids say… they’re quite the little comedians.

For example:

One class was reading a book on civil rights. The question was “Do you think civil rights is still an issue?” The answer from a kid – “No, because Trump is still here.”

I easily pass for Hispanic. One of my students asked me “Mrs. M, do you speak Spanish?” I told her no. She looked very surprised. A minute later… she hesitantly asked “So… what ARE you?” I asked her what she is. Her answer? A proud American.

It’s such an amazing experience to teach. I’m extremely excited for the fall to come, to be able to have a classroom and the months in the year to get to know these kids, and hopefully, impact them in one way or another.

So that’s life lately…

Peace,

Jet Plane Eats

 

 

 

The end of that chapter

I’m officially done with my undergrad.

THAT’S SO WEIRD TO SAY. I have an alma-mater now. #grown

This past week has been a whirlwind, and I’m just now realizing it’s over. So here’s a disorganized summary of the happenings:

I decorated my cap!

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Okay, real talk – my best friend did while I sat and ate this beauty. (Topper’s Pizza – half chicken ranch, half mac and cheese). We thought we were going to finish it all – we failed.

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Then I graduated!

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And ate my weight in dim sum…

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And had one last Joy Yee smoothie run…

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(Blackout and Avocado Red Bean)

We also moved out, but there are no photos of that. It wasn’t very pretty 😉

And now I’m here, writing this post out. Summer has officially begun and I’m so excited for what it has in store!

 

Sushi Sai and Literacy

Chicago had yet another beautiful weekend in terms of weather, and we took advantage.

Saturday was a very much needed relaxed day. A lazy breakfast was made, and shopping for the week was done.

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His and hers breakfasts. His: omelette with Kerrygold cheese, bell peppers, green onions and zucchini. Hers: Irish oats with PB and berries

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A book store in the Loop was a very a sidewalk sale, and we decided to check it out. They had some interesting books, but I held out for next weekend, when their sister store was having a similar sale. I may be too picky about books I read. Mr. Jet found two good deals though, and we learned that the had better prices than Amazon, so plus-plus!

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“They give it you in a clear bag so everyone will know you’re literate” – Mr. Jet

After exploring that store, we debated food options for that night. It came down to making s’mores outside and sushi. We went with sushi, and found a place nearby that had AYCE, which we have apparently become pros at.

The place was called Sushi Sai, and was in the Loop. I was not expecting the quality to be very great considering the location, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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We beat our old record of 11 rolls, eating 12 this time. It is the second time Mr. Jet has been warned by the waitress that he has to pay if he doesn’t finish, and he was triumphant again. This spot was far better than last week’s adventure, but still did not live up to our favorite sushi joint so far (Sushi Grove). The rice was pretty good, though I thought they could have been wrapped better. Appetizer selection was smaller, but what they did have was very good. (6.5 stars from both of us).

We stopped in for our bubble tea fix before heading home to watch Europa Report, which was a space movie about astronauts that went to Jupiter. It was decent (6.5 stars from both of us – we take our movie reviews very seriously, like our sushi ratings).

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Coffee banana for me, and avocado green tea for Mr. Jet

Sunday was an early morning, as we had appointments to see houses all day. The first one we saw gave us butterflies, and the rest were very mediocre. We came to some conclusions for ourselves about what we were looking for, and overall, we saw it as a learning experience, not time wasted.

After walking a bunch that day, and not having gotten much sleep the night before, we decided that burritos, fried chicken and too many desserts was the route to go.

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His and hers breakfasts. His: omelette with Kerrygold cheese, bell peppers, green onions and zucchini. Hers: Irish oats with PB and berries

This was eaten while watching Cougars, Inc. (1 star for both of us – definitely do not recommend) (PPS – apparently we were both feeling similarly all weekend on reviews). We binge watched a few episodes of Louis (which I highly recommend), and called it a night. More lessons were learned – ie. we don’t need to buy our weight in sweets to be satisfied.

Overall, we had a really good weekend, and so begins the last week of undergrad (WHAT!?!?!).

Volcano Sushi

This weekend was amazing in Chicago. It was in the 70’s, with low wind and no clouds! We took advantage of this, especially on Sunday.

Navy Pier was having a cultural event every Sunday, and this Sunday was India. We decided to take a walk there to check it out. The lakefront trail was gorgeous that day! When we got to Navy Pier, we discovered that the event was pretty lackluster, and decided to head back. By the time we got home, we were both burnt, but happily so.

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For dinner, we decided to go to an AYCE sushi place nearby.  I had heard some pretty negative reviews about the place, but the pictures seemed decent enough, and it was only a ten minute walk so we put on our nicest of matching sweats (we are that couple) and went.

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The outside sign

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When we got there, there was a board outside that had all their signature rolls, and they looked fun! Unfortunately, they were not available on the AYCE menu. We sat down, and began to order. This place had a limit of 3 rolls and 5 pieces of sushi per person, per order. They had the typical appetizers as well as 3 chef’s specials rolls listed.

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For our first round, we ordered a few pieces of sushi, some seaweed salad, cucumber salad and katsu don (bread crumb coated chicken). For rolls, we got the chefs special #3, the ichiban roll (shrimp tempura, apple, unagi sauce, spicy mayo and mango sauce), the rock and roll (octopus, salmon, cream cheese, jalapenos, deep fried), and the futo maki roll (crab, oshinko, shitaki, avocado, tomago and cucumber).

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The food was okay. The katsu came with more rice than I thought was necessary, and the sauce did not taste right. The rolls were pretty good, though the fish didn’t seem as fresh as it could have been.

We ordered our second round shortly after. We had an order of tempura (rice flour breaded vegetables and shrimp), as well as the golden nugget (salmon, cream cheese, avocado, cucumer, deep fried), the red dragon (spicy tuna and crunchy inside, tuna, avocoado and spicy mayo), the oshinko (Japanese pickle), tuna avocado and the tekka roll (tuna).

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This round was okay as well. I liked the tempura here better than our usual spot, but Mr. Jet just thought it was different. The rolls were pretty good.

We ate this, and wanted to order our third round, but the server came over to tell us the kitchen was closed. It was 9:18 and they closed at 9:30. We thought it was a bit rude that they didn’t warn us that the kitchen was closing for last call orders, but so is life. We paid our bill and left to get bubble teas, as we hadn’t stuffed ourselves silly (what a strange phrase).

Overall, we thought that Volcano was a decent sushi place. The price was the same per person as the one we usually go to in the suburbs ($20), but the quality was lacking. The rolls seemed more “fun” but we think that they just get away with using lower quality fish because everything is fried – and EVERYTHING tastes at least okay fried. The service was very eh.

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We went in and decided we should stray away from our usual flavors, and tried new ones. I got the green tea ice cream freeze, and Mr. Jet got blueberry banana with crystal freeze. Both were great! We drank these while watching the last 3 episodes of Ascension (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and went to bed. It was a great weekend overall, with great weather, and lack luster sushi, but sushi none the less. (:

 

 

Eat all the foods!

This weekend, we took a trip out to the suburbs to see our families (and to sleep in a bigger bed).

Needless to say, much food was enjoyed. We were planning on returning to the city on Monday morning, but decided to extend our stay a bit, and eat ALL the foods. It was such a fun date day!

We woke up that morning and decided to get breakfast at a little cafe chain in the North suburbs called Egg Harbor. I had fond memories of going there as a high-schooler when our school would have late arrival days, but I hadn’t been there since. When we got there, we contemplated food for a while (real talk – it was really just me, because I can NEVER pick between sweet and savory at restaurants). Finally, I decided on a skillet combo with chorizo and mushrooms and a side of banana bread french toast (!!!) and Mr. Jet got the corned beef skillet.

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Mine
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His
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Can we just take a second and acknowledge how adorable their mugs are?!

After this, we went to the grocery store to pick up supplies for that night’s dessert adventure (AKA SMORES AND FONDUE), and stumbled upon this gem.

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You know the word “craft” is over when Mountain Dew is using it. Has anyone else seen this?! 

My mom then came over for a girl’s date, and we ended up… getting more food, clearly. We went to Target and walked around for a bit, then went to get Korean BBQ. I had never gone to a place like this before, but essentially, you get a plate of raw meat, with all kinds of delicious fixings and lettuce, and grill the meat on your table! It was a really good deal for what we got, and we even got a bowl of bimbimbap and a plate of seafood pancakes (SALIVATE) with it!

Needless to say, I was stuffed. I went back to hang out with Mr. Jet more, and we looked over a bunch of properties we’re considering. (SIDE NOTE – we’re buying a house for the first time, and I have become very enamored with home renovation shows. Also, I spend too much time browsing the TJ Maxx home decor section).

We took a long walk around the neighborhood, and enjoyed the clean air and warmth that we’d been lacking over the winter, then decided to head out to our dinner destination – AYCE sushi!

Last time we were there, my husband’s brother was there too and they tried to beat each other’s sushi eating capabilities. This time, my husband tried to beat his own, and we ended up downing 11 rolls of sushi, and a bunch of apps. It was so good, but he had to roll me to our next destination of the night, which was bowling!

I’d never been before and I had wanted to for a while, so tonight was the night! I soon discovered I am terrible at bowling. It was a good time though! They played outrageous music videos in the background, and Mr. Jet and I think we have found our newest source of entertainment 😉

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Yung Jea did not do so hot. Also… check out my MPH (3.0) WHAT WHAT

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We then headed home to set up a bonfire in the backyard and roast some marshmallows for s’mores (also a first for me – I don’t know what I did with my childhood).

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I still smell like this. 
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Bonus: I ended the night with a fifth of each donut, and a glass of milk. So. Good. 

And that was our day/night. It was so nice to relax and eat great foods, and spend time with my husband and mom. Now back to the real world. T-minus 3 weeks to graduation and I CANT WAIT.