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.

Food, lately.

I sometimes take for granted how glorious Chicago is. AKA – the yelp options are endless. Sometimes, I use it to my advantage too much, AKA eating out for all the meals. I need to figure out some kinda balance!

This is kind of a jumble of random food pics on my phone from the last week or so. Some homemade, some store bought. Balance, eh?

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Sushi buffet… one of many many plates. Some say they have a dessert stomach (I have one too), but I think sushi stomach should be a thing too.
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When you’re 47, this is how you candle
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Momma’s birthday. My brother was home from college too. It was great to have the whole family together, even if it was just for a few hours.
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Stuffed acorn squash and cauliflower mash
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Cherries and PB. New favorite!
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Ribs, beets and roasted veg. So simple, so yum.
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THERE ARE NO WORDS. Dimo’s Pizza, I love you.
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So funny story, Mr. Jet got a slice of their special of the month (it had brain and gizzards and such) to go, and I wanted to stop at a donut shop on our way home. He decided to eat his pizza there, and this lady runs in and asks him if they sell pizza here too. Her face was very disappointed when we said no
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Furious Spoon
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Octopus balls at Furious Spoon. So. Yum.
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Also… if you go to their website, and sign up for e-mails, you get 25% off your meal. #collegebudgettips
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Wormhole Coffee. Their lattes are the bestest. Go there and get the peanut butter coopa troopa (SP?). Also snag a cool sticker. 
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And this. Because cramps come with cravings ❤

 

Qsine

None of these will be in order of how we actually ate, but I want to document the memorable ones now before they’re too far gone in my memory.

On our honeymoon, one of the things we were looking forward to the most was our dinner at Qsine – a eclectic restaurant aboard the ship.

After a less than spectacular dinner at the French restaurant (Murano), we both were a little skeptical about Qsine. We were wrong. Qsine lived up to our expectations and more.

When we entered the restaurant, we were immediately impressed by the decor. On our table, there were buckets of forks and spoons.

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Soon after being seated, our waiter gave us the menus, which were on iPads. He explained the restaurant as a tapas place for an around the world experience. The waiter told us to pick 4-5 dishes to start with. Alas, out of the 22 available, we selected about 20. The waiter came back, and told us we should rethink this decision, and we did.

Before the tapas came out, we got African bread to start. It was delicious, and when you bit into it, you realized that oil had been baked in, in a way that we had never had before. On top of that, it was garlic-y!

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Though it would have been easy to eat all the bread, we knew better and had a piece each.

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Soon, our first course came out, which were sushi lollipops. The ones that are bright orange were coated in Doritos!

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(GLAMOUR SHOT)

These were delicious. The black rice and Dorito ones were probably our favorites.

Next came out the dish I had been looking forward to the most, the mediterranean suitcase.

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This photo doesn’t do it justice, but this was fantastic! It was a ‘suitcase,’ with 12 little dishes of Mediterranean food. In the bottom row, there was lamb, which was fantastic. It came with a little side of pita bread. This was a lot of fun to mix and match things. Unfortunately for me, this filled me up, but I ventured forward.

 

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Next up were spring rolls. You can’t really tell by the photo, but they were served in springs! These were good, but not amazing.

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Filet mignon was next ,

Next up was our favorite – tacos. I didn’t expect much from them at first, because a taco is a taco is a taco, right? But they were mind blowingly good. The shell was fried and crispy, but soft too. The meat was fantastic, and it came with make your own guacamole.

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At this point, we’re stuffed. Absolutely stuffed. And we have one course left before dessert. For this course, we ventured back home for cheeseburger sliders. The meat was excellent, and so were the fries and buns, but we were so full, that we only had a fraction of it.

Next came dessert. Our waiter came back with rubix cubes of sorts for us.

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Inside, were six choices for dessert. The Mr. ordered the tombstone, and I ordered the surprise. I unfortunately don’t have a photo of my dessert (that isn’t half eaten), which was a flan of sorts or his, which was a chocolate cake with rice krispies on the bottom. I liked the tombstone better.

 

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Overall, I was super satisfied with our meal at Qsine and I think Mr. Jet was too! My only regret was that we didn’t try all the other delicious food, but so is life!

Life, Currently.

Graduation is just around the corner. Like just down that block there, and to the left and I couldn’t be more excited along with a million other fantastic feelings. I picked up my cap and gown last week and I just couldn’t believe that. It feels like just yesterday I was graduating high school, with my fish in tow. I’m currently on the hunt for a larger fish. Cause college is bigger than high school. Watch out for the fish I’ll be toting for my grad school graduation! IMG_6479[throwback to this photo… my mother was not too pleased with me]

In other news:

  • Israel/New York trip is happening in 49 days (!!!!!!!) and I can’t stop yelping ALL the food in New York. My brother is going with me and he has graciously given me trip planning duties. Fun fact: I LOVE itineraries. Like to the minute. I want to know which subway we will get on and yada yada yada. Type A problems.
  • IMG_6559Home buying is coming along, slowly but shortly. We’re waiting for big news today about it, which could be a huge deciding factor on where we live. We took a walk along the 606, the Chicago version of the High Line, and walked through some gorgeous neighborhoods that I’ve been daydreaming about since.
  • My research project is quickly coming to a close, which I could not be more excited about. If I could go back in time… I would do things so much differently but all I can do is apply that to my future now eh? The research convention is next week, and my poster is due Friday. AH!
  • On a side note… I scheduled my contact appointment for AFTER I ran out of contacts, so I’ve had to wear glasses all week, for the first time since elementary school. It is terrible. I can’t drink anything hot or go to the gym without having a fog storm. HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT?!?!?!

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So that’s where I’m at in life, chugging along. 

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