Flushing food tour, Chicago and much more!
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Wednesday, 13th of February, Suzy (who I met at Madiba's) and I went to an event called "How to prepare a Mexican Feast" at the Brooklyn Brewery. Matt and I were supposed to go but as he was in Detroit it became a girls’ night out. There was a taco, salsa and sweets demonstration station. The taco demonstration was not wildly exciting, but the salsa demo was good with lots of taste testing
The Saturday before Matt’s birthday I took him on a surprise Chinese food tour of Flushing. It took over an hour to get there on the train so we had worked up a fair appetite by the time we arrived! There were only four of us; including Joe our tour guide! Andrea is a food writer and she was doing some research. We started the tour at the New World Mall food court where we had some Szechuan spicy beef tongue first up – very yummy. Next we had dumplings “with wings” from Li Lanzhou’s Hand-stretched Noodles – also delicious. After that we had a mango egg custard from New Flushing Bakery. By pure co-incidence there was a Chinese New Year parade on too. It made it a bit harder to get around and it was very busy everywhere but it was cool to see some of the floats and dragons.
Our next stop was the Soy Bean Chen Flower Shop – a flower shop with a small stall that sells fresh soft tofu. I’ve never had tofu like this before. Warm and like custard with spicy shrimp sauce on top. Really delicious. They also have a sweet version with ginger topping instead. Next we walked to the Assi Plaza – a huge Korean supermarket with an amazing range of chillies, dried fish of all descriptions, kimchi, meat, fruit and vegetables – anything you could want! We stopped at a stall inside and had some Korean dumplings filled with kimchi and pork. We also had some fried seaweed which was initially not very nice but became strangely addictive…
Next we headed to Flushing Mall where we saw some more dragons before heading to Diverse Dim Sum for some crab-and-pork soup dumplings
All that eating made us quite tired and we ended up starting the journey home. We made a brief stop in Manhattan and looked at a really cool gallery/ artist before deciding we couldn’t be bothered, picked up Lulu from day care and had a lazy rest of the afternoon.
On Sunday, after heading to the gym to make room for some more eating, we went and saw “The Impossible” movie about the tsunami in Thailand. It was set in the same town where I volunteered a few years ago and reminded me of some of the people I met and their incredible stories of survival. After the movie I took Matt to “Mighty Quinns” for some extended birthday celebration ribs. Matt (and I) love ribs, but from what we’ve heard and tasted we might need to go to the South to taste some really good ones.
Monday was a public holiday so we went out for a local brunch
On Tuesday night we organised a girl’s movie night out. Suzy, Haylay, another girl who’s name I can’t remember and I saw “Safe Haven” by the same author as “The Notebook”. A good chick flick but not as good as The Notebook. Marina joined us for some chocolate inspired cocktails at Max Brenner’s beforehand, but as she had flown in that morning from a weekend away she skipped the movie. All in all it was a great night out!
Matt arrived back from Detroit late on Thursday night. Luckily he was able to work from home on Friday which made it easier to co-ordinate and get to the airport for our trip to Chicago.
We arrived at Lindsay and Dan’s around 7:30pm (Chicago’s an hour behind NY) and had a yummy seafood dinner with the biggest scallops I’ve ever seen
After a quick stop we walked to “Too much light makes the baby go blind” to watch a presentation by “Neofuturists” (http://neofuturists.org/toomuchlight/). It’s hard to explain exactly what it is but basically the show runs for an hour. There are 30 plays/skits that can possibly be performed. Every audience member has a “menu” with the play numbers and names. The show starts when the buzzer is set and the audience yells out the number of the play they want to see. The number is plucked from a line hanging above the “stage”
The next morning, feeling a bit seedy and tired we decided to head for Giordano’s to try some authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza. Lindsay had typed up some suggestions for us, so we took the taxi along Lake Shore Drive which runs along Lake Michigan. The shoreline was frozen and it was too cold and windy to get out and walk along it. Some souls were still brave or crazy enough to be jogging along it though... Unfortunately Giordano’s wasn’t open yet so we had brunch at “Rosebud on Rush” which also seemed to be quite well-known as there were lots of photos of famous people on the walls. I had white chocolate raspberry French toast with challah bread – really yummy. Huge US style servings too.
After that we walked along Michigan Avenue which has lots of beautiful buildings like the Wrigley Building, Trump Tower and Chicago Tribune Building which has pieces of famous places in the facade of building
We walked to the theatre district and saw some pretty cool sculptures along the way. We were starting to fade and thought that it might be time to try the pizza at Giordano’s. Unfortunately there was a long waiting list, but sitting inside for 45 minutes wasn’t too bad! We didn’t really like the pizza – deep-dish with a sickening amount of cheese and another layer of dough on top. But it was one of those things we just had to try at least once. We headed back to Lindsay’s around 4 as she was having a party that night
Luckily it was a low-key party involving eating, drinking and talking. I couldn’t do much eating after the pizza and was very envious of the baby sleeping in her little carrier. We felt bad that we were so exhausted, but luckily most people didn’t head out for the karaoke afterwards so we could pass out guilt-free.
The next morning our Frank Lloyd Wright tour got cancelled but luckily we found out that you could do the same tours by going there and signing up. We did the interior tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s house first and then we did a walking tour in the neighbourhood as he had designed many of his neighbours’ houses for them. It was a beautiful, sunny yet cold day so perfect for the tour. It was really interesting to see the houses and to find out more about the man I remember learning about in high school! We also loved the other houses in Oak Park – just beautiful!
After the tour we headed back to get our bags and made our way back to the airport. We were hoping to get an earlier flight – and did; only to get delayed for 1.5 hours anyway! We still left half-an-hour earlier than our initial flight so I suppose that was something! Poor Matt had to head back to Detroit again this morning. I don’t think we’ll be planning much for this coming weekend!