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Yearly Eats

January 19, 2013

When I first started hanging out with my main squeeze he said something that stopped me dead in my tracks.

“I don’t like when people take pictures of food. It bothers me.”

… You should have seen how he played that one off.

This is the same boy, who, *I think* asked me out on a date solely because he discovered my blog first.

As kind of a joke (because I’m hilarious and this defines my sense of humor), I took pictures of every single thing we ate during daylight since then… Sadly, “then” is only since I got an iPhone in September and got access to Instagram… But then I posted it on my blog and talked about it because I know everyone cares so much about it.

But don’t worry, this food is kind of exciting!

Agua. Barcelona, Spain. This restaurant literally changed my life. Tony and I stumbled across it drunkenly in Barcelona and went absolutely crazy. I’m talking mixing béarnaise sauce and a red wine reduction sauce for my fries… It was borderline gross how fast we inhaled the food. But what really did me in was the mussels… These mussels were OUTSTANDING. Steamed with a creamy, buttery, and herb sauce. I was a girl obsessed. So I went back the next day to eat more. Below… Paella and the outstanding mussels.

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Al’s Deli. Evanston, IL. The best French-style sandwiches one can find in the state of Illinois… at least in Evanston. Also, their macarons? Better than the ones I had in France. For real.

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Amy’s Ice Cream. Austin, TX. Texas Dirt Cake Ice Cream; Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream with Oreos. For real.

Avec. Chicago, IL. Avec’s iconic bacon-wrapped, chorizo stuffed, Medjool dates (pictured) are a crowd favorite, but my personal favorite on the menu is the wood-fired squid with san marzano tomatoes, guanciale, fideo and fennel aioli paired with their freshly baked in-house bread. Communal seating, Mediterranean inspired small and large plates, and comfortable ambiance. Don’t forget to check out their wide selection of wines too!

Bulldog’s Grill. Wauconda, IL. As far as food goes in Wauconda, IL there’s not too much to write home about… except this place… annnndd they serve custom-made milkshakes with a ton of whipped cream. Malted Cookie Dough Milkshake, FTW!

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Café Bohème. Cannes, France. Quite possibly the most delightful little cafe we stumbled across in Cannes, France. I dream about this French Onion Soup and Escalope Milanaise on a regular basis.

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Cafe del Gelato. Bandols, France. I know gelato originated in Italy but the best gelato I had during my travels was in the cute little beach town of Bandols, France. Ferrero Rochero, Burnt Butter-Caramel, and Tiramisu Gelato.

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Cantina Laredo. Chicago, IL. Located in the River North district of Chicago, their Pomegranate Margaritas, Fish Tacos, and Barbacoa anything are sensational… and I’m pretty picky in regards to Mexican food.

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The Cellar. Evanston, IL. My favorite restaurant in Evanston. Coincidentally the same restaurant Tony and I had our first date. This place has better Stuffed Dates than Avec. Yeah, I said it. But they don’t photograph as pretty as these delicious Micro Burgers with Shoe String Fries (make sure to order them with Blue Cheese) and the Crème Brûlée Sampler.

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Chicago Cut Steakhouse. Chicago, IL. What is more fancy than wine lists on iPads? Nothing. This is by far the best steakhouse I’ve ever been to and although I love their steaks, I want to rave about their Tuna Tartare and Tomato-Burrata Salad. Don’t discredit the non-red meat stuff at a steakhouse. Oh, and their Mac and Cheese is up there.

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Dairy Queen. The U.S.A. Do NOT underestimate the simplicity of a Chocolate Dipped Cone. It might just very well be the perfect combination of ice cream, chocolate, and crunch. All I could ever ask for in a dessert.

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Dallas Love Airport. Dallas, TX. Yes, I count airport drinks as “September Eats…” Thank you very much. I only like Bloody Mary’s for the olives and salt.

Dock’s Bar and Grill. Wauconda, IL. It was over 100 degrees and I asked for the girliest drink they had… They have me a Margarita-Pina Colada. I didn’t hate it.

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Driskill. Austin, TX. It’s a dark-lit restaurant and the flash was a must. Tony, my sister, Rachel, her boyfriend, KC, and myself went here. It is up there as the Top 5 Best Meals I’ve ever had… I could go on for days about the butter they serve! We all ordered the Five Course “Farm to Table” menu and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Elegant Southern Cooking… And oh my god, just sample everything because it is absolutely amazing. Except their digestive liqueur at the end… I could go without that.

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Fearing’s Restaurant. Dallas, TX. Tony and I failed to get BBQ while we were in Texas. Stupid. I know. But, we did go to Fearing’s Restaurant of the Dallas Ritz Carlton for some upscale BBQ, if you will! Pictured below is a Tomato-Heirloom Salad, with Creamy Basil Dressing, Blue Cheese-Pecan Balls, Aged Balsamic Reduction, and Crispy Onion Rings, Almond French Toast Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise, Tropical Fruit Pico de Gallo, Cajeta and Sugarcane Glazed Ham Steak, and a Texas Peach Dump Cake with Blueberry Creme Fraiche Ice Cream.

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Foodstuffs. Evanston, IL. literally bought a $25 chopping knife so I could recreate these chopped salads. I probably went to this little Evanston gem 3x a week when I was still in school.

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Forever Yogurt. Chicago, IL. This is your pretty standard self-serve frozen yogurt place… I just liked my nails that day.

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Fraiche Cafe. Evanston, IL. This was mine and Tony’s go-to Sunday brunch in Evanston. The have a fabulous seasonal menu that is always serving great dishes like Buckwheat Pancakes with Dried Apricots, Poached Pears and Lemongrass Crème Fraîche or Blueberry Waffles and Fried Chicken…. But this is just a regular Vanilla Latte with a cute little heart!

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Homer’s Ice Cream. Evanston, IL. When it comes to ice cream, I always order something with chocolate, but one taste-tester of the seasonal Fresh Peach Ice Cream from Homer’s Ice Cream had me sold. It’s the perfect end-of-summer flavor; creamy, refreshing, and light.

In’N’Out. California. We got this on a road trip to Tahoe… We were starving and I made everyone wait until the last possible opportunity to stop to eat. It is still the best In’N’Out I have ever tasted.

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Jean-Luc Pelé Cannes, France. This might have been the prettiest bakery I’ve ever stepped foor in. Not necessarily for the decor, but for the hand-crafted delicate chocolates, cookies, tarts, etc. Unfortunately, we had just consumed a croissant, eclair, and strawberry tart prior to stumbling into this bakery so we only went home with a box of cookies– but the flavor choices were phenomenal! Rose Water, Champagne, Spéculoos, Creme Brulee, and Burnt Salted Caramel to name a few… This gallery doesn’t even do it justice.

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Kuma’s Corner. Chicago, IL. Every burger is served on top of a soft pretzel bun and it just soaks in all those delicious meat juices and fat. Delicious. Just look at the menu. And prepare to wait in line.

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Noyes Street Cafe. Evanston, IL. Where I was introduced to Eggs Benedict and was made aware that Hollandaise Sauce is NOT made of mayonaise. Nope, not even close. Time to recreate my own with a special twist.

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Nozumi Sushi. Barrington, IL. I eat a lot of sushi but this Blushing Geisha roll was unreal. Spicy Tuna, Jalapeno, Tempura, Crunch Avocado, Spicy Mayo, Mamenori, and Unagi Sauce. Uhhhhh, yeah.

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Salt and Pepper Diner. Chicago, IL. If you’re looking for a place to grub after a Cubs game, this place is it. First of all, it offers tater tots, which is reason enough to love it, but they also serve the Ultimate Cheesy Burger. You will feel amazing the following morning.

Tacodeli. Austin, TX. I am very particular about Mexican food… I typically compare everything to the infamous La Vic’s in San Jose, CA but these tacos… These tacos were sensational. The freshness, the options, the flavors! If you are ever in Austin you MUST go. It’s inexpensive and it’s delightful. Also, look at all of the employees… I’ve never gone to any food establishment where all the employees are ECSTATIC about working there. Must be something in the tacos they serve…

Whole Foods World Headquarters. Austin, IL. Yes, I eat sushi from Whole Foods on a daily basis but this was an amazing experience. Austin is home of the Whole Foods World Headquarters, which includes a wine bar, walk-in beer refrigerator, pasta bar, seafood bar, sushi bar, BBQ stand, sandwich bar, salad bar, hot salad bar, taco bar, and pizza bar– to name a few. I got sushi… surprise.

Wow Bao. Chicago, IL. I am not a huge fan of Asian food… Hence why this is the only slightly Asian food on this list with the exception of sushi… But I could chow down on six of these baos any day.

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And that’s a wrap! If you are from the Chicago area or any other area with amazing food and you feel like there’s something I MUST try.. DO TELL. And then post a picture on my Facebook Page and we can have our very own Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!!! Happy Feasting.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2013 11:20 am

    YUM! You have had a seriously delicious year. Come visit me in Alabama and you can take pictures of some of the most amazing food in Huntsville!

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