Pad Thai

When we moved to Chicago, I was a bit concerned for my waistline and our budget when we discovered a Thai restaurant a block from our home.  Dangerous.  Whenever we visit my parents in California, Pad Thai, Gang Dang and spring rolls await our arrival.  That’s how deep my love for Thai food runs.  However, while having perfected their curry dishes, our new neighborhood Thai restaurant continually serves an undesirable Pad Thai.  Very surprising given that Pad Thai is a staple in Thai cuisine.  It’s so unsatisfying that the last few times we’ve ordered Thai food we’ve done so without the pad thai, which is just absurd!  While in between meetings last week, my cousin and I ducked into Noodles & Company for a quick bite to eat.   It’s uncharacteristic of me to order a specific regional cuisine from a non-specific restaurant, but since my Pad Thai cravings have been left unsatisfied, tofu Pad Thai is what I quickly ordered with my cousin ordering the chicken Pad Thai.

And so, to date, the best Pad Thai I’ve had in Chicago was created in the kitchen at Noodles & Company.

tofu pad thaiphoto courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

tofu pad thai
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

chicken pad thaiphoto courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

chicken pad thai
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Have you had any recent restaurant disappointments?

-nah

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Cliff House

The Cliff House boasts a rich history replete with stories of resilience and strength.  It is that history as well as its beautiful scenery, amazing clam chowder and exquisite meals that led us to choose the Cliff House as our wedding location.  When the opportunity presents, we revisit to savor a delectable feast.  Our favorite restaurant in San Francisco . . .

What’s your favorite restaurant?

-nah

A Roman Dinner

Nestled in luscious greenery with the Colosseum a block away serving as a backdrop rests il ristorante Angelino Ai Fori.  We settled in to get a reprieve from the oppressive heat and savor another Roman meal accompanied with a Tuscan Chardonnay.

*click any image once for gallery of larger images*

What untraditional scenery have you enjoyed while savoring a meal?

-nah

Molly’s Cupcakes

If you ask any Chicagoan the best place to satisfy your sweet tooth with a cupcake, you will be quickly directed to Molly’s.  I was recently on a hunt for a delicious vegan cupcake.  Since we were already out and about, I didn’t research whether Molly’s made vegan cupcakes, but figured if any place in Chicago would, it would be Molly’s.  So north my friend and I headed to the Lincoln Park neighborhood.  We got off the red line two stops south of the closest stop to enjoy the sun on our cupcake adventure.  The wind swept down Clark Street nearly pushing us back towards the Loop, but with the sun beaming on our faces and cupcakes just ahead, we persevered.

When we finally arrived at Molly’s we quickly ascertained that we weren’t the only ones with a hankering for a cupcake.  The place was packed!  Not a problem, because their shop is such a quaint storefront that conjures thoughts of an old-time diner.  I’m also a sucker for the Trader Joe-esque signs placed next to each type of cupcake.  As I perused the old-school green chalkboard menu hanging over the cashier, my eyes were immediately drawn to the words, “Ask about our vegan cupcakes.”  *heavens part and angels sing*  So I did and decided upon a vegan chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.  Once we ordered our cupcakes, we found room at the countertop, sat on the swings (yes, swings!) and savored our cupcakes with the soundtrack of small chatter and laughter from the other patrons.

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

vegan chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

pumpkin spice cupcake
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
smartphone camera

What’s your go-to cupcake shop in the city in which you reside?

-nah

Farmers’ Market

Dear Farmers’ Market,

I love you.  Let me count the ways . . .

*click anywhere on gallery once for larger photos*

I can’t lie, these next 7 months are going to be difficult.  Maybe even unbearable.  I enjoy popping through and stocking up on fresh, local produce.  While we are apart from each other, I hope that the weather is kind to the farmers that when we meet again, you will be bountiful with tasty, ripe and nutritious treats.

Until spring,
-nah


Do you frequent farmers’ markets? Which one is your favorite?