The dogs love summering in Illinois and now that I have a functional vehicle we decided it was high time they get a vacation away from their hard life of snoozing and standing at open doors deciding if they want to go in our out.
After the long car ride filled beagle antics we finally got to the city late and went to Handlebar for some nachos and fried pickles to share and I got the buffalo po’boy.
I think the garlic mashed potatoes were my favorite part, The next day after discussing where to brunch FOREVER I finally said the words “Chicago Diner” enough times to make it happen. Once I got there I was a like a vegan at the Chicago Diner and my sister kept telling me to calm down. We went to the new location in Logan Square and I was thrilled by the new digs, plus it was easy to get to and no wait!
The first thing I did was order a shamrock shake because HEAVEN!
Then I tried to decide if we needed poutine and wings. I am glad we got both cause they were so freaking good. The wings at the Chicago Diner are the best I’ve ever had, everyone loved them.
It was my first time trying poutine and I was so excited that I just took a blurry picture that I will only link too and dug right in. Your imagination will be enough anyway, french fries, cheese sauce, gravy, and bacon will either sound disgustingly awful or disgustingly awesome depending on where you fall on the spectrum but I loved it! When I found out a food truck in Austin called Potato.A just just opened I even wrote them and asked for a vegan version so we can have it all the time. It turns out they are super nice and are going to look into it! Poutine for everyone! I think I had a chicken sandwich too but I couldn’t eat more than a bite at that point before wrapping it up to taking it home. We went shopping on Milwaukee and I picked up some new galaxy leggings only to find out that my Star Trek wine had simultaneously arrived to match my outfit!
The next day I was so tired that the most I could do was Native Foods takeout. Lucky for us Lana lives just a couple blocks away so I got the soul bowl again. It’s totally become my go to after partying too hard in Chicago. It’s the perfect take out! Rice and beans, lots of veggies, and ranch, barbecue, and chicken skewers to make the whole thing exciting.
The next morning we went out to Hash Chicago and I asked for the Humboldt veganized- hashbrowns, hominy, black beans, soyrizo, salsa, fried plantains, and avocado. I have to make this combo into a tofu scramble at home because it was great. I love hominy and I think I only ever use it in posole.
Later that day we had the thrill of taking the dogs to Dog Beach! I had been telling them about it for ages but they are dogs so they didn’t know what I was talking about. It took forever for us to find parking but when we did and Dinger got on that sand and started running my heart melted. He loved it!
He ran right up to the water to get a drink and then the wave came at him and he JUMPED BACK. He was not happy about that at all it was so funny.
Dog beach is pretty much the most hilarious place on earth. I think it’s the most dogs I have ever seen at one place and they are all having a blast. Unfortunately so many people were enjoying food on the beach that there was no way I could let the beagles off leash even though it is fenced off. If there is a scrap of food my dogs will find it, even if they have to go through your bags to get it.
On our last morning in the city I walked down with Dan to get coffee at Wormhole– where he had gotten coffee every single day- and snapped the requisite smurf & succulent instagram which then someone later informed me on that Wormhole has vegan doughnuts! I didn’t know, they aren’t labeled!!!! What a complete and total nightmare, to have doughnuts that close and not even know, it kills me.
I stopped at Native Foods one last time before hitting the skyway to Indiana and tried the Indo Bowl, I really liked the seasoned tempeh, fresh vegetables, peanuts and rice noodles. I wish Native Foods were along every interstate in the country.
Dinger and I stopped to visit my Dad and we took a little trip to the Indiana Sand Dunes where Dinger was no longer impressed by the beach- been there done that. My Dad showed off by climbing on the lifeguard chair.
They took us to a cute restaurant in Valparaiso, Meditrina Market Cafe where I got a really nice Mediterranean pita pizza.
I learned that Valpariaso is also the home of Orville Redenbacher
Dinger and I drove to Merrillville to visit more family and then down to Springfield to reunite with Willow and Dan and stop at our favorite Thai Restaurant.
The next day we were off again headed west.
In a couple of weeks I’m flying back to California so if it’s quiet around here that’s why. I really want to bring Dinger on the plane, I hope I can figure out how to make it happen!
I ❤ Chicago Diner. I loved going there when I was a college student in Indiana and it was a quick train ride away. I'd go party in boystown after! Your trip looks like fun for you and the dogs!
Fried pickles and a dog beach? One day I will be the vegan in the Chicago Diner- no shame!
Sounds like my kind of vacation (hit post too soon!)
You had me at the mention on gratuitous dogs pics. Glad you and the pup had fun in Chicago!
What do you do for a living that allows you to a)travel so dang much and b)afford to travel so dang much?
I work in higher ed so I get a lot of vacation time. I almost always stay with family & friends which for some reason I have all over the damn place so it’s not very expensive.
You went to some pretty DECENT places in Chicago, some of my FAVORITES! LOVE Handlebar, LOVE the Chicago Diner, LOVE Native Foods, LOVE Wormhole, never been to Hash Chicago- but I’m adding it to my bucket list. Looks like you enjoyed your trip 🙂