Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our Trip to Chicago Food/Beer/Fun Wednesday Recap

This is part 3 of Our Trip to Chicago--Food/Beer/Fun Wednesday

Featuring Giordano's Pizza, an Architecture Boat Tour, Goose Island Clybourn, and a Cubs Game at Wrigley!

Our Wednesday morning got a late start.  We left the hotel room about 10:30 am and walked along the lake  because we both wanted to experience the Shedd Aquarium (I love fish!). When we arrived around 11:00, we were shocked to find that the line to get in was 60-90 minutes long!   We both agreed it was pointless to stand in that line and waste our day away, so we decided to head back down Michigan Ave and grab lunch at Giordano's Pizza.  Giordano's was recommended to us by my good friend.

When we arrived, we were told it would be a 20 minute wait before we were seated, but that we could place our order right then and that would lessen the time to get our food once we were seated.  This is a great idea because when ordering a deep dish stuffed pizza expect to wait at least 40 minutes for it to bake!

After sipping on a Goose Island Summer Ale, our pizza finally arrived.  We ordered a small pizza with two toppings ($20). The small was described to feed 1-2 people.  When the pizza arrived, I knew there was no way the two of us were going to finish it.  This six slice beast was nearly 1.5 inches thick and completely oozing with a ton of mozzarella cheese, green peppers, and onions.  I don't even think a picture can do this pizza's size justice but here it goes!
The crust on the pizza was firm and mildly dense.  If this crust wasn't somewhat dense, I don't know how it would be able to hold everything.  The sauce's flavor was average in my book.  Good, but nothing mind blowing.  I added some extra Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper to kick it up a bit.  The inside was cheese, cheese and more cheese, to the point that the peppers and onions got a little lost.  I understand it was a stuffed pizza, but it could have used a little less cheese and this is coming from a cheese lover!  I manged to eat two slices and I was stuffed!  We liked the pizza, but just didn't fall in love with it.    My rating for the food is a 3.75/5.
Giordano's Pizza on Urbanspoon


Wendella River and Lake Architecture Boat Tour
After stuffing ourselves with pizza we were headed to the Wendella boat dock to take the River and Lake Architecture boat tour.  I am a huge fan of architecture, so this tour really had my hopes up!  Let's just say this was amazing.  First, the boat ride alone seeing the city from both the river and the lake was awesome.  Add to that a super knowledgeable, funny, and energetic tour guide and you have yourself a winner of a boat tour.    Here are a few of the shots I was able to take while on the tour...I snapped about 100 pictures!
The 90 minute boat tour was worth every penny of the $26 per person.


Goose Island Clybourn
1800 North Clybourn
After the boat tour we decided to hit the red line train and head to the Clybourn stop.  From there a 3 minute walk northwest along Clybourn will put you at the Goose Island Brewpub.  We were not starving thanks to the pizza, but we did want to get a snack and some brews before heading to the Cubs game!   I decided to start off with a sampler for myself.
From left to right there was the Greenline Pale Ale, the Summer Camp IPA, Summer Camp IPA Cask, and the regular IPA.  All were very tasty but the one that really stood out in terms of freshness of hops was the Summertime IPA.   It liked how refreshing it was, along with the bitterness level.  If you like cask beer, like I, you would also love the cask version of this beer.  Every bit as flavorful, just silky smooth in terms of carbonation.

For a quick snack we went with the duck confit croquette that was topped with duck gravy, cotija cheese, and came with pomme frites.  The Duck croquette and gravy were very savory, and the micro greens on top added a nice freshness to the dish.  The cheese didn't do much to add any flavor, it just added saltiness.  The fries were not my favorite.  They were too thick and just got soggy too quickly.  I think with thin cut fries this dish would have held up better.  I wish we were a little more hungry because I would have liked to try some of the other menu items because they sounded really interesting.  Hopefully next time we are back in Chicago, we'll make it a point to have a full dinner at Goose Island.
Goose Island Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon 


Wrigley Field
We hopped back on the red line up to the Addison stop which is right where Wrigley Field is.  Even if you are not a baseball fan, you have to go to Wrigley at least once just to appreciate it for what it is, an American landmark.   Walking in the stadium I had goosebumps and I've been there once before.  Just something about the stadium makes you feel like you are back in time.  I admire the Cubs for keeping this landmark in the condition they have and I hope they never have plans to move out of Wrigley Field.
We had a blast at the game, but something that disappointed us both was the total lack of craft beer in the ball park.   My fiancee walked around to 3-4 different beer stations after a trip to the bathroom only to call me to tell me our "craft" option was either Corona or Red Stripe.  There was no Goose Island to be found anywhere, let alone anything else other than Bud, Miller and Coors.  This was a huge let down and I hope that the Cubs wise up and offer at least a few craft brews at the game!

After the game we made a quick stop at Vines on Clark in Wrigleyvillle because I saw they had a Fat Tire sign.  We each had a brew and were exhausted.  We decided to call it a night and head back and then get up early and do as much as we could on our 4th and final day in Chicago.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Giordanos! Sometimes I think about driving to Chicago on a Saturday or Sunday monring just to have their pizza

CLEgal @ Why CLE? said...

That pizza looks awesome! CLEguy would love the lake architecture tour...we'll have to do that sometime. And holy moly, I want those Goose Island fries!


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