Imagine the hectic week before college graduation: you have been slaving away for four years, whiplashed back and forth by the whims of professors, studying nonstop if not for class than for some test or another. Finally, you’re about to graduate. Here’s a shot of the line outside the Wrigleyville bar, The Cubby Bear, for Northwestern’s Last Lecture series.
I think we were more hungry than anything else, so we grabbed a few snacks while listening to the legendary Professor talk to us about growing up and becoming great. Then we left and went to watch “Tree of Life,” but that’s a story for another day.
I’ve blogged before about how brunch is probably my favorite meal of the day. There’s nothing nicer on a lazy Sunday than sleeping in, getting dressed up, and heading out for hot coffee and sweetcakes. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Walker Brothers especially, and for a while, went there every Sunday with my dad. The lines can get really long on weekends, so be sure to go either really early or really late!
If I’m at Walker Brothers with a group, I always split their amazing Apple Pancake. However, when I’m by myself, I prefer either Potato Pancakes or Chocolate Chippies. Today, I went for a Bacon Waffle. It was AMAZING.
The service is always surprisingly fast (especially considering how crowded it sometimes is), and though there’s a line to get seated, it always moves quickly. I have had so many good times at Walker Brothers; check it out sometime!
Whilst searching for a small, casual restaurant suitable to host Martin’s surprise birthday at, I found Cafecito, a cute restaurant with rave reviews by Yelpers.
It was a great place for our group to enjoy a quick bite before heading over to Dave and Busters, and the sandwiches were both delicious and cheap!
I didn’t try the namesake cafecito, because by that time it was too late for any kind of caffeine, but the Pavo sandwich was amazing! Everything was also really cheap!
We left Howl at the Moon to get a full meal, and walked around the block to India House. No one was too hungry, so we mainly filled up on naan.
The two dishes we split among six of us were quite delicious, and there were hot towels at the end of the meal. Our waiter seemed a little irritated, but that’s pretty understandable considering how little food we ordered. Nevertheless, the restaurant continued to refill our naan, water glasses, and was in general quite courteous.
Yuxi won a free party at this piano bar, so we all headed down into the Loop for some drinks, piano, and a free buffet! The buffet didn’t have too much, but the drinks were only $1 for us, and the piano was very different from anything I’ve seen before. Apparently, people ‘duel’ at the two opposing pianos!
It was pretty crowded, but the man on the piano was playing/singing Lady Gaga, and the atmosphere was buzzing. We kept trying to ask for Vitamin C’s “Graduation” to be played, and eventually they compromised with “Celebration.” There were a lot of people celebrating birthdays, getting married, anniversaries, etc. Seems like a nice place for a group celebration!
After helping Kevin, Olivia and John move, we went out for a much deserved meal. I don’t know if I was just really hungry, but My Thai was amazingly delicious.
The service was extremely prompt; it felt like we had only just ordered when our food came out! Thanks also to Kevin and Olivia for treating us!
Soupbox is an adorable little soup restaurant near Water Tower.
Hidden away above a pub, Soupbox offers amazingly delicious thick soups.
They even mix soups! For example, Broccoli White Cheddar + Lobster Bisque = DELICIOUSNESS!
Added hot sauce and garlic powder. They also have good bread, grilled cheese, and salad!
Olivia, Rohan and I were downtown Chicago for a restaurant opening, when we decided to hit up MORE CUPCAKES! I believe Kathy Huang was the first person I got More with, and have been way hooked since then!
More is super delicious and has a wide variety of exotic flavors. Their cupcakes are always super moist and super flavorful!
We went on a Friday, and so it was Happy Hour! Free cocktail-flavored cupcakes! The store is tiny but superchic.
It was delicious. I got Red Velvet, White Russian, Chocolate Toffee, and the daring Bleu Cheese savory cupcake!
The cupcakes are a bit (or lot) on the pricey side, but they are so creamy and delicious!
After eating, I still wanted more!
Rumba was described to me as a dining room/dance hall/club, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I went with Kevin, Marcy, and Julie; once we got off the El at the Merchandise Mart stop, I started feeling a little bit underdressed…
The Experience: We arrived just in time for the Friday night Salsa lesson, and started dancing right away! The lessons gave us a nice introduction and also made it less scary to go out on a dance floor with what seemed like so many expert dancers! (Sorry for the grainy pictures; my camera doesn’t handle dim lighting very well!)
The Drinks: Kevin, Marcy, and I all got cocktails. Since we actually arrived pretty late, we didn’t actually order any food. Marcy’s “Chica Fresca” was sweet and refreshing, whereas Kevin’s “Antigua” was quite bitter.
The Bill: There was a $10 cover charge to get in, and drinks were also quite expensive, approximately $10 each. But the live band was great, and the dancing was invigorating!
My boyfriend and I have a bad habit of waking up late. Although we often sleep through the typical time range for breakfast food, we find ourselves starved for waffles, eggs, toast, and all that is delicious about brunch.
Fraiche is a cute little restaurant on Noyes St. in Evanston, and it is just down the street from the dorm we live in. It is only open until 4PM, advertising itself as a “Breakfast and Brunch” cafe, and is a spot we like to hit up after waking up at 2PM.
The experience: Fraiche is a cute little place, with a chalkboard-menu and little flowers in the window. Unfortunately, due to its small size, it is often crowded and we are forced to hover in order to obtain a table. Nevertheless, the waitresses are smiley and chipper, as are the majority of patrons. The restaurant has gigantic windows that, on sunny days, fill the dining area with light. It’s not quite a sit-down restaurant, as there is a line to the cashier, and you pay for your food upfront; it’s similar to the style of Noodles and Company, where food is still brought to your table, but you aren’t seated from start to finish.
The food: Fraiche is equipped with a glass bakery-style case, as well as a full kitchen in the back. Thus, they are able to serve sunny side up eggs and the like, which are otherwise difficult to obtain without hitting up a full service restaurant like Noyes Street Cafe or Le Peep. While the meals themselves are quite good, the pastries can be cloying and too-sweet, as was the case of the Twix Bar we got.
The bill: Although Fraiche is categorized as “$” on Yelp, our total bill of two meals, one pastry, and one coffee, came to a total of $24, which I found to be a little pricey. For this, we could have enjoyed a full-service meal at Walker Brothers, which I believe is still the best breakfast restaurant in the Chicago suburbs. I also wasn’t sure how much to tip, due to the half-service nature of the restaurant, but opted for the usual 18%, since our waitress/cashier was so friendly. Is there a specific percent one is expected to tip in this type of situation? I know that Noodles and Company explicitly states that they expect no special tip.
Overall: Fraiche is a cute, quaint little place. They have big cupcakes (though a little dry, compared with More or Sprinkles), but serve as a nice place for a quick breakfast. Get there early though, because it can get very busy very quickly! See also: Fraiche on YELP. 815 Noyes St, Evanston IL.