Category Archives: Illinois

Chi Town Baby

This week it’s off to Illinois!  I’ve been to Chicago many times as my bestie and most of my friends from college grew up here,  (I went to Illinois, I-L-L-I-N-I in case you’re wondering!).  I usually crash at someone’s place, but not this time around.  Instead I’m staying at The Palmer House .  It’s absolutely GORGEOUS and really close to Michigan Ave which means close to tons of shopping 🙂

While the rooms are pretty nice, they’re a little on the small side, but I guess that’s what you get being downtown in a huge city like Chicago.


This week it’s been pretty low key food wise because I’ve been focusing more on catching up with friends while in town versus finding a delicious place to eat.

Freshii (17 E. Monroe Location)

I was starving and just looking for a quick place to grab lunch, when I found this place in my hotel.  Apparently it’s a chain so they’re all over the place, but they make everything prepared to order.  The ingredients were fresh and they have several healthy options, plus they are vegetarian and vegan friendly without being crazy overpriced. I opted for the metabolism burst salad substituting strawberries for mango.

Additionally, they seem to be pretty environmentally friendly with avid efforts for recycling and helping others.  Right now there’s a promo where if you buy a reusable bowl for a dollar the proceeds will go the Feed the Children.

Quartino Ristorante and Wine Bar

I’ve been here several times to sip on wine, but had never eaten here until this week.  Everything I tried was delicious and the best part is they have plenty of small dishes so you can try multiple things in one meal without feeling like a complete cow.

I started with a red wine sangria and the Sun Dried Tomato Soup (with basil and ricotta crositini).  Yummmmm!

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For my second round I ordered the shrimp (with garlic, red chili, Pinot Grigio, EVOO, and lemon) light on the butter. It was amazingly fresh with a good lemon flavor without being completely overwhelming.   I liked that the butter/sauce wasn’t over the top so you could actually focus on the shrimp with the slight flavor enhancement of the sauce.


Though stuffed already, I ended with the Veal Meatball slider as a must have recommendation from some friends of mine.  Another delicious choice, tender and melts in your mouth.  I recommend carving out some of the bread from the top bun to really pack in the Giardiniera that comes on the side.IMG_4606

Service: Despite being jammed packed on a Thursday night the service was attentive and friendly.  We opted to sit at a table, but there is a bar section as well.  Everything is served tapas style, everything coming out as its prepared, which is great when you are hungry!  Order a bunch of things and just wait to see what comes out 🙂

Hotel: Palmer House

Location: Fantastic!  With in walking distance to several restaurants as well as in the middle of the State Street shopping district, win all the way around.

Staff: Everyone was extremely friendly, but being a big hotel everyone is designated a certain area of expertise so finding the right person to talk to can talk a hot minute.

Parking: Self parking is 41$ a night, and directly across the street from the hotel making it a much better deal than valet!

The Hotel: 

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The Room: Very nice, but a little cramped.  Definitely feels like a big city hotel…trying to cram as many rooms into a hotel as possible. IMG_4342IMG_4343IMG_4344

The View:IMG_4354