Considering I was on vacation to Miami and the Dominican Republic for 9 days in June, I sure did still do a lot here in Chicago. As always, many great openings this summer and endless amounts of fun…so much so, that I’m going to split up this recap into two parts (read Part 1 here). Here’s Part 2:
By The Park Cookies– This adorable Lincoln Park cookie shop has some seriously tasty treats. Distinctively delicious cookies, bars and biscotti are handcrafted with unique flavor combinations and it’s tough to pick just one out from the awesome line-up. I tried several different cookies and if I had to pick one as a favorite, it was the Boston Common Park cookie which has peanut butter and jam and is actually vegan. It was so good! What I love more is the story behind By The Park and the wonderful owner Isabel who quit her job in investment banking to follow her passion. I’m always inspired by entrepreneurs like her and want nothing more than to see her succeed. Let’s all go get some yummy cookies and help promote a small business while we are at it. #winning
Seadog Sushi Bar– I LOVE finding great sushi places that know how to feed us vegetarian and vegan folk. You wouldn’t expect it to be such a big deal, but a boring avocado and cucumber roll does not suffice as an option for my dinner. Seadog Sushi Bar on the other hand has an entire separate vegan menu and tons of great vegetarian options. I have to say I was truly blown away at the attention and detail they have put into making sure they have plenty of options for us veggies out there. I tried so many great rolls and I have to say two of my favorites were the V3 maki (marinated shiitake mushrooms and avocado topped with Japanese-flavored fried tofu) and the Secret Garden maki (tempura roll with spring mix, asparagus, avocado, mango, kampyo and served with sesame dressing and miso dressing). If you find yourself in Wicker Park, make sure to go to Seadog Sushi Bar, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Rachael Ray Feedback Festival– A beautiful (albeit HOT) Saturday evening in Lincoln Park Zoo with food and music sounds like a perfect evening to me. Famous TV personality and chef Rachael Ray brought this festival to Chicago for the first time. I had a fun evening catching up with fellow foodie friends while enjoying some tasty bites and cool beverages and keeping our eyes peeled for Rachael Ray and other Food Network chefs. One of the fun things we got to try out were the “pie-sicles” from Marie Callender’s. These perfect summer treats are made with Marie Callender’s frozen pies with additional ingredients, all just blended together. And, we found out from the chef that an even better version has some alcohol mixed into it. Hmm, I’m going to have to give that one a try. Anyways, keep your eyes peeled for next year’s Feedback Festival either here in Chicago or at South by Southwest where it is usually held.
Seven Lions Wine Event– It was a lovely wine tasting event with Master Sommelier Alpana Singh together with Drew Harris of Shop Your Closets at Seven Lions. Drew gave tips on how to get the most out of your wardrobe, featuring de-cluttering techniques, styling tips, and go-to organization rules for any closet (which I REALLY need). More so, the evening also focused on raising awareness about Deborah’s Place, a non-profit that provides supportive housing for single women experiencing homelessness. The proceeds of the evening went to this organization and also allowed attendees to learn about ways they can volunteer and household items that can be donated to Deborah’s Place. I’ve been meaning to declutter my place and I’m glad to have now found a place that I know I can donate to those who need it the most. If you are looking to help those less fortunate, please consider donating to or volunteering at Deborah’s Place.
Please Note: While I was invited to these events, all opinions are my own.