Have you ever been to Chicago?
If you haven’t, you should put it on your list of cities you must visit! If you’re into architecture, Chicago will amaze you. If you love shopping, you’ll never run out of stores to go to, and if you love food, well, let’s just say Chicago is foodie heaven 🙂 Seriously, we could eat out at a different restaurant for every meal of the day for a month and not get to every place we want to try!
But of course, we were only there for 2 days, so we had to make some decisions…
Our team tradition when we arrive on Friday afternoon is to go for an easy pre-race day run, and then head over to Bucca Di Beppo for a team dinner. This is a very different restaurant than any other we’ve ever been to! The idea is everything you order comes in 2 sizes: a Bucca Large or a Bucca Small. A Bucca Large feeds 4-5 people, and a Bucca Small feeds 2-3, so the point is to order something and share it amoung a few people, making it a great place to go when you have a larger group or family. The menu has some delicious options, like apple gorgonzola salad, a variety of pizzas, ans entrees such as chicken marsala and oven-roasted salmon. But, of course, what has made Bucca’s famous is its pasta! Dishes like Linguini Frutti de Mare, Spicy Chicken Rigatoni, and Penne a la Vodka are only the beginning!
As you can probably imagine, we look forward to this dinner every year. So you can most likely also imagine our disappointment when we arrived and were told we would not be allowed to order off the a la carte menu. No no, instead, arrangements had already been made for our entire team to eat from a pre-set menu. It started with our choice of either garden or ceasar salad, then our choice of pasta with red or white sauce, then we were served chicken parmesan, then a small dessert. We basically ended up paying 20 dollars for pasta with tomato sauce, chicken, and lettuce. We were two sad foodies 😦
Oh well- you win some, you lose some, right?
Of course, race day morning was oatmeal, as per usual, except this time, since we were in a hotel, we hit up one of our favourite grocery stores, Trader Joes, for some instant oatmeal. We get the chance to go to this place once each year, and we love it!
As for the race, well, the theme of the weekend for our team was “sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t”. This time it wasn’t. A few of the girls had some great individual performances, but our team as a whole struggled a bit. You can read a full recap of our race here, if you’re interested!
And of course after the race we had to go in the lake!
The rest of the day was spent shopping (of course!) and eating at some delicious restaurants! Lunch was at Potbelly’s, which is probably one of the best sandwich places we have ever been to! It also has some great salads, and milkshakes and smoothies, too. Definitely go there next time you’re in Chicago!
Dinner was at a place called the California Pizza Kitchen. And although pizza happens to be one of our all-time favourite foods, neither one of us ordered pizza! The reason is because this place has some seriously delicious salads. Like this beyond-amazing morrocan-spiced chicken salad:
Avocado, butternut squash, beets, sliced almonds, and morrocan-spiced chicken- this salad was unreal! With a side of CPK’s Tuscan Hummus, this may have been our favourite meal of the weekend!
And of course, what would a trip to Chicago be without a trip to Argo Tea for a pumpkin-chai tea?
They also have some delicious “specialtea” salads that were perfect for the bus ride home! 🙂 All of their salads are cooked in their tea. The one both of us ended up purchasing had quinoa cooked in earl grey, and chicken poached in the tea, as well! Talk about tast-tea! (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves!)
All-in-all, it was another fun weekend with our favourite ladies, and even though the race didn’t go quite the way we’d hoped, we’re optimistic for the rest of the season!