Tom and I started off Friday with breakfast at The Bongo Room, a popular crowded Bucktown breakfast place down the block from our hostel.
Now, when one always orders the same breakfast, as I always do, it can be hard to rate one restaurant's fare over another. I mean, in general an egg is an egg is an egg and while some toast slices have it over others, what really makes one sunny-side egg breakfast rise above the others is the potatoes on the side. And I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Bong Room has the absolutely best side-potatoes on the planet:
They use redskins, which they first boil, then cut up into good-sized chunks then roll in olive oil, grilled onions and spices. Then they grill the potatoes.
So that's the secret: boil, roll, grill. I'm definitely going to try it using the oven broiler for the grilling. Should work, right?
Next we walked around Bucktown, full of boutiques and trendy little restaurants:
Then we took the bus and the train downtown to The Loop.
We started out at the Kriskindlesmarket, an outdoor German crafts and food fair that takes place in Daley Square every year at Christmas time and is modeled after the Kristkindlesmarket in Neuremburg, Germany:
Several of the world's religions are represented at the front entrance of the Kriskindlesmarket.
Along with an almost life-sized nativity scene,
...an "A" honoring Atheism,
A lesser-known claim-to-fame of the Chicago Kristkindlesmarket is that is has the second best porta-potties on the planet.
(The best porta-potty is a pay porta-potty on a sidewalk in Burgos, Spain. For a complete description of that high-tech state-of-the-art porta-potty see the 10/8/2013 post from my blog "Tighten Your Boots" at pattiliszkay.weebly.com).
Anyway, the Kristkindlesmarket porta-potties were free and located inside a big heated tent. The potties were lined up inside the tent like private bathroom stalls and they were clean and plentiful.
So, though still not quite up to the porta-potty in Burgos, all this made for a quality porta-potty experience.
From the Kriskindlesmarket we walked over to the Macy's on Washington Street and looked at the store's decorations.
We visited the Chicago Cultural Center at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street, a wonderful free art museum and community center
...and several rooms of art exhibits:
By the time we finished our tour of the Chicago Cultural Center it was time for lunch.
We'd decided that for lunch we wanted something that, of all the times we'd been in Chicago, we hadn't yet sampled: a real Chicago-style hot dog.
We figured we'd just wander around The Loop until we found a hot dog joint. After all, how far should we have to go to find a Chicago hot dog in downtown Chicago?
As it turned out, pretty far.
To be continued.....