Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NYC: Fashion and Cheesecake

While we're all stuck behind our daily grind, let's live vicariously through my friends, the Swedish Twins, as they celebrate their birthday in a New York state of mind...

Posted by: Karla Fantastic

During my second day in the Big Apple, I continued my quest for all things delicious in this great city - mainly fashion and cheesecake.
I knew that walking through SOHO would be a fabulous way to spend the afternoon.  But let's be realist,  why walk when I can sit VIP on the SEX AND THE CITY TOUR BUS. Best $60 I've ever spent!
We watched fun clips from the show while the tour guide pointed out the exact New York landmarks where the scenes were filmed. (Yeah, yeah that's cool. When do I get to go shopping?) I won't bore you with my pictures from the street because we'll be here all day and frankly I'm not too great at taking pictures from the inside of a bus. Netflix has SATC - I'm sure - HELLO SPONSOR! (The post brought to you by Netflix.)

An hour of ooohs and ahhhs through the streets of Manhattan later,  our guide informed us that we would be getting off of the bus soon... to go... SHOPPING. HOORAY!!! Our bus stopped on Bleecker Street – a very chic, tree lined oasis filled with the boutiques of Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Toosh, James Perse, Brunello Cucinelli, Fresh, Lulu Guinness, Creed, Mulberry, Olive and Bette, and so many more. Had I died? Is this Heaven? What's that? We only have 25 minutes to shop? Get out of my way!!

After doing significant damage on my  MASTERCARD (priceless!) I met up with the group who were sitting in a lovely little park. The tour guide greeted us with cupcakes featured on the show. Really? Is this happening? It's a gorgeous spring day. I've just been let loose in a Marc Jacobs store on boutique alley in GREENWICH VILLAGE and now I'm smooshing my face into this delicious sugary frosted delight! Stop it!  Where's my dream man on a flying unicorn?  He has got to be around here somewhere!

Back onto the bus! It appears that we have lost a couple of people to shopping casualty.  But that was to be expected.  As the bus left Bleecker Street I could hear them in the distance... "Go on! Go on without us!" And so we did. They would have wanted it this way. And off we went.  Who's thirsty?!?!

What is a trip to NYC without a Cosmopolitan?  Back home I wouldn't be caught dead ordering one of these fruity "I can't drink whiskey" cocktails! But it's girl time! Let's go have some pink martinis!!! Wooooo!!! 2 drinks later and I feel awesome.  Let's pick up some men! Oh wait, what's that? The tour isn't over? Dammit. Okay, onto the bus we go. Watch your step...

Luckily for me, the tour ended not too far from my hotel. Who wants to walk back carrying all of these shopping bags???  As I turn the corner onto 45th I see what I've been looking for all my life. It's so much bigger in person! Is it? It can't be? A NEW YORK CITY FOOD TRUCK WITH ICE CREAM!!! AHHHHH!!! Run run run! Don't you dare drive off before I get there! Damn these shoes!!! 80 calories of pure delight. (Minus the 500 calories of dark chocolate and almonds.) Walking the half block to my hotel, I'm content. Ice cream in one hand, designer fashion in the other. Life is good.
A quick siesta later and I'm ready for the theatre! Last night we went big on Broadway.  Tonight, it's a musical comedy off Broadway. This could be very good or very bad - either way let's have some drinks first!

We stopped at a BBQ place on 9th called Southern Hospitality.  Wood planked walls featuring Johnny Cash quotes and twang on the radio,  nice touch. What am I in the mood for? Ribs? Chicken? Waffles with Chicken? It all sounds so fattening but so delish!  I ended up with a sandwich.

BORED!  NO! No, it was not! This sandwich was the epitome of all food porn sandwiches. Beefy and cheesy and spicy and hot and wet... stop it! Good cole slaw too!  Don't ask me what it was called. I didn't ask for its name.  We had a great time and I'll leave it at that.  Maybe I'll call them up the next time I'm in the city. Or maybe I'll go for a salad. It's too soon to tell.

After the show - which was HILARIOUS! - I wanted cake... but not just any cake, mother bleepin cheesecake! And I knew exactly where to go. JUNIORS.
This place is famous for their cheesecake. Like crazy famous. How happy was I that it was within short waking distance? Very.  Wow, there are so many to choose from! Devil's food. Carrot cake. Red Velvet. Chocolate.  Blueberry... All in the form of cheesecake!  Do I stay traditional and order the original?  Or do I say to hell with it and go Devil's food?
I decided on the cherry cheesecake. With no late night cocktail!  I want to be completely sober while I enjoy this.  The cheesecake arrives.  A single slice of modest portion. Fluffy cream cheese center atop of graham cracker crust with ooohy gooey cherry topping.  It's beautiful.   Where's my fork? Oh dear lord Jesus, what am I eating?  This cake is not dense or dry. It is the exact opposite of any cheesecake I've ever known. This is pillowy and creamy and not overly sweet.  If I thought it would survive the flight home, I would put several in my suitcase.  Souvenirs for everyone! In my best Oprah voice: NEW YORK CITY CHEESECAKE!!!!!! And you get a cheesecake... and you get a cheesecake... and you get a cheesecake!!!!

My night concluded on top of the world. Well, almost. The rooftop bar at the hotel was still open - so why not pop in for some bubbles?  This being New York and all, I decided to go big. One drink. That's all. And that drink... DOM PERIGNON.

(Shameless plea to the makers of Dom Perignon...) Dear super schmancy bubbly beverage makers, I'm in love. But, unfortunately I don't date DONALD TRUMP. So, how about we strike a deal - I will hold a bottle of this exquisite champagne in every picture from now until I die if I have to. Just let me drink it regularly. For free. I will give up water, juice, triple grande soy lattes... just to drink Dom exclusively.  I'm not sure that I can live without it but I don't want to start robbing liquor stores.  Just think about it.  Signed,  K FANTASTIC

Day 2 in the BIG APPLE was a great fun foodie day! I'm so full but wonder if room service can find me a slice of authentic NYC style pizza.  Now, where are my stretchy pants?

Monday, April 28, 2014

NYC: How to Spot A Real New York Bagel @ The Bagel

While we're all stuck behind our daily grind, let's live vicariously through my friends, The Swedish Twins, as they celebrate their birthday in a New York state of mind...

Posted by: Karla Fantastic

I woke up in the big city Sunday morning realizing a couple of very important things: A. I have not had any of the food that NY is famous for (Where is my NEW YORK bagel? Why hadn't I stopped at that food cart for a hot dog? Cheesecake??? For the love of God... cheesecake!!!!) and B. Why the f--k haven't I been shopping yet? 5th AVENUE IS 2 BLOCKS AWAY!!!! Barneys, Bergdorf... I must go!!! These problems MUST be remedied.  Immediately.

A quick 10 minute walk up shopping Heaven Avenue brought me to the corner of 5th and 58th - home of the famed PLAZA HOTEL.  You know the one... That luxury hotel seen in many movies and television. Pretty much anyone who is incredibly wealthy and is in a hotel...It's THE PLAZA. Magnificent architecture,  a true testament to timeless elegance.  I want to stay at THE PLAZA the next time I'm in the big city (How do I insert link here for donations?)

The Pulitzer Fountain in front of The Plaza Hotel is the scene for my first NY foodie moment...

THE BAGEL. Half a block down the street on 58th is a non assuming deli. Walk in. Go to the counter.  "Whatchu having? For here or to go?" Bing bang boom... Here comes my bagel with lox and schmear faster than a New York minute! I decided it would be fabulous to enjoy my breakfast on the steps of the beautiful fountain.  Too bad there is bird droppings all over this thing... eww. Eww. Eww. Okay.  This spot looks cleanish. Sitting down. The bagel looks glorious, although on the smallish side (turns out they're supposed to be that way!) I Google: "HOW DO I KNOW THAT I'M EATING A REAL NEW YORK BAGEL?" The answer: Is it hand-sized, something you can easily get your mouth around it? Next, look at the color. Does the crust have a rich, medium-brown glow? What about shine? A great bagel will shine back at you; its crust firm and crunchy, protecting the chewy, dense crumb inside. Mass-produced bagels are machine-rolled and baked in a steam-injected oven, producing a pale white-crusted mound with a doughy and often too sweet interior.

So there you go. New York City bagel knowledge. Go impress your friends. You're welcome.

The bagel was incredible! Perfect ratio of lox to schmear. The dough is crisp yet soft. Not sweet. I may never eat a bagel (or that thing masking as a bagel) in Chicago again. Ever.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

NYC:Start Spreadin' the News...Get Outta' My Way! I'm Walkin' Here!

While we're all stuck behind our daily grind, let's live vicariously through my friends, the Swedish Twins, as they celebrate their birthday in a New York state of mind...

Posted by: Karla Fantastic

I heart NYC! We arrived on Saturday morning and here are some things I've learned thus far...

A. New York CITY! Holy shit it's crowded!  Cars are everywhere. People are everywhere. Flashing lights and hot dog carts... sensory overload!  I learned straight away to NOT walk up BROADWAY.  Don't do it. Something about NYC dictates that as a tourist you must walk down Broadway... trust me, take 6th, it's faster. Unless you want to get stuck behind a slow moving group of camera flashing people from Idaho. Get outta my way,  IM WALKIN' HERE!!!

B. The THEATRE. Want to go to a show on Broadway?  Hopefully you have your tickets with you when you arrive to the big city because otherwise you may be SOL.  Luckily,  I happened to purchase my tickets in August - yeah, 8 months ago - I'm glad I remembered where I put them.  The Belasco Theatre is a beauty.  Small yet marvelous!  We arrived to our Orchestra seats just before curtain.  An usher reminded us that any sort of video or photography was not allowed... okay, fine fine "hey sister, try to get a picture!" Oh NO NO NO... I'm convinced that these New York ushers are part ninja! Here comes BETTY the ninja usher running down the aisle.... "PUT THAT AWAY!" And oh boy, did she mean it. That woman gave a look that said - I could have you killed.  Annnnnnnd the phone goes back into the purse.  Show time!

C. After dinner dining.  All of that cheering and bravos for the cast has certainly worked up an appetite.  Where shall we eat? Initially,  I wanted to hop in a cab and go to the famous Serendipity for late night chocolatey goodness, but we decided to stay local.  Food cart? Ehh Heartburn! Steakhouse? Mucho dinero! Rooftop of our hotel? Too scenester! Irish Pub? Okay maybe... let's check out the menu.  I'll be the first to admit, I'm not crazy about food from the Irish folk.  I gave the menu a glance and just when I was about to say... "Guinness with bangers and mash does not sound very delicious, let's go..." Up comes an older gentleman.  "YOU LIKE THE LOOKS OF THE MENU?" No. Smile and say sure. Half hearted smile on... "Yeah, looks crowded in there though.  Oh well..." Just then the well suited man grabs my arm and walks me into the restaurant.  "LET ME GIVE YOU A TOUR." Ummm... what's happening here?  I'm so hunrgy! Turns out that sweet old Irish guy was the owner! THE OWNER! Once he found the best table for us in this uber crowded restaurant, I invited him to sit down.  I asked for his opinion on the best of the menu (please don't say bangers and mash!) His eyes lit up as he described the Shepards pie and brisket of beef. We stayed for a Guinness and some corned beef and chatted with the table next to us about the fabulousness of theatre.  It was a fine evening with hearty food.  We walked the short distance back to our hotel. The rooftop was still open for late night scenester watching... nah.  Let's get some sleep.  GOOD NIGHT NEW YORK. The city may never sleep but I do. Peace!

Seattle: This Piggy Went Back to the Market to Confess @ The Confectional

I was overcome by summer fever that I had to deviate from my Seattle series...but have no fear...the sequel is here!

Why did the piggy go back to the market? No, not to find the other piggy who can't find his way home, but because of this...
The Colombian Hot Chocolate @ The Confectional

That day that we toured Pike Place Market, I heard Nick the tourman talk about this hot chocolate, and described it as something that would rev your heart if you consume more than one. My curiosity was peaked, and I took it as a challenge! 

My quest for the perfect hot chocolate started when I was 9. I was at Disneyland and someone (most likely my mom) mentioned getting hot chocolate. Being that I was at Disney, I imagined this hot chocolate to be basically melted chocolate with a splash of milk. I was quickly disappointed by it's too fluid consistency. From that point on, I have surrendered my idea of the perfect hot chocolate...until my taste buds met The Colombian Hot Chocolate! It flowed like thick mud, and tasted like my dreams and aspirations coming true. Be still my heart!!! According to my partner in crime, The Great Dane, the only words that came out of my mouth, with every sip was "oh my gosh!" Although I remembered mixing it up with "ouch too hot." It was the melted milk chocolate with a splash of milk- hot chocolate I have been searching for, that not even Disney could provide! I guess it's not the happiest place on earth. This hot chocolate sure made wherever I was standing, the happiest place on earth. I swear that the world stood still all around me, and all I could see was this lovely cup of chocolate in front of me...Is this what falling in love feels like? or is this my heart stopping? Of course I went back for more! The picture above is from day 2, when I felt a little adventurous and sprinkled cayenne on it. I like it with and without. Yep this is love.

Oh I just had a flashback, and nearly forgot to tell you about The Confectional's cheesecakes. When Oprah is not giving away cars, she is giving away her favorite things!!! ( Did you just do the Oprah voice while reading it? That was my intention)...and The Confectional's cheesecakes are just that. Martha Stewart approves of their cheesecakes too. So who are we to pass these up? The whole display case please. No not really, I wanted to, but we just ended up with a "few."
Quadruple Chocolate ( the one with the dark and white chocolate nib): It's got a lot of chocolate chunks hidden inside this creamy goodness
Mexican Chocolate: "This cheesecake is spicy!" Those were my exact words. After I got over the shock, my palate started to understand that this is good!
-Raspberry White Chocolate: One would think that this is just going to give you the typical raspberry and white chocolate flavored cheesecake, but the texture makes it a cut way above typical. It was almost like a cheescake/mouse/is there marshmallow fluff flavored cream cheese? 
-Seattle's New York-Style (not pictured): The Great Dane declared this the favorite, I was still half asleep eating it for breakfast, hence the lack of pictures. Guess you'll have to find out for yourself. I remember that I did not hate it.

The cute little cheesecake pops you see are mini versions of their cheesecake flavors, so there is no reason to not taste it all...unless like me, you filled up on hot chocolate...2 days in a row. There would have been a third, but I figured it would be smarter not to challenge my heart to stop. Nick the tourman did not lie at all. I could only handle the 3 ouncer, even sharing it with TGD. I will be back for you my hot chocolate, my love!
Blueberry Lemon

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sky...Don't you Dare Cry! @ IO Urban Roofscape

For your anti-rain dance:

We've all heard the saying "if you don't like the weather just wait..." Chicago held oh so true to that. Saturday was a high of 80 degrees and it looked like this...
Monday looked like...never mind we know what 30 degrees and snow looks and feels like.

Ok now Chicago! Unravel thy self from that fetal position and pick yourself off the floor. We are bound to have another summer-like day! For those who missed out on that one day in April when it was summer, and have now forgotten what the sun feels like,  I invite you to live vicariously through my Summer Saturday.

Upon hearing Tom Skilling (Chicago's beloved meteorologist) put the words 70 degrees and Saturday together, this text was quickly composed "Let's roof @ Gregory Godfrey." The Godfrey is a new  luxury boutique hotel located in Chicago's River North, whose fourth floor houses this indoor and outdoor roof-ish lounge I/O Urban Roofscape . Ha I just got it...indoor/outdoor, hence the name I/O. Clever! 

With plans set, my inner ray of sunlight was quickly extinguished by the sight of gray skies and the sounds of thunder. My friends and I are not quitters darnit! We did our anti-rain dance all the way up to the 4th floor of the Godfrey. 
Let's get brunchin'
 Mimosa is an obvious choice, but the Margarita was amazing! The glass arrived to our table topped with habanero foam. If I wasn't told, I wouldn't have picked habanero out of a line up. It had a nice refreshing zing to it. I would've mistaken it for carbonated mint and lemon....it was the habanero zing!
My friend and I shared 6 of the small plates.

The Steak Benedict: The free range steak is a nice upgrade from the sometimes chewy, and less substantial canadian bacon. I did not feel like I was gnawing on a chew toy. Staying true to the steak theme, it was topped with bernaise instead of hollandaise. 

Adult Smoked Salmon: It's supposed to be smoked with bourbon and gin. My pedestrian palate really did not taste that. It just tasted like fresh salmon. No Negative Nelly face here. I'm usually not a fan of capers, but this actually complemented the salmon nicely. 

Huevos Rancheros: Where's the guacamole?! I actually did not realize that guacamole was supposed to come with it. Wait was it there? The perfectly poached egg, the salsa, and the crunchies had the perfect texture combo that I'm still not sure if the guac was there...and nobody puts guacamole in the corner!

I/O Prime Beef Sliders: "Oh that has a nice kick!" It's not an overwhelming spice where you would tell your kids not to eat it. It is a welcomed flavor, that I wish I was fed as a child. I hate to admit it, but spicey mayo is a condiment I can no longer dismiss.

Let's get to the good stuff!

Lemon Donuts: The periwinkle glaze is from the violet liquor and lavender honey. I put the fluffy lemon donuts through the spin cycle inside the bowl, just so I could enrobe it with the periwinkle goodness. The donuts were surprisingly light and not greasy at all!

Brioche Sticks (French Toast): Who doesn't like caramelized bananas?! The crowning glory of this breakfast dessert is the foam flowing underneath the brioche Jenga. It appears as the now trendy culinary foam, but when you dig into it, it has a gelatinous consistency. It hit my mouth with a nice limey sensation. Forget the maple syrup...bring me more foam!!!

Our meal ended with us contemplating ordering another margarita pitcher, but we intelligently decided to go work it off at Bloomingdales, with plans of coming back for that second pitcher. Let's just say that the breakables in Bloomies looked more breakable than ever. I felt like a kid obediently keeping their  hands to themselves.

We did not end up going back for that second margarita, bust instead ended up at 25 degrees for some Boozey Milkshakes. We will definitely be back for a second helping of everything at I/O. The vibe was so Miami/Vegas Fake-cation! We might make this roof-ish our summer home.

Well, well...It looks like our hopeful determination (and awesome dance moves) bent mother nature into holding back the sky's tears and giving us some sun....and getting a farmer's tan Ha! Us 1(sortah). Mother nature 0... I guess she was busy turning her tears to ice. Well played MoNa!

*This just in...70F degrees on Easter Sunday!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Seattle: This Little Piggy Went to the Market

For your listening pleasure: Willy Wonka's Pure Imagination

Like a proper tourist, I heeded the countless recommendations to go to the market...Pike Place Market. My friends, "The Swedish Twins," have previously gone before I did, and took the Savour Seattle Food Tour . They came back madly in love and ready to elope with Seattle and the market.  I have visited the market on a previous trip, with the mission to see fish fly! I did, and uneventfully checked it off the list... and nowhere in love with the place. Not giving up on love, I decided to stop being cheap and give it a second chance. I took the Savour Seattle Food Tour...thank you Groupon!
My alarm clock blared at 8am to make it to the 10:30am tour with Nick, the pink umbrella toting man. He started off handing us napkins while telling us that those would be our utensils, and that we may be eating off the same container. Ha?! WHAAAAT?! I had to self talk the germophobe that possess my soul, down! Ohhhhm....Moving on...

First stop is the Daily Dozen Donuts. It's described as "tiny, hot, sugary, and delicious" Supposedly people line up around the block for these. I saw it as carbs, sugar, deep fried, OK, but I wouldn't line up for them. 
Pike Place Fish: Time to see fish fly again! This time, I contemplated about volunteering to be the catcher so I could show off my spectacular hand-eye coordination...NOT! I left it to a brave soul, who's down to smell like eeew eau de parfish all day. (Nope! I did not take a picture! My camera decided not to! ) Finally, the fish monger called my skills to the plate...eating!!! He gave us samples of 3 different kinds of salmon. I'm so used to getting nasty salmon that I was ready to do my Negative Nelly face...But NO! I wanted more more more! They nicknamed the peppered as the converter. It will make a salmon lover out of anyone.
Left:Smoked. Top Right: Peppered. Bottom Right: Jerky.

 MarketSpice:This picture is not what it looks like. Whiskey shot this is not. It's tea and some gourmet salt (I forgot what it was! Trust me it's not Morton's.) The tea had clover and cinnamon in it. It was like a hug from a crush... refreshing and warm. The salt was well...salty. This would be a great stop for the gourmet cook. I'd go back for the tea and queen worthy teacups.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese: Cheese is actually made on site, which means squeaky cheese curds! What people really come for is the mac and cheese made with their Flagship cheese. It's got a semi hard cheese feel and taste, but it's delicious stink melts in your mouth. You can sample them in store. I got greedy and tried to pile up a few on my skewer, only to have it crumble and fall to the ground. Lesson learned?

Chukar Cherries: This was my favorite! The place where cherries crashed into salsa and chocolate. Yes, salsa! The sweetness from the cherries went surprisingly well with the tangy and spicy flavors of the salsa. If my luggage wasn't full, I would've hoarded a few. Now on to the chocolate topic. There were 2 different  kinds of chocolate and cherry concoctions, a raspberry and cranberry concoction, and Oh there was a random pecan, the one that's dusted with white stuff. Powdered sugar perhaps? It tasted like a slice pecan pie! Does Willy Wonka work here?!

 The bing cherry is the reddish tinted morsel in the cup. They decided to mess with mother nature and made bing cherries in chocolate form. Does this grow on trees? The darker morsel is the Cabernet cherry. It tasted like wine and chocolate in one bite. The vibrant red thing is the Raspberry truffle. The bright red color is from the raspberry dust that was hiding the white chocolate, that was holding the cranberry hostage. I approve of this delicious crime! The wrinkly looking thing is a dried cherry. I expected it to taste like a raisin, but it was way better!

The orange tinge shot is the bisque.
Pike Place Chowder: Chowdah you say? Before this, I only knew the Campbell's kind.We got shots of the New England Clam Chowder and the Lobster Bisque. I was a big fan of the chowder. It was very creamy and not watery or slimy. They were not stingy with the meaty clam either. The bisque was definitely overshadowed by the chowder.

Piroshky-Piroshky: "From Russia with love." That was how it was listed in the tour flyer. Indeed love was involved in the history of this place. Story has it that the owners of this place had a limited amount of money, and bought everything they needed to build this place. When all the money was spent, they realized that they forgot to buy eggs and flour! Penniless the night before opening day, they had set to turn opening day into breaking down day. The next day, they woke up to a mystery envelope containing enough money to buy flour and eggs! Years after, it was discovered that the donor was from a lady who also owned a piroshky shop a few blocks down. Awww. With my heart swollen from this tale, out comes  Nick the tour man with a tray of piroshkies. An apple and a meat version.
It reminded me of a strudel, with a heartier dough. It's as if a croissant and a bread bun had a baby, and the baby had a play date with meat and apples...and they all lived happily ever after.

Etta's Seafood Restaurant: Crabcakes! These sea critters landed on my napkin, freshly made, which then my mouth quickly realized how fresh from the fryer it was! It was oh so hot! Yes, we were substantially warned, but my brain turns into Homer at the sight of food. Although I singed  my mouth, it's crunchy outer layer and juicy inner crab was a delicious distraction to my pain receptors. Burn? What burn?
Oh what a wonderful way to explore the market and try out foods that I would not otherwise have tried. At the end of the tour, we were given a business card that I can flash like someone of importance, and get discounts at countless of places at the market. Do you smell a sequel to this adventure? Stay tuned to find out!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Noshin' at O'hare

For your listening pleasure as you peruse on by :

I had an impromptu trip to Seattle for a 3 day weekend, because everyone at work is going on sun filled spring break escapades. So Seattle it is! Ha! Well, it's at least 5 degrees warmer than Chicago...and the weather does not disappoint. I'm guaranteed rain, which will give my hair that beachy frizz.... Or pretend that I'm fabulous, and in London.

Excitedly, I skipped eating lunch and left work early. Click click UBER take me away! As I cruised in style, pretending to be a Kennedy in the black car, I decided to check my flight status. Uh what?! a 2 hour delay?! I hit refresh, and yep it wasn't a glitch. It will be a 2 hour delay. I'm not a very patient flyer. I'm that person that waits for last call just so I don't have to wait while people are shoving their carry on in the overhead bins.  I went back and forth whether to just go back and hang out at home until it's closer to my now 9pm flight. Nope! My hungry, vaca clouded mind actually made a good decision to just ride the ride...plus I remembered that O'hare restaurants name drop names like Rick Bayless and Wolfgang Puck. Now that extra 2 hr wait time just turned into the perfect window to eat leisurely.

I get to O'hare, did the usual TSA line, that seemed unusually long, only to end up at a body scanning machine. "Uh Sir, I'd like to not have some weird unexplained growth in a few years... Oh whatever! Scan me now and quick! I'm starving and there's food at the end of this security tunnel!"

Alas I'm free,possibly radioactive, and ready to try out some airport cuisine. To my dismay, I was in the L gates, and nearly passing out from hunger. The 2 exploreable options presented to me by the L gate was Goose Island or this glowing lounge decorated in glass, metal, and all white furnishings. It was very Ice hotel chic for an airport resto...It's appropriately named ICE.  Ice it is, specially that the line to get a seat is shorter. Everyone's flight seems to be delayed.

I was greeted by an impressive cocktail list 

Missing lunch, coffee time, and travel stress called for coffee and booze. I got  the Ice Java...just to be practical you know. I was impressed until this thing arrived in front of me. Where's the swirl? some sprinkling of cocoa dust? or something to justify it being $14! Not to mention that it tasted like boozey Ovaltine ( yep raise your hand comment if you know it.) The booze made it drinkable.
To quell my now roaring stomach, and spinning head, I got the Fresh Herb Chicken. It was one beautifully stacked sandy served with GUACAMOLE cream. Atop the sourdough bread was a layer of fresh mozzarella, arugula, chicken,red peppers, strawberries, a green apple wedge, and a little baby pickle. I was delightfully surprised by the melody of flavors! It was very refreshing..and what the what?!!! The chicken was not dry!!! I wouldn't have thought, based on the lack of imagination my drink presented.
With my belly happy, I contemplated getting the drink Gate L2, but I did not want to ruin my meal with another disappointing drink. So I ended my meal with a dessert that never disappoints...
Ha Ha!  Actually I was disappointed. It's been awhile since I've had one of these...and I don't remember it tasting like tasteless cold fluff. It was a very productive use of my 2 hours I'd say. Now come fly with me to Seattle! I've got a lot of noshing in the itinerary!!!

*click on the Uber link to get $20 off your first ride!