Date Night!

Tonight I experienced a whole new neighborhood in the city of Chicago: Wicker Park!

I’ve never been to that neighborhood before so I didn’t know what to expect but thankfully I was blown away by how cool it was.  I might be biased, but Chicago is the best. It has everything!

Before I had date night which, as you may have guessed, did not include healthy eating (I stopped my detox diet last night with a wedding reception…hey 6 days is pretty darn good!) so I made sure to get in a good workout beforehand.

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30 minutes on the stairmaster alternating speeds back and forth every 2 minutes

20 minutes on the elliptical

20 minute upper body workout (3 types of curls, overhead tricep extensions, shoulder raises)

Then I was off to explore the city!

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Wicker Park is a Chicago neighborhood northwest of the Loop.  It was full of young people, (mostly hipsters, let’s be real), outdoor patio bars, eccentric shops, narrow houses, and hidden gardens. I. Loved. It.

The thing about Chicago is that these “neighborhoods” are all connected by the CTA, an above-ground subway system, so you can just jet from one to the next in no time.  Each one has its own flair so every time you get off at a stop you are immersed in a whole new corner of the city.

I have wanted to try Piece Pizza for almost seven years now after a coworker in high school mentioned its deliciousness.  Being that I was 16, barely licensed to drive, and too scared to be out of the suburbs past dark, I never made the trek. But today seemed like the perfect opportunity!

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It was about a half an hour wait, which I was surprised at considering it was a Sunday night at 8pm! Even though I was starving, I knew that a wait like that meant the food had to be something special, so the boy and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  It was a gorgeous summer night in Chicago–those have been few and far between–so it was the perfect way to pass the time.

When we finally got seated, it took just a few minutes of perusing the menu to figure out what we wanted. Piece is cool because you have a few “base” options (red sauce with mozzarella, white, or bbq sauce) and then you can build your pie from there.  They had everything from basil to clams and even mashed potatoes.  After asking the waiter what his favorite pizza was (I always get the opinion of the server at restaurants), we made our choice.  Large red pizza, half spinach/onion/green pepper, half spinach/bacon.

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Ummmm hello, gorgeous.  I think I’m officially the worst kind of sinner–I think I liked this pizza more than deep dish (pause as all of Chicagoland gasps in horror). It was just so flavorful and chewy but crispy at the same time and the toppings were the perfect amount and the cheese was just right and …. I mean come on.  Look at that thing. That pizza definitely excuses that horrible run on sentence that just happened.  Basically, Piece Pizza is my new place.

Finally, I knew I wanted to go all out.  I’ve been hearing whispers about an ice cream place in Wicker Park that uses LIQUID NITROGEN to individually create your ice cream. Being in the area and not going to that delicious laboratory would have been an atrocity to foodies everywhere, so we stopped by.  It was really cool!

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At first I wasn’t sold on my ice cream because it melted so so fast once it hit my tongue, but I started to realize with each bite that it was some of the most flavorful ice cream I had ever had. I had a mix of butter pecan and caramel with pecans folded into it, and it was truly one of the most delicious butter pecans I have ever had.  It was definitely different, but in a great way.  Wayyyy overpriced, but it had to be tried!

Such an amazing Sunday night!  Have a great week, everyone!

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