Neighborhood exploring is easily my favorite thing to do. Now that the weather has gotten nice enough to be outside for more than the time it takes the dog to do her thing and go back in, Sarah and I have really been spending time getting to know our neighborhood. Exploring boutiques, eating at local restaurants, visiting small pet stores, etc.! It was thus, we discovered Independent Spirits, Inc.
The little boutique is WONDERFUL. My adult beverages of choice are wine, beer, and whiskey (specifically single malt scotch whiskey from the Highlands). Independent Spirits, Inc. specializes in two of those- wine and whiskey. Needless to say, finding this place is both seriously exciting and incredibly dangerous.
We popped in to the store after our sushi date night at Indie Cafe. This place is right next door! What better way to end a date night than with a nice bottle of wine at home relaxing? So we poked out heads in and discovered not only a glorious selection but a simply beautiful interior.
The wine is sorted by country and type. Want a merlot from the US? Look for the map of the States then find your Merlot. Whiskey was sorted by type of whiskey. I quickly found the Scotch section. The one thing I wish they’d done is sort the single malt stuff by region. Glenlivet and Laphroaig are very different based entirely upon region.
We settled on a nice rich merlot from the US to take home, broke out some glasses, and settled in for a movie to end our evening.
Independent Spirits, Inc. hosts tastings periodically. I fully intend to pop in for one. Prepare for that post.
Warm weather in Chicago means it’s outdoor dining season. Mind, it takes us until late May/early June to get there. But we eventually do and then everybody is outside all the time. Going anywhere to eat, the question “do you want to sit outside or inside?” is always “outside.”
So when Sarah and I had a much needed date night and we ended up at Indie Cafe on Broadway, of course we said yes! dining al fresco is my favorite. Made even better by some wonderful Asian fusion.
Drinks first! This pomegranate cosmo is vodka, peach and orange infused liqueur, pomegranate juice, and fresh lime all garnished with a lemon rind and mint leaves. It’s SO REFRESHING! Hot days of July, I’m coming for you armed with this stuff.
Appetizer round included sweet potato samosas and miso soup, spicy for me and regular for her.
The samosas were wonderful and slightly spicy, full to bursting with curried sweet potato. And the miso? Let’s just say I treated those fresh jalapeno slices more like tea leaves than an actual soup ingredient. That stuff was HOT and it was wonderful. But no way could I have handled all that extra jalapeno.
Finally, the main course. Sushi! Sushi is my “I’m a bad vegetarian” dish. Not all of us have one, but I do. So I got an Alaskan roll and a Spicy Salmon. Both spectacular! The fish was downright buttery.
Spicy Sake (salmon) roll
Alaskan roll (Smoked salmon, avocado, and cucumber)
A much needed date night outside with wonderfully fresh and delicious food. I HIGHLY recommend Indie Cafe. Their menu spans many cuisines so there’s sure to be something for everyone. The sushi is insanely fresh and delicious. And their extensive drink menu will quench any thirst you could have.
Chicago has an obsession with brunch. Being raised in Chicago, I, too, have an obsession with brunch. Finding brunch places with good vegan options is often rather difficult. We happened to wander past Nookie’s Edgewater (also known as Nookies 4) while my cousin was visiting. Intrigued, my lady took to the internet and investigated their food offerings. We were more than happy to discover that they had a vegan option on their menu. A brunch place within walking distance of our apartment with a vegan option?! Suddenly, a lazy Sunday morning turned into a whirlwind of picking out clothes, putting on some make-up, and heading out into the fall chill for some food.
As expected, there was a wait- only about 20 minutes. When we finally got to our table, we immediately started off with hot drinks- coffee for her, China black tea for me.
We gave the menu one more glance to make sure we hadn’t missed another vegan dish and, concluding we hadn’t, ordered the smoky tofu with whole wheat toast, a bloody mary for me and a mimosa for her.
The food was amazing. The tofu was cooked perfectly. A heap of veggies including mushroom, green onion, and tomato added some color. The smoky flavor rounded everything out. With a side of herby potatoes and sauteed spinach, I was in breakfast heaven.
This place will definitely remain as a treat and not a regular occurrence but I, for one, am glad to have found it. How bout another shot of that plate. So good!