Thursday 25 February 2016

USA Travel Review: Chicago Part 3

The last part of my 2015 USA road trip - part 3 of Chicago.

A few months before our trip we’d bought a Weber barbecue which my fiancé loves (and I love it because it means in the summer, he does a lot of the cooking!). I was surprised to find there is a Weber Grill restaurant in Chicago, set up by the people who invented that brand of barbecue, and it was just down the street from our hotel! I checked the menu online to make sure my future mother-in-law, who is a vegetarian, would find something to eat but she seemed happy with it.

The restaurant looked busy but it is huge so we were seated very quickly. You can see the chefs using the Weber barbecues in the kitchen so I spent a few minutes standing at the bar watching, which was pretty cool. It’s actually a fairly high end restaurant in terms of the food and prices, but the atmosphere is very relaxed. The menu is quite extensive and I found it hard to choose!

There are grill-fired pizzas (which I tried doing myself last summer), salads, seven types of burger, some ‘fire inspired’ main courses including beer can chicken which I also made myself not long ago, grilled bourbon salmon, parmesan-crusted tilapia and pasta margherita (the tomatoes are grilled). Then you get on to the ‘backyard barbecue’ section, which has some of their signature dishes – Weber’s BBQ beef brisket, and BBQ ribs – and that’s before you get to the steaks, which have their own section on the menu. The side orders sounded amazing as well and I would have happily have eaten most things on the menu!

I had a combo of BBQ ribs, which were so tender the meat fell off the bone, and the beef brisket, which is smoked over hickory for 14 hours. It came with two sides so I chose garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli which was so good. It was a shame we were too full for dessert as they sounded amazing as well!

The cocktails were amazing too and I had a 'flirtini' - a mixture of Chambord, raspberry vodka, pineapple juice and Prosecco. I might have to make that at home some time!

For our last bit of sightseeing we did an architectural boat tour with Chicago Line Cruises which was recommended by the concierge in our hotel. It lasted 75 minutes and gave us some fabulous views of the city. It wasn't cheap - about $50 per person - but I would recommend it. The river goes right through the centre of the city so you have all the landmark buildings on each side with great photo opportunities. You can move around the boat easily to take pictures - it was much better than just being on the water taxi to the Navy Pier. The tour guide was excellent and I learnt a lot about the city and the architecture.


The boat has free Starbucks coffee, soft drinks and cookies on board which was a nice touch (and the cookies were really good!).


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