mom’s night out: girl & the goat

Hope is one of my best friends at work. We work really closely together, we talk just about every day, and she makes me laugh harder than many people can. The only problem? She lives 2,120 miles away in Portland, Oregon, and I only get to see her a few times a year. 

She was in town this week for work, and it was the best to be able to say “good morning” and razz her in person. She also kept spoiling me with Mindy’s Hot Chocolate pastries from the Revival Food Hall. Diet starts after the Super Bowl?

On Thursday we planned to go to dinner, with Au Cheval in mind. Upon arrival (around 5:20 pm), frozen from the frigid temperature, the wait was an hour to an hour and twenty minutes (the cheeseburger IS one of a kind, I can vouch for it). But we decided to hustle across Randolph to Girl & the Goat. Immediate seating at the bar was perfect; Hope was excited because she’d been wanting to dine here!

It was my third time at Girl & the Goat (post-wedding and pre-baby, I loved to live it up), and it was exactly how I remembered it. The beautiful decor with exotic details and textures, the hustle of a good wait staff, the delicious smells of high-quality and innovative dishes, the beautiful craft cocktails waiting to be sipped…should I keep going?

I asked for a dairy-free menu (Stephanie Izard is very accommodating to those of us with food allergies and intolerances at all of her restaurants, much appreciated), to balance out my meal and make sure I didn’t overdo it. It’s hard for me to show restraint to gouda bread with smoked lard butter and romesco. So I didn’t.

I also had the Boondock Saints cocktail (a tasty chilled Hot Toddy), a glass of still rosé, braised beef tongue, grilled cuddlefish, the famous sautéed green beans, and the most decadent and fantastic crumpets I’ve ever tasted in my life (served with goat liver mousse, rosemary pickles, grapefruit preserves, and persimmon marmalade, of course). 

This meal was out…of…this…world. It is so hard for me to justify a meal like this now, but I can’t tell you the last time I had a foodie dinner. It felt nice to enjoy a well-cooked (understatement) meal with Hope, and have time outside of work to catch up and be silly. Those meals and moments are priceless. Xo

Week #3 – Bub City

Let me begin this post by saying I love Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants. I’ve been to and enjoyed (in alphabetical order):

Antico Posto
Big Bowl
Café Ba-Ba-Reeba!
Hub 51
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Maggiano’s
Nacional 27
Osteria Via Stato
R.J. Grunts
Scoozi!
Wildfire (one of my FAVORITE restaurants)
Wow Bao (food truck)

So when I heard they were opening a new BBQ spot, Bub City, in River North, I asked my good friend Lindsey from college to have dinner and check it out.

When you walk into Bub City, there’s a great energy that fills the room. The restaurant is a big rectangle, with a whiskey bar near the entrance, dining in the center (as well as a stage), and a standard bar and seafood bar on the other side. The American flag made out of beer cans (below) brings so much to the decor, along with the country-themed posters. (The plastic plates that looked that white paper picnic plates were clever too.)The staff is dressed accordingly in fitted flannels and jeans, and country tunes keeps the vibe up.

We didn’t have a reservation (my fault!), but figured the wait wouldn’t be too long at 5:40 p.m. The hostess told us 35 minutes, which boggled my mind a little, but we went to the bar to wait. And waited, and waited. It probably took about 35 minutes (kudos for accuracy!), but I was really bothered by the sea of empty tables that weren’t filled the entire time we were waiting at the bar that the wait time felt like forever. Our buzzer went off, and the hostess said she had a table ready for us. When I asked her why we couldn’t have sat at one of the open tables, she said there were a lot of reservations, which I believe, but it wouldn’t have taken us long to eat.

We had drinks already from the bar, and we were hungry, so we ordered the Bub BBQ Combo: hot link, pulled pork, brisket, choice of two sides, coleslaw, Texas toast, and pickles. For our sides, we went with the waffle fries and the green beans (which our waitress recommended). Our order came up extremely fast, and, unfortunately, it was just okay. The best part of the meal were the waffle fries and the brisket for me (in that order). And our green beans didn’t come out until we were done with our food. “Green bean dessert!” I said to Linds.

I think I did a few things wrong when I planned our night out. #1—I should have made a reservation. #2—I should have made a reservation on a night with live entertainment. #3—I should have made a reservation on a night with live entertainment, and I wasn’t on an antibiotic (aka can’t drink). Why #3? The whiskey bar was packed. The drink list was intriguing. If I came back, I’d probably come for cocktails with a group. But the scene is worth checking out—there’s definitely nothing like it in River North!

Bub City
435 N Clark St
River North

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