Berghoff Oktoberfest

One of the perks of being a Chicago Food Blogger is that I get really cool emails inviting me to really cool events. (Insert invite to The Berghoff‘s media preview of their Taste of Oktoberfest menu.)

Going to The Berghoff was on my to-do list from the beginning of this blog. I have to admit, I’ve been twice, with my friend Mike. I am a pretty big fan of their corned beef, so when this email came through, I wanted to be there.

Fast forward to the event. Not only eat we eat fantastic German food and drink delicious beers, we also received a history lesson about The Berghoff.

The menu, a collaboration between Berghoff Executive Chef Mathew Reichel and the Berghoff brewmaster, created excellent authentic German options paired with a tasty variety of brews. The menu included:

1. Pretzel with Beer Cheese Sauce and Berghoff Hopeenstomper Hop-Fest Lager
2. Bratwurst and Berghoff Oktoberfest
3. Quinoa & Grilled Vegetable Salad and Berghoff Lager
4. Pork Stew (gluten-free) and Omission (a gluten-free beer)
5. Apple Strudel and Berghoff Shambler

So…which pairing do you think was my favorite? Drum roll, please…#4: the Pork Stew and Omission beer! This is the first year The Berghoff is offering gluten-free options, and my gosh, this pairing was the perfect fall combination. Then I would have a bratwurst and strudel, of course!

The Berghoff’s Oktoberfest is taking place September 10-12, from 11 am-9 pm at Federal Plaza (corner of Adams & Dearborn). Enjoy live music daily, a raffle, and this wonderful German fare.

Whether you go on your lunch hour or meet up with friends after work, don’t miss a great way to start off the fall season.

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In other news, this is my 100th post! Special thanks to everyone who has read a blog post (or all 100!), given advice, bravely came with me on a new adventure, or supported me over the last 21 months. I thank you and appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

Xo. Stephanie

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Week #52 – Foodiechats Event at Chi-Town Eatery

This time last week, I was nervous and excited about my first #Foodiechats event at West Loop’s Chi-Town Eatery. I was invited in a direct message on Twitter, and was thrilled to be included.

These live events take place every Monday at 7 pm CST, and #Foodiechats shares 10 questions for the foodie community to answer (with a new topic each week). On this particular Monday, the event was hosted at Chi-Town Eatery, a new fast casual restaurant in the West Loop.

Saying yes to this event was so full circle for me. A year ago, I was tired of doing the same old thing in the city I love. And now, I’m stepping outside of my safe zone, and going to a blogger event on my own–as Second City Gal.

I walked over on that snowy day, ready to be social and have a good time. Everyone was so kind and friendly. I arrived as close to on time as I could, and sat down with some other bloggers. More and more people came, those who were active on social media, young and old, shy and loud, and we had a great time.

I quickly became friends with @kalehummus, @FlavCity, and @ArtDessi, who were also newbies to the event. (Shameless plug to check them out on Twitter!) We talked a lot about what we do, food in Chicago, the #FoodieChats questions, social media, and everyday life. It was fun to hear about husband and wife duo @FlavCity and @ArtDessi’s adventures for their online cooking and travel show, and @kalehummus and I bonded over our love for Chipotle and Native Foods!

There was so much food to sample at the event. I was in heaven. The restaurant served tons of food from its menu, including burgers, Mac and cheese, wings, kettle chips, chocolate covered strawberries, and lots more. We were also told we could order anything off of the menu, so I tried the salad with goat cheese and apples. Yum!

At the end of the evening, they held a raffle where I won a gift certificate to Chi-Town Eatery–how cool is that? @FlavCity won a t-shirt, so we dubbed ourselves the winners’ table.

I had so much fun at this event, and it really got me excited about this blog, and I’ve decided to continue the project in 2014.

Look out for more great adventures with Second City Gal…hopefully more #Foodiechats events, too!

Chi-Town Eatery
1000 West Washington
West Loop

Website: #Foodiechats
Twitter: #Foodiechats

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Week #22 – Mah Jongg Event at the Chicago History Museum

Our friend Megs, who took me around the Chicago History Museum earlier this year, invited Nate and me to an event to play Mah Jongg…what the heck is that? After getting clarification that it’s a Chinese tile game that Jewish women began to play in the early part of the 20th century, I was in. Nate loves to beat me mercilessly at games, so I knew he’d particularly get a kick out of it. I especially wanted to go because the name of the event was “Memories, Martinis, and ‘Mahj”. How could I refuse?

By the time we arrived, the games were in full swing. You could tell the people playing were pretty serious, so I knew early on that I’d be a spectator at this event and not a participant. Not to mention the fact that there are 136 tiles with different Chinese symbols and numbers in the set, and there’s a guide book needed to play. (I now know why they offered an info session!) So we headed over to the photo booth (woo!) to start out the night.

The photo booth, which was a photographer taking photos, was fun because of the props. Nate was a great sport and dressed up in a tie, hat, and 50s glasses! The full-size photos were ready later in the evening, and were a great keepsake from the event.

After photos, we grabbed a cocktail. I believe mine was called the Red Dragon (cosmopolitan) and Nate got a Manhattan (I forget the name!). Very tasty! There was also a spread of Jewish appetizers, followed by sweets and tea and coffee.

We hung out for a while…mingling, chatting with our fellow partygoers, learning trivia about Jewish Chicago, reading the Mah Jongg memories in the scrapbook they were putting together at the event, and…waiting for the raffle. If there’s one thing I love more than photo booths, it’s raffles! I earned a raffle ticket for my “50s-style dress”, and was excited to possibly win some swag: mugs, tote bags, and even a new Mah Jongg set. Did I win? YES! What did I win? Free parking to return to the Museum, which I’m excited to use. I’d really like to bring my nieces and Nate’s nieces to the Museum to learn more about my great city.

The Chicago History Museum has a ton of really cool events happening all the time, so make sure to check them out!

Chicago History Museum
1601 North Clark
Old Town

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