Eat, Chicago Suburbs: Deerfield’s Bakery

One of my favorite morning haunts is Deerfield’s Bakery in the northern suburbs of Chicago. It’s where we ordered our wedding cake – which was beyond yum-tastic! They have the best display of pastries and morning baked goods that will seriously make your eyes pop right out of your head.

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They have a yummy assortment of cakes, bagels, mini chocolate covered treats, cupcakes, and anything else you can imagine, right as you walk in to your left. They also offer some delicious sounding smoothies and frappe inspired drinks! The picture below doesn’t even do it justice, as the display counter wraps around to connect to large free-standing glass cabinets with additional treats and a bagel bin to the left where you can pick a yummy breakfast bagel!

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To your right (right across from these beautiful baked goods above) are all the breakfast treats on display. Everything from danish to donuts, to cakes, to muffins – they have whatever you’re looking for – fresh and ready to go! You can grab a box to take a variety of treats home with you – or grab a Styrofoam tray if you’re only looking for 1-3 treats. Everything is reasonably priced too – from $1.29 on up!

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You can also order actual breakfast (and lunch) from here too! You order from a counter where there are options such as eggs (any style) paired with hashbrowns and toast to skillet style (eggs on top of hashbrowns and eggs). All egg-style breakfasts are reasonably priced and pair well with their Deer Joe brand coffee (which comes in light, medium and strong).

deerfield skillet

deerfield skillet

I went with a Deerfield skillet which included hashbrowns, with sliced ham, American cheese, and eggs any-style (I picked over medium), and came with your choice of toast. My skillet was $5.95 and paired with a medium coffee brought my breakfast to a little over $7! It was a great deal for the amount (and quality) of food you get! It was really yummy – the eggs were cooked perfectly, and the hashbrowns and melted cheese created a yummy blend. The ham was in reasonable bite sized pieces, and didn’t seem manufactured and had a good taste to it, as well!

I chose to sit inside the cafe, but there are options to also sit outside in the patio if the weather is cooperating. Also – when selecting your coffee, you can also add syrups for free! Everything from peppermint to hazelnut to a seasonal favorite pumpkin spice!

I’ve never had lunch here before, but the breakfast is enough to keep you coming back. And if you’re in the mood for something bigger and better – they have THE best cake in the Chicagoland area. We purchased a 3 tier cake which was moist and coated with the best buttercream frosting, ever!

 

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Blogtember: A Review



Today’s topic: Review a book, place, or product.

I’ve been holding onto a food review for awhile now and figured this Blogtember topic would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts on one of my favorite things EVAH! Food!

JP’s birthday was this past week and on her actual birthday, I took her out to dinner at a local steak place we’ve been meaning to try. Jameson’s Charhouse is located in a western suburb of Chicago and boasts delicious steaks and seafood. We’re always in the mood for a great steak, and bonus points if this place was great since it’s so close to where we live.

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We had a 6:30 PM reservation but when we arrived, we found the parking lot already packed. On a Tuesday. But we were quickly seated and greeted by a super friendly waiter who took our drink orders and then brought over some warm foccacia bread and butter. I ordered a glass of Moscato that was super light and sweet – just like I like my white wine. The butter had that awful “refrigerator” taste. I couldn’t put words to it but quickly warned JP after I  took a bite. So we didn’t enjoy the bread because the butter was awful.

We both went with a steak option – I picked a special which was a sirloin with grilled shrimp, mashed potatoes and a side salad. We ordered balsamic with our salads and found that it was almost ALL oil. We alerted the waiter, who said that after he checked all of the balsamics, found the same oil problem in all of them. Someone had pre-made them in the morning and apparently didn’t know what they were doing and basically made oil dressing with a splash of balsamic.

By the time our meal arrived, we were starving. I ordered my steak medium-well and was pleased with the result when it arrived. The steak was tender and tasty. The grilled shrimp had a great bite to them (didn’t taste like they had been sitting under heat lamps or anything). The mashed potatoes were on a separate plate and although they tasted yummy, were kinda weird because they “dried” quickly. It was odd…and kinda gross. The butter to dip the shrimp in lacked flavor.

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JP was happy with her steak, as well, and we left feeling full, even though we skipped out on a lot of their lack luster food in the beginning. Our service, overall, was great. The waiter was really friendly and handled our food complaints with grace. He offered to get us new salads to take home with us but we declined. The food wasn’t very good though, and so I’d say I wouldn’t return based on that. Better off sticking to yummy steakhouses that we already know will produce a terrific meal!

Eat Ohio: Johnny Biggs

Over Labor Day weekend, we hit the road and headed to Ohio to visit JP’s family. Her parents were celebrating a wedding anniversary on September 3rd, so JP and her sister planned a surprise dinner with everyone that Saturday night. It was super fun, because  they weren’t expecting it and were surprised when we walked into the restaurant and saw other family members waiting to have dinner with us!

We had dinner at Johnny Biggs which a 30s era decorated bar/restaurant with neat posters and signs on the wall signaling it’s tribute to the time when prohibition was happening and lots of speakeasys popped up around the midwest. Here’s some more on the restaurant tale and Johnny Biggs.

They had some typical bar food with a twist – yummy burgers with fun toppings, and even a Build Your Own Burger (BYOB) option. They even had panini’s, BBLT (bacon, bacon, lettuce and tomato! yes!), and huge salads. One thing missing from the menu at the restaurant? Pasta. It’s shown on the online menu and some family members were looking forward to their pasta, but it was replaced with mac and cheese (regular, pulled pork, bacon, etc.) which sounded delicious too.

I went ahead and picked a burger with fries and finally settled on the Smokehouse Burger which was topped with cheddar, bacon, onion strings, Bourbon BBQ sauce and nestled in a pretzel roll. It was huge and arrived on a wooden cutting board. The burger was juicy and really tasty, especially if you had a bite of the BBQ sauce which was a little bit tangy and pretty sweet. I almost ate the entire thing because I enjoyed the flavors so much.

smokehouse burger

smokehouse burger

If you’re ever in the area, I definitely recommend this restaurant if you’re in the mood for a yummy burger or great bar food!

Eat Chicago: The GrillRoom (and Book of Mormon Review)

JP and I had a date night last week where we headed into the city on a Tuesday night (gasp!) and had a wonderful dinner and then saw Book of Mormon at Bank of America Theater. I’ve been so excited since we got the  tickets because I’ve heard amazing things about the show.  We made reservations at The GrillRoom which is conveniently located directly across the street from the Bank of America Theater, and were able to see when the doors to the theater officially opened to let guests in – so it was nice to sip on our drinks and enjoy dinner until we were ready to head over ourselves.

The restaurant was so cute, with a big patio shaded by a large business building, and the entry boasted large windows to let light into the dark interior. Inside the venue is decorated with dark wood and a brown color palette and is reminiscent of the 20s or 30s throw-back era, with adorable signs and basic decoration. Our table was literally in the second row, the last one to the left. She’s a beaut.

Our server was very friendly and took our order promptly. We were served with very warm bread and yummy butter as we waited for our drinks. The rolls got super hard though, if you didn’t eat them warm so beware! For an appetizer we started with the baked goat cheese which was in the middle of yummy sweet marinara and served with warm flaky puff pastries. It was amazing and we dove in so fast, that by the time I realized I didn’t take a picture, we were already half-way through the plate. Seriously though, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. A definite MUST!

For our entrees, JP got the steak and ordered a separate side (they are served separately) but were were told on multiple occasions (and even heard other waiters telling their tables) that the sides were large share-able portions. I picked the daily special which was a petite filet mignon, wrapped in bacon and topped with a blue cheese crust. It was served with garlic mashed potatoes and spinach. I’m not a fan of spinach and wasn’t able to trade it out so JP was kind enough to eat it for me and I shared her grilled asparagus side with her.  (I apologize for the awful pic. It was so dark in there and I was trying not to draw attention to me with a flash!)

petite filet mignon

petite filet mignon

I loved the meal and thought it was so delicious. JP enjoyed hers, as well, but thought it was over-garlicked. She ended up having to stop eating because she couldn’t take all the garlic used. I’m a HUGE garlic fan so I dove right in, of course. My overall opinion was that it was a delicious restaurant and so very convenient to the show. We made reservations via Open Table, but when we arrived (and even when we left) there were plenty of tables open and even large parties were seated quickly. Not sure if that’s the same case on the weekends, as we were there on a Tuesday night, but it was nice to be able to grab food before being out for the night.

Now – on to the Book of Mormon. I’ve heard rave reviews of the show and because it’s leaving Chicago in October, I wanted to make sure that JP and I were able to see it. We love trying new things and enjoyed our time at Sound of Music last year, that we were excited to see this show.  We were seated in the mezzanine level in the second to last row, which was kind of a pain because the rows were a bit tight so I had trouble seeing the stage as the guy seated in front of me (and in front of JP) were pretty tall. We had to crane our neck to catch most of the show. What I loved about the performance was that it was HILARIOUS! It provided a direct insight into the workings of the Mormon faith, with obviously fun-poking happening throughout. If you’re sensitive towards bad language or even religion, steer clear, because even though it’s a mostly wacky show it’s still filled with raunchy jokes and some “Oh my God!” moments (no pun intended). Below is the opening scene, as displayed at the Tony Awards this past season:

(The guy who plays Elder Price in the clip above is in the Chicago show playing the same character). There were some parts that dragged but I think it was mostly because I was EXHAUSTED from work. My favorite character was Elder Cunningham, which is that wacky non-conforming Mormon. The actor who played this character was Ben Platt who played Benji from Pitch Perfect (one of my favorite movies).  The play is about two Mormon missionaries that are assigned to Uganda for their mission, in which they learn about the culture and try to push their message forward while hitting some bumps in the road along the way. Definitely hilarious, definitely worth seeing before it leaves Chicago.