Chicago
August 2 - August 4, 2013

We don't vacation in Chicago; our travels there are usually more purposeful Northwestern graduations, weddings, radiology meetings. We had applied online for Global Entry, which would allow us to bypass immigration lines when returning from abroad and bypass removing our shoes, belts and laptops at US airports. A face-to-face interview was required, so on the first Friday in August, we flew to O'Hare with our travel buddies, Gary and Susan Meltz, where we were fingerprinted and then sent on our way to enjoy a gastronomical weekend in The Windy City.

Marlene and I have been traveling and dining and dancing with Gary and Susan Meltz for more years than we can remember. Traveling with another couple is not unlike a marriage; you have to love each other more than you annoy each other. They must all love me a lot.

Girl & the Goat - We had wanted to dine at Girl & the Goat on our last visit to Chicago, but we couldn't get a reservation. It's been a tough reservation to secure ever since former Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard opened her Randolph Street restaurant in the summer of 2010.

Blackbird - Blackbird is also located on Randolph, a few blocks east of Girl & the Goat, but it's been there quite a bit longer; it opened in December, 1997. Executive Chef Paul Kahan won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013 and Best Chef of the Midwest in 2004.

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