Category Archives: random spottings

Vosges bar love

I have always majorly hearted Vosges chocolate, and love when I happen upon the purple and white haven of confectionary genius in various airports and cities around the country. As if the chocolate wasn’t good enough, they go ahead and add things like bacon, chipotle chilies and organic pumpkin seeds to their bars, truffles and hot chocolate mixes that are almost too pretty to eat. But my favorite combo thus far was recently spotted at Goddess and Grocer; Rogue Ale and Chocolate Stout Beer with alderwood smoked salt, burnt sugar caramel and dark chocolate. Holy Ch-rist, it might be all of my favorite flavors wrapped up in dark chocolate bar..a campfire s’mores on steroids. The neighboring blood orange caramel didn’t look too shabby either..but nothing is more intoxicating that smokey-chocolately-salty dark chocolate. I was rushing out when I spotted it and didn’t have a chance to pick one up, but like a perfectly fitting dress or pair of shoes that haunts me after one look, I keep thinking about it and know I must have it. Watch for a full review…

Easily inhalable


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Schiller’s Liquor Bar menu, NYC

Some chilly temps and torrential downpours didn’t stop me from savoring every minute in NYC this weekend. It was a rare moment when I was there for pure bachelorette party fun rather than work. I finally got to see Apotheke (and sipped an edamame-purée concoction), was captivated by War Horse on Broadway and the Cindy Sherman exhibit at the MOMA. We ate, of course, and I’ll be posting about our bites all week. One brunch in particular stood out, but not so much because of the food. Perhaps my Norwegian Hollandaise at Schiller’s Liquor Bar was just a miss, but I loved everything else about this place, from the room to the Stumptown coffee, and especially the menu. The font reminded me of my grandfather’s handwriting I’d see on old, yellowed ledgers, and the style of the restaurant name was straight up Milwaukee circa 1950 beer bar/bowling alley…and they have an escarole and artichoke salad on the damn brunch menu! I mean….

I was happy with my Stumptown, and didn’t indulge in wine, but I loved the layout of the wine list…Cheap…Decent…or Good, by the glass, carafe or half carafe…simple and to the point. Schiller’s Liquor Bar, 131 Rivington, East Village, NYC

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Filed under eliz-a-trip, random foto, random spottings

Chicago Hilton gingerbread house

A friend staying at the Hilton Chicago joined me for lunch at Henri a couple weeks ago, but before we set out for mussels and smoked steak tartare, I got a glimpse of Chicago’s largest gingerbread house under construction. A team of chefs balanced on metal ladders to affix tasty gingerbread bricks to the chimney of the nine-foot-tall house, and slap sweet panels on the slanted roof. I think a white picket fence and poinsettias now surround the sweet crib, so head up to the 2nd floor lobby to catch a glimpse and the awesome aroma. Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

Gingerbread house in action

Sweet crib

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Caffé Streets

They may not have Wi-Fi (no, really, they purposely don’t to encourage actual face to face conversations), but they do brew a pretty impressive pot of coffee at “social coffeehouse” Caffe Streets. They present their coffee service in a cute glass pitcher with a cool thick mug both set on a wooden tray. If you don’t mind the minor panic attack involved in transporting the whole thing from the counter to your tiny table, it’s worth it for the flavorful cup of joe. What are you thoughts on a Wi-Fi free coffee house? Brilliant or bogus? 1750 W. Division Street.

Coffee presentation at Caffé Streets

Coffee talk (in person, only)


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Hué cork menu

A weekend visit to Wisconsin had me exploring one of my new favorite Milwaukee ‘hoods, Bay View (again). I loved stumbling upon tiny Vietnamese restaurant Hué for dinner, and especially dug their sleek cork menus with cool logo’d name plate. The design fit right in with the other impressive eco-efforts at the new spot, including bamboo floors, composting of vegetables and napkins, fryer oil recycled into bio-diesel, locally sourced produce, and recycled glass, plastic, cardboard and aluminum. And with fresh, authentic dishes from shaking beef to pho noodle soup on the menu, it’s worth a day trip. Curious about other Milwaukee haunts to visit? Leave your questions in the comments below. Hué, 2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414.294.0483

Cork menu at Hué

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Filed under eliz-a-trip, new restaurants, random spottings

5411 Empanadas

From meaty balls to naan sandwiches, there’s an army of delicious food trucks milling about the city, but I rarely spot one, well, parked anyway, especially right outside my office. So you can imagine my delight when rumors of a big blue truck stocked with flaky, fresh-baked Argentine empanadas parked outside began filtering through the office. I know the idea is to follow something as delicious at 5411 empanadas on Twitter, but hey, sometimes if you’re lucky (or if someone in the office above you makes a special request for a lunchtime appearance) they pull right up with hot empanadas like beef, barbecued chicken, ham and cheese, spinach and cheese and $1.99 a pop. About half an hour after we all stocked up on these hot little pockets, the truck was gone…onto North and Clybourn to feed hungry Apple store browsers. As spring finally decides to show up, this is one truck (of many) I’ll be eager to track down around town.

Empanadas on the run

Corn empanada

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Filed under I like to eats, new restaurants, quick lunch, random spottings

Spotted: Beer Soap

Only in Milwaukee does the brewski flow so freely even the soap is sloshed. I spotted these black rice, vanilla and Japanese beer soaps in a boutique in the Bayview area, a trendy little ‘hood I’m profiling for Where magazine (watch for it!). The Beer Soap Co. is actually a cool little company located nowhere near Lavern & Shirley-land. Looks like it’s down in Miami where they pour the porters, ales, lagers and even witbiers in (not at) the bar.

Soap suds


Filed under boozeworthy, eliz-a-trip, random spottings

Coca-Cola polar bears

Is there a better soda ad campaign in history than the Coca-Cola polar bear? Ever since I first saw the smiling gentle giants lounging peacefully on a block of ice as it drifted slowly out on a moonlit ocean, clutching their cubs in one hand and an ice-cold bottle of Coke in the other that I decided if I ever drank soda it would be Coke (and the occasional Sierra Mist when hungover). So, naturally, we had to stop into the two-story Coke store smack-dab in the middle of the Vegas strip. There was the usual smattering of Coca-Cola-emblazoned, well, everything, including a soda fountain, and a wall of specially designed bottles (like the bears below). But nothing made our visit more worthwhile than what we spotted in the very back of the store..a little scary, a little cute and a lot fascinating was a 7-foot polar bear at the ready for photos. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill Goofy at Disneyworld circa 1970s costume, the eyes blinked, the lashes fluttered, the mouth moved, he (she?) was impossibly white..and has a damn (and well-deserved) facebook fan page! It made me fall in love with Coca-Cola and those damn bears all over again. Las Vegas Coca-Cola Store, 3785 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

Polar bear bottles

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