things that make me happy in 2011, #5. Weekend guests, moules frites and M. Henrietta

#5. Weekend guests

pictured: frites and aiolis at Vincent
Chicago’s an awesome food city, obviously. But as a non-working graduate student right now, I hardly feel okay about going out to eat very often. This is just one of the great things about visitors – it makes me feel far more justified in going to check out lots of the city’s foodie fare.
Obviously I was plenty happy to have my boy in town for a zillion reasons this past weekend but eating our way around the city was definitely one of them. We started his trip with a simple dinner at M. Henrietta, the Edgewater bistro not far from my place. I’m a big fan of M. Henrietta – simple food with focus on locally sourced ingredients and sustainable proteins. We split the Nicaraguan tamales, the pancetta-wrapped polenta cake and the French chicken stew. As usual, we ordered way too much food. 
Saturday began with a long walk on the beach followed by pho, banh mi (for him) and summer rolls (for me) off the Argyle stop. Again, way too much food but oh-so-good. I ended up taking home much of the soup and now have the broth in my freezer. All that for $16 at Pho Viet.

BK’s banh mi – wish I could eat one.

That was followed by a walk through Andersonville and mid-afternoon drinks at Hamburger Mary’s. I was hoping to try their own brand of gluten-free beer but they were all out so I had to settle for a pint of Woodchuck cider. 

I’ve been wanting to try Vincent in Andersonville since it opened, so I used his visit as an excuse to invite some friends from school to join us for the dinner. The Dutch-style restaurant specializes in one of my favorite dishes: moules frites. 
The moules frites ended up not being my favorite part of the meal. The moules themselves were awesome. BK and I split two apps (a charcuterie platter and an extra thing of frites with dips) and  a large thing of moules frites. We went for the Normande, which features cider, cream, apples and some other spices. I’d probably go for one of the other varieties next time – it needed a stronger flavor. The fries, however, were not what I was expecting. The garlicky dip for the frites was my favorite while the boy preferred the sea salt and vinegar one. But the actual fries were skinny and uninteresting, not the type of thick-cut frites I was expecting. I find that most places I’ve tried MF either have awesome fries or awesome mussels, but rarely both. It might just be a matter of fry preference. 
The house-made headcheese was one of my favorite things, and I was impressed they carried Green’s GF beer,  which my fellow GF foodie Jaydine got. I, however, was all about the gins and genevers. My favorite of the drinks we tried was the Red Light Fizz, which was made with cherry juice, orange, anise/fennel, genever and Hum, a spicy rum mix made by one of Chicago’s own. So delicious. 
This entry was posted in Andersonville, celiac disease, chicago, edgewater, gluten-free, restaurants, things that make happy, Uptown. Bookmark the permalink.

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