Road Trippin’: Day 2, back in Chicago and it feels so good

It felt so good to get back to my little corner of Chicago Thursday afternoon following a few bumps in the road (literally.) There was lots of packing and cleaning to do, of course, but it just felt so good to be back in my apartment and to take a nice hot shower in my place. BK and I were starvin’ after driving and dealing with Uhaul, so we decided to try to get to Hopleaf in Andersonville. We’ve tried to go for dinner there two times prior but weren’t able to get in because it was so packed, and the one time we actually made it in for drinks the weekend of graduation, the kitchen wasn’t open yet and we had reservations at Graham Elliot for that night. But on a Thursday afternoon, we were able to grab seats at the bar soon after they opened at 4, and we had a couple of drinks while we waited for the kitchen to open. Hopleaf is a beer lovers’ bar, but they also have a few ciders, Green’s GF beer and of course, wine and liquors. I went for the Clos Normande Brut Cider, a French cider. It’s delicious and I thought $12 for a 750 ml. bottle was pretty good.

Hopleaf’s house specialty is the moules frites, which of course I was very excited about since it’s my favorite dish. The two types of the day were one with a Belgian ale and another in a mix of Thai curry, lemongrass, and ginger – obviously we had to go for the second since ale is definitely not GF, but it ended up being a great choice nonetheless. So, so good with an awesome amount of kick to it. The frites came with a thing of house-made aioli that had both of us raving. The meal was so absolutely delicious, and we ate every last bit. By the time we finished, the entire place had filled up and we were even happier than ever that we’d been able to get in early. The food was soo delicious that we both felt way too full to walk home and ended up taking a cab back home for a post-dinner nap before I returned to packing. Such is life.

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