Road Trippin’: Day 3, still in Chicago

Friday was devoted to packing and cleaning, and more re-packing. There was also some arguing over whether or not I am, in fact, a hoarder as we sorted through my collection of books, vintage clothing and what was admittedly too many pairs of shoes. I happily shipped my winter boots and heavy coats back east, along with part of my oversized collection of used corks that I was saving for various craft projects. BK informs me this is not an acceptable reason for packing them into our already over-stuffed trailer, although I remain in disagreement on this point.

We stopped for lunch at Kuma’s Corner, which is a completely amazing place in Avondale but not one that I would recommend for gluten-free options. Sometimes I live on the edge. Kuma’s is always packed but somehow we actually managed to get a table by arriving at 11:35 a.m. just after they opened. Every burger is named after a metal band, and the food is outrageously good. I decided to try the Slayer, which is a burger on top of hand-cut french fries, topped with “chili, onions, andouille sausage, cherry pepper, melted jack cheese and Anger.” It was absolutely delicious but I was definitely stepping out on a gluten-free limb with this one and felt kinda sick afterward. BK managed to eat his entire Black Oak Arkansas burger, which was quite the impressive feat. Kuma’s has an awesome feel to it — kind of like heavy metal burger place. Staff is friendly and tattooed, and they don’t take reservations. It’s certainly a necessary Chicago experience.

After lunch, it was back to packing and in bk’s case, a food-induced nap before our plans that evening.
I wanted to be sure to get to say a proper goodbye to some of my Chicago girls so we made plans for that night to meet up at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba! in Lincoln Park. I was having a hard time finding a place that was sort of casual, had small plates, took reservations and could accomodate six people on a Friday night before I settled on Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. We were ideally hoping for al fresco dining but CBBR, like many other Chicago spots, have a first-come, first-serve policy when it comes to the patio. The fact that CBBR has a gluten-free menu sold me, as my friend Jaydine is also on the GF diet.

I ordered the grilled calamari, the spicy peppers and the flan from the GF tapas menu. I was thrilled to see they also had Estrella Damm Daura GF beer so I went for one of those. This time it tasted a million times better than before.

The food was good. It wasn’t great, and the tapas certainly don’t hold a candle to the ones we had in Spain, but still, it was decent. More importantly, I was thrilled to see Andrea, Jaydine, Maria and Clarisa once more before I headed west.

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