Tag: the publican

Monday Things {11-05-2012}

1. On Friday evening my mom drove in to Chicago from Michigan. Even though Ian and I were home not too long ago, I was really excited to see her, I love spending time with my mom! We decided to go to one of Ian and my favorite restaurants for dinner, The Publican. Ian and I have been twice before and unfortunately the experience was much better then than it was Friday night. We ordered some oysters (amazing), I had the apples salad without cheese, my mom and Ian split the frites with eggs, I had the fish stew, and my mom and Ian split the blood sausage and the porchetta. While nothing was bad per say everything was just okay.

2. On Saturday morning I woke up early and went for a 5 mile run. I switched things up and headed south along the lakeshore trail and ran through one of my favorite spots in the city, the path around the aquarium. I don’t run there often but the view of the city is always breathtaking and I just had to stop and take a picture.

Booping idea courtesy of Sierra.

3. Back at the apartment, my mom and I each had a small breakfast and some coffee before heading out to enjoy the overcast city. Our first stop was Fleetfeet where I finally replaced my FuelBelt. I decided on something similar to my previous one that carried two 7 oz bottles and had a little pouch to store gels, cash, a credit card, etc.

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I also picked up enough gels to last me about a month. Besides Fleetfeet I haven’t found a store in Chicago that carries a decent amount of flavors and kinds of gels. As it takes me 30 mins to get there and it’s out of my way, I don’t want to be running over there every week. I’d be so tempted to buy everything in the store!

4. We also stopped in a Starbucks so I could use the restroom and my mom could get a latte. She ended up buying Ian and me some Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend too! Yum, thanks Mom!

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5. After shopping, my mom and I met up with Ian (who slept in and then avoided a trip to Fleetfeet) at Frontera Grill for a late brunch. Over a year ago we all went to Frontera for dinner and loved it and I knew we’d have to go back for brunch eventually. After my mom told me which weekend she planned on coming to Chicago, I made sure to make a reservation ASAP.

We all started with the guacamole which was absolutely amazing and so simple. I could have just eaten chips and guac and been content.

Ian ordered the sapitos (A trio of Xalapa-style gorditas (corn masa cakes) in chipotle-black bean sauce each with its own topping: scrambled eggs, grilled chicken, chorizo, plantains; homemade crema & queso fresco)

My mom had the enchiladas de mole poblano (Homemade tortillas rolled around Gunthorp free-range chicken, doused with Mexicos most famous mole. Black beans)

And I had the vegetables in oaxacan green mole (Corn masa tamales, vegetables from local farms, Oaxacan green mole, crispy epazote).

Everything was amazing and we all left the restaurant in foodie heaven.

6. After lunch we walked around the city some more. We went to the Anti-Cruelty Society to look at puppies and kitties and then walked over to my new office so my mom could see where it was. It was starting to get cold and we were starting to get tired, so we headed back to the apartment to veg on the couch and watch Arrested Development :).

7. Lunch was pretty filling and had it been a normal evening I probably would have made a salad for dinner and called it a night. However, I had 20 miles on my schedule for Sunday morning and I knew I needed to eat something more substantial. We kept things simple and headed over to Amarit, a thai restaurant near our apartment.

I started with one of my favorite lighter thai dishes, green papaya salad.

And then ordered their mixed vegetables over rice.

It was good and safe for my stomach but nothing fabulous. I kept eyeing my mom’s pad thai and Ian’s pad see eiw ;).

8. We debated going to see a movie but we were all pretty tired and decided to watch a movie on Netflix instead. Has anyone else noticed how bad the streaming movie options are? Every time I want to watch a movie on Netflix it takes me like 30 minutes to find one that I remotely want to watch. Ugh. Anyway, we finally decided to watch I Love You Phillip Morris and while it wasn’t my favorite it was interesting.

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9. Sunday morning I got up super early and headed out for a long run (you can read more about my training last week here). The extra hour was greatly appreciated and it got light during my first miles (yes!). I also finally think I’m figuring out how to fuel during my runs. Yesterday I took 1.5 gels, 1/4 of a gel every two miles starting at mile 8. It was kind of annoying to remember to fuel every two miles but I didn’t have any stomach issues which is more important. I have also been paying with GUs vs. Clif Shots and caffeinated vs. non-caffeinated gels. So far I seem to prefer the caffeinated Clif Shots.

10. After my run, I iced, stretched, snacked, showered, and then my mom, Ian, and I walked over to Hackney’s for brunch. I ordered the tilapia tacos that normally come with black beans and quinoa but shortly after telling our waitress that I was allergic to dairy, she told me both the black beans and quinoa are cooked in bulk in butter. Boo. We talked through my other options and I ended up with tacos, broccoli, and fries. Random but delicious. Plus, I was too hungry to care at this point!

11. My mom left shortly after brunch (:() and Ian and I vegged on the couch, watched some tv, and eventually did our grocery shopping. I also had about 30 minutes of work that I wanted to get done before going in on Monday so I did that too. Why do weekends have to end?

12. Ian and I spent the rest of the night catching up on our DVR, watching Walking Dead (ummm what happened?), and then doing some reading. I definitely crashed early, I was a tired lady.

How was your weekend? What did you do?




The Publican {Brunch}

I should have known better than to try to go for a training ride yesterday morning. I made it about 15 minutes before reaching my first NATO barricade: about 50 City of Chicago snow plows lined up blocking access to an open road. Ridiculous! I spent a good 10-20 minutes trying to find a big enough gap to fit my bike through so I could get to a road leading to Lake Shore. It was incredibly frustrating. Then, once I got on the path, it was extremely crowded and I had to weave between zillions of runners. I am the biggest hypocrite. When I run, I get annoyed by bikers and when I bike, I’m annoyed by runners. Who am I? Anyway, after about 20 minutes, I became frustrated, headed into the city and biked side streets home.

Chicago triathletes/cyclists any recommendations on places/times to cycle? I want to get a few good training sessions in before my race but I can’t seem to find a good location for it.

After my bike ride, I locked my bike up and headed out for a run. I decided to complete two miles instead of one after my sub-par biking experience but when my Garmin would not connect with a satellite (maybe it was the helicopter that hung out over my building all day yesterday?) I just took off. My guess is I ran 1.75 miles but I’m not sure. It would have been two but I had to use the bathroom (thankfully TJs has open restrooms) and then lost all motivation to continue. What can I say, yesterday was not my best day of workouts.

While my workout may not have been amazing, brunch sure was! This past Valentine’s Day Ian took me to The Publican, a beer-focused, farm-to-table restaurant. We loved it and have since been talking about returning. The Publican is well-known for their brunch and we had to make a reservation earlier in the week. We also knew our server (friends of family) and were treated like royalty which very sweet and generous.

I started out with a coffee and Ian had fresh squeezed orange juice. While we were looking over our menu, our servor brought us out complimentary rhubarb-almond coffee cake. See, I told you we were spoiled ;)

Next, we split an asparagus salad that came with a poached egg, parmesan cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette.

The salad was light and crisp, I want to recreate it at home!

Then, we had our mains. Ian ordered smoked arctic char with a side of bacon while I had the chachouka (tomatoes, feta, pinenuts, & baked eggs).

It was amazing and completely unlike anything I usually order. I loved it!

The Publican’s brunch menu was so tasty that I joked with Ian that we should go there every weekend. But even if we could afford it, going every weekend would make it less special. We decided to reserve The Publican for brunch with family or friends when they’re in town and looking for something a little bit nicer. That will definitely keep the “special factor” alive ;).

With the impending NATO summit, we decided to knock some errands out right after brunch rather than on Sunday like we usually do. We went to Target (I bought some shirts!) and then Trader Joe’s to do our grocery shopping. By the time we got home, I was full of food and exhausted and happily curled up on the couch for a long nap. It was awesome.

When I woke up I had a quick costume change and then Ian and I headed out to a BBQ at our friends’ home in the suburbs.

We sat out in their fenced backyard, played with their pups, sipped some adult drinks, and feasted on hamburgers, hotdogs, and smartdogs (for me). We also walked into their little downtown for local ice cream. It was a great time and I wish I had taken pictures but I was honestly having too much fun to even think about it!

Surprisingly, Ian and I made good time getting back into the city and even watched an episode of Mad Men before crashing. Everyone keeps saying the first season is the slowest and I already like it, I can’t wait to get to the 5th!

What have you been up to this weekend? Anything exciting?




Valentine’s Day 2012 {Dinner at the Publican}

Last night for Valentine’s Day, Ian took me to dinner at the Publican, a beer-focused restaurant with an eclectic menu inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall.

The dining room was so cool, lots of communal tables with a few two-tops in the mix, and how awesome are those lights? The restaurant was on the louder side but it was not too loud to hold a conversation and the loudness actually made the tables feel private.

Even though the restaurant was supposed to replicate a beer hall, I was more in the mood for wine, so I ordered a glass of of cabernet (had two throughout the evening).

Ian happily enjoyed his favorite Three Floyds beer, Zombie Dust.

the Publican doesn’t bring out bread automatically but you can request it, so we did. I love good restaurant bread too much to skip it.

the Publican’s bread did not disappoint. It was crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside, perfect!

Our waitress also informed us that all of the plates were for sharing and fairly small, so we decided to try a few different items.

To start, I ordered the Endive Salad.

I loved how the goat cheese came on the side, it was also incredibly tasty. I loved this salad!

Ian started with the Spicy Pork Rinds which he claims are the best he’s ever had. They did look pretty fancy for pork skin!

We also shared the Frites with Louis’s eggs.

This was basically a pile of fries with two eggs on top. It may look weird, but it was phenomenal. The best bites were the ones with a fry and some egg white. So good!

We obviously hated them ;)

For my main, I ordered the Scallops

Tiny but delicious. They were actually served with three pieces on pancetta on top but I offered them to Ian and he enjoyed them.

Ian ordered the Country Ribs but I never took a picture.

We were both pretty full after dinner but we rarely order dessert at restaurants and since everything had been so good, we decided to indulge.

After much contemplation, we ordered the Peanut butter parfait with bananas, honeycomb candy, tcho chocolate, graham cookies, and whipped cream

and the Waffle with honey butter & lavendar-peach conserve.

We each took a few bites of both and then I took over the parfait and Ian the waffle. It worked out perfectly :)

With full-bellies we went home, watched a Friday Night Lights, and promptly passed out before 10:30. I couldn’t have asked for a better Valentine’s Day <3