Last Thursday was Paul Baker’s birthday. We were all going out for dinner in Chinatown but not until 7:30 p.m., so Jess, Alden, Emily and I decided to kill a few hours after work by going for drinks in the South Loop, not too far from Chinatown. We decided to go to a bar called Kasey’s Tavern and I really liked it. It had a really warm feeling inside and had a pretty good beer menu. I had two Smithwicks.
At about 7 we left to head over to Chinatown to meet with everyone else. When we arrived? We realized, “Oh shit! It’s a BYO restaurant! Where can we get liquor?” We thought maybe Walgreens and headed over that way.
After going into the store and looking around we realized Walgreens doesn’t sell alcohol. So, I don’t know. SOL? We head into Chinatown Square.
This is an outdoor mall that looks like a pagoda and has a bunch of restaurants and stores. This mall is the largest Chinese mall in the United States east of San Francisco and west of New York City.
I’ve been to Chicago’s Chinatown a few times before, but I’d never been in Chinatown Square, so I thought it was pretty interesting. I’ve been to Chinatown in New York, SF and Chicago and I like Chicago’s the least, but I would like to come back and check out this mall during the day when more places are open.
So we walked through the mall and finally came up on the restaurant we were looking for, Spring World.
Oh, and looky, what’s this next to Spring World? China Place Liquor City.
There was such a huge selection in here. Emily wanted to get this bottle of mystery spirits for Paul Baker as a gift. Isn’t the bottle cute!?
The sales clerk made it seem like this wasn’t something we could just open up next door and drink, though. She helped us pick a 3 pack of mini sakes for Paul to try. We also got a 12-pack of Tsing Tao.
Paul and his friends were waiting patiently inside Spring World for us. Our search for booze was making us a bit late, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
Finally, seated and enjoying some drinks and appetizers. Paul Baker immediately busted out the sake. We added our Tsing Tao to the inventory someone else had already purchased. There was also a bottle of plum wine on the table. Yum!
And then we ordered food.
And more food.
And even more food.
We may have over ordered, but at least we got to try a lot of things. All of the entrees were on a large lazy susan so we could just rotate the center of the table. I must have tried 10 different dishes!
Paul Baker had a work event at Spring World last summer. He enjoyed it so much that that very day he told Kate that’s where he wanted his next birthday dinner. So, he waited 6 months to come back and he looked like the happiest guy! Happy birthday, Paul Baker!