Smoke Daddy

Smoke Daddy (If you look close you can see Dallas and Josh)


Sola Malasadas (after Sugarlips ate a few)

Ribs from Blue Bayou. Liked the meat and the grill, but didn’t love the sauce.

New favorite drink.

Dallas and I met up with Todd, Kelly and Chad at Ribfest on Saturday. As the name implies, this is a festival based around live music and ribs. This was the 14th year of Ribfest and about 20 different vendors participated. We spent a lot of time by the Smoke Daddy smokers and visited Josh. I also wanted to check out what Sola was offering and conveniently enough, the Sola booth was right next to Smoke Daddy’s. Even better, Chef Wallack was there. Dallas and I chatted with her a bit about the restaurant and Hawaii and she was kind enough to hook us up with some short rib sandwiches and later on some malasadas! YUM! We haven’t been to Sola for a few months and need to get back soon!

While the guys stood around and drank some beers, Kelly and I took a walk around and actually split some ribs. We also discovered our new favorite drink of the summer, Lime-a-Rita. I really did not like Bud Light Lime when I tried it last summer and everyone (Jess, Sara) was raving about it. The good thing about Lime-a-Rita is that it doesn’t taste anything like Bud Light. It’s sweet and tangy and limey and margarita-y. I suppose it’s probably best poured over ice, but we just drank it straight from the can.

After sweating it out at Ribfest (it was something like 90 degrees outside), we headed to Timo’s roofdeck birthday party. And after that to Brian and Sara’s roof deck to watch the Pacquiao/Bradley fight. I could have cared less about the fight, but it was a nice night to be outside on roof decks with friends!

Sola Brunch

Malasadas, Sola, North Center, Chicago

On the last day of our weekend together we all went out to drink my favorite drink at Sola. (According to the bachelorette quiz, Dallas thinks my favorite drink is coffee.) I insisted that we start off by sharing a couple plates of malasadas, a Portuguese doughnut that is popular in Hawaii. At Sola the malasadas are served with raspberry coulis and hot fudge. Awesome way to start off the day.


Jess B and I decided to indulge in a couple more drinks. Sola has a wasabi bloody mary but when I asked the waiter about it, he said he preferred the classic bloody mary and the wasabi one was more of a gimmick. I took his recommendation and it was great. Jess B got one of the mimosas, I believe.

Jess B

All of the brunch entrees on the Sola menu looked so delicious. I was sitting by Jill and Amanda and we all flip-flopped so much. In the end I got the kalua pork hash (poached eggs, pico de gallo, guacamole). It was good, but I’ve had a ton of kalua pig in Hawaii and it wasn’t as good as there. Jeannette also got the kalua pork hash.

Kalua Pork Hash (poached eggs, pico de gallo, guacamole)

Kristin got the classic eggs benedict (poached eggs, house made canadian bacon, hollandaise, english muffin), Amanda got the short rib benedict (poached eggs, cheddar biscuits, pesto, hollandaise), Jill got the ham and cheese french toast (mustard honey, plum preserves), Jess G shocked her system with vegetables by ordering the chicken salad (napa cabbage, carrots, snow peas, bean sprouts, miso vinaigrette, crisp wontons), and Jess B got the wild mushroom omelet (leeks, asparagus, prairie fruits farm goat cheese).

Wild Mushroom Omelet (leeks, asparagus, prairie fruits farm goat cheese)

After brunch we were all outside chatting. It was such a nice day. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. For some reason flashbulbs started going off on Jill and I.

Rachelle & Jill

Another angle!

Rachelle & Jill

Then someone suggested we all take a photo together.

Jess B, Jess G, Rachelle, Jill, Jeannette, Kristin, Amanda

What a fun way to end the weekend! Thanks to everyone for the planning they did and for the out-of-town guests for coming to Chicago to help me celebrate!

Last Meal at Singha

I met up with Paul Baker and Jess today to have lunch at Singha. They are closing in a few days, and I’m sure this will be my last lunch there. Paul Baker loves Singha so much that he went to dinner there last night, lunch today and has plans to have at least one more lunch before they close.

I have mixed feelings. When I worked at FeedBurner we used to always have Singha ordered in for all of our “important” meetings. After we moved into the Google offices, Singha was just a block away. Even though we famously got free lunch at Google, we’d sometimes go out for lunch at Singha for old times sakes. Mostly just the old FeedBurner crew working at Google. Even now, Singha is still just a block from me so I get together with the old FeedBurners for lunch there. I’ve had so many countless crab rangoon and lunches from Singha. It’s very nostalgic for me.

On the otherhand…. who is moving into the Singha space? Sola. I love Sola, have met Chef Wallack, and have kept in occasional contact with her online. I love dinner and brunch at Sola. The cuisine is delicious, with the Asian and Hawaiian influences. Now that we’re not living nearby the Sola, it would be nice to have it nearby work so I could at least lunch there.

On the otherhand… Singhaaaaaaaa… oh such mixed feelings :).

I guess we’re just going to have to try out Star of Siam after Singha closes and see if it’s as good. It could be the best Thai food in the world, though, and it still wouldn’t be Singha. One more note: The old Sola space will become Ohana, which means “family” in Hawaiian.