Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wisconsin and beyond

Back in Sydney for about 36 hours now and with a big sleep last night, we're feeling a bit more like our normal selves.

Haydn and I covered a lot of territory in our 2 week sojourn: Chicago for some Lollapalooza and South Loop deluxe living with Ann; Wisconsin for many things including canoeing, golfing, Memorial Terrace-ing and lots of dining out; Tara in NYC for some heartwarming reunions with friends from grad school, Nonesuch, and Lincoln Center.

But a definite highlight was also the main reason we came back at this specific time: the nuptials of Laura and Andy, a couple that has always been great friends to us. Laura and I go back to 4th grade and in coupleville, L & A have known Haydn about as long as I have. We've had good times in Sydney and Chicago.

Their wedding was a blast and had all the ingredients for perfect celebration: honest sentiment, a couple of tears of emotion, a family singalong, funny speeches, plenty of wine and beverages and some major action on the dancefloor.

The following day Haydn declared it a Category 10 hangover. All for a good cause!

As for the all important culinary delights, true to chunkytoast's mission, here'a rundown:
+ Iced coffee - hallelujah! I love flat whites, but sometimes a girl in summer just needs a good old iced coffee with lots of milk.
+ The taco plate at a hole in the wall Mexican place in Chicago. Massive and so love the 'orange' rice on these meals.
+ Bunyan Burger at the Memorial Terrace. So much melted chese always remains on the wrapper!
+ Brat at Miller Park with Secret Stadium Sauce, Mustard, relish, sauerkrat.
+ Mom's Baked Spaghetti. What a meal to come home to -- oven baked goodness.
+ Jiang Chang take away. Broccoli and chicken and lots of garlic sauce.
+ Boca Chica in lower east side NYC. A beautiful plate of Latin American food with a beautiful group of friends.
+ Murray's Bagels -- everything with scallion cream cheese.
+ Jolly Bob's -- the avocat. Pecan crusted catfish with a delectable avocado sauce drizzled on it. And oh the crab cakes were yummy too.
+ Culver's in Beloit -- a burger on the way to O'Hare has become something of a tradition.

But, much to my own surprise, my favorite meal was at the Hawk's Landing Golf Club. My dad is working there this summer and wanted to take us to check out the joint. I love a golf club meal (North Bondi Golf Club is a weekly event for me) but mostly for the dependability. The special at Hawk's Landing was indeed special and I went for it -- blackened catfish on a bed of linguine in a cream sauce. It could be heavy-handed but this was done with a light touch. The sauce included grilled shrimp and it wasn't too cream-laden but instead was a nice contrast to the blackened seasoning.

Here tis:

Many more photos are here:

Happy trails...