Friday we all met downtown and Kim, Denise and Michelle all did BIKRAM with me! The room was hotter than ever (in fact the instructor was telling a few of us afterwards that she didn't even want to tell us what the humidity was at). We muddled through though and then felt well-deserved in our trek down to THE PURPLE PIG!
I must tell you about The Purple Pig -- its the most amazing restaurant ever! Your mouth thinks about that place almost every day of your life after you've eaten there. If someone says the words "purple" or "pig" you suddenly go into a trance-like state. Its so delicious that, even when they don't take reservations and they tell you its a 3 hour wait.... you smile and say "thats all?!" Ok - your friends who have never experienced the amazingness of the Pig before look at you with the "we're only doing this because its your birthday" look and then smile and say with their mouths "no thats ok!" And you feel guilty and keep reassuring them that it will all be worth it once you put the first bite in your mouth.
Turns out, our wait wasn't quite 3 hours, only about 1 and a half, but we had a nice sit outside with a some great drinks and conversation and time just --- well, slid by.
But then, we got inside, into that noisy abyss of Friday night frivolity, we sat at the community style table and then, overwhelmed with the menu selection, turned to the waiter to guide us. Its what I always do at the Pig (ok, the one other time I've been there) - but I've never been steered wrong yet!
We started with a few appetizers, including a bone marrow spread (sounds weird, but its heaven!), chorizo stuffed alives, this artichoke thing and a corn dish that I've had before and HAD to get again...
Main course was this gigantic turkey leg thing, chicken kabobs with tahini and lamb. I don't think we talked much the whole meal -- we just couldn't bring ourselves to waste the energy needed for devouring -- and I think we were kind of greedily trying to get as much as we could as the whole meal is kind of shared - kind of tapas style but bigger portions.
Desert was NOT fair..... I saw the panne cota and HAD to get it as well as the nutella, banana and marshmallow sandwich. And then the whole meal, there was this menu clipped up on the lamp above my head and I was browsing through it and saw this thing that I started drooling over before the appetizers were over..... Its called a Sicilian Iris and its the puffy thing in the front of the picture - its like this beignet thing stuffed with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips. The tables were community style so we had a couple sitting next to us and when we got to the desert the woman told us that they had been ordering things based on our reactions to the food. She said when we got to the Sicilian Iris it was like watching that scene in When Harry Met Sally... the "I'll have what she's having..." scene. Needless to say - they got the Sicilian Iris......
We stayed downtown that night as we were supposed to run a 5K the next morning. SUPPOSED to was the operative word here. We got in after midnight and got to bed and when the alarms went off the next morning, I just COULD NOT get up. Is that a sign of age :( I couldn't do it and I felt guilty for not running, but I couldn't bear the thought of being surrounded by a ton of people and pushing and shoving for my place with the way I felt Saturday morning. Michelle and Kim were the ones who stayed down and they wonderfully humored me and let us skip the race.
In turn, we ended up doing a river cruise, which I've done a million times but love, and Kim and Michelle have never done. Michelle had never even been in Chicago so it was a great introduction. We walked around all afternoon and showed Michelle the city and we even went on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
Oh - can't forget they also let me go to Pops which is this place that I've been trying to go to for SO long but its always a line out the door. So at 3 in the afternoon, we went and had Bellinis :) They were delicious!
This goes in my file of - "Awesome Signs"...... its "watch for vehicles" -- would you ever guess :)
We ended the day with some great Thai food sitting out on a porch in some amazing August, Chicago weather..... and then hopped in the car and headed home.
What a great birthday weekend and what awesome friends for showing me such a great time -- thanks Kim, Denise and Michelle!!!!!!