Cafe Selmarie

Gene, Greg and I gave Cafe Selmarie a try today. This didn't go over so well with Gene and Greg because they had to come ALL THE WAY up north. It's really not that far. They were just being whiners. However, the Chicago marathon was going on today and I had no desire to fight the mega-crowds cheering on all those runners. Plus, I heard trying to cross the street was frightening. So we stuck to up north.
We had a short wait for a table today which was fortunate because we were super hungry. Greg was running a few minutes behind so Gene and I decided to start out with some "appetizers" while waiting. Gene got a multi-grain pancake, which he said was "not bad for a multi-grain". He opted out of the $1.75 pure maple syrup and stuck to whatever was on the table.  Tasted like syrup. Good cheap syrup...yummm. I got a croissant which was ok. A little crustier than I prefer though. I also started with a spiked hot chocolate. It's starting to get chilly up here so I thought some hot chocolate was exactly what I needed to warm me up. Except it wasn't very hot. It was in a large wine goblet. So it couldn't have been too hot. I got it with Irish cream. I don't think I like spiked hot chocolate. The liquor takes away the sweetness of the chocolate. In the future, I'll keep it plain.
When Greg arrived, we went ahead and ordered - Italian Benedict for me, Huevo Rancheros Benedict for Gene and a pesto-chicken scramble for Greg. The food was pretty tasty. The Italian Benedict was really good. The salami and pepperoni added a nice spiciness to the meal. The sauteed potatoes were just ok. Nothing special there. Gene agreed that the food was about on par with Sola. Greg had a hard time measuring up to his fancy Wagyu beef but that was expected.
Overall, we gave Cafe Selmarie a 6. The atmosphere was nice - a sunny, well-lit room that never got overwhelmingly loud. The menu was small but covered the basics. But there really wasn't anything that special or amazing about the place. Average with good food.


Sola - Brunch #1

Well, the annual foodquest has officially begun. This year's subject is Brunch. After all, who doesn't love a good brunch - hanging out with friends, tired from a fun (possibly rowdy) night before, rehashing the week before and after. (will need to work on more exciting things to rehash) Plus good food. The list of brunch places to be tested is still being finalized but we have a couple definites to start.


Sola represents itself as one part comforting, Midwestern hospitality, mixed with one part "surfer-girl" sensibility. I don't really know what that means but I liked the place. Things started off with a very short wait!! I was a little worried about the wait time - I'd heard stories of up to an hour! My friends and I planned to meet at 1, so I got there a little early to start our wait time out...it turns out I was frantically texting said friends as I only had a 10 minute wait. A nice start to things Sola....
As I perused the menu, I was impressed with their drink menu. It wasn't huge but there were good "brunchy" drinks. I opted for the Maui-mosa - champagne with pineapple and passionfruit juices. Yum! Greg got the Red Dawn Mimosa - champage with blood orange juice. Gene - well, he got hardcore with things since he'd already been drinking that morning. He sipped on the Rising Sun Martini - sake, mango vodka, blood orange and pomegranate juices.
We started out with the Malasadas - a Portuguese donut covered in granulated sugar and sitting atop a raspberry coulis/hot fudge medley. They were nice and flaky and not overly sweet. We each decided to go with a savory entree since the donuts sweetened up our palates. The huevos benedictos were...ok. That's all I can really say about them. I'm a slight cornbread snob, being from the south and all, so that really threw the whole dish for me. I enjoyed the chorizo/salsa/hollandaise combination but would have liked a bit more salsa. Gene's Short Rib Benedict got a pretty good review and Greg's Big Kahuna blew everything out of the water. But it's wagyu beef. Of course that's going to be good. You could saute that in a homeless person's urine and it would still be good. Sorry, off subject there.
Pricewise, we were all pretty happy with an average bill of $26. The ambiance was great -loud and friendly without being overbearing.
We decided this place would get a 7 out of 10...In hindsight, I think that may be setting the bar a little high. It was a cool place with decent food but that's all I can really say. Decent. I want "blow your mind" food. Since I'm in charge of this blog, I'm downgrading Sola to a 6.

Let's Give This Another Go

Ok so I made it through the 30 day Paleo challenge. Well, mostly. I had a few hiccups but they were pretty minor. I was pretty frustrated with it because I didn't lose ANY weight, my clothes didnt' fit ANY differently - and let's face it, I'm vain. These are the reasons I was doing the challenge. I will admit (as much as I hate to) that when I returned to my poor eating habits that I felt really bad. Like, hungover bad. I couldn't sleep, I woke up unrested (obviously the case with no sleep), I was crabby (more so than my usual self), I had no energy. It sucked. I figured I could buckle down, eat more bad stuff and work my way through the sludge and then I realized....I don't want to feel like that!
I'm starting over again - this time for a shorter time period. I'll go 3 weeks on, 1 week off. I'm also watching portion sizes since if I eat more than my body needs, it'll turn to fat - maybe I don't need to eat a whole 15 oz steak??? We'll see how this goes. I would update you all with more pictures but there is nothing new to see...maybe after this next cycle.
Oh and I'm also only doing one cheat meal a week. Y'all will like this - it's going to be brunch. Which means my new foodquest for the year will be...brunch!