So Much Happening!

I feel like I've got much happening over the next few days! I need/want to finish my Christmas shopping. I'm going to game night at Greg's and planning on bringing this super extra yummy buffalo chicken dip that my old neighbor used to make....it'll be a big hit! Plus, I have a date. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm trying to contain my excitement...just in case something happens and the date falls through. I'm good at sticking my foot in my mouth and ruining things. So I'm trying to keep my mouth shut! He's pretty cute. And he's a firefighter. And appears to have a sexy firefighter body in the pictures I've seen...I'm excited. Eek. I just squeaked.
Aside from all that, my ma is coming to the city for the holidays. It'll be her first time here so I'm trying to come up with a list of fun things to do. Here's some ideas I'm tossing around so far:
1. Lunch at the big Macy's that used to be Marshall Fields.
2. Walking the Magnificent Mile/looking at store fronts/shopping/seeing Christmas lights.
3. A drink at the Signature Room (How long of a wait?!?!?)
4. Navy Pier? I haven't been and it's supposedly pretty touristy but they have a good Christmas display.
5. Christmas Kindlemarket...errr...something like that. It's a German Christmas market that's supposed to be neat.
6. The zoo.
7. Hot Doug's?
8. A wine tasting at the GINORMOUS Whole Foods? Or go to a wine bar?

That's all I got so far. We'll spend 3 or 4 days in Toledo so really we only need enough to fill Thursday, Friday night & the following Thursday...but we should have options!



We trekked over to the West Loop for brunch this Sunday. There was a new crowd so plenty of dishes tried! Now I'll go ahead and spoil this review by stating that this has been my favorite brunch place so far. Let's see, can I even list all the things I loved about this place?
1. They took reservations. No 45 minute wait for this group!
2. They had parking! I didn't have to take public transit or pay an inevitable ticket!
3. We sat down at the table to some fresh bread & rolls. It was so good - and fresh butter. Yum.
4. They came to the table with juice fresh squeezed in glasses & offered it to us. It's hard to say no to fresh squeezed juice! (Somehow I managed.)
5. The menu was good. Not huge but it covered the basics. Plus the specials menu looked really tasty.
6. I ordered the baked french toast with sauteed apples. It was soaked overnight then coated with a brown sugar/cinnamon crust and baked. Coated with some powdered sugar plus the butter & maple syrup I added....mmmm....heavenly!
7. They had chicken & waffles on the menu! I heard it was pretty good but I didn't get a taste.

So I also had the potatoes (good, no dill, see Bongo Room) and the ham. The ham was a little odd - more of a thick sliced lunch meat ham than the bone in ham I was expecting. But the flavor was good. The server was good & knowledgable, steering those of us with questions in the right direction.

Now I am enamored with this place. But I will point out the bad things - there was coffee cups & urns on the table. But they charged for the coffee. I didn't like that. If it's on the table it should be included at no cost. It's like if they charged us for the bread on the table or the water. Ridic. But I don't drink coffee so that's not that huge of a deal to me. Actually that's all I have for the bad things.

Pricewise, I thought it was fair. Everyone else said the food was "ok to good" but Greg, well, he likes himself the Bongo Room and I don't think anything else will measure up for him. If someone said "Hey do you want to go to the Bongo Room or Ina's?" Well, my answer would definitely be Ina's. I give this place an 8 - right alongside the Bongo Room.

(Pictures to follow if I can get my phone to work right)