Love can be messy, but maybe not quite as messy as the Garrett's Chicago Mix Popcorn that one of my traveling companions said I need to try as we departed the Chicago airport. I bought the small bag (not really that small) and when I opened it a couple of hours into the 9+ hour flight, my first thought was "Why didn't you buy the big bag?!?" Which was followed quickly by "Thank God you didn't buy the big bag!!!" This mix of cheese popcorn and caramel corn might sound odd, but it is highly addicting. I know if I had bought the big bag, I would have eaten even more than the 2/3 of the bag I consumed before I got home (with my oft-washed by still orange-stained hand) between the plane ride and getting stuck in traffic. Delicious combination of sweet and salty and well worth the mess.
As mentioned in previous posts, I have been on a week-long, mostly all work and little play business trip this past week and just got home last night. I am behind on my posting and visiting and I need to get back into the cooking mode, so I thought I would share a few pictures of some of the food we ate while on the trip until I get it together.
The photos are not great--bad lighting and a wish not to have my new traveling companions find me annoying, trying too long to get good shots of our food, but you'll get the idea. Not a week of healthy eating for sure, but with breakfast in the hotel and lunch mostly consisting of granola bars in the car and lunch buffets set out by vendors--dinner was a time to indulge. ;-)
From the Manhattan Deli Restaurant & Bakery in the Crowne Plaza Hotel / Commerce Casino by our hotel in Los Angeles. I ordered the cup of soup / half sandwich combo which consisted of a bowl of Matzoh Ball Soup (not pictured) with one huge matzoh ball and a 1/2 sandwich of choice. I picked the Corned Beef Rueben and it came with potato salad. The soup and sandwich were both delicious. I loved that the sauerkraut on the Rueben was grilled--a perfect extra touch. We should have guessed that the food would be in huge portions since the pastry case in the front had apple turnovers the size of dinner plates and cupcakes about 4 times the normal size. We were WAY too full for dessert.
I neglected to take a picture of my French Onion Soup and Petite Filet Mignon at Steven's Steak and Seafood House, because the lighting was almost non-existent in the restaurant, but I had to take a really bad picture of the desserts and coffee. We ordered a piece of Cheesecake to split among three of us but our waitress thought we should have more food and brought us a complimentary slice of their Chocolate Thunder Cake with fudge sauce and ice cream. Everything was really good but the best part of the dinner / dessert was the coffee service because they automatically serve the coffee with bowls of chocolate shavings and cinnamon sticks and real whipped cream. Really a dessert own its own, it is a nice touch more restaurants should follow.
We had Italian food at Mi Piace in Pasadena and it was really delicious. From top left: Stracciatella (delicious with the spinach and egg but the long angel hair pasta in the soup made it a bit difficult to eat neatly). One of my travel mates ordered the Gnocchi with Spinach & Ricotta, the other chose the Butternut Squash Ravioli, and I had the Veal Piccata. We shared bites of everything and it was all delicious. I couldn't do dessert but did sneak a couple bites of my tablemate's Creme Brulee (not pictured).
The only dinner I took a picture of in Chicago was the pizza from Gino's East (Gino's on Higgins). When we asked for a place for great Chicago Pizza, everyone said to go to the original Gino's which luckily was near our hotel by the airport. We ordered the Chopped Salad with Chicken & Pasta for the table to start. For our pizza we picked the Cheese and Sausage Deep Dish, and the Meaty Legend (pepperoni, Canadian bacon and bacon) Thin Crust. Excellent--meaty and delicious with a good cornmeal crust and a well-flavored sauce.
Finally we did have a great steak dinner (noticing a theme here?) hosted by our vendors in Chicago at the Rosewood. Appetizers, French Onion Soup, Veal Piccata for me (another theme - it feels lighter than a hunk of steak), and a bevy of sides to share. (I did manage to get sauteed spinach on my plate) ;-) Since we had a birthday at our table, a dessert plate was ordered (the only picture I snuck in with my iPhone), with Coconut Cake, Apple Purse with Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream and White Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Sauce. The six of us only managed to put a dent in it--too much rich food.
So you can see from just some of the food consumed, why I feel like I rolled off the plane back home and why I need some simple, healthy home-cooked food. Business traveling is interesting, fun at times, but in the end hard work, and cold! ;-) I used to do a ton of it and don't miss the amount. I am happy to be home and will be back on my healthy living track tomorrow and catching up with the blog world over the next few days.