Lunch @ Potbelly Sandwich Works – Chicago, USA

Potbelly Sandwich Works

190 North State Street
Chicago, USA


This quirky chain of sandwich shops, has not only great sandwiches but stocks the amazing IBC Root Beer.  The perfect place for a healthy lunch.

The Meal

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Breakfast @ Doughnut Vault – Chicago, USA

Doughnut Vault

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401 1/2 N. Franklin Street
Chicago IL 60654

The Review

Unfortunately I did not heed the reviews and showed up at the Doughnut Vault an hour after the opening time. I should have arrived half an hour before they opened! This place cooks their donuts before opening and once they are gone, they are gone. 

Of course, this meant that by the time I arrived I was given the last item available, the Gingerbread Stack. Accordingly I was not able to properly review the full range of donuts available. While the Gingerbread Stack was pleasant enough, it lacked the freshness and flavour punch of the donuts I had on previous visits to Do-Rite Donuts (This might be because my order had been sitting on the counter for too long, as opposed to Do-Rite Donuts’ offerings which are freshly baked every hour or so). Nonetheless, I would certainly given it a try should I end up in Chicago again, although next time I will definately arrive earlier.

The Meal

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Gingerbread Stack

The Doughnut Vault on Urbanspoon

Lunch @ Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria – Chicago, USA

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

439 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654

The Review

A very nice, pizza with a buttery crust and ample cheese and tomato sauce. However, it did not adequately represent the Chicago Deep Dish I was seeking. I would have no problems ordering it again if I was in town and looking for an easy pizza fix but I would not go out of my way for it.

The Meal

USA 099

The Malnati Chicago Classic
Deep Dish Pizza with lean sausage, some extra cheese and vine-ripened tomato on Buttercrust.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria (River North) on Urbanspoon

Breakfast @ Do-Rite Donuts – Chicago, USA

Do-Rite Donuts

50 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

The Review

Best. Donuts. Ever.

Or at least in my experience. Every donut was fresh, fluffy and perfect. The Cinnamon Crunch donut may have been the plainest of the three options but it still packed a punch when it comes to flavour. The bacon on the Candied Maple Bacon donut was perfectly crisp and full of enough flavour to provide an amazing contrast to the dough to which it was affixed. The star of the show, however, was the Banoffee Pie, featuring a donut filled with delicious banana and toffee filling. 

So good I might travel to Chicago again just to visit this place.

The Meal

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Cinnamon Crunch

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Banoffee Pie

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Candied Maple Bacon

Do-Rite Donuts on Urbanspoon

Dinner @ Alinea – Chicago, USA


1723 N Halsted
Chicago, IL 60614

Notable accolades

Three Michelin Stars, Michelin Guide 2012

Number 7, S. Pellegrino’s The World’s Best Restaurants 2012

The Meal

(not shown)
A glass of Lemonade
wind chime

USA 028A Napkin

USA 029Serving Spoons

USA 030Steelhead Roe
coconut, curry, yuzu

accompanied by a glass of Gimonnet Brut with St. Germain and Esterhazy Beerenausiese

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Oyster Leaf

King Crab
passionfruit, heart of palm, allspice

carrot, chamomile

Razor Claim
shiso, soy, daikon

accompanied by a glass of Georg Breuer ‘Terra Montosa’ Riesling, Rheingau 2009

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Miso prepared in a coffee siphon

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Woolly Pig
fennel, orange squid

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acting like agedashi tofu (featuring miso from the coffee siphon)

accompanied by a glass of Bodegas Godeval ‘Vina Godeval” Valdorras 2010

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A glass of miso from the coffee siphon

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thai banana, sea salt, kaffir lime

accompanied by a glass of Chehalem ‘3 Vineyards’ Pinot Gris, Willamette 2011

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Burnt Morels
ramps, asparagus, smocked date

accompanied by a glass of Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’ Bierzo, Spain 2009

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Hot Potato
cold potato, black truffle, butter

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A close-up of the 60 or so accompaniments to the lamb

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Black Truffle
explosion, romaine, parmesan

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inspired by Miro

accompanied by a glass of Valpolicella Classico, Superiore ‘TB’ Bussolo 2006

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Anjou Pear
onion, brie, smoking cinnamon

accompanied by The Rare Wine Co. ‘Boston Bual – Special Reserve’ Madeira

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five other flavours

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buttermilk, sorrel, macadamia

accompanied by a glass of Paolo Saracco Moscato d’Asti 2011

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helium, green apple

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A video

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White Chocolate
strawberry, english pea, lemon

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The insides

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The aftermath

Alinea on Urbanspoon

Lunch @ Johnny Rockets – Los Angeles, USA

Johnny Rockets

6801 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA


Describing itself as an “All-American” hamburger joint, lunch at this chain was a quick fix after our flight from Sydney was delayed as we did not want to eat lunch any later and risk being too full for our dinner reservation.

The food was promptly served and generally passable even if forgettable. I would only recommend eating here if you were in Hollywood & Highland and did not want to go to the effort of travelling somewhere better for lunch.

The Meal

P7293039Chili Cheese Fries


The #12
Cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, white onion, pickles, mayonnaise & their supposed signature “red red sauce®”

Johnny Rockets on Urbanspoon