May 29, 2013

Breakfast at Yolk and an Artful Afternoon

For those who don't know, I had my graduation ceremony last week.  Technically speaking, I still have a few more months until I finish the program and get a real diploma, but I managed to walk across a stage in funny clothes without tripping.  My mom came up to see graduation and celebrate my birthday early.

She stayed at the Allerton Hotel, just north of the river on Michigan Avenue, a.k.a. "the Mag Mile".  It's super close to shopping (leading to some ambitious shopping at Nordstrom's), food, and all that you stay downtown for.

A little bit on the history of the hotel for those interested:

The room itself was small, but nicely furnished, with all you really need.  They have a program where you can get a 10 dollar credit to food at the hotel for not having your linens changed during your stay.  I like the environmentally friendly aspect of this, but watch out that there are a number of exceptions to that credit, so that coffee you order in the morning might not be as free as you think it is.  Just be vigilant.  All-in-all, we really enjoyed our stay and it was well worth the very inexpensive cost to stay downtown.

the view from our window

We headed just around the corner to Yolk for breakfast.  I heard about it some of my friends in nursing school, so I figured this was the perfect time to try it out.  Out timing was perfect-  although the place was packed, a table opened up right as we came in.  Both my mom and I are indecisive with a menu and enjoy picking at a couple different options. We opted to get two different breakfasts to that we could share them both.  Plus we got to have a sweet breakfast and a savory breakfast!

My mom picked the Caprese Benedict- two poached eggs over fresh tomato, mozzerella, and pesto all on an english muffin and topped with Hollandaise sauce.  And then it comes with both fruit and potatoes.

It's seriously so much food.

So since she went savory, I went sweet with challah french toast with blackberries on top.
(If you want to try your hand at making your own challah, you can try out my recipe here)

Pardon the photo quality, we were operating on an iPhone, since bringing my beastly camera around with me is a bit much for breakfast and shopping.

The food was incredible.  Especially that Benedict Caprese.  I love anywhere I can get a poached egg, because that is way too much work to try at home.  The fresh tomato and mozzarella balance out the deliciously rich and creamy hollandaise sauce. It is well worth it.

I always love french toast, so it's hard not to be pleased.  But I was happy that I could opt to get fresh fruit on top- the blackberries were nice and tart and complemented the sweetness well.

Once our bellies were full and happy we were back on the street!

And just look how happy we are with full tummies!

We stopped in at Charming Charlie's for a few pieces of jewelry.  I am always totally overwhelmed by the amount of jewelry in that place.  But it's perfect for finding a little something to match an item.  Since I just got a brand new pair of teal shoes the day before, I focused on getting something to match those.  I lucked out with a few pairs of earrings, and a new watch (with a second hand!) for nursing.  Mom found a small silver watch that had a little bit of gold so it wouldn't clash with her wedding band.

Then we thought we'd just pass through Nordstrom's when we happened upon their massive Memorial Day Sale.  Nearly the entire women's floor was 40% off.  We may have done a little bit of damage, but hey, we're only together once in a long while right?  And we bravely managed to not get any mroe shoes.  Which is a serious feat considering this is their shoe sale:

That's probably less than a third of the sale section.  I even found a pair of grey suede wedges  by Jeffrey Campbell that were SO beautiful for maybe $80.  The lady who eventually bought them is a vey lucky lady.  I marvel at my own fiscal responsibility.

Figuring that we did enough damage for one day we went back out and headed north on Michigan until we hit those funny little castle buildings.  We went up to look at them, as I've always been curious how exactly they ended up there, and it turns out they're old Chicago Water Works buildings.

They had a sign out front saying that there was an art exhibit inside- it was all prints!  In college I minored in studio art, and I mostly made prints.  I seriously love this art form.  Wood cuts were my favorite to make, but I also really liked screen printing.  So this was a super exciting find for me.

The exhibit, Animal Kingdom, will be up until June 3rd.

I'm really upset about this, but I can't find my notes from the exhibit.  I wrote down each of the artist's names and parts of their bios to share with my dutiful readers, and I feel like a royal ass showing their work without being able to give credit.  I'm hoping to get back there so I can update this post, so we'll see.

The participating artists are Kathleen JudgeDan GrzecaThe Bird MachineDiana SudykaDelicious Design LeagueSteve WaltersPhineas X. JonesJohnny SampsonBilly CravenShawn Roberts and Robert Valadez.

I do remember that these first two works are by an artist originally from Buffalo, New York.  This is only an hour from my hometown, and we actually lived in Buffalo for a few of my formative years so it's always exciting to see someone from your neck of the woods.

All of the artists in this show are based in Chicago.

Shortly after we headed down to the Art Institute of Chicago.  I have a student membership there, which I absolutely love, recommend, and take full advantage of.  Joe goes to school downtown, so I'll go there before or after meeting u with him on his shorter school days.  

The Modern Wing 

It's one of the most beautiful museums I've been in, and I've gotten to the point where I know just which halls and corners have my favorite pieces for a quick tour. 


Seriously, it is so cool to see art in person that you feel like you've known for ages.  I personally love the whole impressionist section, but Van Gogh is my all time favorite.

After that, we met up with Joe and headed out to dinner at Emilio's Tapas.  
But for that, you'll have to stay tuned.  I'm off to finish some homework!  Ah the life of a student.

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