An Italian professional cyclist, Michele Scarponi, was recently killed while out on a training ride near his home town by a driver in his work truck. There's been a lot of stories on this cyclist, but I liked his quote below the best:
“Certe mattine m’ impigrisco, faccio fatica ad alzarmi e vestirmi. Ma saltato sulla bici, ritrovo la leggerezza del vivere”
“Some mornings I feel lazy, I struggle to get out of bed and get dressed. But I jump on my bike and life feels light again”
– Michele Scarponi to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, 2012
You could go to the Chicago original, but if you happen to be in Indy, this location will be much closer. I was very happy to get to check any location out, sink my teeth into fried pickles and a "Pantera" burger. Nothing disappointed and I would go back in a New York minute.
Check it out...
Then open the menu...
All hail the Pantera. Can you identify all the ingredients? (Don't look above...)
On a recent Friday night, I didn't want to just drive home, so I ventured further into downtown Madison and wound up at a spot I had been close to previously, but had not yet ventured in. I wanted to check out the Statehouse Restaurant and Bar on the first floor of the Edgewater Hotel.
As the name implies, it all happens to be right on Lake Mendota, near-ish the university campus, and with great views, places to wander, and beer/drinks available. It's a great place to hang out and take a load off, especially after a particularly trying and long Friday.
I walked right into the bar of the restaurant and sat down for my first cocktail, a Wisconsin staple, an Old Fashioned (whiskey, not Brandy for me). It hit the spot.
Finally, with all the booze, I decided I need to eat a real meal. When in Rome, eat Roman food. But when in a steakhouse, eat steak. I ordered up their flank steak sandwich.
It's off their non-published bar menu, and while everything in the sandwich was delicious, the bread they chose to build this taste vehicle on was not so bueno for me. They place all this slippery steak and sauce on a 4" wide plank of hard ciabatta bread. It's not a roll or bun, it's just cut from a larger loaf. Not only was it too tall, crusty, and girthy to easily get a mouth on it, items started slipping out from to word "Moe". I mean, I got it all down, but it was kind of weird to be in this "fancy" steakhouse and be struggling with a sandwich falling apart. Surely I can't be the first and likely won't be the last.
In spite of the "PANdemonium", this was a perfect Friday evening, at a really nice, welcoming, warm place. It's now on my list to head back to when needed. I should also mention their sister restaurants across the courtyard, The Icehouse and The Boathouse (at least I think they own them all). They're even more casual places on the lake to grab a beer or bite and don't disappoint in the views department either.
I capped the night off at a local ice cream purveyor, Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co.... awesome. They make the full-fat, super premium kind, not for the faint of heart.
I was recently in the City of Broad Shoulders and what greeted me that morning as I arose from Union Station was rain. It made me keep my head tilted down, and with the bent, I saw something below street level, probably for the first time (and I think it's relatively new, so it wasn't there when I lived in the city) - Chicago's Riverwalk.
It's a man-made structure that skirts the north side of Wacker Drive and the Chicago River. I have to say, it's a great way to the the river skyline, and I can see how in the summer it would be a great place to gather, have lunch, and soak up some rays before heading back into your cubicle.
Check it out...
I took it about half the length and popped back up onto surface streets at LaSalle. I would have gone further, but I didn't have unlimited time, there was almost no people-watching, and it was pouring rain the whole time. I'll be back though, mark my words.
Finally, after years of hearing about this on social media, I was personally escorted to this cool little taco hangout in Indy. It was pretty dang good people watching outside, and some serious taco-eating inside. Friggin' go!