Donutology

There’s a new donut shop in town, and they’re changing the game! Donutology is located off of Westport Road in Kansas City. Donutology is visible straight ahead when heading south on Southwest Trafficway. A strange location, Donutology decided to use that to their advantage. Pictured below, you’ll see the sidewalk window. Walk, drive, or bike, it doesn’t matter they can take care of you right here.
 
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What sets Donutology apart from many other donut locations is their BYOD option. You heard that right, Donutology allows you to create your own donuts. Pretty smart if you ask me! Something to keep in mind with the BYOD is that the donuts used are mini donuts. The assembly line is where the Donutology masters craft your creation. They start with the flavor of donut, followed by the icing, topping, and drizzle of your choosing.
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I went with some standard donuts. The classic glaze, rainbow sprinkle, and their seasonal special the hot chocolate.
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Also pictured are some mini donuts I created. At the top, you’ll see the peanut butter icing with rice krispies and raspberry drizzle. This one was my favorite. It brought me back to my sack lunch days in middle school except 10 times better. Next is the buttercream icing with some fruit loops on top, also great choice. Last is the hot chocolate special in mini donut-form. A chocolate donut with chocolate ganache, marshmallow drizzle, and actual marshmallows on top. This was my least favorite when it comes to the regular donuts and the mini donuts. The chocolate cake itself was a little too dry for me.
 
I know what many of you locals are wondering. If you had to choose between Doughnut Lounge and Donutology, both located in Westport, which should you pick? It honestly depends on what you’re looking for. Donutology brings a fun and exciting twist to your breakfast sweets that is perfect for young kiddos. In comparison to Donutology, I would say that Doughnut Lounge has a more mature menu that is also accompanied with their drink menu.
 
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A common characteristic of Kansas City establishments is their support for local businesses. Donutology is no different. Donutology proudly serves an assortment of Roasterie coffee options to accompany your one-of-a-kind donuts!
 
I give Donutology a 7/10.

 

The Hampton Social

I went to a place that has seemed to be widely revered in the Chicago restaurant scene called The Hampton Social.  Located on Hubbard and New Orleans, The Hampton Social is a fun spot that has a very beachy feel in the center of an urban city.

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(via trip advisor)

If I focused on decor and ambiance alone, The Hampton Social blew me away. Walking into the restaurant I felt like I had gone back in time to my family vacations growing up. Maybe it was luck, but during my experience a live musician played amazing covers of all of my early 90’s favorites (I’m talking Drops of Jupiter and Hootie & The Blowfish, people!!).

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The oceanic vibes took my mind out of the city and into a state of relaxation that my anxious self doesn’t get to experience too often.

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I went with what I felt would be a safe dish because I was afraid to ruin my experience and chose the biscuits and gravy off of the brunch menu. I’m a sucker for a good cheddar biscuit, but I’m afraid to say that I was not a fan of the gravy. Very rarely do I run into an order of B&G that I don’t like but that’s exactly what happened here. On the other hand, my pineapple mimosa and side of fresh fruit was fabulous.

Whether it was a poor choice on my part or bad batch of biscuits and gravy, I was definitely not a fan. But that would not stop me from going back. The Hampton Social has a decent sized bar area that I am sure I will be hanging around in the future.

My suggestion to you- don’t let my experience steer you away from the place. Go to The Hampton Social for Happy Hour just to experience the atmosphere, because it makes it well worth it!

I give The Hampton Social 6/10.

 

Amorino- Gelato Al Naturale

Readers with a sweet tooth- be wary! This post may cause the immediate need for a sugary fix. Amorino is an international gelato franchise that focuses on providing the gelato of your dreams, and from my experience, I think they’re doing a pretty good job. Amorino was started in 2002 by Cristiano Sereni and Paulo Benassi, two childhood friends that decided to strive to create fresh and organic products on a large scale.

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Most of the locations providing sweet treats are concentrated in Europe, but Amorino’s presence in North America consists of 11 locations, as well.

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(via: http://www.amorino.com/us/city/chicago.70.html)

Chicago has two Amorino locations found on N Michigan Ave. in the Water Tower Mall as well as on N State Street (I experienced the location off of State Street). In true gelato fashion, Amorino provides different options such as Cono (cone), Coppa (cup) and gelato bambino (kid-sized portions).

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When crafting your gelato, whether you choose a cono or coppa, Amorino allows you to have as many flavors as you’d like. With so many options to choose from, I decided to stick to a chocolate theme. The center of my cone was the sorbet al cioccolato bio (chocolate), then a layer of tiramisu and lastly, a layer of biscotti.

A common choice is to add a macaroon as the center of your treat. I was under the assumption that when you bought a cono a choice of macaroon was provided as the center, but it is extra!

Amorino is not only deliciously refreshing, the unique products keep a regular stream of customers coming through their doors.

I give Amorino 10/10.

 

Mon Ami Gabi

Las Vegas is known for many things but one thing that can be swept under the rug is its delectable cuisine.  Located in the Paris Hotel and Casino off of Las Vegas Boulevard is Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant known for its unique atmosphere and scrumptious food.  While many sit down restaurants in Vegas require a more formal attire, Mon Ami Gabi can be considered more comfy casual.

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(photo via thetravelmentor)

I went for brunch and had a bloody mary. While the prices are higher in Vegas, for what I paid I got my money’s worth as you can see below.

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TIP: If you go to Mon Ami in the future take a look at the menu before you go. I can sometimes be an indecisive eater, but their menu was of no help. I had a very hard time deciding what I wanted because every option was so unique and sounded so good.

True to the French feel, I went with a savory crepe stuffed with chicken, brie and sliced apples.  In my mind I felt like this wouldn’t be enough to eat since most crepes I have had are on the smaller side, but boy, was I wrong. Lesson learned!

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(photo via tripadvisor.com)

Mon Ami has many good side options to supplement your meal so I went with a side of brioche toast and jam.  In complete honesty I didn’t even touch the toast.  When my crepe arrived I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew– literally.  The crepe was so filling and perfectly balanced of sweet and savory that the toast was completely unnecessary.

If you are looking to eat at Mon Ami Gabi, make a reservation.  It is pivotal that you call ahead to make a reservation because it is very popular spot on the strip.

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Another tip: If you have the choice, ask to sit outside.  The patio overlooks Las Vegas Boulevard and is perfect for people watching on the strip.

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Mon Ami Gabi gets a 10/10

Expat

Summer pop-ups are just one of the things that makes Chicago the best place to be in the summertime.  Expat is located on N. Green Street in the West Loop.

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(photo via @expatongreen)

A fun sidewalk cafe, Expat is great for an afternoon in the sunshine with fresh seafood and drinks.  While their food is to die for, it is true to small plate fashion.  Stop by for lunch or happy hour and the portions will suffice, but I don’t suggest going on an empty stomach or if you’re looking for a three course meal.

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(photo via @expatongreen)

I stopped by for lunch and had the sopressata sandwich on fresh bread, house butter spread and sliced meat from the meat market next door, Green Street Smoked Meats.

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But the food is not what draws Chicagoans in it is their boozy snowcones. Yes, you read that right.  Just another reason why Expat is the perfect happy hour for the afternoon heat.  Pictured below are the Rosé and Watermelon-ade.  Super fun idea to add a little variation to your happy hour.  They are a little sweet, so you’ve been warned!

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Keep in mind that since Expat is a sidewalk pop-up, there is no indoor seating.  If the weather is bad maybe consider checking out Expat another day.

Expat gets 9/10.

3 Arts Club Cafe

The 3 Arts Club Cafe is one of the popular new restaurant spots in Chicago.  Located in the center of the new Restoration Hardware in Gold Coast, 3 Arts Club provides an outdoorsy feel that is enjoyable year-round.

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(photo via http://3artsclubcafe.com)

The 3 Arts Club is one of the most beautiful venues I have ever seen.  With glass ceilings and notable chandeliers the whole place sparkles in the way that makes you feel like you’re dreaming.

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(photo via http://3artsclubcafe.com)

A downside to note is that you cannot make reservations.  When you plan on going to Restoration Hardware make sure you factor in time to wait a little bit.  If you’re on a tight schedule I wouldn’t suggest planning on trying to squeeze in a meal at 3 Arts Club.  When I went I waited a little under an hour.  One hundred percent worth the wait, just be prepared!  The outdoor furniture, large center fountain and shrubbery gives the feel that you are outdoors with all the perks of still being inside.

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(photo via chicagobusiness.com)

When I went we ordered the Truffle Grilled Cheese. Unbeknownst to us, this is their most popular menu option and I can see why.  Absolutely delicious.

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We also went with the arugula salad topped with grapes, aged goat cheese and a citrus vinaigrette.  A decent size salad, and perfectly light.  If you’re looking for a refreshing dish go with the salad.

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Beautiful and exquisite, The 3 Arts Club Cafe deserves all the hype and much more.

10/10.

 

The Eastman Egg Company

Good morning foodies!

Today’s post is going to be done in a breakfast fashion.  A place called The Eastman Egg Company is located on N Wacker Drive that provides Chicagoland with quick and delicious breakfast options offered from 6AM to 2PM.  So my fellow breakfast fanatics this place is right up your alley!

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so it makes sense that someone decided to put extra effort into the creation of a quick place to grab something early in the AM for those hustling and bustling in the Chicago area.  The Eastman Egg Co. uses all locally sourced products.  Their eggs and meats come from Slagel Family Farm located in Fairbury, IL (all natural, hormone free, and humanely raised) while their bread is baked fresh daily at Red Hen Bread in Chicago with no additives or preservatives.  And if that isn’t enough for you, all of their granola and sauces are made from scratch as well.

On the morning that I went to The Eastman Egg Co. I went with The Slider described as one cage-free egg with white cheddar on a house-made biscuit.  I added the Slagel pork sausage as well for a little protein.  I also had a side of breakfast potatoes and tried their house coffee.

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The sandwich was delicious and surprisingly quick!  You have the choice of three sauces you can add (house-made salsa verde, house-made “hot-ish sauce”d and the Bonne Mamam Blackberry Jam).  I did not add any sauces, but I bet this sandwich would’ve been a perfect pair with the salsa verde.

As for the potatoes I was not a fan.  If you haven’t picked up on this yet I am usually an avid advocate for any kind of potato no matter how it is cooked, but not today.  The potatoes themselves were okay, but I personally was not a fan of the seasoning on them.

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If you are wanting a good quick breakfast stop by The Eastman Egg Co. on your way to work.  As you can see above, the establishment is on the smaller side, so if you are looking for somewhere to sit for just a moment to eat your breakfast Eastman can work for you, but be prepared to take it to go because there could be nowhere for you to sit if they are especially busy.

The Eastman Egg Company is just one of the many Chicago establishments that adds a little variety when it comes to eating in the Windy City.  8/10