Food in Chicago

Let’s talk food! Who doesn’t love a good meal? We love that traveling enables us to try new food from different cultures, and the pride people have in sharing those particular dishes that their city, or country, is known for. Chicago has a few favorites that we had full intentions of tasting thanks to @ThingsToDoInChicago, especially the famous deep dish pizza that consistently tops the charts of visitors and locals.

The culinary journey started in the Warwick hotel. We had plans for brunch after a good work out in the hotel gym, but we decided to grab something quick before getting ready to head out. Guadalupe our server was such a doll! Not only was she helpful but super friendly as well and didn’t hesitate to answer my menu questions, or find the answers if she wasn’t sure. We give the hotel restaurant five unicorn stars for overall service, cleanliness, food quality, and menu selection.

All bundled up and ready to walk, we headed out to Sunday brunch at Joy District. To save a few coins, and to give ourselves that up close and personal feel with the city, we decided to walk the few blocks to our destination. We were in for quite the unexpected adventure, because what was supposed to be a 20 minute walk turned into forty-five. We got lost! Not just on the way there, but on the way back too. Defeated and tired, we resorted to calling an Uber to rescue us and our howling feet.

We initially found Joy District’s Instagram page before arriving to Chicago, and thought it to be adorable and well visited. The atmosphere seemed to match our preconceptions when we walked in, but would shortly change. Although the host was sweet, very friendly and helpful when we were making our reservations, offering to us a table with beautiful views for photography, and unsolicited discounts, when we arrived the tempo of service was not the same.

After being seated, we received wrist bands, champagne and chaser. I asked a bartender for a gluten free menu because of my intolerance, but was indirectly answered with a pointed finger towards an unspecified bar, which allegedly had fruit, eggs and a few other options. Because I didn’t see any other bar around, I asked for clarification, and she pointed again to the stairs, and told me to follow them. Gratefully the host was nearby, overheard, and guided us into the right direction of the buffet style brunch.

The setup was very cute upstairs, but to be honest, we were still a little thrown off about the poor customer service. Gratefully, I was able to find a few things that I could eat. We sat down at a table we’d found, and finished our drinks. A server came to check on us once while we were still eating, however that was it. No one returned to offer us a refill on our bottomless mimosas, which we weren’t informed about until we were already leaving. We had to ask a gentleman cleaning the tables to please retrieve our server, so we could get our bill. Overall, we rate Joy District three stars. The initial host was warm and super helpful, and the presentation of the venue was beautifully detailed. But the lack of information shared regarding the bottomless mimosas, lackadaisical service, and limited food for party-goers with food allergies, especially considering the entrance price per ticket, was not enjoyable.

We were able to squeeze in the chance to indulge in the famous Chicago, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnatis, which was highly suggested to us from a couple of Chicago locals. I took a quick look at the online menu, and to my surprise, I found a gluten free pizza. I didn’t really have high hopes of its quality because a gluten free crust isn’t exactly ideal for deep dish. We arrived that evening though ready to at least try it. Shansae was our waitress, and was patient and knowledgeable as I bombarded her with my gluten questions. To my surprise, they did in fact have a crust, and gluten free pizza. It was absolutely delicious. They made the crust out of sausage, and although I don’t usually eat red meat, or pork, I had to make an exception, and believe me, there were no regrets. It actually resembled a deep dish, and the portion was so plentiful that I had enough for breakfast the next morning. I literally want to place an order now thinking about it. Did I mention they ship their pizzas? *drool*

Clara Ruiz