Pancakes, pugs, peanuts and Portillo’s

We spent a couple days north of downtown at Laura P.’s and finished our stay by stopping by M. Henrietta, a cozy little breakfast joint a block or two from Laura’s place and right next to the Granville “L” stop. I had blackberry pancakes that were quite delicious and they serve Metropolis coffee, which makes a most excellent brew. If I ever moved back, this stylish, homey little place would quickly become one of my favorite.

Saturday morning we made it back in from the far Western suburbs where we’d stayed two nights at Laura P’s beau’s house, then headed downtown to check out the hotel room I’d won by writing for Trazzler. It’s a Best Western and while not exactly the Four Seasons, it’s right in the middle of the Loop in a location convenient to pretty much everything. It seems to have been recently remodeled and is roomy and clean but I do take exception to the hallway smelling like a mixture of menthol and Avon perfume. It makes getting to the elevator like walking through the inside of an old lady’s purse.

Right across the street from the Rock and Roll McDonald’s, don’tcha know?

Walking around the loop, we found a cool little art gallery and stopped in. The highlight turned out to be the owner’s wheezy little pug, Tina.

The day being misty and windy, it seemed the perfect way to spend the afternoon was at a divey little Gold Coast bar called the Lodge. It represented what I love about Chicago bars – small, dark, quirky, with a good selection of local beer and free shelled peanuts.

Talk about a good day – great breakfast, a cute dog, good beer and dinner at Portillo’s, which is only a couple of blocks away from our hotel. Nick got an Italian beef/Italian sausage combo sandwich and I got my favorite – baked spaghetti.

Before heading back to the hotel, we took a little twilight walk to the river – just gorgeous. I love this city.

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