Crazy for Cone

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Summer in Chicago is fast approaching.  With that being said there is always something to do or some festival going on in the city.  It is also the time to indulge the outdoor seating at your favorite restaurant and find a way to cool off to beat the summer heat.  While there are many new places that are popping up one place you should definitely put on your to-do list is Cone Cone is located in the West Loop and the best part about Cone is that it is open year round and you can go there at any time.

Anyone that knows me knows that I love ice cream almost as much as I love the color pink.  So recently when me and a friend decided to go out for some ice cream, I checked to see if there were any ice cream parlors in the area.  Not to throw shade at Baskin Robbins or Cold Stone, but sometimes you just need a nice fancy ice cream parlor.  Imagine my surprise when I Googled and found Cone, located in Chicago’s West Loop area.

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Cone definitely did not disappoint.  A nice ice cream parlor with both inside and outside seating, Cone was definitely what the doctor ordered on that rainy Saturday evening.  Cone offers a variety of flavors, some traditional, they had butter pecan, and some not traditional, like the flavor Netflix and Chill.  No matter what your palate for ice cream calls for, Cone is definitely a treat.

I cannot wait until the Chicago summer comes when I can sit out on their outdoor patio and enjoy the ice cream and a gently breeze.  On this trip I indulged in the Not Your Mama’s Brownie Batter and Butter Pecan in a sundae.  I had to take most of the sundae home and enjoy it the next day and it was just as good on a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

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Cone offers space that can be rented out to host parties as well as an ample outdoor section.  The next time you are in the mood for ice cream and you do not want just the basic 31 flavors or the mixins from Cold Stone I would recommend that you definitely put Cone on the top of your list.  Located at 1047 W. Madison in Chicago, Cone is my new go to for ice cream in Chicago.

Be Blessed!  Be Fabulous!

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Chicago Good Food Festival

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One of the best things about living in a large metropolitan city like Chicago, is that there is always something exciting going on in the city.  This is especially true when it comes to good food and great music.  Next weekend, On Saturday March 18, to be exact the excitement will continue with the Good Food Festival which will take place at the UIC Forum form.  However last night I was bale to attend a preview of what the festival will entail and I was pleasantly surprised.

A few nights ago several ambassadors of the Festival invited a few of local bloggers out to Read it and Eat to sample some of the items that will be available at the Good Food Festival.  I went to the tasting hungry and I left full and satisfied.  Not only was the food VERY good, the information shared from the chefs and other proprietors made the evening a great learning experience as well.

gff8The tasting started with the Zen of Slow Cooking, who had prepared a lentil chili in the slow cooker.  With just a drop of sour cream on top this chili was absolutely divine.  It was so flavorful and hearty that I did not miss the beans or meat that I include in my own chili.  Their prepackaged Slow Cooker blends come with recipes (including detailed shopping lists) to make cooking a dish in your slow cooker a breeze.  We were given a package of their Slow Cooker blends to take home.  Since I just purchased a slow cooker last week, this will be a great way to begin my journey in using my slow cooker.

The next tasting was vegetarian Indian food from the Chutney Devis, (you can find them on Facebook at ChutneyDevis).  They prepared a Dal stuffed with a spiced vegeratian potato which was absolutely delicious.  They also prepared lentils as a side to accompany the Dal and potato and their lentils were very good as well.  The Chutney Devis sent me home with a sample of their special blend of curry as well as recipe.  (Looks like I will be trying a lot of recipes this Spring).

Next we were treated to Pierogi’s from the Chow Brothers.  There was a barbecued beef brisket pierogi as well as on with mushrooms.  I am allergic to mushrooms, but the barbecued beef pierogi was very tasty.  It was paired with a carrot and cabbage slaw that was very good and not overly dressed as some slaws can be.  Since this was my first pierogi, I can only hope that any other pierogi I taste will be as good as this one.

The next dish was probably my favorite.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE dessert, and when your dessert appears to be healthy as well, in my mind that is a win/win situation.  Justice of the Pies treated my taste buds to a sweet basil and key lime pie.  Can I just stop and let my eyes roll back in my head for a minute…. Ok, so if you cannot tell already, I loved this pie.  I would buy this pie, repeatedly.  It was like enjoying key lime pie with a refreshing finish.  I cannot wait for more during the festival.

So to wash these delectable food items down there was Fruitbelt, a sparkling fruit tonic.  Fruitbelt offered samples of the apple as well as he cherry tonics.  Both were very tasty but cherry was my fav.  The drink reminded me of a milder version of Jamaican Ginger Beer.  So If you are familiar with that type of flavor and are a fan of it, you would definitely enjoy this tonic.  I could definitely see this as a mixologists secret ingredient in a craft cocktail.

Next there was this very tall gentleman in a hot pink t-shirt making crepes.  The name of his company was Gotta B Crepes.  They have several varieties of crepes and last night the rave was the cinnamon roll crepe which had  fresh bananas and strawberries as well as a crepe with goat cheese, basil and blueberries topped with honey.  I did not personally try the crepes but everyone who did loved them.  I was impressed by the fact that the chef used locally sourced items.

Finally, there was Keenwah.   Of course it was Quinoa, however it was really good quinoa, not bland or dry.  There was not much to say about quinoa, except that this brand was very good and something that I will definitely purchase.  And the $2 off coupon was an added incentive.

If you are in the Chicago area and consider yourself to be a foodie, or just a food lover who may want to experience some new and different things, then the Good Food Festival is for you.   To make it even better the Festival is, wait for it, FREE.  Yes in 2017, there is a free festival for you to attend.  You have to register for free entry so register here.  So there is no excuse for you to not come out look for the companies I have mentioned here and see all of the other great chefs and food vendors that will be on hand during the festival.  I am sure it will be a great food experience.