Ain’t no bloggers like Chicago bloggers

5 Jun

My last night in Chicago was reserved for one thing—a blogger meetup! I love traveling and also get super excited if I follow bloggers in that area. And you know what? Chicago is chock full of bloggers so I was hoping we would all be able to get together one night. A bunch of us met at Coast Sushi in Bucktown on Thursday night.

Stacie and Amy

Joanna and me

It was so great to see these ladies and talk with them face to face as opposed to the norm of just reading their blogs and comments. The funny thing about is that it wasn’t awkward at all. Sometimes I fear that someone is going to be a complete 180 from what they portray themselves as on the blog, kinda like online dating (which the story about the guy whose nipples wouldn’t go down was told). However, not at all with these girls. we just kept talking and talking like we’ve know each other forever. It was awesome.

One thing I realized about Chicago restaurants-a lot of them are BYOB. Quite alright in me book since bars and restaurants inflate the price of liquor so much. Amy was so kind to pick up a bottle of wine which gave us a good two to three glasses so that worked. And they didn’t even charge a corkage fee, how awesome is that? Another thing I noticed-Chicago is all about the onesie bathrooms. I don’t mind them because I get my privacy for two minutes but on the other hand am scared that someone is going to open the door on me (cue in story from a bar in Federal Hill Baltimore a few years ago where this happened, I’m still mortified) We were sitting right across from the bathroom at Coast  so we just sat and waited until there started to be a line.



The sushi-I got the White Dragon roll (in the middle) –shrimp tempura, wasabi tobiko, cream cheese avocado, scallion spicy sauce, wasabi dressing, eel sauce, tempura crumbs. It was fantastic but at $13 an order, I was expecting more. This is the Charlotte in me thinking since things are a lot cheaper there.

Dessert soon followed, we had green tea and tiramisu ice cream. The green tea was lame but the tiramisu was awesome. Sadly, I was heavily involved in a conversation with Stacie and the tiramisu melted but I tried to salvage as much as I can and eat it. Friggin terrific!

Amy, me, Joanna, Stacie (sorry for my awkward pose, apparently my body wasn’t feeling the whole lets-pose-for-a –picture look since I couldn’t figure out what to do with my arm or body)

It was so great to meet these ladies, it was the icing on the cake for my Chicago trip! Amy let me crash at her place that night and she was a wonderful hostess. I felt like I was back at my sorority house in college since we stayed up until midnight chatting. Publicly apologizing to Amy-sorry for keeping you up, I’m a talker, it’s in my blood.

On Friday morning, I woke up at the butt crack of dawn. Illinois is central time zone so they are an hour behind and one that one hour really threw me off.  I was a little cranky due to waking up so early but didn’t mind because it was all for a good reason. Blogger meet up part deux was going down with Kelly Olexa at Benedict’s Eggs

Benedict’s is in a historic (read: old) house near Main Street in East Dundee (which I kept saying in my head “East Dundee” in my Crocodile Dundee voice) They offer breakfast items and about seven or eight different kinds of Eggs Benedict. Some of them were healthy, some were elaborate such as the Benedict’s Italiano which is garlic bread topped with with prosciutto, poached eggs and hollandaise. I really wanted to go for that one but thought it would be a little much for breakfast (I think I’ve gone 31 yrs without having garlic bread for breakfast?) so I stayed old school and went with the Classic Eggs Benedict

Oh, I forgot to mention the Red Velvet Pancakes didn’t I? Kelly mentioned these in one of her posts before and after having Red Velvet waffle at Terrace Café, I had to try the sister version.

Holy mouthgasm batman!! We both had a few bites of this and were done. If only I could have kept it in the car and enjoyed some of that cream cheese drizzle on the trek back to Indianapolis. Good lord! On a related note, I can feel that drizzle in my thighs and it was worth it.

This breakfast was just like the night before—we gabbed and gabbed and gabbed and then as soon as I knew it-two and a half hours had passed.  Kelly is just as fabulous as she is on her blog, if not more! I’ve been reading Kelly’s blog for over a year now and love the vlogs she posts along with her posts about workouts, goals and life. She is motivating as hell and whenever I need a swift kick in the butt to get back on the workout train-she is the first site I go to.

And yes, that’s a tree in the restaurant. It’s alive, kicking and been there since the beginning….I think?! That sounds good and like I know what I’m talking about so I will just keep it at that. Very cute breakfast spot if you’re ever in that area of Illinois!

Are there BYOB restaurants in your area?
Do you have blogger meetups where you live?
Oddly enough, I have more meetups when I’m traveling as opposed to where I live.


16 Responses to “Ain’t no bloggers like Chicago bloggers”

  1. dianacheung June 5, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    YOU BLOGGER SLUT!!!! you’ve been cheating on me left and right!!! Jk. That is amazing you found all these bloggers all over the country to connect with!! I just started stalking colorado bloggers in this area to meet some!! But so far…no such luck! Anyways, glad you had an amazing time. Time for you to come here!!!

    • simplyshaka June 6, 2011 at 7:25 am #

      I know I know, I need to get there. I love you calling it “Menver” btw, that is awesome and makes me want to come out there even more! Who all is out in CO??

  2. thefitacademic June 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    omg, sounds like we have the same taste in sushi! The roll you ordered sounds like my idea of HEAVEN!!! Weirdly, I’ve never had a meeetup in my city (Tucson)…the only other blogger here who I know/follow is Fitnessista. I have had a couple meetups while visiting Austin, though!

    • simplyshaka June 6, 2011 at 7:24 am #

      it was fabulous! Usuallty at sushi places I can’t decide on what to get but saw that one and was like “Done, I know what I want”

  3. Amy @ Second City Randomness June 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    No need for apologies- I’m one of those peeps who would have told you if I wanted to go to bed. I just didn’t! 🙂

    Next time I’m taking you to my favorite BYOB Mexican joint- Papacito’s!

    • simplyshaka June 6, 2011 at 7:21 am #

      Woo hoo! Mexican and BYOB? Bring it on!

  4. Kelly Olexa June 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    GRRRRRRLLL!! So great to hang with ya!! MUAH! Now we just have to get you to move here!! 😉

  5. Alan Ali June 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Kelly is awesome! I got to meet her at fitbloggin! Looks like you had a great time in Chitown!

  6. BikiniBy30 June 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Something for you:

  7. lookingupwhileslimmingdown June 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Looks like you had a great time!! And oh my gosh those red velvet pancakes look amazing!!

    • simplyshaka June 6, 2011 at 7:20 am #

      I really wish I could have finished them, I felt so wasteful!

  8. leashieloo June 6, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Haven’t had a meet up yet, but I’m sure I will eventually! The sushi place looks amazeballs, I wish we had byob type places here.

  9. Mindy@FindingSilverLinings June 6, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    I want a blogger meet up! Come to CT!!! Red velvet pancakes?! Oh Man. LOL, the 5cent voucher is frameable, lol!

  10. 40daykedge June 8, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    OK, so I am finally catching up on blog reading and writing. Thanks for this great post, I was very happy to meet you and I see that I turned into an Amazon woman with my ridiculous shoes in that group photo. My parents live close to Benedict’s, I am so going there.

    • simplyshaka June 8, 2011 at 7:03 am #

      I felt very short next to you and Amy. You will definitely enjoy Benedict’s, let me know how you like it!

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