Chicago

Good morning, Chicago.

It’s been seven years since my last visit. Noelle and I are in town and brrrrrr it is chilly here. We’re warming up with (matcha) cocktails every night, afternoon tea durning the day, and lots of doughnuts and hot chocolate in-between.

It’s back to NYC next week…and then sunny Honolulu once again ^_^

Accountants + Pizza + Dancing = Good Times!


Hi! Just returned back to NYC from an exhaustive two weeks of training. Currently I am quite under the weather with a cold, cough, sore throat, numb leg and who knows what else. I suppose this is the consequence of having too much fun…but I wouldn’t know because I was never one of the ‘lets get drunk and dance’ type of student. But now I know! My plans for this weekend are simple;
1. go to Greenmarket for produce, orange juice, and gingerbread. And maybe some pretzels.
2. recover, recover, recover!
But mostly I am going to sleep because I start ‘real’ work on Monday morning, woohoo – wish me luck please! :)

Before we head back to NYC food blogging mode, care to entertain a post on the first deep dish pizza of my liiiiiife? On Saturday night, a bunch of us did the hotel/limo thing and quickly concurred that we should have pizza for dinner, cause who knows when we’ll be back to Chicago. The wait at Giordano’s was TWO HOURS when we came around 9pm…crazy! But we chose to wait and kill time wandering around the city. Never having visited, I didn’t know what to expect of Chicago, and wish I had more time to spend in the city (as opposed to a training center in the boonies of Illionis :).

Abel and I somewhere along Mag Mile

Lots of people, big, clean streets, and everything just seems so darn gosh happy. The two hours flew by quickly thanks to good friends, good talk and a lot of picture taking.

On the streets…

But you just really want to hear about the pizza, don’t cha? ;)

Well here it is! We ordered two large deep dishes (about $25/pizza) – one was the ‘Special’ and the other was pepperoni and onions combo. I loooove onions. It took a lot of debating to settle on the pizzas as we had six people with six different preferences. I’m a staunch advocator of the anchovy and jalapeƱo combination…but everyone shot that proposal down rather quickly. hehe. We had to pre-order the pizza 20 minutes before we were seated and had to wait an additional 30 minutes after we were seated. Only one thought was running though everyone’s mind as we sat with grumbling tummies at the table, “this better be worth it!”

this is only half of it…check out the next picture :)

…And it soooo was! First off, the pizza was humungo!! There was no way the six of us could finish two pizzas the size of the moon…but not to worry, we took the leftovers back to the hotel where it proved to be an excellent 5am snack.

Look at Abel salivating! He ate the first slice in less than a minute!

It was such an intense pizza. A buttery crust loaded with sausages, onions, mushrooms and green peppers, they were very generous with the ‘toppings’ (ironic, as the ‘toppings’ were at the bottom of the pizza). A pile of melting mozzarella and tomato sauce. Needless to say, it was heavy on the stomach and heart! A true knife and fork affair, though I did manage to pick it up with my hand and eat a bite – I love the satisfaction of finger food. But the best part of the pizza was the crust…tasting of a hot, intensely crispy butter bread – mindblowing! I would have been a happy camper just eating all of the crust from the whole pie and nothing else. I don’t understand people who don’t like pizza crust, it both confuses and makes me slightly upset. A slice each of the Special and pepperoni & onions filled me up to the point of near explosion (keep in mind that I just had half a chocolate milkshake from Jonny Rockets just an hour ago!) The pepperoni & onion was less exciting…if only everyone else had agreed to the jalapeno & anchovy combo! :)

After dinner, we did more walking to digest our food and ended up dancing the night away here. This picture was taken the following morning when we passed it again on our way to Portillo’s.

And alas, an excellent two weeks came to an end yesterday evening. We said good-bye to Chicago, or rather, our convention hotel in St. Charles, and we said good-bye to close friends who were strangers just two weeks ago.

fun times, indeed :)

Sometime between now and Monday morning I’ve got to kick myself out of vacation mode. Plainly put, I have more or less been on ‘vacation’ since graduating in May. Training was work, but with so many hours of fun following work, it still felt like vacation to me! Ok, so snap down, back to real life in two more days! :)

Giordano’s
Check the website for locations – there are many!

Saaaay “PwC!”


In front of the PwC Chicago Office :)

Oh maaaan, job training is awesome! When I last posted on Saturday morning, I was just rushing off for a day of community service at the YMCA with the rest of the new PwC hires. We came back around 6pm, and since we didn’t have to report to work till Monday morning, five of my friends and I booked a hotel room in downtown Chicago for the night and hopped into a limo for a 90 minute ride into the city. Ready for fun!

That’s Lake Michigan you’re looking at!

I won’t get into details about Saturday night till the next post because most of the pictures were not taken on my camera, and I’m still waiting to get those from Mariela. Make sure to check back soon! It was, however, a rather devilishly fun night with dinner at Giordano’s and then dancing and other stuff at Excalibur till 4am.

Hangovers and all, all six of us woke up around noon on Sunday, ready for a day of sightseeing! Hailing from Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virginia and Hawaii, none of us had ever set foot in Chicago so there was plenty of excitement to go around. We started off with breakfast at Portillo’s. I couldn’t decide between the Italian Beef Sandwich or the Chicago dog, (thanks for the tip Alan! :), but eventually decided on the Chicago dog as I also wanted a chocolate milkshake and I was still digesting Giordano’s deep dish leftovers (soooo delicious, will tell about it next post!) from a middle of the night/morning craving.

At 1pm on a Sunday, Portillo’s was noisy, busy and very, very energetic!

Ahhh, and here it is, my very first Chicago dog! $2.09 is a small price to pay for this darling, fully equipped with mustard, relish, chopped onions, tomatoes, pickle and duo of sport peppers. As I have a tendency to say in real life, “it is soooo good!” Oddly enough, my favourite part was the ripe tomato slices nestled between the soft, poppy seed studded buns, it rounded the hot dog out real well, with a bit of help from the pepper – I think from now on, I’m replacing ketchup with tomatoes in my hot dogs! It was just the perfect size to make it me happy, and what else can I say, I love it! Well actually, right now, I am loving everything from life to food, and who would have thought, even work!

The milkshake was did not fare as well. Granted, I was unfairly comparing it to one I had from Ronnybrook Dairy in the Chelsea Market just last week (musta been the second bestest milkshake of my life!) But as a standalone, this liquidly, scarily sweet, and not so chocolaty milkshake didn’t fare much better then one from McDonald’s just across the street…

…this is the biggest McDonald’s I’ve ever seen in my life!

Our day involved much shopping and excursion with a trip to the Hancock Observatory…

…here’s a view from the top. Almost looks like Hawaii, doesn’t it? Almost? A little? Hahah, it was awesome.

We also made sure to get cheesy pictures of the boys ‘cleaning’ the windows…

…and the girls too!

Right before heading back to St. Charles, we stopped by the Sears Tower. You’re going to think I’m really stupid, but I honestly had no idea what the Sears Tower was. I’ve heard about it before, but that was about it. I don’t pay too much to sightseeing. I more interested in what to eat! Most conveniently, after we paid the $13 entrance fee and before taking the superfast elevator ride up, we were locked into a ‘theatre’ for 30 minutes where we were shown a movie, ‘the History of the Sears Tower’. And now, I am officially an expert!

When we got to the top all of us started cracking up cause it seriously looked EXACTLY the SAME as the Hancock Observatory, where we just were less than two hours ago. I don’t know if it was funny because it really was funny or funny because we were so tired. There was lots of mindless laughter going on all day.

Mariela and I at the entrance to the Sears Tower – she’s working in the Puerto Rico office, so I’m going to miss her after training ends this week!

look carefully…that’s a PwC sign they’re making!…we’re still unjaded new hires…

With a little bit of wandering around the financial district, and the help of Abel’s IPhone, we found PwC’s Chicago office. Picture anyone? From top left, that’s Abel, Katty, Mariela and Franklin. And on the bottom, Joe and myself. We took the long limo ride back to 15 minutes after this picture was shot, and all promptly feel asleep as soon as the car door closed. Our day? Sooooo much fun!!!!

Portillo
100 W. Ontario
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 587-8910

Hi!

Sorry I haven’t posted anything this week. Training is craaazy. Classes run from the wee hours of the morning till 7pm, so we (all 300 of us) are super pooped by the end of the day. Food? They’ve got breakfast, lunch, and dinner covered (as well as dessert, snack, and far too much coffffeeeeeee). I have not taken any pictures of the food, even though it is surprisingly good, because, I would like to make friends and don’t want my colleagues and instructors thinking, “who is that odd girl who insists on photographing dining hall food?” I hope that’s a good enough reason!

Anyways, training has taught me a whole bunch of stuff already – and not only in accounting! Classes can get boring at times, especially if you’re sitting on your okole for five hours at a time. Not only do you get eye strain from staring at the computer, you also get butt strain from not standing up! I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I do not like to drink. Anything. Aside from: water, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and the occasional root beer (or pepsi)! I thought training would be like school: classes in the morning, and studying at night.

But apparently this is not true. This is very not true. I’ve recently been introduced to this idea of happy hour. And indeed, happy hour, and the hours that follow, are very happy hours. I’ll leave it at that. I will be here in the isolated suburbs of St. Charles, IL until then 28th, so I won’t have any normal food posts until then…but check back if you want to hear how training is going…last night I had the strangest dream about the client auditing process, walkthroughs and reconciliations – makes you wonder if they’re just trying to teach us accounting or to mess with our minds so that it’s the only thing we can think of all day and all night.

Off to weekend classes and community service now! I just had strawberry yogurt with muesli, watermelon, eggs and banana bread for breakfast. Awesome! And coffee. Cannot forget about the coffee. I’ll see you later on this week, and will be back with NYC food photos the week after. Have a super good day! :)