Monday, June 7, 2010

Brats, Wings, and Custard. Oh My!

We woke up late on Sunday morning, tired from a long week.  Happy that the sun was shining, we decided to bike around town.  Our first stop was Maifest in Lincoln Square. True, we had also spent Friday night there, but we had some extra food tickets to spend and a taste for brats, plus Ernie’s uncles were working the food tent.  I had another helping of the bratwurst dinner served with potato salad and sauerkraut.  The brats are so juicy and grilled fresh (not frozen).  Since Ernie had two leberkases on Friday, he also had the bratwurst dinner today.  We moseyed around a bit on the square but nothing was really too interesting. The sky started to drizzle and we decided to get back on our bikes and head up to Evanston.
We zig zagged through the rain up north to the main square in Evanston where we parked our bikes under a tree in case the rain came back.  There were several restaurants with outdoor seating that dotted the tree-lined streets.  As we were walking around, Ernie mentioned that there was some buffalo wing place in Evanston that was so good that he had remembered them from a college party.  Just as the story ended, we happened upon Buffalo Joe’s with the memorable wings.  We doubled back to head in for a little taste.
The ordering is right as you walk past the double doors into the dive. It’s kind of cafeteria style where you can see all the food being made. One small order of wings ran about $7 and we walked to the back of the restaurant to find a seat.  The place was grimy and smelled of bleach and mildew.  The wooden slat benches had just been wiped down by an hourly-worker.  This might be a late night joint for all of those Northwestern students who need a fix after a full night of drinking, but during the middle of the day, Buffalo Joe’s attracts all kinds of overweight and unhealthy looking people.  There were only a few students.
Ernie assured me that I would like these wings and they were good for me because there was no bread coating on any of their wings.  The small order was served in a small paper carton with a side of celery and ranch dressing on a cafeteria tray.  Dripping in spicy sauce, we dug right in.  I learned that Ernie liked the little drums where I like the two-boned little wing so our single split portion was easy to share.  The tender meat fell right off the bone and the sauce was finger-licking good.  My lips were fiery red after devouring the wings though I still had a full stomach from the bratwursts. 
On the way out, I reviewed the rest of the menu and saw a full offering of burgers, fries, etc. I made a mental note to try the buffalo waffle fries another time!
We browsed a few random stores that carried an assortment of interesting things. Back in an alley, there is a framing shop where their green parrot named Jessica kept saying “hello” to us.  The next 30 or so minutes were spent in the Barnes & Nobel fingering through travel guides for our upcoming trip to Paris.  On a bit of a whim, Ernie decided he wanted to show me Augsburg where he was living when we first met on Aug 1, 2008.  If you know me, you know you don’t have to twist my arm to travel! We decided to pair the trip with a week in Paris where Ernie had never been.  I lived in the city of light back in 2002 with some girlfriends as a fashion design summer abroad and am itching to go back. It will be interesting to see how easy it will be to eat there since everything is about baguettes, crepes, pastries and all sorts of yummy-ness I won’t be able to eat.
After our bookstore visit, we walked over to Andy’s Frozen custard.  I love frozen custard and there aren’t many places to get this delicious treat near my condo.  We split a medium Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and Hot Fudge concrete.  The treat was perfect for a warm late Sunday afternoon.  As you can see, we had a terrible day of eating extremely unhealthy foods.  There was no amount of bike riding today that could burn the calories we consumed.  We rode back down to Wrigleyville, picking up the lakefront bike trail at the northern most point.  Our entire excursion was 5 hr 30 min and a great way to enjoy a nice Sunday afternoon. 
We had a light dinner of Tom Yum soup from Penny’s while we watched the Blackhawks win!  Feeling fat and disgusting, I finally downloaded the Insanity Workout and vowed to study up and get started.
Buffalo Joe’s Howard Street
1849 West Howard Street
Evanston, IL 60626
Andy’s Frozen Custard
719 Church Street
Evanston, IL 60201

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