Thursday Things

1. I crossed yet another restaurant off my Chicago bucket list last weekend, continuing on the momentum I already established earlier in the week. I was in Avondale on Saturday around lunch time and had six miles worth of burned calories to replenish, so after years of meaning to go, I finally stopped into Honey Butter Fried Chicken.


I think if I learned anything last week, it was that I should put more faith in restaurant reviews. I’ve heard amazing things about Honey Butter Fried Chicken, and as I thought with Au Cheval, I figured it’d be good, but I didn’t think it’d be mind-blowingly fanatstic. Once again, I was wrong. Holy smokes, was that the most delicious fried chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. The biscuit and the chicken tasted great on their own, but then they put honey butter on top of it, and…*heart-eyed emoji*. Wowza. I was a little nervous about ordering the corn muffins, because I find you never really know when you buy cornbread if it’s going to be northern cornbread (i.e., sweet, and therefore delicious) or southern cornbread (i.e., authentic, but not even half as tasty due to the lack of sugar). To my delight, Honey Butter Fried Chicken serves northern cornbread, so the corn muffins tasted as good as they looked.

It isn’t the most CTA-friendly restaurant in the city, but if you happen to be in the Avondale area, I’d definitely recommend stopping by.

2. I was in the West Loop on Friday afternoon, walking down the Restaurant Row stretch of Randolph soaking in the sunshine and mostly just feeling happy. When I got to Randolph and Peoria, I saw Leña Brava, and thought to myself, “Oh, that’s Rick Bayless’s new restaurant!” I don’t really keep up on celebrity chefs in Chicago, but Rick Bayless is a familiar enough name that seeing he opened a new place caught my eye in the RedEye a few months ago.

Since it’s wintertime (not that you’d know by being outside on most days, but that’s beside the point), a lot of restaurants have those extra, temporary doors set up outside their main doors to keep the cold out. There was one at the restaurant immediately west of Leña Brava (which I later learned was Cruz Blanca Cervecería, another Rick Bayless establishment), and through the plastic windows, I saw two people leaving Cruz Blanca. I blinked, and thought, “Hold on…”

Then, as I walked past the temporary entrance as these two individuals left, and OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS, ONE OF THEM WAS RICK BAYLESS, LIVE AND IN THE FLESH AND RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

I have never in my entire life seen a celebrity of any variety, on any location on the “obscure” to “obvious” continuum of fame, in the wild, so this was A Big Deal as far as I’m concerned. And while I suppose it’s not particularly coincidental or even surprising that I saw Rick Bayless walking out of one of his establishments during a non-meal time on a Friday, it sure felt special that immediately after thinking, “That’s Rick Bayless’s new restaurant,” he magically appeared in front of me.

3. My brother’s college doesn’t hold regular classes for most of January, but rather does one of those winter term things where you take a special class for three weeks, or, once in your college career, you take the whole month off and come back when second semester starts in late January. My brother opted to take the term off this year and spent two weeks in New York City to do some volunteering relevant to his career goals and Broadway show viewing relevant to his interests.

While I consider myself to be a fan of Broadway shows, I, honestly, don’t really keep my finger on the pulse of the goings on on Broadway…like at all. I usually become aware of a show because I accidentally hear a song from it somehow or because everyone tells me I should be into it (see: Hamilton. Fortunately, everyone was right on that one.). But if you asked me what shows are popular on Broadway right now, I couldn’t even begin to guess. I learned from my brother’s Facebook posts while he was out in New York that a show called Dear Evan Hansen exists and, apparently, is the second most popular show on Broadway right now after Hamilton. I saw the soundtrack pop up on iTunes last Friday under New Music (which, as far as I’ve ever noticed, doesn’t happen all that often for Broadway soundtracks), and saw it was also one of the highest albums on the iTunes charts as well, so I figured I should give it a listen. It’s nothing like Hamilton, but it was amazing. I could listen to You Will Be Found forever.

And now I want to go to New York to see the show.

Have you ever seen a celebrity out and about in the real world?

8 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. My parents once saw Samuel L Jackson walking down Randolph while they were eating on the patio at Nellcote. I honestly don’t know if I would even recognize a celebrity if I saw them out of context!

    As for Honey Butter Fried Chicken, we now live within walking distance 🙂 Just waiting for the weather to warm up before we head over there.

    • I don’t think I would recognize a celebrity out of context either, to be honest. I’m sure seeing Rick Bayless come out of a restaurant next to one I knew to be his was the only reason I recognized him. Though, based on your parents’ sighting and my sighting, maybe we should just always expect to see celebrities on Randolph! Haha.

      I was thinking about you guys when I was at Honey Butter Fried Chicken and wondering if you lived nearby! You should definitely check it out since it’s so convenient for you. They apparently have a patio (which obviously wasn’t open on Saturday) that I bet will be really nice come spring/summer!

  2. I failed so hard at restaurant week this year! That’s nothing new though haha. Although I did go to Copper Fox last weekend and was not impressed at all.

    Isn’t it weird to see celebrities in person? I am not someone who totally loses it in the live presence of celebrities, but I remember when I hung out outside of the Met Gala and saw soooo many famous people and totally found myself screaming along with the excited crowd. Especially when Jay Z and Beyonce arrived. I also saw Laverne Cox once at a movie theater in NYC and it was pretty cool!

    • I’m pretty shy when it comes to saying anything to people I see on the street (like even if I KNOW the person, I’m usually not going to say anything unless they say hi first haha. This is a constant problem for me while running on the Lakefront haha), so I’m certainly not going to fangirl out over seeing a celebrity in real life (at least not to their face. I will certainly fangirl out to myself, though, haha). But if I’m in a crowd, like for the Cubs parade or the Blackhawks parade, or at a concert? Yeah, then I definitely lose my mind. Hahaha.

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