This roundup and review includes an eclectic mix of personal experiences in Chicago from the month of January including: A kick-butt workout at CrossTown Fitness in Lakeview, a dinner with meat-lovers at Q-BBQ, also in Lakeview, and an incredible afternoon sampling wine and beer from around the globe at the d’Vine Affair at the Union League Club in Chicago . It’s been a busy month and February is shaping up to be just as busy, if not busier! Stay tuned next month for another roundup and review of new things to check out in this fantastic city!
What? A hip, urban, gym in Chicago featuring over 100 group workout classes
Where? West Loop and Lakeview
Comments: There are over 100 group workout classes each week with very flexible times to meet anyone’s demanding schedule. They also offer personal training. I enjoyed the group workout I did last month at the Lakeview location. There were two trainers to kick our booties into gear – they were energetic, encouraging and quite fit (this helps stay motivated in my opinion!). The ambiance was awesome; it was brightly lit with a great interior design (the owner’s wife is an interior designer, so that helps). There were a lot of bathrooms and the “water fountain” was quite impressive. I had a mini fixation with it as it was a very easy and quick way to fill up your water with a simple wave of your hand. It’s the little things sometimes!
After your workout you can grab a healthy snack around the “bar” and mingle with with other like-minded people. If I was single, had extra cash and lived closer to one of the gym locations, I would definitely join. It was an awesome experience and it is definitely a way to make new friends in Chicago!
Will I go back? I would go back for a group function or a special event. I personally will not join the gym because it is not convenient as far as proximity to my house and it’s a little out of my budget at $150/month (I pay $30 at XSport). ..Hey I have a 5 month old in daycare full time! If you have kids in city daycare, you know what I’m talking about!! Speaking of daycare, if you have a little one, they have a low-cost drop in daycare option while you get your sweat on. For more information visit their site.
What? Fast-casual regional inspired BBQ
Where? Lakeview, LaGrange, Schererville, IN and Oak Park (coming soon). I ate at the Lakeview location.
Comments: Guests order at the counter and are served by Q’s very friendly staff. There is a self-service area with to-go cups for their delicious house-made BBQ sauces, do it yourself doggie bags, dill pickles and even a sink to wash your hands post-meal. This stood out as being very hospitable.
My dinner guests were meat-eaters and enjoyed the pulled chicken and pulled pork sandwiches topped with slaw on a brioche bun. It did look tasty, however, eating vegan was nearly impossible at Q-BBQ. If you are a vegetarian, you can get a decent meal – the Brussels sprouts are incredible- I believe they are deep fried (yum!)- there is an egg-wash on them, so they are not vegan. The sweet corn is good, but comes with a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce, the hush puppies (corn fritters) are tasty and be sure to try the spicy fries with jalapenos. Note, the beans are not vegetarian (as I was told). There are also a few vegetarian salads to choose from. The portions all around are huge. The wine came in a Styrofoam cup which I did not like, but I’m weird about that stuff.
Will I go back? If I still ate meat, I’d go back as it’s a good value and the food (meat) looked and smelled good. However, being a plant-forward eater, it’s not the best spot for me. Unless they come up with a BBQ tofu or other hearty meat-free option, I will not be back. For more information visit their site.
3. 15th Annual d’Vine Affair: A wine and beer tasting benefit for Chicago Catholic Charities
What? An extravagant charitable wine and beer tasting event benefiting Chicago Catholic Charities’ Self Sufficiency Programs. Long story short, there are two floors with over 250 different wines from around the world, craft beer and spirits. It’s an amazing event!!
Where? The Union League Club Chicago January 31st, 2015 2-6pm.
Price: $125 a ticket
Comments: This event was amazing! I love wine. I love beer and I love WINE TASTING!! When there is a beneficiary that I believe in, that makes it that much better. One of the best parts about the event (aside from the fact that they raised over $150K) was that you could keep track of your tastings and order your favorite bottles on the spot, for pick up at Vin, a local wine discount store in Bucktown.
The Union League Club also happens to be a gorgeous venue which dates back to the late 1800’s. If you haven’t been, it’s worth checking out. People were dressed in their Sunday best but at the end of the night many got a little cross-eyed. I cannot wait for next year!
Will I go back? With bells on! For more information on this benefit visit the site!