As much as I had planned to strictly follow the meal plans I designed before our trip, I found myself impulsively wanting to get something somewhere. It really didn’t help that I was always thirsty and rarely carried a bottle of water with me. It also didn’t help that Mr. Wade-o was always hungry.
Stop 1: Quiznos @ E. Madison St.
We made a much-needed stop here on the first day of our trip. We left Indy with nothing on our stomachs but a can of Tahitian Treat (our fault, I know); by the time we finished my consulate business, our heads were spinning and aching from hunger. We didn’t have to check in until 3:30 PM and it was only 1:30 PM at the time so we decided it was about time to get something to eat. Somehow we picked Quiznos.
We got the Choose 2 for 5.50; Italian Bullet and Chicken Caesar Salad for Wade, Bistro Steak Melt and Chicken Noodle soup for me. This deal didn’t include drinks, however. The staff were as friendly as they could be while making sure that we got our food quickly.
The Bistro Steak Melt was a 4-inch flat bread with lettuce, shaved beef, tomatoes, and some sauces. It was quite tasty along with the melted cheese; the flat bread was soft but not soggy. The soup, on the other hand, was a typical store soup. It had rotini noodles and small cubes of chicken meat that were far and few in between. For a tired traveler who had a hunger headache, it was a decently hot and invigorating soup.
Now for Wade’s thoughts on his meal:
The Italian Bullet was kind of a wanna-be italian sub. The meat came glazed with some sort of sauce (pasta sauce, maybe?). Other than that, the sub itself had little to no meat in it; there was more lettuce and tomato chunks than meat, which made it a grab-and-go snack at best. As for the salad, the chicken itself was alright; it was easily chewable but didn’t contribute notably to the salad’s flavor. The caesar sauce tasted sort of zesty and there was a perfect amount provided for the salad itself.
Stop 2: Lavazza @ E. Ohio St.
Lavazza is practically just like Starbucks (no surprise) with their own offerings of breakfast items and hot/cold drinks. Their location was quite small and the decor really seemed to emphasize spoons and cups. They also served coffees with Nutella.
I got a tall cafe mocha with caramel syrup (my signature drink) and Wade got a white chocolate mocha. We also both got their egg, ham, & cheese croissant sandwich (Cornetto Frittata) since it was on special that morning. We ordered the sandwich for dine-in and yet we still received the items wrapped as to-go after the cashier repeated the details for three times.
As for the food itself, I wasn’t too happy. Croissant looked oddly dark and there was no fluff. The egg was… egg (probably pre-made and just reheated judging from the lack of appropriate cooking sounds), and the ham was thinly-shaved and salty. I didn’t even see the cheese. It wasn’t exactly how I imagined a frittata would be. My drink, on the other hand, lacked the nice balance of chocolate and caramel with coffee. All I got was a faint chocolate taste, and even then it wasn’t that much.
The place was alright, I suppose. If I found one in Indy, I probably won’t be heading to one in a while.
Stop 3: Potbelly @ 900 Shops
Anyway, we stopped by here during lunchtime after we toured the entirety of 900 Shops. Their cashier at the time was very upbeat and friendly. We only got a soda, oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie, and an oreo shake.
Potbelly claims that their cookies are baked fresh everyday, and personally I believe it. The cookie was soft but not too chewy, and definitely didn’t taste stale. The oatmeal wasn’t too rough and the chocolate chip was a nice touch.
The oreo milkshake was average. They were generous on the oreo pieces, and the shake itself was loose enough to be sipped with a straw. They put two pieces of golden crackers on the straw, which I thought was cute.
I’d love to try some of their sandwich combos sometime. They smelled really good.
Stop 4: Pizzeria Uno @ E. Ohio St
We stumbled on this place randomly on our first night out after trying to get directions back to our hotel. Wade’s pizza senses tingled and he realized that we had an Uno’s within walking distance. We wanted to squeeze in a meal here but we didn’t have the time nor the money to do so. Instead, Wade settled with a pepperoni pizza take-out.
What we didn’t realize at first was that this place was the original Pizzeria Uno that Ike Sewell opened (with Pizzeria Due right nearby). I guess it was a good thing that we were bored and decided to read their framed news clippings, otherwise we wouldn’t have known. It felt quite awesome to be at the birthplace of my favorite kind of pizza, the deep dish.
We immediately tore through this pizza when we got back to our room even though we just finished our meal at Tapas Gitana. The pizza was on a totally different level than the first one we tasted at their now-closed location here in Indy. You would imagine that it would practically taste the same, but you would be wrong. The franchise location’s quality was significantly lower. The pizza from Pizzeria Uno had a flaky crust that crumbled as you worked your way through chewy cheese and tangy pizza sauce. The pepperoni was very balanced: crispy and not too salty. Every bite was delightful.
Thankfully, we didn’t stray too far from our budget despite these four unplanned stops. I don’t regret it though, because sometimes you just have to stumble to learn and see something new. That’s exactly what we did.
And with that, I can finally conclude my Chicago-Week posts. Whew.