Thursday, September 23, 2010


Welcome to fall everyone! Oh, and just in case you were excited about wearing tights, your new faux fur vest, plaid, sweaters, hats, Ms. Nature thought she'd remind us how much we love summer for one more day.

And so it was 95 degrees today. Because it was so marvelously nice [albeit hot] outside, and it was my day off, I decided to take myself on a little adventure for lunch. I always like getting out into this big city of mine, especially in the summer. In the winter it's quite a bit harder to be motivated to get up from the couch, away from the tv, the computer, and out into the world. Today, however I did.

I decided to take myself to lunch at Xoco, the new[ish] restaurant here in Chicago by Rick Bayless, who has something to do with Top Chef. I would research that for you and give a little bio on him in order that I might actually appear more knowledgeable than I am, but I'll be honest with you. I just know that he is somewhat famous, and that the food is supposed to be delicious. Well, let me tell you, it was.

I went around 2:00 because I've heard that the Loop lunch rush can be a tad bit overwhelming. Since I was going by myself I didn't want to have to stand in line for forty-five minutes by myself, so I waited and waited and waited to eat until 2. I admit I was feeling a teensy bit faint by the time I actually got my food but hey, it was all worth it. I didn't have to wait at all. The way they do their seating is a little bit weird, because you have to wait to wait in line, and then you have to wait to be seated, where you wait for your food. Thank goodness I didn't have to wait at all, because that is a lot of waiting. [Tired of that word? Yes, me too. Let's stop using it.]

Xoco is supposed to serve Mexican street food in a contemporary, cafeteria-style environment. I don't know anything about Mexican street food, so I will take Rick Bayless at his word. The restaurant is a pretty cool place, with enough bar seating facing the wall so people like me, eating alone, don't feel bad taking up a table for two, and can read totally in peace. They also have fun outdoor seating but today was so hot I opted for the breezy air conditioning [what we are lacking in our beloved, but hot, apartment].

I personally really enjoy eating alone. It's one of the ways I can treat myself on my days off. It does get old not having the weekends off when everyone else is free, but it's pretty awesome sometimes to have a Thursday off when everyone else is slaving away in their office. It makes it easier to get around in this busy city. Anyway, the point is, that if you have never eaten in a restaurant by yourself, I think you should try it. I think you will find it liberating. I know some of you are very scared of this idea, and would be worried what people think of you the whole time. [Like that episode of friends, The One Where Rachel Eats By Herself]. You might feel that way at first, but if you bring a good book/magazine/writing, it's very easy to get absorbed in what you are doing and enjoy eating your delectable food, without having to talk to anyone else, and watching the other people in the restaurant without having to pretend to listen to your companion. [No, I am not a hermit, and yes I like to be around people. Sometimes.] Just go do it sometime. And let me know what you think.

I did feel a teensy bit weird taking pictures of my food by myself, but I got over that pretty quick since I didn't know when I would make it to Xoco again anytime soon. I got the daily special, the Mole Poblano Torta:
 And churros... mmmm with homemade softserve. Delicious!!

You should go. At least get the churros, $1 each!!

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