Time for another layover where I can leave the hotel and I woke up so excited for work for this trip. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be falling in love with the job all over again. After eighteen months of missing layovers and all the amazing perks of the job, that 5am alarm didn’t even bother me. So travelling the fourteen hours and fifty minutes across the globe, we landed into O’Hare International Airport in Chicago just before 3pm.
I quickly changed and got ready to meet one of my best friends Katie! It had been SO long since we last saw each other when she came to visit me back in Dubai in 2019 and I couldn’t wait for a catch up. She came to pick me up from the hotel and we went to a restaurant she had been recommended and the menu looked fantastic. All I wanted was to be able to catch up from the last two years and eat some great food, we had explored Chicago together when I was last here so we weren’t bothered for that again.
The place was called Parlor Pizza Bar in the city centre of Chicago and they have a number of restaurants across the city and I completely see why. We grabbed a drink by the bar whilst we waited for our table to be ready and continued catching up.
It wasn’t long before the table was ready and we made a selection of choices for the table. When I tell you this is potentially one of the best pizzas I have EVER eaten. Oh my word. We began with kale and artichoke dip with roasted red peppers, garlic cream, and bread crumbs served with garlic toast. Paired with the Brussel sprouts which were pan-seared and served with dry-cured pancetta, freshly squeezed lemon juice and parmesan. These were honestly show stopping. I WISH I had taken a picture of these, but I only managed a quick snap of the pizza as we were just too busy chatting away.
For the pizza, my absolute favourite was the ‘save the last ranch’ which was roasted broccolini, shaved garlic, chilli flakes, manchego and fontina cheese, and house black truffle ranch. Broccoli on pizza WORKS. It was cooked to perfection to give that added crunch and was just a creamy deliciousness. I’m not a huge fan of creamy pizza and I also love my pizza SUPER thin. To the point its almost breaking, but this was just an incredible fusion of flavours and textures. Another highlight was the ‘honey boo boo’ which was a caramelised onions, roasted garlic, parmesan, fresh mozzarella, taleggio, rosemary, sea salt, and honey. Just WOW. There were numerous other pizzas on the table which I enjoyed but these were the two that stood out the most to me.
I know for a fact whenever I am next in Chicago I will be coming here again. I keep thinking about how good this pizza was, and I seriously want to try everything on there menu. Click this link to check out their menu to see what I’m talking about. It was honestly so hard narrowing down what to pick and they also had specials there too!
As the evening drew on with the time difference, long day and absolute food coma I was in, I had to say my goodbyes early and I made my way back to the hotel in an Uber where I slept for a solid eleven hours.
Waking up the next day I had coffee in bed. One thing I love about American hotels is they have coffee machines with pretty decent coffee packets. It’s just a pain having no kettle in the room. I’m seriously considering buying a travel kettle to keep in my bag, as sometimes I’m just gasping for a cup of tea! Anyway, once I had woken up and it was a remotely decent time to head to the shops, I threw on my gym gear and walked to Ulta to stock up on my depleted make up bag and Trader Joe’s for some yummy bits to take back to Dubai. I highly recommend this gorgeous salad dressing for anyone with access to Trader Joe’s I have used this SO much on all my salads back in Dubai. It’s called ‘spicy cashew butter dressing’.
I managed a couple hours sleep before the flight back to Dubai, and on the way home we had the most gorgeous view as we flew across the Arctic. It was actually the flight deck who rang to say look out of the left side of the window. I only wish the photo was doing it justice!
And that wraps up Chicago! I feel like my blog has slowly turned into a food/grocery blog at the moment, but until things are back at 100% I’m making the most of what I actually can do with my layovers and it was so amazing to finally see a friend again!! It’s been SO long since I’ve seen anyone that doesn’t live in Dubai. It was a truly amazing feeling to catch up, I just so hope we don’t have to go two years again. Thanks for a perfect evening Katie, you really are such a great friend!
Lets hope for some lovely trips, some good hours and a quick month of reserve! As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube: