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Cantina Laredo [Chicago]

Let me start off by saying this restaurant is gorgeous. The atmosphere is amazing! There are two floors for dining. The first floor was a bit more crowded, and set up more like your typical restaurant. The second floor, where we dined, was arranged like a lounge. There was a very relaxing and laid back ambience that I truly enjoyed, especially after walking all day. There were huge windows they let open and allowed for the cool breeze to come through. It was great!

I will say this though, the menu was lacking. They did not offer a lot of items, at least not to my liking. Thankfully, I was able to locate something to eat. I ordered a quesadilla with a small side of guacamole. The quesadilla was pretty good, but the guacamole stole the spotlight. I absolutely love avocados and I love guacamole. I’m not easily moved by a lot of guacamole, but this was definitely noteworthy. It was fresh and wonderfully prepared.

Our service was pretty good. Our glasses stayed full, our complimentary chips and salsa were brought out quickly, and all of our questions were answered throughly and truthfully. He also provided us with recommendations when asked.

I would recommend this restaurant. The food was good, but if you’re looking for a wide variety of Mexican food to try, this place probably won’t suit your needs. It’s not a typical Mexican restaurant. It’s more “modern” as it states under the restaurant name.

*There are other locations around the Nation.

The Goop on Chi-Town

I absolutely love this city! The food is good, the people are nice and there are tons of things to do.

Here’s a list of places I went and things I did while in Chicago that I would recommend.

1. The Field Museum

2. Willis Tower formally known as the Sears Tower

3. Millennium Park

4. Garrett’s Popcorn Shop

5. State Street

6. The Magnificent Mile

7. Navy Pier

8. Taste Buds Food Tour

While there are a ton of other places that you can visit and things you can do, these are what I can speak on.

The Field Museum

This place is awesome! I’ve never been to a museum of such caliber. The only downfall was that I didn’t have enough time to really take in all the exhibits. If you plan on visiting this museum, you definitely need at minimum 3 hours to fully enjoy everything it has to offer. Although, I wasn’t able to see everything, this was definitely my favorite. I will definitely plan to spend more time there when I visit again.

Willis Tower (aka the Sears Tower)

I’ve been here before, but I definitely appreciated the experience way more as an adult. The view is amazing, especially at night. The staff was really helpful as well. We actually came a day earlier, and was told the visibility was terrible. They could have easily taken our money and not said a word. I thought that was pretty decent of them. Lucky for us, the next day had outstanding visibility. The only bad part about this venture was the lines. There was a very long line to go up to the Skydeck, to get out on the Ledge and to leave the Skydeck. Other than that, it was quite an enjoyable experience.

Millennium Park

This is really a nice park. Not to mention, it’s the location of the giant bean, which is an attraction in itself. It’s pretty neat. I definitely recommend bringing the family to this park. I’m interested in finding out how the bean was created and whether it was done at the park.

Garrett’s Popcorn Shop

Garrett’s Popcorn is by far the best popcorn I’ve ever had! I am not a fan of the Chicago mix because I think the cheese popcorn is gross, but the Caramel Crisp and butter popcorn were both amazing! Instead of getting the plain Caramel Crisp, I had it with pecans, cashews and almonds. It was so good! This Caramel Crisp with nuts lasted a few days, but the Chicago mix got stale within about a day’s time. If you plan on taking some back as a gift, get the Caramel Crisp.

State Street

This strip is a shopper’s heaven. They have every store you can think of, and each store had multiple floors. If you can’t find something worth your wild on this street, I’m not sure what your problem is. 😉

Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is North Michigan Street, and there are shops lined up for about a mile on either side of the street. Hence the name, the Magnificent Mile.  The stores located on this street are a little more pricier than State Street shops, but this is where the Water Tower Mall is located. This mall had a lot of great stores and it was beautifully built. The elevator and shaft were made of glass. It was gorgeous. This is where one of the Akira stores are located. I’ve heard about how awesome this store was, so I had to check it out. There were a lot of items that were a bit expensive, but they had a ton of clothing that was mildly priced as well.

Navy Pier

The Navy Pier is a really nice attraction. I loved how it’s out on Lake Michigan with the city skyline in the opposite direction. The views were amazing. Navy Pier also had a bunch of great souvenir shops, something that I didn’t see elsewhere in Chicago. We didn’t get on any rides or take a boat ride because there was a really bad overcast, but had the weather been different, I would have loved to take a boat ride. We did take a stroll through the Smith Museum, which was really nice. I’ve never been to a stained glass museum before, so I was taken aback by the different arrangements.

Taste Buds Food Tour

This was an excellent tour. Our tour guide was amazing!! He was well-versed and quite knowledgeable. We not only got to sample different foods from different restaurants, but we also got a history lesson on this great city. I don’t eat pork or beef, which made it a little difficult for me. However, the tour guide tried his best to work with the restaurants to provide me with something that I could eat.  We went to Portillos, Mitchell’s Soda Shop, Downtown Hot dogs, Devon’s Seafood and Lawry’s. I was satisfied with everything I was given up until Lawry’s. They gave me a slider bun with lettuce, tomatoes, & cucumbers. It was nasty.

During our visit, we stayed at the Embassy Suites at Rosemont near the O’Hare airport. It was a bit of a distance to downtown, but thankfully the L-Train was located within walking distance from our hotel. It was convenient during the day, but we weren’t able to enjoy the nightlife because of the time it would have taken to get to and from. With that said, next time I will rent a car to participate in the night life and use the L-Train during the day.

Overall, Chicago is a great city to visit. For those thinking about visiting, with so much to do, I would suggest making an itinerary before hitting the city. While public transportation makes it easy for you to travel within the city, it helps to know where things are in proximity to one another. One thing that we learned while visiting is that a lot of attractions are in groups, so it was easier to knock out a particular group and head to the next. With everything planned out, you will definitely get the best experience.

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