So for my last meal in Chicago before returning to Seattle, I went to Wild Fire upon the recommendation of my colleague. Unfortunately, upon arrival, I learned they did not serve lunch. When I asked for a good place nearby, they recommended Maggiano's. After a 3 block sub-arctic walk (had already paid for parking in a lot near Wild Fire), I stumbled in to a bakery which has a weird entrance to Maggiano's.
After getting some good hearted ribbing from the bakery patrons ("There's a revolving door you know?" to which I replied,"Sorry! I'm from Seattle." laughing ensued) I made in to Maggiano's.
I was immediately seated by this white haired, older gentleman (I suspect he's probably been there forever) and when I asked my waiter for recommendations, he suggested chicken parm which comes with some pasta on the side.
As I waited, I snacked on some hot bread and olive oil and read the news (there's an unsecured network here so thank you mr. Linksys man). When the meal arrived, I didn't think much of it until I took my first bite. HOLY SHITE. Wow. Wow. The outside of the chicken had a think crusty crunch to it and the inside was moist, tender, and delicious. The sauce was simple red sauce but not cold or lumpy like some other places. The cheese was just enough and hot and stringy and pure - not the processed stuff.
The pasta was a perfect al dante complement with some rich white sauce and a few pieces of brocolli. I am now sipping a late and will try their eggnog custard with a little bit of the captain.
This lunch made my entire trip. God blesss Maggiano's. Great service too :-)
UPDATE: just took first bite of the custard. fricking awesome. not too sweet, great texture, and the latte is perfect.
UPDATE2: just was informed by my friend on IM that they're a chain! i stand by my recommendation, the one in chicago rules. will def try the one in seattle when i get back.
This was posted originally on my blog, TomTalking.com