S.K.Y.

S.K.Y.

It was a Saturday night in Chicago, around 8:45 P.M., and my mom and I were sitting in the car eagerly anticipating our first dinner together in over three months. I had landed at O’Hare just over two hours earlier, and in true James Malnati fashion, had a dinner reservation lined up before I would even make it home. Even after having what seemed like the last piece of luggage to land on the carousel and driving all the way to Pilsen, we still arrived at S.K.Y. (pronounced as a series of three letters and not the full word according to our waiter) almost an hour before our reservation. This gave us time to talk about the slight uneasiness I felt about eating there, even with its rave reviews. Though I was excited for the meal, in my mind S.K.Y. remained tethered to the controversy regarding Pilsen’s gentrification, with its prices seeming unattainable for many of the neighborhood’s residents. Also, I was unsure if the restaurant would make an effort to hire members of the community or instead act as a catalyst for the erasure of the neighborhood’s cultural identity.

Read more

It’s Over!!

Notting Hill

Did you miss me? Apologies for the lack of posting, but you didn’t miss much anyway. To get you caught up, study abroad is now over, and I am writing this from my bed back home in Chicago. This was a good experience that I think will seem even better with time, but I was quite homesick especially these last few weeks with seeing the finish line in sight. Thus, not enough was accomplished to write a new post every few days, but I did want to write one final piece to wrap things up. I’m not missing London, but I do wish its colorful homes in Notting Hill came with me!

Read more

The Things I am Thankful For

Copenhagen

Long time no talk! I’ve had a pretty busy past week wrapping up #TravelNovember, but I am back with plenty of pictures to share! In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this blog post is going to be in more of a list format, because it’s always fun to shake things up (+ I only have an hour to complete it haha!) First of all, I’m super thankful for my trip to Denmark this past week. It was an absolute blast and such a fun city to explore. The picture above is of Nyhavn, which is this colorful little strip at Copenhagen’s center.

Read more

Eating Brunch is My Only Talent

The Good Egg

You know how I was just complaining about every brunch menu here having the exact same things on it? Well, someone must’ve heard my cry for help because they created The Good Egg, which is an absolute godsend. Finally, a unique brunch menu! Finally, brunch with flavor! Life may not be perfect, but it’s better than it was yesterday! The shakshuka pictured above was the best brunch dish I’ve had in London thus far. The eggs were cooked perfectly, the tomato sauce was rich and flavorful with the perfect amount of spice, and the addition of lemon yogurt made the dish more interesting.  Read more

I’m an American…Get Me Out of Here!

Pedler Peckham

I have only about a month to go here, and, let me say, thank God. This has been fun and all, but I am absolutely aching to get back to Chicago. I would love to travel to London again, maybe in about five years, but I could never live here permanently. I miss my grid. I miss my city of neighborhoods. I really, really miss the CTA. I also miss my food spots. The thing about the Chicago dining scene is that because of both its diversity and high levels of competition, almost every place offers a unique perspective and very few menus are overt copycats. Here in London, it’s the exact opposite, which has been frustrating. Half the brunch menus I’ve seen have the exact same nine things on them.

Read more

Paris, je t’aime!

Eiffel Tower at Night

“Best seat in the world,” I muttered to myself sitting on a park bench staring straight at the Eiffel Tower as it glowed while the sun set. As you can tell, I continued #TravelNovember with a trip to Paris, the only major European city that I’ve actually been to before. I was only there for two full days, but I zipped around on foot and with the Metro and actually was able to complete my entire itinerary, which, of course, was mostly food.

Read more