I've been fortunate to do some traveling this summer, all of which came in the month of July. While each weekend trip had a different purpose, they all contained a fair amount of research potential. Luckily, we don't have to go too far from the Quad Cities to get new ideas! The new fall/winter menu will be here before we know it - we're already starting the process to make decisions and taste-test new items.
C H I C A G O
The first trip was to Chicago for a Cubs game. Each time we visit the Windy City, there is a long list of bars and restaurants to see. We have found that the easiest way to maximize our time is to focus on a specific neighborhood, so we set our sights on Wicker Park for an afternoon of eating and drinking. The stand-out favorite was Small Cheval (sibling to one of our favorites, Au Cheval). Their menu is stripped down to the essentials of burgers, fries, and limited drinks and, all were delicious (load up on the garlic aioli)!
N A S H V I L L E
The very next weekend, my sisters and I were off to Nashville to visit some Collins cousins. Between lots of scouting, emails, and Instagram research ahead of time, we had an ambitious list of places to go (divided up by neighborhood). The experience was a whirlwind! We stayed away from the traditional (crazy) Broadway area for the most part, opting to explore the thriving restaurant scene. Our days were definitely plotted around food options, and I'm quite certain that we had some of the best that Nashville has to offer. From Pinewood Social to Urban Cowboy to Bastion, and so many more in between, this trip was full of inspiration!
S T . L O U I S
St. Louis was the last stop for the month. A concert brought us to town, and we decided to stay in the neighborhood of the venue rather than downtown. Our focus here was on the beer, because why not?! We made stops at a couple breweries, including Schlafly and Urban Chestnut, and discovered deep fried deviled eggs at The Preston. A stop at Clementine's Creamery on our way out of town may have topped it all and is reason enough for a return trip!