Friday, March 25, 2016

The Apple of my Eye

Greetings from the great state of New York! I'm here for a visit because today is my mother's birthday. It's really so much nicer to come East from Chicago, as there's no real jet lag from a one-hour time difference. The flight is only a little longer than the drive from the airport to my parents' house, too! I'm looking forward to sharing my New York doings with all of you, but today's post is a tale of Chicago-based gluttony and amazing food!

My cousin introduced me to Red Apple Polish buffet a few years back, when he and his partner were living in Logan Square and I was in town for a conference. It was so amazing that I dreamed of going back for years. When Jeff and I moved to Chicago and started making our list of restaurants to try, Red Apple was my sole solo contribution. We went there shortly after the move, but back then, this blog didn't exist. However, we recently went back for round two. It was just as good as the previous two times, and I can't wait to go again!

Since Red Apple is a buffet, I picked my outfit with extra care: I needed something especially forgiving and comfortable, but still cute enough to make me happy!
Sometimes my photographer takes photos while I'm getting my hair out of my face and they come out better than the ones I posed for properly.
I'm honestly not as in love with this dress as I was when I got it a few years ago. At the time, I felt very House Tyrell in this dress, what with the gold floral motif against the green. It has pockets, which is always a plus, but it also has cap sleeves, which I don't find flattering. You'd think that after three decades on this earth, I'd remember that and stop buying garments with cap sleeves! It's from eShakti, but I didn't want to bother with customization, so I left it as is. Despite hitting above the knee, the dress feels a bit matronly. It served its purpose on this outing, though; I was as comfortable as one can be when they've consumed far more than advisable.
It's definitely time for a haircut!
Closeup of the neckline embroidery. I can totally picture Loras Tyrell wearing a doublet in this motif!

Everything I'm wearing here is at least two years old, with the exception of the purse, which I got used from Ashley of Southern California Belle. I'm all about wicker these days!

Jeff was slightly cross that I made him take this photo, since it delayed eating a little, but he did it anyway, because he is a trooper. The sky was actually that blue on the day we went, which made for a pleasant walk from our apartment to the L. We usually leave for our excursions around 3:30, since it takes quite a while to get to the North Side from our neighborhood. I'm not the world's most patient person when I'm hungry, and we like to go when places are still a little empty, so early-bird special it is! Now that it's Daylight Savings Time, it's still lovely and bright when we arrive at our destination, too.
This is as much of the buffet as I could fit in one photo without looking like a weirdo as I snapped this pic.

The restaurant was all decorated for St. Patrick's Day, which was super cute. We discovered on this visit that they have daily beer specials: a 22-oz bottle of Polish beer for $2.25! After many years of living in LA, where everything costs an actual fortune, this was utterly mind-blowing. However, I wouldn't recommend drinking beer at an all-you-can-eat place, as it takes up valuable room in your stomach.
My favorite corner of the buffet: pierogis, apple pancakes, blintzes, and potato pancakes! I *probably* should have taken this photo before Jeff and I loaded up on the potato pancakes...

They have approximately one billion different options and everything I've ever had has been absolutely mouthwatering, so it's important to approach the buffet strategically. I like to take a little of everything, and then go back for seconds/thirds of the things I like best.
Plate #1!
Plate #2! After this, I gave up on taking photos, because I was starting to feel quite full and needed to focus on stuffing my face, but they have a lovely selection of desserts as well.

We had a lovely meal, though the combination of beer and too much food made for a very uncomfortable walk back to the L. Ordinarily, I wake up hungry no matter how much I ate the night before, but the day after this bacchanalia, my appetite was MIA until mid-afternoon. It was 100% worth it, though, and I'm already looking forward to our next trip!

Are you a buffet person? Do you have a special buffet-conquering strategy, or do you just let yourself run free and choose whatever strikes your fancy?