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Giordano’s – Chicago

I recently got a chance to go to Chicago and actually hang out for about a day before having to do what I went there for, which is work. It’s a pretty cool town. It was unseasonably warm as well, so it was especially nice to wander about.
Our first team dinner was at Giordano’s, so we could try chicago-style deep-dish pizza. The pies take awhile to cook, so you order your food in advance while you wait for it to cook and while you wait for an open table. There are plenty of bars to keep you busy during the wait.
We also ordered a regular thin-crust pie for those not into the deep-dish. This wasn’t particularly exciting to me.
Here’s a plain deep-dish. The size of this pie was huge. It was almost scary. And the depth was also surprising. I had never experienced genuine chicago-style pizza. Plus, I actually don’t really like deep-dish pizzas, in general. But this thing? I surprised myself and really enjoyed it. It’s mostly cheese, and that’s no exaggeration at all. It’s just filled with pounds of melted cheese. There’s a bit of a crust at the bottom and up the sides. But basically, you’re looking at a big hunk of melted cheese. A delicious hunk of melted cheese. I could barely eat one slice. After that, I was pretty much done!
Oh, and right after I got to my hotel, I walked to Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter and had an almond croissant. This thing was really different from any croissant I’d had before. I highly recommend it!

Giordano's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Shot Tower Coffee

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Philadelphia is apparently the new hot spot for coffee. There are lots of indie shops popping up, and instead of brewing local la colombe, they go for counter culture or stumptown. Amongst one of these newest spots is the gorgeous Shot Tower Coffee. It’s even cool and inviting from the outside. You can enter from this beautiful entrance on the corner or a nicely hidden door on the 6th st side.
This place is surprisingly huge and unbelievably sunny. It’s not one of those teeny shops crowded with lots of tables. It’s really roomy and really only has one giant communal table with individually attached and swivelling benches, and some bar space along the windows. I love how uncluttered it is. They were playing strangely old throwback tunes. We couldn’t possibly believe that the young baristas would have known any of these songs, which probably came out when they were still in the womb.
It’s been sweltering out, so the thought of a hot coffee is quite frightening. Here’s a delicious iced americano.
And here’s an almond croissant that B proclaimed as the best croissant he’s ever had. Or maybe it really was the best almond croissant he’s ever had. Regardless, it’s a great one! Flaky, filled with almond paste, topped with toasted almond sliced, and dusted with powdered sugar, it was rather great. Shot Tower is bright, roomy, friendly, rather peaceful, and serves good coffee and food. What more do you need?
Shot Tower coffee on Urbanspoon

Paris Baguette Cafe

Inside the H Mart building in Elkins Park, there are a bunch of little shops, including Paris Baguette. It’s a korean chain that you may find around the country, in neighborhoods that are heavy on the korean.
It’s a bread and pastry shop… but they don’t sell hoagie rolls and macarons. It’s a korean-french bakery so mostly, it’s a bunch of sweets. There’s some loaf breads but lots of individual cakes and pastries. There pan and filled breads, donuts, pies, and such.
Here are some of the really pretty cakes.
They also have some loaded waffles.
Here are just a few of the dozen random breads I picked up. They’re all good in their own way. It’s a good thing I don’t live near here because I would probably eat way too much of it!

Paris Baguette Cafe on Urbanspoon

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