Back in Denver after a whirlwind few days in Chicago! I had gone to Chicago for a training class called Crucial Conversations, although I find myself more confused now than I ever was before taking the class. The training focused on how to act and react in order to effectively to come to some sort of mutual understanding in meetings with other people, and how to deal with those people when the conversation goes south. That's what they referred to as a crucial conversation. How did they accomplish this you ask? Just as you might expect....through the use of idiotic jargon, giving new labels to the same stale ideas, poorly made video skits, and with a generous layer of cheesiness over all of it. One of the main mantras of the class was, "if you don't talk it out, you act it out." Of course I heard that as, "If you don't talk it out, you walk it out (Just walk it ouuuuttttt!)" There was also a point where they were showing some guy with a lizard's head. I don't know what ol' lizard head had to do with anything but that confusion was quickly replaced by the stupidity of the main theme of the class. This was, the main point of a conversation is to constantly discuss the fact that you're having a conversation, thereby never having to discuss anything of importance or come to any decision.
But, all this was of course to be expected. After finding out that the training classes I am taking will never be as cool as a hypnosis class (come on...Accomplishing More Through Others by Improving Your Influencing IQ.....what was I supposed to think?!?!?), I've stopped picking training classes based on their content, and more by their geography. And what better way to spend a few days, than in the great city of Chicago! And what does one do when they find themselves alone, in downtown Chicago for 3 nights? Well Billy, they EAT! So here's a run down of some of fine dining Chicago has to offer:
Tuesday night I braved the torrential downpours (read: sprinkles), and made my way over to one of the best pizza places in Chicago. Lou Malnati's has been serving great deep dish pizza since 1935 (don't fact check that date.)
I did in fact get a small deep dish pizza, but for those of you that like thin crust pizza, this is the place to go when you're in Chicago. Unlike most Chicago places that say they offer thin crust pizza, only to bring you a heavy, dense crust that's clearly the same dough as a deep dish, just smashed down by a heavyset man in Chicago (or is that redundant?), Lou Malnati's actually has developed a delicious thin crust sampling that will rival any other town's offerings of the same.
Wednesday night I made my way across the river to a small little trendy bar called Hub 51. I don't know much about this place, except that it's trendy and the servers are really good at ignoring you. Supposedly there's a night club underneath the bar called Sub 51, although the entire place could probably just be called Snub 51 (Heyooooo!!)
Finally, I spent my last evening with good friends and went to a Chicago staple on the north side of town. Kuma's Burgers, a gut exploding, face melting, heavy metal blasting, colon cleansing amazing burger joint is a must try experience in Chicago. It will also help explain my heavyset men comment I so subtly made above. But this place, with it's insanely huge and packed burgers, and long wait lines which typically range from an hour or more, is well worth the trip.
I had the Iron Maiden, named after the punishment you feel you deserve after eating the entire thing. The iron maiden is a giant burger with chipotle mayo, cherry peppers, pepperjack cheese, avocado along with the typical LTO. For good measure, I added a fried egg on top. Hey, who wanted to live to 70 anyways? It was as if God himself came down touched me as I ate that burger. How else can I explain why my heart felt like it was going to explode? No other explanation right? Right?!?
Anyways, 3 heart attacks and 5 lbs heavier, I left Chicago and made it back to the city that never stops exercising. Just in time for my 5K this Sunday! Pray for me...