I’m never going to get over having random holidays off, like President’s Day – it’s kind of the best thing ever, and it’s been missing from the last umpteen years of my life. President’s Day rules!
Especially when it’s sunny outside. And not snowing. President’s Day rules even harder then.
I took advantage of the nice (though chilly) weather and created my own personal South Side Vacation. I don’t know what it is about the South Side, but I always seem to end up there on days off – case in point, I spent Martin Luther King Jr Day at the South Side Works cinema watching Les Mis. Today was more of the same, but awesomer.
It started with a traffic-free ride on the parkway and free on-street parking. From there, I hit up my first destination: Waffles INCaffeinated. I desperately wish I could link up to their website, but I can’t seem to find one for them. Anyway, Waffles INCaffeinated is my idea of a breakfast playground – you get your waffles, you choose fillings for your waffles, and then you choose your toppings. Whoa. If it’s all a bit overwhelming to you (I’m slow in the mornings, so yeah…), they have lots of specialty waffles to choose from. They all sounded amazing, but in the end I had to go with my one true love – bacon. I chose the Breakfast Magic waffle, which is filled with (… wait for it…) BACON, cheese, and green onions and topped with (you guessed it) BACON, cheese, green onions, an egg, and a dollop of sour cream (on the side). It. Was. Spectacular. I know it might sound like a strange combination, but it was truly magical, as the name suggests. Making it even better was the bourbon maple syrup (perfect complement), good coffee, and excellent customer service. My server, Leah, was the perfect amount of attentive without being overbearing; she and the rest of the staff made sure both my coffee and water were filled at all times and checked back to make sure I didn’t need anything – and when I asked for half of my waffle to go (it was huge!), she not only gave me the takeout container; she also gave me a little lidded cup of the bourbon maple syrup. I don’t go out for breakfast all that often, and I rarely get “bad” service, but usually it’s some form of routine pleasantries and doing whatever’s necessary to get me out of the restaurant and make room for more customers – essentially, the minimum requirements for working in the service industry. That’s not the case at Waffles INCaffeinated. The staff’s cheerful attitude and all-around helpfulness made me feel like they actually want their customers to be happy and stick around for a little while. I really appreciated it, and I plan on going back as often as I can. So very highly recommended.
My belly full of waffles and coffee, I wandered around the South Side for most of the day. Finally, around 1, I decided to get some lunch. I was torn between several places – Piper’s Pub, Caffe Davio, The Pretzel Shop, and Carson St Deli. Had it been open, I would have hit up Cambod-ican Kitchen since it’s been on my to-do list for years (!!) but they’re apparently closed until March. I did some research online and decided Carson St Deli was the place to go. I must have hit the customer service jackpot today, because the folks at the deli were super nice as well. I opted for the Balboa, which was humongous. I only ate about half of it before wrapping the rest to take with me; while I was eating, a guy kept talking to me and every time I went to answer his questions, my mouth was full. Awkward. Even more awkward? I’m pretty sure I was talking to the owner. Whoops! At least I couldn’t talk because my mouth was so full from the deliciousness!
My next stop was the SSW cinema to see Identity Thief – I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it, but you NEED to see this movie. I laughed so hard that I was crying and my stomach
hurt hurts (still!) from all the laugh-out-loud (literally) moments. Funniest movie I’ve seen in recent memory.
Finally, my last stop of the day was The Pretzel Shop – it seems unnatural to spend a day in the South Side without stopping there. I got a cinnamon sugar pretzel and took it home with me. So so sooo tasty. I’m not sure it really helped the stomachache I got from eating all these foods I don’t normally eat, but all of it – pretzel, waffle, Balboa – was worth it.
I hope your President’s Day was as awesome as mine!