When it comes to eating out, most people have their everyday go-to for just about any kind of food. And if you don't, you probably should. Because sometimes that craving just hits, out of nowhere, maybe even during a jog around the neighborhood, and you'll come home with that craving just burrowing a hole in the pit of your stomach. And before you can even kick off your running shoes, your fiance peeks his head up from his spot on the couch and suggests innocently, "Wanna go out for Indian food?" And you're reminded, once again, that you were meant for each other.
Murdo and I currently have a go-to spot for Chinese food, sushi, gyros, schnitzel, Cajun food, deli sandwiches and, most recently, Indian food. We realize that we eat out too much, and we're working on seeking help.
There's something about the go-to that makes it different than other restaurants. We discovered most of ours through the Clipper, our local coupon magazine that comes once a month, which I'm not ashamed to admit that I kind of look forward to. (Fifteen percent off sushi! Buy one get one free entrees! Free appetizer!) I've also noticed that they're usually not winners in the decor and ambiance category. Elevator music plays in the background. The walls are pink. Just yesterday at the Indian place, I told Murdo that I felt like we were at a potluck in the basement of a church. And then our food arrived, and we inhaled the samosas and slathered our rice with tender chicken and fragrant sauce and, mouths full, mumbled, "This is soooo gooood."
These types of places are dangerous, people. They may not look like four shining-star reviews from the outside (or the inside), but they don't have to. Once you've tried the food, you're hooked. So hooked that after a few weeks, you have to look your significant other in the eye and admit you both have a problem. As a result, Murdo and I only allow ourselves Chinese food once a month. And you better believe that on the first of the month, we are so there.
And then there are places like Honey. I went to Honey one Saturday morning in February with Shanna, and as soon as I set foot in the door, I just wanted pull out my camera and start taking pictures. The light! The artwork! The flowers! This place is so cute and bright and happy. We took a seat in the back near the window, and chatted away about food and photography and Lost and life, as we do (and do quite well, I might add).
Honey is a good place for that -- for catching up with a good friend, and for sitting back and enjoying the surroundings, and oh they serve food here, too?! Awesome. Good food, nonetheless: Eggs Benedict over smoked salmon and spinach kind of good. Veggie burger and thick-cut sweet potato fries kind of good. That's right, it's like that.
I wasn't shoveling my food into my face, and I'm not craving to go back right this instant, but it is certainly a place I will return to. I did suggest it to Murdo one day, and upon looking at the menu online, he made it apparent that this was not his type of place. It would not be an everyday go-to for eggs or veggie burgers. Which is actually fine with me, because I'd rather save it for brunch dates with girlfriends. It's good to have a go-to, but it's also good to have that special, once-in-a-while treat that you can come to with a friend who always loves a good adventure. (Thanks, Shanna!)
If you ever find yourself in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, here are a few of my (and Murdo's) favorite spots.
House of Emperor
Cuisine of India
Sakura of Tokyo
Heaven on Seven
Nicky's Red Hots
The Bavarian Lodge
And, of course, Honey.