Two of my favorite things: eating and knitting. One of my favorite things to do: go somewhere for food and knit. I went to lunch today with one of my favorite personages (who recently moved back to the Chicago land area) and he being the one man think tank suggested I blog about my eating and knitting. Fine, I said, I will. And that's just what I'm doing.
This chilly afternoon found me biking down to the south loop to visit one of my favorite diners I do not get to go to enough, Eleven City Diner. It's a Jewish American diner, a little piece of New York with a fierce love for Chicago and all things retro. Green River soda anyone? Cause that's what I have. Very few places carry this home town treat (and official soda of the Boice Wedding in '08), which sports a vibrant shade of green and tastes vaguely of limes and mostly of sugar. I don't drink a lot of soda but when a place has Green River I just can't resist. Eleven has cozy booths and tables and a full bar and lunch counter. For maximum retro effect my friend and I relaxed at the lunch counter. Immediately I pulled out my Warriston sweater. I hadn't seen Aaron since the honeymoon in Portland in said year of 2008. We've spoken and texted each other in that time but seeing someone is quite different and I wanted a project I didn't have to pay attention to. Therefore the stockinette bit of a heavy weight jumper fit the bill.
We sat, him with a cherry phosphate and I with my Green River straight from the bottle and chatted and caught up. He was amazed that I could not have to look at what I was doing and mused about blind knitters which segued into anecdotes about knitters I've met and friends of his who crochet and then beer regulations in Portland vs Kenosha. Our food was set down and I set down my knitting and snarfed up the SCHWARTZY; piles of smoked beef brisket sandwiched in fluffy challah bread. Aaron had a Rueben and fries. Mine was delicious but his looked so good with the melted cheese on top. I snuck some of his fries since mine came with coleslaw (blech.) I'm sure Eleven's coleslaw is delicious. I just don't care for it. Lunch over we still had time to kill before he had to get to his appointment and there was still much more conversation to be had. Plus I couldn't leave without getting an egg cream. Also a commodity in short supply in the Chicago area these are delicious.
Chocolaty and creamy without the heavy brick feeling of finishing a shake and a little fizzy, egg creams are not made with eggs but contain chocolate syrup, milk and soda water. A beautiful amount of head came on mine and all too soon it was gone and time to go. I packed up my knitting which was laid aside in favor of egg cream and conversation and we headed out the door of Eleven and back onto the streets of Chicago.