My First Zomato Meet At The Parthenon,Chicago


Indian Bloggers

I was writing reviews on Zomato for more than two years in Delhi/NCR and then I continued my foodie journey in Chicago suburbs too.

Last year in October, unexpectedly I got a invite from Zomato for meetup as I was topping the charts on Chicago’s foodie leader-board. At first I was astonished as attending Zomato meet in Chicago was beyond my imagination.

As I reached the event at The Parthenon, both my excitement and nervousness were at the top, but within couple of minutes it was just we foodies and bloggers sharing our thoughts and experiences. I was filled with wonder that most of them were Indian food admirer.

Why The Parthenon?

Located on S Halsted St,Chicago this place is highly acclaimed for authentic Greek food. In 1968 Parthenon introduced the exclusive dish Saganaki, a flaming cheese appetizer served on a small frying pan. Apart from this, Parthenon made Gyros popular among Chicagoans.

 

Let’s talk food:  As they say, In Parthenon you Dine Like Gods and yes we did, a five course meal !

Appetizers

We got Spanakopitas(mini spinach and feta cheese pies), Broiled Octopus, Skordalia(thick puree of potatoes with garlic) and my favorite Saganaki(flaming cheese) in appetizers. Spanakopitas were very rich & tasteful, broiled octopus was fully flavoured with herbs and lemon, on the other hand Skordalia had the strong flavour of garlic but the star of the night was Saganaki with the shout of “Opa”Check out the video here.o (5)o (6)o (4)o (7)

Soup

For soup I chose Egg and Lemon soup, as it didn’t sounded familiar among those which I have tasted. It was a classic treat, with rice and lemon essence. I am not at all a soup lover but I can go for it again. o (8)

Salad

After the heavenly appetizers and soup I was almost full and there were three course still waiting for me. The salad I opted for was Greek, full of freshness & seasonings topped with olives & feta cheese, it was sure a hit.o (9)

Main Course

From the day I attended this meet, I am a Gyro lover. Gyro is made of lamb or beef on vertical rotisserie, served as shaved meat on pita bread with Tzatziki sauce, a Greek dip made of thick or strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt & olive oil. It was my very first experience with Gyro and indeed it was appetizing. o (11)

Dessert

No meal is complete without a dessert and we wrapped up the meet with Baklava, a layered filo pastry filled with nuts and held together with honey. The Baklava was outstanding, aromatic & fully flavored. It tasted equally well as it looks.o (12)

Overall, my first Zomato meet was overwhelming, more than what I expected out of it. Thanks to all fellow foodies and The Parthenon who made this event unforgettable.

Photo: Gateway Arch At Sunrise

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Located on the bank of Mississippi River, Gateway of Arch is world’s tallest acrh. This picture has been taken on our trip to St Louis.

Photo-Artistic “Flamingo”midst of Windy City


Indian Bloggers

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While walking down the street in Chicago Downtown experience “Flamingo” an abstract sculpture by Alexander Calder.

A Cheesy Affair With Chicago Style Pizza !!

We are die-hard food lovers, especially when it comes to the signature dishes,we never miss any opportunity to try out. Nothing hidden about our fondness for food, one can find our journey on Instagram.

After exploring Chicago we tried our hands on Chicago’s signature dishes and came across “Chicago Style Pizza”.

Chicago Style Pizza : Well known as pizzas paradise, Chicago style pizza acclaims two most popular pizza styles, deep dish and stuffed. Both are made pie style with large amount of cheese and tomato sauce, delighting both eyes as well as taste buds. While Lou Malnati is esteemed for deep dish pizza, Giordano’s has been hailed for its stuffed ones, deeper than the deep dish ones.

STUFFED PIZZA: Our fondness for pizza took us Giordano’s ,before visiting there we ordered in advance as it takes 40 minutes to get it prepared.

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After few minutes we got served with the most acclaimed Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza, and we got our answer why it’s a big deal in Chicago. The thick buttery crust with layers of mozzarella cheese, add on toppings, covered on top with a thin layer of dough & tomato sauce make this dish outstanding. 8a786196fc90affa0d4208559cf77f49_1444181327

DEEP DISH: After Giordano’s episode it was Lou Malnati’s turn, well known for it’s traditional deep dish pizza. Talking about Lou Malnati’s pizza, we got it after waiting for an hour as its Chicago’s favorite and always full specially over the weekends. Crispy crust with layers of cheese and ingredients you choose topped with tomato sauce. IMG_1062IMG_1061

Dear vegetarian don’t be disheartened , both places offers veggie ingredients to choose from.

Disclaimer:  After having Chicago style pizza you may feel guilty, which is absolutely normal.

Tips:

  1. Order pizza before arriving as it takes 40-45 minutes.
  2. Also try Uno’s & Gino’s east pizza.

 

7 Reasons To Visit Navy Pier In Chicago

Just a few weeks after landing in Chicago, we made our maiden visit to Navy Pier. This 3300 foot long Pier on shoreline of Lake Michigan left us fascinated. A place which attracts all walks of life equally, with uncountable reasons. After our first visit we had a lot many reasons to get back here, to quench our quest and explore it fully. Here are the things, which make Navy Pier so special:

Historical SignificanceLooking at today’s Pier, it really feels surprising how it has evolved from being just a Commercial Pier, to a Naval Training center, then a College Classroom and finally as we see it today a place for entertainment and public gathering. IMG_1816

InfrastructureNavy Pier currently has sections starting from a Park at entrance followed by Children Museum, IMAX theater(Chicago’s largest movie screen)shops and Ball room. In middle there are rides, Miniature Golf Course on upper floor, restaurants at lower level and festival hall at the end.IMG_3526

Rides– Pier Park has most popular rides as Ferris wheel (under renovation to increase its height from 150 to 196 feet), Musical Carousel, Light Tower Ride & Wave Swinger. 

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New Ferris Wheel

 

Ferris WheelVisiting Navy Pier and not opting for Ferris Wheel, one should not dare to do that. It should be on your bucket list while visiting Chicago. Take a 7 minute ride on Ferris for panoramic view of Chicago Skyscrapers & Lake Michigan, in the midst of winds just for $6.

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View from Ferris Wheel

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Water Tours & Cruise Another way to catch the sight of Windy City, opt for Water Taxi from Navy Pier to Shedd Aquarium and Union Station or Architectural Tour to get acquainted with the City of Chicago.

Go for any of the following:

  • Sightseeing cruises – Seadog Cruises, Shoreline Sightseeing and Tall windy ship,
  • Diner cruises – Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago and Mystic Blue.
  • Private yacht.
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Shoreline Sightseeing
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Tall Windy Ship

Live Music After rides, shopping & strolling around the pier, be entertained by the live bands (absolutely free) at Landshark Beer Garden along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Grab a beer,have a good time dancing with people around you or gazing blue water with the breeze at lake shore. IMG_1812n

Fireworks– Right through the Memorial Day to Labor Day, Navy Pier gets dazzled around every Wednesday and Saturday with fireworks. But the charismatic view comes across on 4th of July and New Year Holiday when the fireworks dance on music tunes. All looks stunning from Pier but the view from boat is out of this world.o (6)

Travel tips 

  1. Plan your visit to Chicago around 4th July, New Year’s Eve to get spellbound by festive fireworks, free of cost.
  2. Get boarded to Shoreline water taxi(Green Route) which cost around $8 to Shedd Aquarium for most striking view of Chicago Skyline.
  3. Full day parking costs $21 on weekdays and $25 over weekend including Friday
  4. On a budget try to eat at Food Court,if not there are many famous restaurants.
  5. Make a visit in summer for the pleasant weather.

 

 

P.S- The pictures in the post are our own except the fireworks one.

Photo: Street Performer In Chicago

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Cloud Gate a.k.a The Bean

In the midst of the city, Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor is most fabulous attraction of Chicago. We have been here many times, but still the beauty of this bean attracts you every time in a new way. While standing at Cloud Gate it feels fascinating witnessing the great skyline of Chicago.

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Officially Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean due to its shape, was opened for public in 2006. Covered with stainless steel this seamless surface has got its inspiration from liquid mercury, providing distorted reflections and great elliptical skyline. A 100 tons sculpture expanding to 33 by 66 by 42 Feet, is truly a masterpiece by well renowned artist Anish Kapoor.

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Inside the bean

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Best Time to visit:

Its spectacular in summers and splendid in winters, so anytime year around is great, day or night it gives a spellbound view.

Timings: 6 AM to 11 PM.

Travel tips:

  1. Do not forget your camera & try getting some funny poses around “The Bean”.
  2. Make a visit around sunset or sunrise.
  3. Be an early-bird to click only “The Bean” with no people around.

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20 Things to do in Leh-Ladakh

Indian Bloggers

Travel far enough, you meet yourself..

Travel is life changing affair..True !!! Our trip to Leh-Ladakh changed our perspective towards travel forever. It was in month of July 2012 ,we headed towards Himalayas and rediscovered the true beauty of nature in its diverse form.

We spent 9 days in Ladakh exploring Buddhist culture & heritage, experiencing varied landscapes, passing by high altitudes & eating thupkas and momos.

Here are things to do in Leh-Ladakh:

  1. Experience Peace & Serenity with Scenic view at Shanti Stupa–  White domed stupa situated on top of the hill offers breathtaking panoramic view of city. Built in 1991, Shanti stupa symbolizes peace and harmony & is one of the major attraction in Leh.  IMAG0558IMAG0566.jpg
  2. Discover 39ft Shakyamuni Buddha in Shey Monastery-Once the capital of Ladakh, Shey now holds ruined palace and a monastery known as Shey Monastery, originally built in 1655. Make a visit to experience “Shey” era &  39ft Shakyamuni Buddha gold-plated copper statue placed in monastery.078
  3. Visit Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh- Thiksey Monastery is associated with Gelug and one of the prime monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh. Located at 11800 ft, this monastery has 12 storeys which includes assembly hall, temples, nunnery, Maitreya Buddha statue & is home for more than a hundred monks063047.JPG
  4. Must see the wealthiest monastery- Hemis Monastery situated 45 km away from the main city has been in existence before 11th century and was re-established by King Singay Namgyal in 17th century, it holds copper statues of Buddha, Stupas of gold and silver as well as holy thangkas. One should not miss the extravagant Hemis festival in month of July, which we did sadly.029.JPG019.JPG
  5. Spend time in Lamayuru Monastery-Located on Srinagar-Leh highway, with stunning landscape this should be on your list for sure. With its existence dating back in 11th century this cave monastery(one of a kind), leads the way to 50 monasteries in the lower Ladakh.089080
  6. Visit Alchi for exquisite artwork –  Known as Alchi Choskhor, the monastic complex has detailed wood carvings and artistic wall paintings. An ideal place for art lovers, but no photography is allowed inside the monastery. As it is dark inside one should carry flashlight with him/her. alchi
  7. Confluence of Indus & Zanskar river- It sounded surreal to us before witnessing the two colored confluence of Indus and Zanskar river. The picturesque sangam is one of the best experience of our trip, still fresh in our memories. 164.JPG
  8. Experience Moonland landscape in Lamayuru- When we reached Moonland ,it took us a while to come around the fact that this place actually exist !!!! Located on NH1-D, jaw dropping landscape gives an impression of some other planet as it resembles moon like surface due to it’s peculiar terrain.  106
  9. Strange but worth a try-We did tried this, putting our car in neutral, it feels car is pulled uphill by Magnetic Hill, which is believed to defy gravity. Scientific or not, reality or illusion…it’s an interesting place you come across with. 170
  10. Stop by Gurudwara Pathar Sahib25 miles away from Leh, this Gurudwara stands at the spot where Guru Nanak tamed a mighty demon, who tried to crush him by rolling a boulder(big rock) downhill, while he was meditating. It is believed that the rock softened without hurting Guru Nanak. Sacred rock can be seen inside the Gurudwara with the impression of Guru Nanak’s back.gurudwar
  11. Drive through highest motorable road Khardung La We started feeling amazed by snow covered mountains all around us in the month of July while heading towards Khardung La. The road conditions are not the best but Army and Border Road Organisation try to keep the pass accessible. It was a pride moment for us to be at Khardung La as it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t forget to have black tea & Maggi at Rinchen Cafeteria. IMAG0684.jpg
  12. Make a stop at Chang La PassLiteral meaning ‘A pass in the south’, known for it’s great height lies on the way to Pangong Lake. Special pass is required to get through, as China is in close proximity. Enjoy a cup of tea in mighty Chang La in bone chilling wind. 239.JPG241.JPG
  13. Contemplate the clear blue water lake Pangong TsoLocated in vicinity where it is least expected, Pangong Tso is 134 kms long with 1/3rd part in India & 2/3rd in China, spreading across 3 countries India, China and Tibet. After a good 5 hrs drive and moving through rough roads and barren lands, we got a glimpse of lake getting through the last mountain. This blue water lake is serene & heavenly. Couple of hours spend there, we were hypnotized by the mere fact of its existence.200196
  14. Camel Safari in Nubra Valley- We have never heard of sand dunes in Ladakh before our visit, and Camel Safari just bewildered us (specially me). A short ride on double humped Bactrian Camel should be a definite on your itinerary. 312328
  15. Kali Mata templeGoddess Kali temple located on hilltop near the airport, gives another aspect of the cultural diversity. It is advisable to admire the view & spend some time in tranquility. 188190
  16. Enjoy coffee next to Druk School from “3 idiots”With 3 idiots, Druk White Lotus School gained popularity (school shown in last part of movie), now a tourist spot with a cafe named Rancho’s Coffee Shop. Have a coffee and take a walk around the school. 066.JPG
  17. Book a cottage Planning your visit to Leh-Ladakh?  Apart from visiting major tourist attractions, book a cottage in Nubra Valley or Ulleytokpo on the bank of Indus to inhabit with nature .116.JPG
  18. Meet locals and make friends–  People of Ladakh are very generous and friendly.  What we learnt from our trip. “Life is about meeting new people & the things you create with them”. Leh-Ladakh will leave you mesmerized in many ways for sure, but one thing we still cherish about, our little poser friends from Ulleytokpo, Thiksey and Pangong. The moment they saw camera with us, they started posing. Finally we became friends by exchanging the only word they knew..JULEY !
  19. Take time-off with nature Travelling and exploring the unparalleled beauty of Ladakh might be tiring. Try to take some time-off to re-energize. While staying in Ulleytokpo we spent our day on the bank of Indus river, watching mountains and rejuvenating ourselves for the remaining trip. ban of
  20. Capture MomentsLast but must.. Take pictures, Make memories and be a storyteller !!!

     

The Liebster Award…


Indian Bloggers

Hey everyone,

Unexpectedly, couple of  days ago we got our first nomination for  “The Liebster Award”. It feels great that people read our blog, like and comment, but nothing beats the acknowledgement and recognition of being nominated for award.

Thanks to the Life360degrees for giving us this opportunity.Congratulations on getting the award for your inspiring blog. Liebster-Award-Large

Liebster Award : An award for a blogger by a blogger, Liebster is given to newbies with a less number of followers (below 200). It’s a great way to highlight the efforts put together by the contributor in blogging world.

Rules

  • Write a blog post to thank the nominator.
  • Answer the questions asked by the nominator
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and let them know by sharing the link.
  • Ask 11 questions to the nominees.

Life360degrees Questions:

1) One dream location that you would love to travel to? Well, I would love to visit Istanbul, Turkey for its historic area.

2) What is your favorite accessory?  I never step out without my Sunglasses. I love to collect them.

3) Who would you like to be reborn as?  Don’t really want to be reborn.

4) One brand that you swear by? Maybelline …for sure !!

5) What is your favorite TV show? Actually there are two: Friends & Sex and the City.

6) One person, you idolize? Undoubtedly.. Maharani Gayatri Devi.

7) What is your favorite sport? Badminton.

8) One city /country that you recently visited? St.Louis, Missouri.

9) Who is your favorite celebrity? If I have to choose one, I will go for Sushmita Sen.

10) What was the last book you read? Maharanis by Lucy Moore.

11) What is your favorite cuisine? As a foodie, this is a puzzle for me but these days I am in love with Thai .

Here I am nominating the 11 bloggers. I am not really sure if they fall under 200 followers category, but I believe they all deserve it.

Steps TogetherEnticingfoodcruiseChasing MilesThe Nomadic GuyWeekend NotesEverything CandidSoul Searching JourneysTravel by KarmaRashminotesEuroatheartThe Small Town Blogger

My questions for the nominated bloggers:

  1. Which trip is always fresh in your memories?
  2. Which is your favorite post you have written?
  3. What are your upcoming travel destinations?
  4. What is your favorite destination and why?
  5. Where was your first trip?
  6. Snow or Sand?
  7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  8. Any place or city you would love to visit again and again?
  9. Which food you love the most?
  10. What is the one lesson you have learned from your trips?
  11. Which movie/book inspires you?

I would love to read the answers, so once you are done,post the link in comments.

 

Valentine’s Shopping Haul-Lush, Victoria Secrets & BBW

Hello Everyone,

Here is Coupleonquest’s first Shopping Haul. Valentine is here, so I didn’t needed a reason to shop and ended up with some great stuff from Lush, Victoria Secrets & Bath and Body Works.

Victoria Secrets

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I was in Columbus for few days and didn’t missed the chance to visit the biggest shopping attraction in city, Easton Town Center. I bought a Bombshell (body mist), 3pc Beauty Bag and a Beauty Rush Very Blackberry (lip gloss) from the extravagant store of Victoria Secrets in Easton.

  1. Bombshell Body Mist: This is a travel friendly product with light fragrance, comes in 75ml/2.5fl oz & I spend $15 on it. 
  2. Beauty Rush Lip Gloss: I love berry gloss..I do !!! I am not a shopaholic and try to buy things in moderation, but still lip gloss always force me to spend few extra bucks. A sheer tint gloss with berry flavor is perfect for daily wear.
  3. Beauty Bag : 3 piece Beauty Bag for $36. I picked it up without a second thought. Now there will be an “organized” beauty kit with me while travelling..Maybe !!! At-least my husband thinks so..

Lush 

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This is a brand I am in love with !! I bought Ultrabland, facial cleanser which can be used as makeup remover as well & Let’s the Good Times Roll, face and body cleanser mainly to exfoliate, from nearby Lush store and observed the difference with first go. If you have combination skin just like me, then you should pick up these products.

Bath & Body Works

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When it comes to body mist, I prefer BBW. This time I opted for Endless Weekends, a sweet smelling spray with the dry notes of  Vanilla Sandalwood, Vanilla Orchid, Coconut  for $7 which is a great deal. So, I am ready for summers 🙂

So, what’s on your shopping list for Valentine?

Hope you all have a great Valentine Day..