I am a creature of habit. If left to my own devices, I will go to the same several restaurants. In the last week, while joining me for softball games, my friend Jack pushed me out of my comfort zone with fantastic results.
On Sunday, when rain delayed a DePaul softball game, we escaped the downpour at nearby The Warehouse Bar & Pizzeria. We started with an appetizer of cheese curds. We thoroughly enjoyed the generous mound of lightly breaded and fried white cheddar cheese curds served with a mildly zesty, flavorful marinara sauce. Just as we finished the cheese curds, our server delivered our pizzas. We shared a mushroom and a plain cheese, with both of us undecided on which we liked better. Both featured a lot of excellent sauce on a thin, perfectly cooked crust. Had The Warehouse been around when I roamed the halls of DePaul years ago, it definitely would have been a regular stop for me.
We returned to Cacciatore Stadium just as the rain delay ended. DePaul beat Georgetown 13–9 to take all three weekend games. We had a great time with other friends and players after the game.
A couple days later, we saw Northwestern crush the University of Illinois-Chicago 21–2. To celebrate this big win, Jack suggested we drive to downtown Evanston and find a restaurant. Driving and searching for a restaurant is even more unnatural for me than selecting a new restaurant.
On the main strip, we chose Prairie Moon. Light and spacious, it had a cool vibe, with a little buzz but not an overpowering volume of conversation. The appetizer menu was loaded with good options, but we selected calamari. A Parmesan sourdough crust made this uniquely scrumptious. Jack ordered and enjoyed shrimp and crawfish etoufée. While several dinner options appealed to me, once I saw salmon chowder, my decision was easy. Loaded with chunks of salmon, corn, carrots and potatoes, it was a thick, creamy, multiflavored delight.
The Warehouse Bar & Pizzeria and Prairie Moon were great meals and wonderful experiences. As difficult as it is to go beyond my comfortable, familiar spots, such excursions can be very rewarding.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
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