Birthday Blues

So its Andrew’s birthday today, and this year we’ve decided this year to forgo presents in lieu of a great experience (this applies to my birthday too, in December).  Part of the reason is, we are really tight on space and honestly there is not much room for any more stuff. Also, for the most part, we have everything we need or want with the exception of a few outstanding things for the van.

So it is was my job to plan what we are doing for this occasion. In the spirit of Chicago, I think Chicago deep-dish pizza and blues fit the bill as a few of the most ‘local’ things we can do.

Though, in an effort to stay away from the tourist traps, I tried to find a pizza place that is not very commercial but would still be the type of place you might go out of your way to go to if you were in Chicago. Problem is, when looking at reviews it becomes quickly apparent that in Chicago, pizza is quite the controversial topic.  As soon as you find a place that looks promising, you find a few very opinionated reviews in the opposite direction.

In the end, it all worked out and we went to this great place north of the downtown core.  It was packed with people, which I take as a good sign. On average it was a 40 minute wait for pizza plus 15 minutes for a table, we called ahead though so it wasn’t too bad. We were pleasantly surprised with the extra space upstairs for seating and managed to get a table fairly soon after getting there. Good pizza and local beer makes for a good start to the night.

After eating, and hardly making a dent in the huge pizza we made our way to the blues bar. This was a great little place, not really all that big, but very quaint.  We had the fortune of arriving to a fully decorated club, with balloons and lights, the whole nine. Now, I’d like to say I set it up, but it was just opportune timing – we happened to arrived on the night where Jimmy Johnson was playing a special show to celebrate his 82nd birthday.

The show was really great and the place was packed – Andrew even got a personal birthday wish from Jimmy Johnson himself right before one of his songs.

A few songs later the whole bar sang Happy Birthday to Andrew – it really was a memorable night.. I don’t think any gift could top that.