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On our last date night, Mike and I had tickets to see Feist in concert at the Riviera Theatre. Apparently, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was also there, on a date with his wife.

Highlights of the show:

  • The 3 incredibly talented back-up vocalists.
  • The audience clapping along to “I Feel It All”, and we could all feel the energy.
  • “Cicadas and Gulls” which took the entire audience back in time in the ~100 year old theatre.  The crowd was hushed and the song was performed with the majority of the speakers turned off, like a vaudeville act a century ago.
  • And the last song, in which 20+ audience members were invited up on stage to slow dance to “Let it Die”, a sad song, but all the more reason to hold each other tight.

 

Prior to the show, Mike and I wanted to pick up dinner somewhere nearby but didn’t have any particular place in mind.  We wound up up at Tank Noodle, one of the most popular restaurants on Argyle Street (Chicago’s “Little Vietnam”).  I had been wanting to try this place for ages and was so sad that I had only brought my iPhone and not my ‘real’ camera.

There was a 20 minute wait when we arrived, but the time went by fast as I was occupied by watching so many beautiful plates of food go by.   

I was impressed that there was an entire page of the extensive menu devoted entirely to Vegetarian dishes (but watch out for the Oyster sauce).  I was sad to see they don’t offer a vegetarian Pho though.  Pho is a Vietnamese Noodle Soup and it’s what Tank Noodle is known for. 

We started by sharing the Vegetarian Spring Rolls and the Shredded Papaya Salad. Everything tasted SO fresh.  

  

We also ordered a glass of Fresh Lime Juice & Soda.  It was too sweet for my taste, but a refreshing drink that paired well with the meal.

For our entrees, Mike ordered the beef Pho which I wasn’t interested in.  I was, however, very interested in the plate full of fresh vegetables & herbs it was served with: crisp Bean Sprouts, Basil, Jalapenos, and Limes.

I ordered the Assorted Vegetable Soup (hold the mushrooms).  The broth was pretty basic, but what impressed me was the plentiful and very fresh assortment of vegetables including Bok Choy, Snow Peas, and Carrots.  There was easily a pound of vegetables and tofu in this bowl, which was the size of a small mixing bowl.  I also stole a huge handful from Mike’s plate of vegetables & herbs to add more flavor to the broth.

The highlight of the meal was dessert.  We ordered the Sweetie Red Beans Topped with Coconut Milk, expecting simply a bowl of sweet beans.  What we got instead was a Southeast Asian version of a Milkshake: beans, sweetened coconut milk, and shaved ice.  I know it doesn’t sound like much, so I was completely blown away when I took a sip.  This bean concoction tasted like a Cookies N’ Cream milkshake.  It was so delicious in fact, that I hope to recreate it at home one day.

Funnily enough, we also ran into a co-worker of mine at the restaurant – the same person I ran into at Nhu Lan, another Vietnamese place in the neighborhood.  She recommended her favorites: the Durian smoothie and the Avocado shake.  After my amazing bean dessert, I can’t wait to try those on my next visit.

 I’d love to hear from you!

Have you ever had beans for dessert?