Our first full day led us to two great restaurants, Bella Bacino, home of great Chicago style deep dish pizza recommended to us by some friends, and Texas De Brazil, a Brazilian Steakhouse Churrascaria.
After waking up close to lunch time due to the 2 hour time difference compared to California, we decided that our first bite should be a good Chicago style deep dish pizza. We went to Bella Bucino, which is a few blocks away from our hotel. Our group decided to walk there to rattle our stomachs for good pizza to come.
Bella Bacino Pizzeria off Wacker Dr.
Bella Bacino is located right by the riverfront area so you can see the river as well as Chicago’s famous city skyline, dubbed the Magnificent Mile. We opted for outdoor seating during the perfect warm Chicago weather. Bella Bacino is an Italian style restaurant with great service. Our waiter had an authentic Italian accent with service that was beyond our expectations.
They first served us Foccacia bread with olive oil and vinegar. The bread was very nice and flavorful, something you’d expect with Foccacia style bread. We finished the first basket so quickly, the waiter brought us another batch!
Yummy Foccacia Bread with Olive Oil and Vinegar
For our appetizer and entree, we ordered their Gorgonzola Pear Salad and their Spinach Supreme deep dish pizza with Italian sausage and mushrooms.
- Spinach Supreme deep dish with Italian Sausage and Mushrooms
The pear salad lacked dressing but was still pretty strong in flavor from the Gorgonzola cheese. The cheese was probably the most potent cheese I’ve had but added great taste to the salad. The candied walnuts were also a great addition to the salad.
When the waiter brought out the deep dish pizza 35 minutes later, (it takes 35 minutes to cook because it’s so big!) we were amazed by the size and the presentation of the pizza. After the waiter served each of us a slice, we all gazed over the amount of pizza you get in a deep dish. We all took a bite to mask in the taste and flavors all put together in a perfect pie. The cheese, Italian sausage, mushrooms, spinach, marinara sauce, buttery bread crust, and more cheese comprised of each bite. After two slices, I was extremely full and filled to my hearts content with pizza. Overall, the pizza was delicious, but only in moderate amounts. It’s extra cheesy middle is great for cheese lovers but it might be too overwhelming for those who aren’t used to pizza like that.
We decided not to order dessert but the waiter brought out 4 small chocolate chip cookies baked fresh, complements from the chef. Overall we had a great experience at Bella Bucino.
The meat waiters at Texas De Brazil
After spending most of the day at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, we were exhausted, tired from walking, and hungry. We filled our growling bellies at Texas De Brazil, a Brazilian Style steakhouse. For those who aren’t familiar with a Brazilian Style steakhouse, it’s essentially an all you can eat experience where there are many waiters walking around with big skewers of 13 various meats, from filet mignon, top sirlon, flank steak, to lamb shanks and bacon wrapped chicken. They also give you a card that you can flip over, either Red or Green. Red meaning, no more, I’m in meat heaven!, or Green, meaning yes, come over and carve all the slices of meat you want on my plate.
More Salad Bar. They try to trick you to eat more of this so you can eat less of their meats!
Texas De Brazil also has an all you can eat salad bar, but they offer much more than salads. They had Lobster Bisque for the soup of the day, seared tuna, smoked salmon, sauteed mushrooms, shrimp salad, and many other things you wouldn’t normally expect in a salad bar. All the items were good but I made sure that I didn’t eat too much of this or else I wouldn’t have room for the meat entrees. So I opted for a few different choices shown here.
My big appetite demanded for more and more meats!
The time had come and I flipped my card over to the green side. Green means go! Right when I flipped the card over, 4 different waiters carrying different types of meat came to my side of the table quickly and asked if I wanted some of the meats. It felt like I was a piece of bread in the middle of a flock of hungry birds. I happily answered yes to all of them and chose medium rare (the perfect amount of rediness) for the beef varieties. I was left with a piece of filet mignon, garlic top sirlon, parmesan pork loin, and a beef rib. In between different meats, we were given fried banana which was topped with sugar and cinamon. The flavor I thought it tasted closest to was a churro, but banana instead of flour. The fried banana is supposed to cleanse your palette after every meat so you can taste the difference in each meat flavors.
After what felt like an eternity eating meat after meat, I was in meat overload mode. The filet mignon was the best I thought due to its tenderness and flavor but a close second was the house special cut, top sirlon. Although I tend to shy away from lamb due to it’s gaminess, my third favorite was the lamb shanks as it didn’t have that gamy flavor. The rest of the meats were still enjoyable, but on the saltier side for me. Overall, the four of us engorged in a fabulous meal that put us all in a meat utopia.
The bill came out to about $216 including a glass of Sangria, which is typical for these Churrascarias (Brazilian Steakhouse).
We tried to walk off the food by walking to Navy Pier, but was in no shape to fit in a dessert elsewhere, so we decided to grab a quick drink at Argo Tea Cafe. I ordered an almond milk tea that was perfect in taste, not too sweet, and had more of a tea taste which was pleasant to get rid of the meat taste that still lingered on our tongues.
Almond Milk Tea