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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Windy City - Delightful Outdoor Dining!

UPDATE:  OUT OF BUSINESS AS OF FALL 2012

Last week we were at the Light It Up Blue night for the Port Isabel Lighthouse in honor of Autism Awareness Month.  It was after 8:00 by the time we were finished and the teen was starving.  I, too was nearly gnawing nails as I had been so busy baking all day I had neglected to eat - literally - no food except for a snack package of peanut butter crackers mid-morning.  We had planned to drive across the causeway and hit up Pier 19 at the teen's request.  Then, he spotted Windy City and noted they were still open.  He begged for a Chicago-style hot dog.  I scrunched up my face and said "you don't like anything but mustard on your hot dog...do you know what they have on a Chicago Hot Dog???"  He said he didn't care, he wanted to try it.  Far be it from me to discourage a picky eater wanting to try something new!

I'd seen on their Facebook page that they were open for dinner now so we walked over and sure enough, they were open until 9:00!  It was a gorgeous evening...not overly breezy, pleasant cool temperature, and the sidewalk seating was just perfect.

We went in and ordered - he eventually opted for the Bacon Cheddar Hot Dog which was covered in onions and tomatoes (he doesn't eat tomatoes, but said he wanted to try it just the way they made it).  He got a side of fries and a soft drink and was contentedly sitting at "the sidewalk cafe", admiring the blue lighthouse.

I ordered (bad me) a Chicken-fried Chicken Breast.  They said all their sides were made fresh - homemade mashed potatoes, cream gravy, and grilled veggies with Texas Toast.  I knew I would likely be sorry I ate that rich of a meal so late at night, but I also knew I was going to be up for hours frosting 250 cupcakes...so, I figured if it might not be too bad.  I selected a freshly made lemonade with lime added.  Awesome I must say!

The teen and I chatted and waited for our food.  It was a really REALLY nice evening.  The teen ate every single bite of his hot dog...he said the tomatoes and onion were the perfect match for the dog, the bacon, and the cheddar.  He added a bit of mustard and gobbled it all down!  Wow, I was shocked.  He ate all of his fries next...then he helped me with my plate.

The first thing I tried were the grilled zucchini slices.  OMG - they were so flavorful and garlicky - with a smoky flavor from the grill.  Just incredibly delicious.  The teen tried one when I ooohed and ahhhed over them (uh, he also doesn't like zucchini).  He said they were very tasty...and had another bite.  Who is this person in my son's body???

I next cut a nice bite of the chicken-fry... oh my!  I am an admitted Chicken-fried ANYTHING snob.  I make pretty good chicken-fry myself and this was definitely up to my snobby standards.  Light coating, moist inside.  Yum.  The gravy was good, the potatoes were good...between the teen and myself, we cleaned the plate, sopping up the gravy with the Texas Toast.

Damn fine dinner!

I took these few crappy cell phone photos because my camera had been dropped off at the car enroute and I was too, too tired to go get it.  Still, you get the picture.

Fast forward a week... I'm out running errands, it's a gorgeous day in Port Isabel and I think I'll swing by Windy City and try a hot dog since Ian said they were so good.  I was disappointed to find the umbrellas down (the sun was straight overhead and I needed an umbrella if I was going to sit outdoors).  I went ahead in, thinking I might get something to go.  The server asked if I wanted to sit out back.  I didn't know there was an out back, so sure, I said.  Sounds great.

She lead me through to a veritable little oasis off the Lighthouse Square.  Who knew?  She said "why don't you sit under the tree?"  I walked out the door and stopped in my tracks when she pointed at my table underneath the most gorgeous hibiscus tree I had ever seen.  I've seen some braided trunk hibiscus plants in some big pots, and the hibiscus bushes in our complex get really big, but I have never seen an Hibiscus TREE - in full pink bloom!  I sighed in happiness and started snapping photos.  As I was gushing over the beauty, she mentioned it was THIRTY YEARS OLD!  Unbelievable.

A hibiscus blossom - I just stuck my camera up in the tree
My lunch choices were, the lemonade again...because it's awesome... and a Chili Cheese Dog with a side of pasta salad...also made fresh.  I think they use Nathan's hot dogs...that's what it tasted like, a quality beef dog...with soft poppy seed buns.  Not the traditional Texas Chili taste, but a wonderful chili that almost tasted New Mexican and didn't leave that chili after-taste.  It was really delicious. 

One of the gentlemen I had spoken to the other night came out and said "welcome back" so we chatted about my meal and I asked him about the pasta salad.  He said it was his Mom's recipe and she used to take it to potlucks, etc.  It was simple, yet delicious.  I could have eaten a huge bowl of it...probably good that I didn't.  It was, however, a generous portion.

I was pleasantly full, but not over-stuffed...just right.  For $8.48 with tax, I couldn't ask for a better lunch in such a lovely environment.  The teen is hoping we will eat there again one night this week...we'll see...but there's a good chance!


SPI FLIP FLOP FOODIE RATING:
4 – Lip smackin’ - good quality – flip flops will definitely be parked under their table again!


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1 comment:

  1. Well this does evoke that you had a great dinner out. Tasty food and great atmosphere! That hot dog does look awesome. Also, it got a thumbs up from the teen-that in itself says a lot. Hope you got through your frosting marathon-now time to relax. Enjoy the day!

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