Kent and Justin Visit Chicago

I learned recently that Kent was in town, on business. Though the weekend was busy, I was looking to meet up with him after work sometime this week. A day or so ago, I learned that Justin was in town – and before I knew it Gretchen was arranging a group get-together in Wicker Park.

Dinner plans were at Xoco, but not until 8PM. A few of us made plans to get to the neighborhood early, and decided to meet up at Danny’s for some drinks.

As I was walking there from the Damen stop, I got a text from Justin letting everyone know that Danny’s didn’t open until 7PM. So we called an audible and decided to meet up at Rodan.

I’ve taken this picture I don’t know how many times, sitting at this table.

I met up with Justin early on, and we talked tech for a while. We were later joined by Kent for a few drinks, before darting off down the street to dinner.

Xoco, which I didn’t realize was situated at the old location for holiday (where I once got to use a breathalyzer). It was a tequila bar after that, and maybe a few other things in the following years. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back to the neighborhood.

I lived on Honore, just about a block and a half north of here, right when I first arrived in Chicago (from about 2000 – 2002). Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since that time.

The guacamole bar at Xoco.

L to R it’s Katie, Justin, and Rob. I had met Katie previously, but neither of us could remember from where. It must have been through Rob and Gretchen. Funny random tidbit: both Katie and Gretchen know a coworker of mine (a designer named Carlos). Small world.

Gretchen and Kent, working on their margaritas and dinner.

My meal, which was the Shrimp Mojo de Ajo. It was tasty, but since I’m such a wuss with anything spicy… the heat was kind of overpowering to me. I was sweating through most of my meal.

Fun night out catching up with old friends, visiting some old haunts. It was interesting being back in Wicker Park again, after so long away – meeting folks who have since moved further away. A mixture of familiar and new.

Danny’s, 2004
Justin @ Rodan, 2007
Drinks at Rodan with Justin and Kent

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  1. Side note: I was late in placing a to-go order of guacamole (something I was to be bringing home to Liz, who couldn’t join us). But I waited too long! I walked up to the counter at 10PM, and when I asked for guac to go… I looked over at one of the chefs, who was holding a large, empty bowl. He looked at me and said he and literally just dumped out the remaining guac.

    About 10 minutes later, back at the table, one of the employees came over to me and said there was some pre-prepped guac, and listed off the toppings. He asked if I wanted it.

    When I said I didn’t want to take anyone’s order, he just winked at me. And a few minutes later, came back with a bag of guac and chips. When I made a motion to say I hadn’t paid for it, he just shook his head and walked away. Incredibly nice staff!

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