Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Where to Buy Your Winter Gear in Bucktown / Wicker Park

If you are considering a visit to Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast in the next 6 months or so, chances are you'll have to prepare for the elements, mostly just that one element, cold. If you forgot to pack your parka, here are a few places in the neighborhood where you can pick up some gear.

Arc'Teryx: New to the hood, this place is not kidding around. You know it's legit because practically everyone in Alaska is dressed head to toe in this brand (if they can afford it). It's definitely $$$ but well made and lasts close to forever. 1630 N Damen Ave.

Fjallraven: (Full disclosure, NO idea how to pronounce that)
This place popped up a while before Arc'Teryx and falls into the same genre of high-quality-high-pricetag goods that will keep you nice and toasty dry during the long winter months. Check it out at 1708 N Damen Ave.

This is Patagonia the place, not the brand, but it's awesome so I'll leave it here

Patagonia: A little further west in Lincoln Park, this store would make a great stop on your way to the Lincoln Park Zoo. A little more affordable, still totally respectable and rugged, Patagonia is also supposed to be great about having a fair and honest supply chain, so it's definitely better than throwing your money at Walmart (Chicago actually doesn't have any Walmarts within city limits but you get the idea...). 1800 N Clybourn Ave

Moosejaw Mountaineering: They've got you covered from coats to ice climbing equipment, but unless you're gonna try and scale the outside of Trump Tower in protest during the winter you probably won't be needing the ice picks. Well, maybe for your car door handle when it freezes over... 1901 N Clybourn Ave

Title Nine: If you EVER played sports as a young lass you probably started getting their catalogs in the mail. Lots of bright colors and "fun" prints, if you used to shop at Limited Too when you were younger, this is the outdoor store for you. (Women's clothes only) 1024 W Armitage Ave.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Breakfast/Brunch Double Header Options In Bucktown / Wicker Park

I don't like baseball. I find it exhausting and frustrating to spend $11/beer while watching an insanely long "sporting" event where being an athlete doesn't seem like a prerequisite. However, I know this is not a majority opinion in Chicago and have more than a few cohorts who not only appreciate a live game, but train like marathoners to fully enjoy the elusive double-header opportunity.

If you're staying with us at Ray's, chances are you plan on catching a game, but I want to go ahead and challenge you to the double header of breakfast/brunch in the neighborhood. For repeat guests, you know that we do not mess around with breakfast, we will feed you straight into a mid-morning food coma, so what better challenge than to follow that up with one of the great brunch places in the neighborhood? (Extra points if you can pull it off on Sunday, after starting off with our Eggs Benedict) Here are a few within walking distance

Dos Urban Cantina: Sundays 10am-2pm there is a $24 Bruch BUFFET. And it's one of the best Mexican Restaurants in the area (being staunchly Arturo's loyal this is tough to admit). 2829 W Armitage Ave.

Saved by the Max (via NBC)
Saved by the Max: We love theme-bars/restaurants. If you were allowed to watch Saved by the Bell as a kid (I wasn't) you'll especially appreciate this spot-on (so I've been told) homage to their local hangout on the show. Originally planned to be a short-lived popup, Saved by the Max has stuck around a thrived for months now. This place is normally packed with people who think ahead and make reservations, (sorry, book tickets for their "experience") but they are allowing a limited number of people in for brunch walk-ins on the weekend. 1941 W North Ave

Harvest Moon: Looking for less of a epilepsy-inducing atmosphere and more of a sleek warm farm-to table existence for your gluttony? Try Harvest Moon. They're new, and based loosely off of an Eastern-European mentality. And they have sweet potato waffles. Enough Said. 1805 W Division St.

Dove's via DNAinfo
Dove's Luncheonette: This is a big favorite of locals, and offers the benefit of being just about as close to the Blue Line as possible, so if you are planning on going downtown or (heaven forbid) back to the airport after brunch you only have to put forth the effort of like 65 steps to be sitting down again and whisked to your destination.  Fun atmosphere, delicious food, solid choice. 1545 N Damen.

Or just linger in the kitchen long enough to gain a second wind and order more Ray's breakfast!