Mago Magnífico

mago IIIHave you ever heard of Mago? Mago Grill & Catina has Mexican and Latin inspired dishes and the most incredible guacamole I have ever eaten.  They have four different locations in the Chicago area. Mago Grill & Cantina is the creation of award-winning Chefs Juan Luis Gonzalez (former head chef of Fuego Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar in Arlington Heights) and Ric Munoz. It’s original Latin and Mexican menu is comprised of authentic favorites like freshly smashed tableside guacamole, seafood ceviches, savory salsas, fresh salads. Mago’s main dishes feature steak, chicken, pork and seafood including the chef’s own mago IIGrandma Paula’s family recipes. Our menu offers all the classics: suiza-style Burritos, Enchiladas, and Fajita’s including a unique Mago-style creation served in a hot molcajete. When it comes to Tacos, Chef Juan Luis has developed a host of flavorful recipes to pick from – all promising to excite the taste buds.

 

mothers dayMy sisters and I celebrated Mother’s Day and they had an incredible brunch. From the moment that I stepped into the Bolingbrook location to the moment I left, the serve was beyond 5 stars! Our server kept checking on us and was extremely attentive-even for a brunch. Many times, I find serve goes down a bit at brunches, but that was certainly not the case here.

The French toast looking entrée was actually calledmago brunch.png Pan Frances de Horchata.  It’s thick cut challah bread dipped in almond and horchata custard.  Topped with toasted almonds and fresh guava butter.  It’s sweet and satisfied every sweet tooth that I had! The Prime Rib was cooked to perfection.  You can see I have a small dish of maple syrup.  I can’t possibly be the only one that dips my bacon and sausage in syrup. And guacamole.. let me tell you! It’s done tableside..and (mouth watering) truly out of  this world incredible.  If you haven’t been to Mago, definitely stop in and give them a try.  You won’t want to miss out on this incredible spot!

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Double Delicious & Delightful in San Diego

cookieGoing to San Diego?  Don’t know where to stay? Look no further. Doubletree in San Diego off Circle Drive is the place to stay. Reasonable rates with top customer service! We walked in off Circle Drive into the entrance/front desk area.  It is a peaceful and relaxing front desk area surrounded by waterfalls and relaxing colors.

The front desk staff was friendly and we were greeted with a smile and a COOKIE. Yes, I said a cookie.  It was warm, chocolatey delicious. We were given our room keys and went to our guest room.  The king suite had a balcony. Definitely, get the balcony! We overlooked the outdoor and pool area. It was relaxing Hoteland when we were in the room, we kept the doors open for a beautiful breeze. The room was lightly lit and homey.

After we settled in, we ordered room service and cracked a bottle of wine.  The front desk personal was extremely helpful with all our tourism questions and provided us with maps of the local area. We ended our first evening with some drinks at the hotel bar.  It was classy, relaxing and the drinks were fabulously made.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the restaurant.  We both did the breakfast buffet and what a selection it was.  You can order an omelet from the server if you wish and there was a ton of food to choose from at the buffet.  There was fresh fruit each day and the pineapple was my Poolfavorite.  One morning they even had chicken and waffles.  I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy, but I topped it with some fabulous syrup and it was oh so delicious. Additionally, let me add that the young ladies that waited on us were incredible! Fantastic customer service! I would go back just for that incredible service.  By day #2, she brought our drinks and knew that he liked pop and I drank coffee.  Amazing.

Now let’s get to the pool.  We would order some drinks at the bar and headroom view.png out to the pool area.  Relaxing and the weather was about 75/80 each day.  It was perfect.  I took a dip in the pool and relaxed by the pool for a few hours.  It was quite and would be perfect for families and for couples.  The pool area has a hot tub, as well as great fire pits for you to relax during the day or in the evening hours.  The outdoor area is great.

We even got a little too much sun at SeaWorld one day and thank God the gift shop had some Aloe gel for our burnt skin! Saved the day!

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They also had a great dinner menu with salads, steaks and more. If you are going to San Diego, I strongly encourage you to stay a Hotel Circle- Doubletree. It’s a 5-10 minute Uber to anywhere you need to go in the San Diego area.

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Tip Top At Tin Roof

tin roof outsideGoing to San Diego anytime soon?  Live in the San Diego area?  You must, not should, but MUST stop in at Tin Roof in San Diego in Gaslamp district. It has some of the most incredible food there! The live entertainment was fun, exciting and was going all night long when we we’re there. We walked into the restaurant/venue in the early evening, sun still shinning and were greeted by some very friendly servers that stated that we can seat ourselves.  Everyone we met that evening had a smile on their face, were friendly and repeatedly asked how they can help us.

We sat at a table closer to the stage.  It’s a smaller stage, but wow did it bring in the party that night! We went on a 90’s cover band night and it was a fantastic time! Non-stop tin roof food IIentertainment.  The crowd was younger, fun and lively all night long.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Food of course! I tried chicken and waffles for the first time and let me tell you- I am so glad that I did! They were absolutely incredible! Normally you see large waffles with fried chicken, but this was very different.  There was little bites of waffle and fried chicken.  It was glazed in a maple syrup type of dressing and so delicious! Every bite was incredible and I was so sad when it was gone! Oh and I almost forgot that it comes in a large waffle cone.  The presentation is fantastic!

chicken and waffle.pngNow, let’s chat a minute about the beef brisket!  If I was to choose one word for this brisket is “Perfection.” I have been to many BBQ fests over the years, tried tons of pulled porks and BBQ’s and this by far is the best brisket I have ever eaten in my entire life. If you like brisket, thin and slow cooked, do not look any further! It has a strong flavor, but it’s not too spicy.  It is served with a side of hot sauce if you want an extra kick added.brisket.png

Drinky Drinky! Drinks are always important as well. If you like to drink, don’t want sugary-fake-like-drinks…then head over to Tin Roof! Great drinks! Basil Berry Moonbounce is the bomb! Definitely deep eddy.pnggive it a try, but it is strong.  Basil Berry Moonbounce has the following: American Born Moonshine, Fresh Lime, House-Made Simple Syrup, Fresh Berries, Basil, Topped With Red Bull.  Overall I can’t wait to go back!

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Let’s go back to the 90’s

90s.pngWhere do I start? It was the time of my life! An absolutely incredible experience and one of the best cover bands I have ever seen! Take it back to the 90’s and go see Saved by the 90’s as soon as you can! It was one of the best shows I have ever seen.  House of Blues is truly my favorite venue to see a band, concert of musician of any kind. It’s an intimate setting and wherever you sit, you have a totally fabulous view!

Let’s start with what the House of Blues has to offer.  They have a high end restaurant and they have more of a casual restaurant as well.  I ate at the House of Blues restaurant before the Saved by the 90’s show and honestly I am SO glad that I did.  What wcornbread.jpgould I recommend? You can’t leave without eating the 3736f313add7137d9197f5caa496b8691eacc0ddcornbread.  It’s truly the most incredible cornbread I have ever eaten in my life! It’s a jalapeño cornbread with the perfect kick.  They serve it with a honey butter.  It’s just amazing and you can’t go there without ordering it.  You can even purchase it in the gift shop and make it at home.  I think I need to stock myself with a life supply! The drinks are also incredible.  You can tell they are freshly made and not high in sugar.  The watermelon margarita is made with Karma reposado tequila, watermelon and fresh lime. It was amazing, fresh and delightful. Definitely give that one a try! I also tried the f80327afeca0da174ebc6dc00a1a8d8e7fada33fcucumber mule drink. It’s made with Absolut vodka, St. Elder elderflower liqueur, fresh lime, mint, cucumber and ginger beer.  It was definitely stronger than the margarita, but super fresh tasting!   They were so refreshing and delightful to drink. You can view the entire menu here.

90s22.jpgNow let’s go to the best show ever! The 90’s band was truly incredible, non-stop entertaining for hours! My sister and I had truly the time of our lives and every song was on point! My sister liked the show so much, dancing all night long… so much fun that she broke her foot. Ha. No, seriously, she broke her foot from dancing!! And the Saved by the 90’s were so incredible, they sent her this awesome get well message! What better band in the world!?! No 90s 33.jpgone ever!

Definitely check out the house of blues schedule for events! It’s a one stop entertainment and food delight! If you need somewhere to stay, please stay at Hotel Chicago.  It’s a beautiful hotel loft feel! You’ll feel like your in a penthouse no matter which room you get! The bed was one of the most comfortable beds I ever laid in from a hotel! There isn’t truly food opts. there, but that’s okay because of the house of blues restruatnt is right next door! The staff is friendly and kind and best part is it is literally the front door to the House of Blues Chicago! Doesn’t get anymore convenient than that!

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Prop Perfection

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Have you ever heard of Props and Tops? Super cute stuff!

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The owner Jennifer lives in Indiana with her husband and 3 dogs. She has always loved party planning and baking.  She loves to be creative so when her niece and nephew were born, she started planning showers, parties, wedding and more!props

She has everything from cupcake toppers, props for photo booths, cookies and so much more.  She started her shop in 2015 and I definitely recommend that you check her out.  Super cute stuff for every event! Check out her etsy shop.

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Gluten Free Goodness for all!

April 22nd is fastly approaching and guess where you need to be? Gluten free Expo in Schaumburg! Find out below how you can WIN FREE TICKETS!

Gluten free expo for website

The GFAF Expos are the largest and fastest growing special diet consumer events in the US. Started in 2007, the events are professionally managed and have expanded from one to eight cities throughout the United States. In addition to meeting the needs of the Celiac community, the Expo welcomes those with gluten sensitivities, auto-immune/inflammatory diseases and autism.

Tickets are only $15 and you seriously receive so many samples, information, classes and it’s worth every penny! I had so much fun last year and I will definitely be back!

What do you get with your Expo Ticket?

  • Entry into the vendor fair with over 100 brands
  • Valuable coupons at the vendor booths
  • Samples from the vendors are considered to be gluten free.
  • Discounted products available for purchase
  • Informative classes related to the gluten free and allergen-friendly lifestyle
  • Free reusable bag to carry your goodies
  • Meet your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers

Expos2016-Slider26NOW- How do you win 2 free tickets??!? Comment below with your favorite gluten free item and a winner will be chosen on Wednesday, April 12th!! Happy Gluten Free 🙂

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Cinco de Mile… Run for a Cause!

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On Sunday, April 30th, Community Services Foundation will host the 1st Annual Cinco de Mile, a 5K Walk or Run family event.  All event proceeds will benefit children and adults with diverse disabilities.

The fundraiser will start off at Community Service’s Foundation corporate office: 6775 Prosperi Drive, Tinley Park, IL.  The event will begin with registration at 6:30a.m.  The race will begin at 7a.m.  Each race participant will receive snacks, water, breakfast, tote bag filled with goodies and an event t-shirt. 

 

The community families are encouraged to register because there will be many events for the children as well.  Kid’s activities consist of hula hoop station, kid’s obstacle course, jump house, face painting and more! The kid’s activities begin at 8a.m.

After the 5K race, breakfast will be served for all guests.  An awards ceremony will take place at 9:30a.m.  A DJ will be at the event entertaining all guests during and after the race.  Registration for adults is $30 and children are $10. You can register online or request a printed form, my emailing Robin Curtner at rcurtner@csfil.org

Registrants can pick up their registration packets early at the Packet-Pick Up party on Thursday, April 27th.  The event will include healthy refreshments and drinks while guests can mingle with other race participants.  The event will take place between 5-7p.m. at 6775 Prosperi Drive, Tinley Park, IL. 

There are various sponsorship opportunities for businesses to be involved.  More information can be found on the website: www.cincodemile.myevent.com All proceeds of this event will benefit CTF Illinois, a member agency of Community Services Foundation that provides services and programming to individuals with disabilities. For information on future events, please contact Robin Curtner, Director of Development, at (708)429-1260 x1263 or rcurtner@csfil.org.

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Pop A PopChip

sourcream-bag.png_b48512a1f7df3f9ca85da8f04db1ef8c.pngEver hear of pop chips? We’ll love isn’t strong enough about how I feel. They are amazing! Perfect combination of air, salt and taste! My absolute favorite are the sour cream and onion! I’m personally not a fan of the ridges they offer, but I certainly LOVE everything else! Everything.  The BBQ are also incredible.

Now, taste is great, but how healthy are they?  That’s the best part!! No preservatives.. no gluten..some of the lines are even NON-GMO and organic…. all the goods!

Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddf organic

Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfno added preservatives
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfno high fructose corn syrup
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfno artificial flavors
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfno synthetic colors
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfno cholesterol
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddf0 grams trans fat
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfhalf the fat of fried chips
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfgluten free
Check kettle.png 683e4255df7b614dc6f0884953149ddfkosher dairy
I seriously love them and I urge you to try them.  They beat all those preservatives out of the water!! Once you have one… believe me- You’ll finish the bag like I did! I really want to try the Kettle Corn Chips-has anyone?  I can’t wait to get my hands on them!
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Elsa Brought Smiles Instead of Snow to Chicagoland

IMG_20170220_230242_857.jpgMaMa D’s hosted their first annual Mostacciloi Monday on February 20, 2017.  The event was held all day between 10:30a.m.-9p.m at the restaurant.  They had an exclusive pasta for the day: Baked Mostaccioli.  Baked Mostaccioli is baked with several cheeses including, ricotta cheese and topped with melted mozzarella on top.  The restaurant SOLD OUT of their special for the day and Elsa came to visit the kids! Don’t worry, she didn’t bring snow, but she definitely brought lots of smiles to MaMa D’s!
Each person that purchased a mostaccioli for the day received a raffle ticket and a tote filled with goodies.  One lucky winner (Robert T. from Homer Glen) won a $100 Gift Lemont MM.jpgCertificate to MaMa D’s! There was a coloring station set up for kids during the entire day as well.  The event drew in customers from all around, chamber members, friends and family.  It was a fun filled day for families and food lovers.
MaMa D’s is known for their homemade entrees and food.  The red sauce (gravy) is made daily for all of the pastas and sandwiches.  MaMa D’s is most widely recognized for their Italian beef.  They were voted top 10 Italian beef in the Chicagoland area by ABC’s Hungry Hound Show.
Owner Joe DeNardis stated that the event was a “Huge Success,” and I personally had the baked mostaccioli.  It was incredible!
Mostacoli Monday Raffle.jpgMaMa D’s looks forward to hosting more family events for the community in the future.  All upcoming events will be listed on their Facebook page.  If you have any questions about upcoming events or would like to check out photos from the event, please take a look at our Facebook page.
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A Night at the House of Blues

foundation-iiiiHave you ever been to the Chicago House of Blues? I strongly recommend that you go there.  It was truly a night to remember and a true VIP experience.  We started off the evening with dinner at the Foundation Room inside the House of Blues.  You enter the Foundation room hobthrough an exclusive elevator inside the House of Blues.  Once you exit the elevator to your floor, you are greeted with a glass of champagne from your hostess/host.  Our hostesses was extremely pleasant and welcoming.  She brought us down one floor while I was sipping on some delicious champagne.

We were escorted to our table, which is a plush seat/bench and highly cozy environment. foundation-room We started off the evening with a grilled cheese appetizer.  I am truly not kidding, that was the best grilled cheese I have ever had! I couldn’t possibly recommend it even more.  If you do go there, make sure you get the grilled cheese appetizer.  It’s an absolute MUST! Then we had an incredible salad.  You can tell everything was delivered freshly and the lettuce leaves were perfect.  You know those thick tasteful leaves.. with a balsamic dressing that was surely homemade.  The filet was cooked to perfection and out of this world!  Our server was extremely kind and even the manager Anna stopped by several times to check on us.  Everyone was extremely kind, pleasant and knowledgeable about all questions asked. I couldn’t recommend getting a membership to the Foundation Room even more! It’s definitely worth the experience and the food!

foundation-room-iiiAfter dinner, we went back upstairs to this incredible bar (picture left) to have a drink before the Sixteen Candles show.  After dinner I had a French martini.  It had a little twist and I couldn’t figure it out.  I had to ask.  It was made with vanilla vodka! It was perfection frenchieto a T! It was the best French martini I ever had.  It was hard to leave this pleasant atmosphere, but we were onto the show to see Sixteen Candles.  You can’t get any better than some incredible 80’s music! My love for the 80’s is strong and Sixteen Candles fufilled all of my expectations. The show was fantastic and filled with non-stop entertainment. He even brought his mom on stage to sing, which was so touching!  During the show we drank at the bar on the lower level.  The bartenders were attentive and truly went above and beyond.  We were able to chat with one of the male bartenders downstairs. I wish I got his name! He was so nice, friendly and took time to answer all of our questions. From beginning to end this was truly an incredible experience and I can’t wait to go back to the House of Blue in Chicago! Next time, I definitely want to try the restaurant downstairs.  I will surely let you know about my experience when I do so. I will also be checking out another Sixteen Candles show in the near future!

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