“I’m so mad at you right now,” my husband said as a plate full of Nutella laden waffles drifted past our table and arrived to a group of cheerful, teenage girls busy taking hundreds of selfies.
He was eyeing the waffles with the jealousy of someone who wasn’t also about to indulge in decadent, chocolate treats. David had left the ordering up to me, and was now regretting that choice as he watched amazing creation after creation parade past our table. I had chosen the Nutella grilled baguette, croissant french toast, and nutella coffee drink with gelato in it. Those now sounded subpar.
“Ours is going to be good!” I insisted.
“It better be,” he said, in a threatening tone that felt misplaced after a lazy, perfect day of walking around Chicago, enjoying sunshine, and preparing to feast on some hazelnut chocolate of the Gods.
But everything looked so good, it was easy to get nervous about our choices. When you’re about to go all out with a lunch comprised entirely of chocolate, you want to know you’re getting your calories’ worth.
When I realized that a 24-hour trip back to the midwest for my cousin’s wedding would coincide with the opening of Chicago’s Nutella Cafe, I immediately decided that visiting the restaurant was priority #1. Spending time with my adorable niece and nephew was important too, but like….IT’S A NUTELLA CAFE. One doesn’t hear the words, “Nutella cafe opening” without making a visit there. That would be absolutely insane.
Plus, it gave us an excuse to get downtown during our trip. Downtown Chicago in the summertime is something that every human should experience. There is no city in the world with a happier population than Chicago in June, July, and August. The feeling of joy and goodwill radiates from every corner of the city. For Chicagoans, they’ve just gotten through what was inevitably another horrible winter. Summer feels like everyone just survived storming the beach at Normandy as one big group. Every single year, people come out of their houses the minute it hits 50 degrees. They wear shorts and tank tops, grinning like Kimmy Schmidt ascending from the bunker.
Every time we’re in Chicago in the summer, passing swarms of people walking to Cubs games, drinking large beers on the hundreds of bar patios that spring up, and enjoying the endless street festivals and block parties, we think, “We have to move back here! Why did we ever leave?” It’s a question best left for February in Chicago. You know why you left in February.