Kelly the Culinarian: Naperville Bites and Sites Tour from Xperience Days

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Naperville Bites and Sites Tour from Xperience Days

Today was a lovely, but super cold, day. I started by hitting the treadmill for my required training miles before meeting Jenny for a fun afternoon. We got complimentary tickets to the Naperville Bites and Sites Tour from Xperience Days, a company that connects gift givers with tours and events by city. We chose this tour because it was one we hadn't seen before, and it was right in our backyard.

We met at Fifth Avenue Station and learned a bit about the history of the building and Naperville before stopping at our first destination, Orazio Pub. We sampled the potato peasant soup and toasted Italian sub. The soup was kind of meh, but the sub was absolutely delicious. The bread was crispy, the meats were hearty and the melted cheese and sauce brought everything together.

Then, we headed to Green Basil to try a bit of Vietnamese food. The pho there looked/smelled delicious, but we were there for spring rolls. They were awesome, of course. The peanut sauce was lovely as well.
Our next stop was my favorite: Le Chocolat du Bouchard. No surprise, it was amazing. The owner believes in the healing power of high-quality chocolate. The stuff is decadently top shelf and the store itself is amazing. We sampled the signature piece, which is a molded dark chocolate nugget subtly infused with spices. We also tried the Mexican hot chocolate. Maybe it was the cold, maybe it was my inner Fat Kelly, but this hot chocolate was my favorite treat of the day. I expected it to be spicy, but it wasn't. It was a creamy chocolate drink with notes of almond and cinnamon. It hit the spot.

The shop was so cute. When they tore down a wall, the found this original pharmacy fixture and obviously had to keep it.
The chocolates looked amazing, but I had to be strong. There were still items to taste.
Next up was the Twisted Olive, which offers olive oils and balsamic vinegars in every possible flavor permutation you can imagine. All of them are available for tasting, too. The caramel balsamic over vanilla ice cream was quite heavenly. It was a bit tart and surprisingly creamy. And how much more foodie cred can you get than saying you enjoy your organic non GMO French vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of balsamic?
Next up, we went to Cookie Dough Creations, which is basically every fat kid's dream. And mine. This place allows you to choose from 24 ice cream flavors and eight cookie dough flavors, all of which is free from raw eggs. You can purchase either independently, or sandwich the cookie dough in between two giant homemade cookies of your choice. I didn't even know such delights existed in the world, but I'm hooked. I'm sure this was low calorie.

I was so happy/full of sugar at this point, but the samples don't eat themselves. The final stop on this food/history train was Giordano's for some awesome stuffed pizza. I've had it before, so it wasn't a surprise, but it was a nice way to close out the day.
Overall, this was a great day. It was pretty cold, but we made the best of it. The tour was a combination of Naperville history and local bites, so it was a good way to get a new perspective on a city I've spent a lot of time in. Initially I thought it was a culinary tour, but Bites and Sites is a much more accurate description of our afternoon. The food was plentiful and varied, and the tour would have been a great walk in better weather. And hey, I made a new friend!


Losing Lindy said...

what an awesome day, yes..cold, but how much fun!

Mike said...

I am glad you had a good time ...It was cold, but the food still tastes the same !
I enjoy giving the tour
Life's a Bite