As I mention consistently to everyone I meet, I am absolutely obsessed with barbeque and my passion for this fine cuisine is typically insatiable. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that my favorite thing to do in Chicago is to try out all of the different restaurants and dining options – keeping a sharp eye for barbeque establishments on my adventure.

Most recently, my friends and I drove down to the Wicker Park neighborhood to enjoy National Donut Day. Two fantastic donut shops were offering free donuts for this esteemed holiday and so my friends and I decided to have dessert before dinner and enjoy a sweet treat. Stan’s Donut, right off the Damen Blue Line stop, was filled to the brim with locals, families and the occasional Northwestern student all eagerly awaiting their sugary treat. There was no better way to begin our afternoon in Chicago than with a glass of milk and a freshly baked donut and it seemed like all of Wicker Park agreed.

Afterwards, we walked around enjoying the odd assortment of sights in the area finally settling at a small thrift store. My friends and I spent the next half hour trying on different styles of clothing, swapping one fashion style for another while the staff looked on amused. We finally exhausted our attention and developed enough of an appetite to leave the store and search for our final destination.

I was naturally excited when I spotted Lillie’s Q – a rustic, down-to-earth barbeque restaurant serving an assortment of barbeque favorites. Our table was quickly cluttered with an order of ribs, pulled pork, baked beans and cornbread. I was in heaven and my friends quickly understood what was so magical about my favorite cuisine. We finished our meals and slowly began saying goodbye to Wicker Park – both because we didn’t want to leave and because we were completely stuffed.

We returned to Evanston and completed our day by watching a movie and discussing our trip to the city. I was awed by how easy it was for my friends and I to go into the city and experience Chicago the way we did. What’s more exciting, we hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface of all that Chicago has to offer. I’ve seen Shakespeare and Chance the Rapper, eaten deep dish and caramel covered popcorn, and experienced huge spectacles and small improv events all in such a magnificent city. I cannot wait for the next adventure in The Windy City.

–Kevin Nigarura

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