So word of my promotion has spread within my group of friends and last night, a few members of Team Hamster and I went out to celebrate....me! And I was ready for it.
Pre-partying with wine (2 bottles between three people) and trail mix lead to a four-hour rally at a tapas restaurant in East Lakeview. Arco de Cuchilleros on Halsted received good reviews on Yelp so we headed over, pretty buzzed and lookin' for food.
Ryan tried to convince me and Liz that somehow I should pay for dinner because I got a raise, but that was quickly shot down. No thanks. All I wanted was sangria, which we managed to finish two pitchers of (with me rallying for the group), and I was impressed with this little tapas place in my 'hood. The prices are reasonable, and generally are around the $8-$10.95 range.
We sampled a varity of hot and cold tapas on the menu and at the end of the night, everyone had their favorites. Mine was the alcachofas con panceta (artichoke hearts sautéed with panceta), Ryan was digging the datiles con bacon (bacon wrapped dates in a brandy cream sauce) while Liz preferred the patatas a la brava (sautéed potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce) which was very spicy, fortunately the sangria helped soothe the mouth.
And along with a ton of laughs and stories, Team Hamster, my first friends in the city, raised several glasses to toast my good news. Normally I don't like being the center of attention but I let that go for a night :)
Then about 12:30 a.m. we stumbled home and yes, I woke up this morning with a pounding headache, which was solved with a Starbucks hot chocolate and blueberry muffin. That is my yearly "we're going to see the river being dyed green" breakfast and it didn't fail me again. Pictures of the annual Chicago St. Patrick's Day celebration are coming tomorrow.