Creamy garlic dressing! How could I have forgotten creamy garlic dressing?!
My mom took me to the Italian Village for my day-after-birthday dinner (she's in Chicago for a couple of days while I'm here) and when our server told us our salad dressing choices, I almost fell off my chair.
Creamy garlic dressing was my very favorite dressing as a girl. It was offered at pretty much every restaurant in Chicago, and it was the only dressing I ever ordered. I've been in California for almost 21 years--longer than the 18 I lived in Chicago--and I don't think creamy garlic dressing has been on a single menu there. The tangy smoothness brought back my childhood mouth.
Being at the Italian Village brought back so many memories, too. We went there after we saw Annie when I was about 9--Annie was the defining musical of my childhood; my sister and I put on a production of "Annie on Roller Skates!" in front of our building--and the entire cast was having dinner just a few tables away. We had them sign our programs and were thrilled beyond belief. Tonight, the waiter and host sang Happy Birthday to me, and instead of my name, they sang "Happy Birthday, Miss America." They probably sing that to all the women there, but it was very sweet.
I can't quite believe I'm in Chicago. On the plane today, I was so caught up in the movie ("Miss Potter"--quite cute) and a book ("From Where You Dream", a book about writing by Robert Olen Butler--alternately deeply inspiring and aggravating) that I sort of forgot where I was going. Then, when the plane started to descend, the person in the window seat lifted the shade, and I saw the Sears tower, the John Hancock building, that skyline I know so intimately, and my heart just about burst. Chicago!