Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chicago - Fractures and Food

After a day of travel, fun, and food, it was time to get serious.  We attended the Orthopaedic Trauma Association's Comprehensive Fracture Course.  There were 6 4-hour modules spread out over 3 days.  Fracture topics included diaphyseal, articular, foot and ankle, geriatric, pediatrics, and pelvic.  The volume of material presented was enormous, and after the first day I felt as though I was trying to drink from a  fire hydrant.  I didn't capture any pictures of the conference, but it was a combination of lectures, case presentations, and saw bone labs.

Thursday night we ventured into downtown Lombard to eat at Praga, a modern Italian restaurant I spotted on Urbanspoon.  What a find!  This place was incredible!  Our whole group was so excited to be enjoying a fine dining meal and sharing great conversation.  All too often our meals are eaten in less than five minutes between consults and OR cases, so spending 3 hours enjoying a multi-course meal was very special.

Assortment of Appetizers
Oysters, Calamari, Salmon Pinwheels, Scallops

Stuffed Pear Salad
Gorgonzola, Mixed Greens, Honey Roasted Walnuts, and Walnut Vinaigrette

Caribbean Tilapia
Sauteed with Manila Mango Scales, Basmati Rice, Fresh Green Beans, Corn, and Tarragon, and a  Passion Fruit Sauce

Raspberry Grand Marnier Creme Brulee

This was a picture of someone else's dessert, but it looked incredible.
Chilled Roasted Cherries Topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Fresh Whipped Cream

Check out Phil's dessert - Bananas Foster
It was flambeed table side for a very impressive presentation.
Breakfast was provided by the conference, but left a lot to be desired.  Two of the three mornings they served coffeecake and apples.  Seriously . . . does that really count as breakfast?  Fortunately, I had packed some granola bars to fuel me through long hours of lecture.  The picture below was the best breakfast of the week.  The croissant sounded good at first, but one bite was enough to tell me that it was nothing special at all.  Nothing compares to those croissants in St. Maartin, right Mom?

The conference was really good about provided mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.  This was a strawberry smoothie that I topped with orange and grapefruit segments.  Plus a Tazo Tea on the side.

Friday night's dinner was at The Weber Grill.  Naturally, it's a very meat heavy menu.  I chose a selection of vegetable sides for my meal.  The sides included a roasted vegetable kabob, green beans with mushrooms, and whipped sweat potatoes.  I'd say the meal was just average and left me feeling disappointed after the previous night's spectacular meal.

Saturday night, all of us went our separate ways.  I was more than ready for a lazy evening.  But first, I went on a hunt for sushi.  Fortunately, I only had to walk across the street from the hotel to feast on sushi at Ra.  And when I say feast, I'm not kidding.  It . . was . . so . . good!

Vegetarian Roll
Cucumber, Carrots, Avocado, Spinach, Artichoke Hearts

Tropical Roll
Cucumber, mango & avocado rolled & topped with spinach tempura bits, spicy shrimp mixed with masago & mango salsa

The Whole Spread - Seaweed Salad and another roll I can't remember the name of.
Sunday morning it was time to head back to the airport and fly back to Charlotte.  I sipped on a Mate Tea Latte while I wrote an essay for work.

Once on board, I snacked on a Chickpea Salad from Argo Tea for lunch.  Argo Tea definitely wins the award for healthy vegetarian lunch options.  This salad was fresh, filling, and delicious.  You should definitely seek them out when you are traveling.

We lugged these saw bone pelvis models with us back from the conference.  We certainly turned a lot of heads and caused a little bit of a ruckus in security as we carried them through Chicago and Charlotte.

Ah, so glad to be back home.  I stopped by Earth Fare on my way home for a quick dinner.  After spending 5 days in the crazy 40 degree Chicago weather, it felt amazing to bask in the early evening sunshine while eating dinner.  What can I say, I'm definitely a Southern girl!

Check out that Earth Fare box of goodies!  Roasted vegetable salad, broccoli salad, oriental noodles, tuna salad, buffalo tofu nuggets, cabbage slaw, and wheat berry salad.

And with that, our ortho trip to Chicago comes to a close.  It was certainly a busy and tiring several days.  Fortunately,  I learned a lot, and more importantly, had a great time with our ortho intern class.  Next year's conference is an arthroscopy course in San Antonio in April 2013.  I foresee another week of fun, learning, and fine dining!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I'm new visiting from the Foodie Pen Pal. It sounds like it was a pretty busy trip. Oh my goodness, all that food is making me hungry. By the way, you guys cracked me up with the pic holding the pelvic bones. :) Look forward to reading more!