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Lyfe Restaurant Reviews Reviews Sustenance WIAW

Social Enjoyment: Chicago q and Roy’s #WIAW

I’m glad that you all seemed to enjoy reading yesterday’s post as much as I did writing it! Hopefully you will enjoy checking out these amazing foods as much as I enjoyed eating them πŸ˜€ ALLTHEFOODS TIME

Thank you as always, Jenn!

Thank you as always, Jenn!

Two excellent restaurants, one where Alex and I went to town and left so full we could barely walk home, and the other where we couldn’t gluttonize, but trust me, we didn’t leave anything on those plates. One date night, the other a Social outing, in every sense of the word!

Chicago q (Previous visit with my family here!)

pickles chips chicago q suzlyfe

Starter House-Made Pickles and BBQ Spiced Chips Literally #crackonaplate

I know I have have been talking about these things, but seriously, these pickles are the be-all-end-all of pickles. To the point that we demolished that bowl, got another bowl, and took those home. Slightly spicy, slightly sweet, crunchy but pliable. The Garlic bulbs and onions that are int brine come in and with, and I’m not ashamed to say that we ate them (yes, the garlic,too) as well. The chips have that perfect sugar/salt/smoke/mesquite seasoning that literally makes you lick your finger and scrape the bowl. They are just stupid.

chicago q sauces suzlyfe

Sauces: Clockwise from bottom: Original Mild, Eastern North Carolina Vinegar, Spicy, South Carolina Mustard #morecrackonaplate

We loved each of them (as we knew we would) but for different reasons. I used the vinegar one as a dressing! The mustard one might ultimately be my favorite. We asked them to pack them up, and they said absolutely, but I think that I was misunderstood because we only got the spicy and the mild, wahhhnnnnnnnnnn (crocodile tears). The 2 sauces were used on Monday night and, let’s be real, we dip just about everything in them.

bbq cobb q suzlyfe

BBQ Cobb Salad Smoked Pulled Chicken, Blue Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Hardboiled egg, House Bacon, Avocado, Romaine

This salad is HUGE and I was already basically full (from eating my body weight in pickles and chips, haha), but you know that there was nothing left. This is, simply, the best smoked chicken I have ever had. And the bacon is perfection, if a little fatty, but even those parts blow your mind.

bbq flight q suzlyfe

BBQ Flight American Kobe Brisket, Pulled Pork, Pulled Chicken, House Cornbread, Pickled Red Onions

This was actually the dish that I got the very first time we ever went. Alex pushed through and finished the meats, but we brought 2 of the slices of cornbread home (not that we are complaining). Oh, and that is honey butter. PREACH. This was perhaps the best rendition of the brisket that we have yet had. It paired perfectly with any of the sauces, but it hardly needed any. The pork was masterful in the vinegar based sauce, and you know how I feel about the chicken.

Bowman (Not Pictured) Knob Creek Maple, Spiced Rum, Sweet Vermouth, Peach Bitters

Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of this, but it was similar to a Manhattan in its whiskey-forward flavor, but it smelled of maple. So well balanced.

Revive q suzlyfe

Revive Bulleit Bourbon, Plymouth Gin, Ginger Liqueur, Orange bitters

This was fantastic. I think I helped Alex a bit too much with it! Not sweet, but light and refreshing. “Revive” is the perfect name for it! Like a shandy mixed with a ginger beer with a Manhattan. Dynamite.


I was so happy to get the chance to go to Roy’s, which as been on my list for a while, and not only to go to Roy’s, but to take Alex (who was awesome and forfeited working out to go with me–might be trivial, but when you only have so many chances to do so, it means a lot), and to share dinner with some new friends, specifically Leah and the Social crew!

social roys

And, natch, to celebrate the fact that Roy’s will soon be carrying Social! So, of course, it had to be the drink of the evening.  I got Leah to try the Social Ginger, and she loved it! We also tried it in other iterations: Social and Hendricks; Social and Maestro Dobel Tequila with house-infused orange simple syrup; and even Social and Disarono (too sweet, needed to be cut with something). Sadly, I was a very bad blogger and so the pictures are abysmal and mostly missing. I”M SOOOOOO SORRRRYYYYYYY. And, some of the descriptions are even missing, because we had some things off the chef’s menu, so descriptions aren’t online! failfailfailfail

Edamame (Not pictured) tossed with salt and something both sweet and spicy, definitely some chili threads. Done to perfection and we were very very thankful!

roys appetizers suzlyfe

Big Island Ahi Tuna Poke–Avocado, seaweed, cucumber, tempura flake

This was my request, and I loved it. I wouldn’t say that it blew my mind, but it was exactly what I wanted, and the seaweed with it perked it right up.

Coconut Shrimp, cucumber namasu, Pineapple sweet chile sauce

ERMIGERD so good. perfect coating, HUGE shrimp, and the chile sauce was sweet and sour and spicy. Cucumbers provided just the right cleansing moment.

Maine Lobster Dim Sum–white truffle emulsion, lobster cream sauce

This was fanfreakingtastic. The lobster right on, and the truffle there but still subtle. The best part? The bisque-like cream sauce. We were spooning it with forks. Yah, that’s right.

Auntie Leis Aloha roll (Not Pictured) Spicy tuna, cucumber, yellowtail, salmon, avocado, garlic ponzu

Sushi course! Great, but not outrageous. Perfectly done, but I would rather just have had large pieces of all the ingredients πŸ˜€

chef trio roys suzlyfe

Prosciutto Salt Crusted Ono, Black rice, enoki mushrooms, edamame, dried cherries

This was off of the chef’s menu, and so no description, but this was my absolute favorite moment of the entire night. The ono itself was incredible, and the gentle but firm prosciutto crust scented the bites. OH just exquisite. And loved the mushrooms in there too.

I honestly don’t know what the one in the center was, but I think that it was the Misoyaki Butterfish (Alaskan Black Cod), and it was my second favorite main of the night. And I don’t even like cod. Fell apart (in a good way), with a perfectly complimentary sauce, carrots, Peruvian potatoes and frisee just made it a fun and lighter take on what could otherwise be rather heavy.

Tempura California White Sea Bass, Cilantro Citrus Sauce, Black Rice, Quinoa, Cucumber, Baby Bok Choy

I didn’t get much of this, but also delicious. I remember thinking so, but the others were the stars, in my mind.

roys sides suzlyfe

Szechuan Style Green Beans: Pork Lup Cheong, Chili, Lime

So tasty, and how could they not be??

Spicy Korean Chili Fried Rice, Scallion, Cilantro, Sesame, Egg

I really only took some of the veggies from this–but the sauce was great.

roys desserts suzlyfe

Dessertsside note, we DEMOLISHED these, and Alex and I may have taken the fall for the team and scraped the plates. It’s a tough life.

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Graham Crust and Raspberry Sauce I only got a sliver of it, but it was delightful, even for this non-cheesecake person.

Chocolate Souffle (House specialty)-everything you could hope for. And maybe more πŸ˜€

Ginger Molasses Cake I thought that this was exceptional. Moist, and surprising in the later summer to be having flavors that are so iconic of the fall. But that said, it was amazing, especially alongside the pineapple pieces that were in a light reduction.

Pineapple Upside-down Cake Another house specialty, and hot damn it was good. Sweet, but not too much, and a good contrast of light and fluffy in the cake and a little crunchy/crusty at the exterior.

Vanilla and Coconut ice creams Me plus homemade ice cream in the midst of all of this? GEDOUDAHEYAH

So yeah, I think that you can say that we ate pretty well, and the company wasn’t too bad either. For those of you who have been asking about Social, see posts here and here. In short, it is a hibiscus and cucumber flavored, very lightly sweetened sake beverage that is gluten free, completely natural, no added sugar or artificial anything, and non GMO. Alex even likes it–and he will tell me straight up if something is not his thing.  It is reminiscent of a light wine spritzer, but not overly sweet, with very light carbonation, and 4% alcohol, and it was created by my friend Leah.

me and leah roys


Leah conceived of the idea on 2 years ago (girlfriend does things) after recovering from Thyroid cancer. She was looking for something that would let her drink, and be social, as it were, but keep her wits about her and also be something she could feel good about. I have become a huge supporter of this product (obviously), but I am simply doing so because I believe in it and her, and I think that she is really fulfilling a need that is as yet unmet–ready to drink beverages that are alcoholic, but not crap. Right now, Social is only in Chicago, but hopefully in California at the start of the new year, and I have already told her that the DC/PA market would be a good one to look into πŸ˜‰

So what do you think? Q or Roy’s? Bourbon or Social?

What was the last thing you ate that just made you want to curl up in a ball and cuddle with it?

Maki or sashimi?

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  • Reply Tina Muir

    SOOOOO many good foods! I am glad you showed Social, as I had no idea what the heck you were talking about! I hope they do expand to other cities so I can try πŸ™‚
    Tina Muir recently posted…The Big RevelationMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 5:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      August 13, 2014 at 11:06 am
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    I want all of this food – the pickles, the cornbread, just all of it! I’m gonna need you to take me to one of these places when I come up to Chicago in November : )
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…WIAW: Photo FailsMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 6:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Gladly πŸ˜€

      August 13, 2014 at 11:06 am
  • Reply Lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    All the food looks so delicious, especially the dessert!
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Get a GoPicnicMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 6:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      OMG we went to freaking town on it. Thus why the picture has a fork in it!

      August 13, 2014 at 11:07 am
  • Reply Run Colby Run

    Can I tell you how I look forward to your WIAW?!?!? Those pickles looks redunk. I am a HUGE pickle fan. (And a huge Chicago fan. We’re hoping to get out there for a weekend at some point soon.) And. Social. I am intrigued…Very intrigued. I wish it was available here for a lil’ taste. Keep us posted. I would try it in a heartbeat. πŸ™‚
    Run Colby Run recently posted…Prancercise, Part Deux.My Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 6:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You should just come to Chicago. Problem. Solved.

      August 13, 2014 at 11:07 am
  • Reply Rae

    Drooling over here. And that Revive cocktail sounds amazing! 9am is an appropriate time to start drinking, yes? Especially at work?
    Rae recently posted…Half Marathon #2 Training PlanMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 8:00 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Even more appropriate and necessary at work. Believe me.

      August 13, 2014 at 11:08 am
  • Reply Courtney @RunningforCupcakes

    Will Social be available everywhere or just in Chicago? It sounds sooo good! It’s not fair that you got to eat all of those delicious desserts at once. It just looks like heaven!
    Courtney @RunningforCupcakes recently posted…BeautifulMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 8:00 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      They are just getting started expanding the market, but hopefully national next year. You will just have to come to Chicago!

      August 13, 2014 at 11:09 am
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    Yum those pickles look good-guess I’m craving salt today!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Spreading the SwirlGear love-Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 8:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m always craving salt. Welcome to my life!

      August 13, 2014 at 11:09 am
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    We have a Roys in Baltimore, and there is this Chocolate Molten Lava cake they make that is amazing! They make one at Flemings too (which is next door) and in our opinion Flemings’ version is just a little better- enough so that we always choose Flemings over Roys when we have the choice (also because we love steak). So while Roys is great we usually don’t make it there simply because we prefer to go next door when given the chance:) All your food looks amazing, once again!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…How To Spend A Rainy Day At The BeachMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We need to go to Chart House in Old Town Alexandria–they have a Ghiradelli molten lava cake that you have to order 30 minutes before you want it, and it blows you mind. They also have caviar at the salad bar. I went there after my marathon. YES

      August 13, 2014 at 11:10 am
  • Reply cait @pieceofcait

    ooooo BBQ cobb salad, i just had a buffalo one.. but i love BBQ too!
    cait @pieceofcait recently posted…Cherry obsessed // Benefits of cherries!My Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 8:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Which do you like better? I love both, but I think I would pick bbq over buffalo. It does depend though..

      August 13, 2014 at 11:11 am
  • Reply Suslyfe's mommy, Clare

    Do you offer take out or delivery?
    I’d like this entire post “to go”
    I tip well!!

    August 13, 2014 at 9:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You’ll be here soon enough! So as long as you don’t mind a little delay on delivery ;D

      August 13, 2014 at 11:11 am
  • Reply Jenni @ Fitzala

    Love reading about your escapes through the Chicago restaurant industry. We had so many options in Seattle and not so much anymore πŸ™‚ But it’s much better for our pocketbook…

    BBQ is the best thing ever. Love how there are so many different kinds from different parts of the country – I think the vinegary sauces are my favorite!

    Looks like you’ve been having an amazing time!
    Jenni @ Fitzala recently posted…This is why you don’t need an exercise mantraMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 9:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It was definitely a great weekend of food, and I have heard legends of the great food in Seattle. But you know that I am always jealous of what you make!

      August 13, 2014 at 11:12 am
  • Reply Kirtley Freckleton@The Gist of Fit

    OK Mrs. Princess! You eat like a queeeeen!!! All that looked way amazing. Um, I want to make that cobb salad sometime, mk?!

    Take care Suz! Have a great day!!
    Kirtley Freckleton@The Gist of Fit recently posted…Secret weight loss tip alertMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 9:54 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I always say that I would want to be a princess rather than a queen–all the fun and perks, little responsibility, and you get to wear tiaras

      August 13, 2014 at 11:13 am
  • Reply Brianna @ I run He tris

    The concept of Social is awesome, and the actual drink sounds good too!! Q sounds amazing, and has me in the mood for BBQ now. This past weekend we had some pulled pork springrolls and friend green tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese and red pepper relish that were to die for. I could have just eaten a few plates of them for my dinner!! Mmmm sushi. I’ll take it anyway except for eel. yuck!
    Brianna @ I run He tris recently posted…WIAW – What I Ate WheneverMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 9:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Pulled pork anything is fantastic, and spring rolls, yes please. Roof at the Wit here used to do smoked chicken and watermelon summer rolls that were outrageous. I don’t think I’ve ever had eel. Not sure that I want to.

      August 13, 2014 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Caitlin

    Mm I’m going to have to go with q for this one. Pickles to start and a flight of BBQ? And bourbon? Has me written all over it πŸ˜‰
    Caitlin recently posted…Run For Gold 26.2KMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 10:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Let’s go. Now.

      August 13, 2014 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Michele

    I want that bbq cobb salad right now! Also prosciutto salt crusted ono also sounds mindblowing. Man I need to get out more πŸ™‚
    Michele recently posted…Everything My Kids Ate for One Day – WIAW Paleo Kids EditionMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 10:31 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The Ono seriously did blow my mind. One of the best things I’ve had in recent memory, no doubt.

      August 13, 2014 at 11:16 am
  • Reply Renee @ Bendiful Blog

    OMG yes and Yumm! I just ate lunch and now all I can think about are homemade pickles. What a delicious evening. No worries on the email you’ll notice I haven’t responded to blog comments in like 3 days, I’m a work in progress πŸ˜‰ And seriously let’s plan a conference for the busy people think we could get Tara Styles to come? I just want to yoga with her.
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog recently posted…The Kettlebell 300My Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 11:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Done. We’ll call it Beautiful People have Lives Too conference. There will be a seminar on Kicking Ass and Taking Names.
      My one thing with Tara Stiles is that I worry that I might break her.
      I’m glad I’m in good company πŸ˜€

      August 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Mama Salt

    I’m with Tina…I’m glad you showed us the Social so I know what to get. πŸ™‚
    Today I played it smart and ate lunch before coming to your blog knowing full well that you were going to post a bunch of stuff that would make me starving. It didn’t work. I’m still starving after reading this. I want all that meat and the cornbread right now please. There is nothing here that I wouldn’t eat actually.

    August 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m glad that you have learned from your past mistakes. Or at least tried to. I’m always starving, so join the club. Except for after q, I could barely move, so thank god we had to walk home. I still had ice cream later that night. PROBLEMS

      August 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply Earl-Leigh

    Oh my Sweet Baby J! Want, want, want, want, WANT! You know that “yeah girl. you’re hot” look and head nod? I’m totes doing that to every picture. While I may be biased…SC has the best bbq sauce.
    Earl-Leigh recently posted…Struggle Bus: {Fall Goals and Follow-Up}My Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Bahahahahaha we are so on the same vein. FOOD IS DEAD SEXY. I love all bbq sauces. I think that they all have their place. I’m equal opportunity πŸ˜€

      August 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Autumn

    Oh the pickles…I.Want.All.The.Pickles!! I love pickles, picked this- that- whatnots- all of them. I might get crazy an drink the juice! LOL I just dont understand people that skip the pickle or leave it behind. You know how Im crazy about toppings! Glad that someplace put the pickles up front like they deserve to be. Its like the best part of the meal sometimes. Oh that Cobb Salad…it has everything I love! I never had smoked chicken on one…it sounds like perfect combo. My next fave was the szchuan green beans….mmmm mmmm mmmm
    Autumn recently posted…Fitness Span: In defense of Age 44+My Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Mo (@rushourunner)

    I’ve never been to either of those, but I’m guessing I would love Chicago Q. I don’t eat seafood, so I’m not sure about Roy’s.

    In general, I prefer my BBQ sauce vinegar-based, but give me a good mustard sauce and I will put it on everything. I have no less than 4 different types of mustard in my fridge at all times.
    Mo (@rushourunner) recently posted…wordless wednesday [84]My Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Again, this is why we are friends. Bring Jakre and the four of us will hit up q and it will be gllllloooorrrriiious

      August 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm
  • Reply Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    stop with the pickle photos. I just want to eat them ALL!!!!

    August 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We can fight over them πŸ˜€

      August 14, 2014 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Ursula

    That dessert plate looks amazing! I want to dig in there right with you
    Ursula recently posted…Why I Dislike Body buildingMy Profile

    August 13, 2014 at 7:47 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Call me up and I will go back in a heartbeat!

      August 14, 2014 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Katie @glutes and ladders

    Can you please remind me to never read your blog right before lunch because it’s just going to make me want to eat all the food? I’d loveee some of that brisket and corn bread, but Roy’s sounds delish too! Congrats to your friend on her beverage taking off!

    August 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will pass that along, she will be so appreciative! And I want you to read my blog whenever you possibly can, regardless of the circumstances.

      August 14, 2014 at 11:19 am
  • Reply Tributes, Belonging, and Gifts: Thinking Out Loud - Suzlyfe

    […] You all just need to come and visit me for bbq, dessert, and especially for Social. LET’S GO […]

    August 14, 2014 at 5:31 am
  • Reply Cassie

    SASHIMI FOR EVER. GIVE ME ALL THE RAW FISH. I don’t need rice (but Bamboo rice is on. point.).

    THOSE PICKLES. Like, I want to go inhale an entire jar of those right. now.
    Cassie recently posted…Getting it Together on the Road: Oregon CoastMy Profile

    August 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I don’t need rice either. I want all the other things. Do you eat ridiculous amounts of pickled ginger? I DO.

      August 15, 2014 at 10:13 am
  • Reply Friday Favorites, Being Social, and New Balance Girls Night out - Suzlyfe

    […] I headed to Roy’s with Alex and Leah to celebrate the continued success of Social. Leah is someone who I deeply believe in, as both a […]

    August 15, 2014 at 5:30 am
  • Reply Farrah

    So I pretty much texted my friend today (he lives about an hour-ish away from Chicago?) to see if he was free for Labor Day weekend and if so, that I wanted to come visit. All this amazingly delicious-lookin’ food you keep posting makes it so it’s pretty much a necessity for me to check that city out sooner rather than later in life. :O
    Farrah recently posted…Foodie Friday: Coconut Crusted Chicken with Tropical Yogurt SauceMy Profile

    August 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahaha I hope that you come, and if you do, let me know! We will go on a food tour!

      August 18, 2014 at 5:59 am
  • Reply Arman @ thebigmansworld

    ……Okay I have no words. BBq flight but the damn pickle plate?!!!!!!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…[Gluten Free] Kettle Corn Baked PotatoesMy Profile

    August 18, 2014 at 5:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      oooohhhhh yeah πŸ˜€

      August 18, 2014 at 6:01 am
  • Reply Foodlyfe Tour: River Roast Chicago #WIAW - Suzlyfe

    […] know I had to order pickles. Have we even met? These were delicious (but q’s are […]

    August 27, 2014 at 5:55 am
  • Reply "Blends" into Friends-Social to Class Pass Launches Thinking out Loud - Suzlyfe

    […] in this case, included Meg (who works for Social), Leah (the founder), and Sara as well as a few other Social “butterflies” (Social reps). We […]

    September 4, 2014 at 5:35 am
  • Reply Fleet Feet Chicago Fall Fashion Show #SeeandBeSeen - Suzlyfe

    […] with cancer through one-on-one cancer support. He actually reminds me a great deal of my friend Leah, who turned her own life around and upside down after her own cancer diagnosis and remission. And […]

    November 7, 2014 at 5:16 am
  • Reply "Nam Sod" Spicy Thai Fish Recipe (Sizzlefish Sablefish) - Suzlyfe

    […] How often do you have fish? Have you ever tried Sablefish/Black Cod? Remember the prosciutto-crusted black cod from Roy’s? […]

    December 10, 2014 at 5:27 am
  • Reply "Nam Sod" Spicy Thai Sable Fish Recipe (Sizzlefish) - Suzlyfe

    […] How often do you have fish? Have you ever tried Sablefish/Black Cod? Remember the prosciutto-crusted black cod from Roy’s? […]

    December 10, 2014 at 7:47 am
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