Driving into Hyde Park in the early evening had me immediately in a nostalgic mood. The end of summer is a nice time to be in the South Side of Chicago. Such a short stay in the city was a tricky proposition for me: there are a lot of people there I want to see, a lot of places to see, a lot of restaurants to revisit. I stayed on the north side, at the Casa de Carmen, without fail the most welcoming place in town. We ate well. Monday night we went to Borinquen, home of the Jibarito sandwich. Tuesday morning I got pancakes at Flying Saucer just down California. Really good pancakes. I ordered the short stack, but hadn't factored in the diameter of the pancake, which was considerable, and I couldn't eat the whole thing. The same was not true of the Italian Beef from Portillos that I inhaled that evening. Soup and 'rogies from the sassy Polish mama at Podhalanka the next noon, and we were on the road. This blog has become very food-centric, but of course what made the visit wasn't what I ate, but who I saw. Thanks to everyone back in Chicago for always making it feel like home. This will do it for my first blog post, but I will be back with more as I get the hang of this.