my family only has a few special spots. you know, the ones that when you visit, you forget how much you missed it and the memories of old times come flooding back? russel's bbq and johnny's, located slightly outside of the city, have been faves in my family for years. my dad grew up eating pulled pork sandwiches and waiting in long johnny's lines for dessert, and anytime his side of the family comes for a visit, it's always worked in to the itinerary. last weekend, feeling spontaneous and hungry, we piled into the car and headed to those very spots. we grabbed russel's, headed to johnny's, ordered some lemon ice, sat outside, and let the nostalgia return.

italian lemon ice + fries = dinner for yours truly. ( i may have snuck a few bites of bbq in there somewhere, too ;)

these summer nights are what i live for. okay, i also live for lemon ices and barbecue sandwiches. but being adventurous with the fam is a pretty great way to make some nice summer memories. if you're ever in chicago, hit these family favorites up! you won't regret it.