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Bday Present Idea for Sister

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Ok, I never got my sister a present for christmas so I need to get a
really nice combined present for her birthday and xmas... $150 is my max, but I'd rather it be $125 or under.

I would like to get her either gift certificates to 2 or more restaurants. Or, a certificate to a restaurant plus find something else around there that could be an after dinner activity...or a shop to go in and buy something at...nothing big just a nice addition. The problem, I don't live in Chicago and so have to choose everything blind.

Her favorite foods are "brunch, cake, and veggies" so below are my current ideas pulled from the boards. Also, in terms of after brunch ideas she is in theater, likes blueberry muffins, her favorite store is the Brown Elephant and her favorite drink is coffee.

Also, feel free to suggest something else that you think would be better. Depending on how easy it is to get a certificate to the restaurant itself I may just get a visa giftcard and create fake certificates explaining what the funds are for.

Thanks in Advance!

Restaurant Ideas:
1.David Burke's Primehouse downtown in the James Hotel in River North
for American Dim Sum Brunch from 11-2 Sunday All you can eat, 7
courses, plus you can ask for seconds of anything you want and you can
add all you can drink (mimosas, etc.)
http://www.jameshotels.com/downloads/...

2. Sweets & Savories Sunday Brunch from 10-2, 3 course plus a drink
http://www.sweetsandsavoriesrestauran...

3. NOT Brunch per se.. Lulu Dim Sum for their "Munch a Bunch" on
Saturday & Sunday 11:30 - 3:00 or Monday & Tuesday 5:00 - 9:30
http://www.lulusdimsum.com/

4. The Bongo Room - Offers partial portions so you can go for brunch and for example get orders of 1 pancake instead of 3 so you can try more varieties.

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  1. I like the idea of the Visa gift card and "fake" gift certificates! You could also do the same thing with an American Express gift card. (All the places above accept either one.) Either way, you would only have to buy one gift certificate, and it would give your sister the maximum flexibility to use it in each of the places you're recommending, and use any unused balance in another place you're recommending.

    One other place to consider including in the agenda is Fox & Obel; their cakes are excellent and their muffins are superb. In fact, everything they have is top quality, so for a shop to go buy food in, it's a good choice. They accept Visa and AmEx, so the credit card gift certificate would work there.

    Great idea!

    1. I think some of the best blueberry muffins I've ever had are at Lovely. They tend to be on the small side, but so packed full of blueberries that the entire inside of the muffin looks blue. I'm drooling just thinking about them right now although I'm not sure if they do gift certificates. What about a certificate to Tipsycake? It seems like a extremely popular bakery on the boards.

      1. If she likes the Brown Elephant and you want to funny "fake" gift certificates, you can make it out for scavenger hunt-ish for Andersonville. Maybe throw in a poloraid camera so she has to take a picture of each thing and then send it to you.

        Like for example:

        1 pastry at Pasticceria Natalina www.pasticcerianatalina.com

        4 cookies at Swedish Bakery www.swedishbakery.com

        1 pound of coffee at the Middle Eastern Bakery

        Buy something funky at the Brown Elephant

        Mussels and a Belgian Beer at the Hopleaf

        A Feminist book at Women and Children First

        Wine tasting and a nice bottle of wine at In Fine Spirits

        There are a whole bunch of shops and eateries in Anderonvile if that appeals to you.

        (and I might accidently on purpose leave this up so my bf can see what i want for my birthday!)