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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 22

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Restaurant Thu Sep 06 2007

Veganized Panini at Piccolo

I asked if Piccolo would make a panini vegan and got what I thought, for an instant, was a rude response. But I was wrong. I thought he had said no - as in, we won't make one vegan. But when I asked why, he answered something like, because we didn't think of it when we made the menu. I realized he might have thought I'd asked if they had anything vegan on the menu - much different than, can you switch something up a bit to accommodate me? That misunderstanding yielded a tasty sandwich. Fig-olive tapenade in my panini was thick and pasty, and a little sweet - a bit like dessert. It went well with the juicy warm tomato, arugula, and chopped asparagus I picked from ingredients across their panini menu. The sandwich showed the indentations of well-pressed panini. The bread tasted lean - this was no deep fried sandwich. My choice of side: three bean salad with green beans so crispy they snapped. While we sat at the counter waiting for our order, they came out to ask my friend if butter would be OK in the onions she had ordered atop her bruschetta. The check-in suggested that the staff considers dietary restrictions - well appreciated. I highly recommend the sorbet. I tasted both the slightly fluffy blueberry peach and the half sweet, caramel-reminiscent plum. For next time, I'm thinking of their white bean spread. Ask for what you want if you don't see it on the menu.

859 N. Damen, (773) 772-3355

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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