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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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Monday, November 29

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Review Wed Feb 20 2013

Less Swine, More Tacos? at Old Town Social

charcuterie.jpegYou probably can't say the word charcuterie in Chicago and not utter Jared Van Camp in the same sentence. He is, after all, the first chef in Chicago certified to dry-cure salami in-house, which he displays proudly at his flagship restaurant, Old Town Social. While this may not come as something that warrants caring about, being able to dry-cure your own meat in-house apparently is a feat within itself thanks to the Health Department.

Earlier this year, Van Camp released a new menu at OTS focusing less on the swine and more on a broader and lighter fare that could accompany all food types, including vegan and gluten free. New selections include smoked trout brandade, a raw kale salad, a selection of bite sized tacos and a spicy lamb burger.

Tacos3.jpegThe tacos were good -- not great, not bad -- rectified by homemade may-or-may-not-glow-in-the-dark hot sauce. The paté didn't disappoint either, and a future visit to the Ritz made it obvious why Van Camp carries the Sausage King title. Overall, the menu still leverages the old OTS vibe and thankfully he kept the Pork Belly Rueben. I've done more drinking than eating at OTS so I'm not one to say whether the food has changed dramatically. The addition of lighter fare, however, is a smart move but a visit to OTS without trying his house-cured fare is just sacrilegious so don't skimp on this part. They don't disappoint on beer selections either, offering a range of IPA's that would light up any pale ale fan's night. If you're lucky to get Amy, you're in for a night of nostalgic story swapping and beer education. Oh, and go on a Wednesday for a taste of local live music.

455 W. North Ave.
312-266-2277

Photos courtesy of Old Town Social

 
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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...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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