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Wednesday, October 22

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Food on Film

Tickets for the Chicago Food Film Festival are now on sale. The festival will run Nov. 20-22 at Kendall College.

Beer Runners

Minibar is now delivering beer, wine, and spirits in Chicago.

Raising the Bar

Aviary and Three Dots and a Dash were named as two of the 50 Best Bars in the World, selected for their high scores in a global survey of cocktail professionals.

Getting to the Bottom of the Endless Soup Bowl

Gwynedd Stuart reserved a table at the first Olive Garden to open within city limits and tried to figure out why it was so packed (it wasn't the food).

Old World Lunch

The sandwiches at Olga's Deli aren't $5 anymore (they're $7), but they're still stacked high and made lovingly by Olga herself.

Crawl Out the Barrels

Find out how they made that craft beer you're drinking on the Gapers Block Microbrewery Crawl this Saturday, Oct. 11. We're visiting Lagunitas, Goose Island's Fulton Street brewery (which isn't officially doing tours yet), newcomer BreakRoom Brewery and finishing up at Begyle, where ManBQue is cooking us dinner. Get your tickets now!

Golden Brews

Three Chicago beers won awards at the Great American Beer Fest, including a gold medal for Haymarket's Defender, an American-Style Stout.

New Names on the Door

The corner formerly occupied by Hot Doug's will be taken over by Frank Meats Patty, a burger-focused joint from the people behind Lockdown and Fatso's Last Stand.

Topping the Tortilla

Nick Kindelsperger has launched a new taco blog, full of interesting ideas for taco fillings and some beautiful foodporn.

Sounds Like You've Been Drinking Already

Schlafly Beer (pronounced "schlaugh-lee") will soon be available here, after years of describing its distribution as a "300 mile radius around St. Louis, minus Chicago."

Cheers to That

Sportsman's Club's Jacyara de Oliveira and Drumbar's Alex Renshaw are among Food & Wine's Best New Mixologists

Smoking Meat While Waiting for Sausage

If you happen to pass the Hot Doug's line today, you might see two guys smoking brisket while they wait. That'd be Jared Leonard and Gary Wiviott, founders of the Windy City BBQ Classic, paying their respects and also getting a little free publicity. Hope they share.

Viva Deep Dish

Gino's East plans to go global for the first time, opening restaurants in Mexico City this year.

1-Benjamin Weekend

Seth Kugel's $100 Weekend in Chicago column for the NYTimes is pretty solid, and actually makes it beyond the typical neighborhoods.

Predicting Food Poisoning

The Chicago Department of Public Health is turning to big data to determine which restaurants are most at risk of health code violations.

Latest in Hot Doug's Closing News

The line for today's memorial lunch service began at 10:15pm last night. And Doug Sohn did an exit interview with the Tribune's Kevin Pang.

Hot Ticket

Riverview Tavern is hosting a Sriracha prix fixe dinner where every course features the popular hot sauce paired with a beer from Revolution Brewing.

Celebrate National Coffee Day Today

If CTA coffee maps (previously) aren't enough for you, DNAinfo made a map of nearly every place to get coffee in the city, including both chains and independents. Oddly, diners and White Castle (another fast food joint known for its coffee) were left off.

Not So Good Stuff

A Chicago law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against Templeton Rye, claiming the liquor company was duping customers into thinking their whiskey was made in Iowa instead of in an Indiana factory distillery.

Gigging for Dinner

Michael Gebert goes frog hunting in northwest Indiana with chef Iliana Regan for her restaurant Elizabeth, and then watches Regan put together the dish.

Goose Island Wrigleyville Closing

What is it with Goose Island and balky landlords? The Wrigleyville brewpub is closing Monday due to lease disputes.

Mapping Coffee in Transit

Thrillist released a coffeeshop El map today, listing the closest java to the CTA. It's a little different from the CTA coffee map created by the blog Corner of the Cafe earlier this year, and leaves out the Yellow Line entirely.

The Latest in Stunt Food: Ice Cream

Pavilion at the Langham Hotel knows the value of a ludicrous menu item, so they've introduced a $1,000 bowl of ice cream topped with gold leaf, cognac and a chocolate crown.

Behold, the Crowler

DryHop Brewers will offer a filled-while-you-wait 32oz. can of beer to go starting Thursday. They're calling it a "crowler," and it's designed to stay fresh longer than traditional glass. San Diego's Mission Brewing was the first in the country to offer the quart can.

Changing Plates

Eater asked Chicago chefs, restaurateurs, educators and, er, Billy Corgan how they would change the world through food.

Encased Meats on Film

Brothers Nick and Christopher Markos are making a documentary about the final weeks ofHot Doug's. Say hi if you're in line over the next (gulp) two weeks.

Marathon Eating

Chef Graham Elliot will be hosting a cooking demonstration showcasing healthy meals for runners in honor of the upcoming Chicago Marathon. Take home recipes and sample food at Mariano's in the West Loop on Sept 24.

Show Me the Way to the Next Microbrewery

We just announced the latest Gapers Block Microbrewery Crawl, visiting Lagunitas, Goose Island, BreakRoom and Begyle on Oct. 11. Tickets are on sale now!

A Toast to 'Da Bars'

With thriving neighborhood bars, local distilleries, and a cutting-edge cocktail scene, GQ calls Chicago the Greatest Drinking City in America.

Drink to Chicago

GQ called us America's greatest place to drink, while Food & Wine put six Chicago bars in the Midwest bracket of its new People's Best New Bars poll.

TBOX & TBOX West?

The massive and controversial Twelve Bars of Christmas bar crawl will be Dec. 13 this year, and tickets are on sale now. Meanwhile, the former social media manager for TBOX is launching Chicago Christmas Crawl for the same day, over in Wicker Park.

Not Drinking with Friends

Your sober friend may not be drinking, but that doesn't mean he or she isn't having fun. Jeff Ruby provides tips on not making it awkward.

Speaking of Brunch...

This Sunday, you can follow a morning of bloodies with an afternoon of bacon.

I'm Brunching It

McDonald's has applied for a trademark on the word "McBrunch," presumably with the intention of using it. No word on whether Burger King's applied for "BK Elevensies" yet. [via]

Bacon, Poutine, Mac'n'Cheese... now Ramen.

Ramenfest is coming to Urban Belly on Nov. 8. Tickets are on sale now. [via]

The Future of Street Food

Despite years of legal limbo, the largely immigrant food cart vendors still aren't technically legal. In These Times takes a look at their current plight and what's being done to change it.

Service Without a Smile

Dan Peacock wrote a recent Yelp review about the offensive and sexist service him and his girlfriend received at Andersonville's Hamburger Mary's. The review has been placed in the "Not Recommended" reviews section, with other reviews saying Hamburger Mary's has less than stellar service and food.

How the Nuggets are Made

The McDonald's corporate social media team got schooled after telling @HowThingsWork not to "spread bad information" -- by sharing an animated gif from the company's own video.

Hot Dog Rookie

Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery got his first taste of a Chicago-style hot dog at the Wiener Circle.

Club Foot Gets The Boot

Per an announcement on their Facebook page, Club Foot will be closing in November of this year, due to a "massive rent increase."

Fight for $15 Continues

Fast food workers in Chicago and across the country are going on strike again today, calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to form a union.

Competing for Your Morning

Peet's Coffee is opening 16 new locations in Chicago this fall. Meanwhile, Filter is closing for 10 days starting Friday so that Latino store brand Café Bustelo can do a pop-up shop.

Social Drinkers

Two competing craft breweries, Ale Syndicate and Arcade Brewery, share the same brewing facility in Logan Square.

United States of X: Bell Pepper Edition

Illinois no doubt has Chicago to thank for green bell peppers and Italian sausage being among the most distinctive ingredients by state, according to data from Food Genius.

Feeding the First Family

The New York Times profiles Hyde Park native and U of C grad Sam Kass, personal chef to the Obamas.

Drinking to Help

Anthony's Own, founded by a retired Chicago fireman, employs physically and developmentally disabled adults to produce and package its line of liqueurs. You can find them at Binny's.

Chicago-Style Sandwich?

Is a hot dog a sandwich? This deep dive into sandwich ontology is food for thought as you plan those Labor Day barbecues.

Still Growing

While urban farms cultivate fresh produce and jobs, they still rely heavily on outside funding and most are not independently sustainable.

United States of X: Dessert Edition

Illinois gets brownies (introduced at the 1893 World's Fair) in Slate's map of desserts for every state.

Happy Birthday, Peggy!

Peggy Gelsomino has been making pizzas at Gino's North since 1992, and has been in the restaurant industry for decades. Her 85th birthday party will be at the Edgewater restaurant this Sunday.

They've Got This On Lock

Lockdown's The Lockdown Warden burger is at the top of Zagat Chicago's list, edging out competition from Au Cheval and Leadbelly Burgers.

The Post-Dominick's World

WBEZ explores how Chicago's changing grocery store mix is affecting how we live and shop.

A Sad Day for Illinois Twinkie Lovers

Schiller Park's Continental Baking Company, the first manufacturer of the Twinkie, will be closing and laying off 400 employees this October; the company claims that Twinkie sales have fallen dramatically due to competing Twinkie impostors that flooded the market following the brief closure and sale of the Hostess Brand in 2013 following a labor dispute. The snack cake will continue to be produced, but without local cred.

Who Owns Chicago Mix?

A small candy chain in the Twin Cities filed a lawsuit against Garrett and two other companies, claiming trademark on "Chicago Mix" popcorn, which they registered in 1991.

Your Restaurant is Stalking You

Michael Muser, GM of Grace, tells Food & Wine how they provide service so good it freaks people out.

Snacks of the Times

The City is turning old newsstands into healthy food kiosks run by e.a.t. spots, a local nonprofit focusing on improving access to fresh, healthier food.

Shrimp a la Chicago

Your next shrimp cocktail could come from here on the Fresh Coast.

Surviving the Hot Doug-alypse

While Hot Doug's is closing its doors for good in less than two months, eateries across the city are getting more creative with their encased meat offerings.

Warm & Gooey Events

Get ready for Mac & Cheese Fest in Oct. 4.

Treat Yourself for Trotter

This Sunday is Charlie Trotter Day, and several restaurants are offering specials this weekend. It's all in support of The Trotter Project.

Royal Delivery

The majority of pizzerias in Chicago give away 1-liters of RC Cola with pizzas. Here's why.

The Hot New Eats

Mott Street and Nico Osteria are on Bon Appetit's 2014 Best New Restaurants nominee list.

Perfect Pick

Lots of fruits and veggies are ready for harvest now. It's a great time to hit your local farmers market, but you might also be up for a weekend trip to one of the pick-your-own farms in the area.

Chicken By Any Other Name

While there are over 40 Harold's Chicken Shacks across Chicago, not all of them are supposed to be using that name.

Healthy Snackers

Park visitors actually spent more on snacks after Chicago Park District switched to vending machines only offering healthy options.

An Excellent 6-Pack

Pipeworks, Half Acre, Revolution, Haymarket, Goose Island and Three Floyds are among the "100 American craft beers every beer lover should drink, according to Paste magazine.

The Green City Gets Bigger

The Green City Market will be opening a second location at the corner of Halsted and Fulton Market every Saturday through October, starting this weekend (7am-1pm).

Stamping Out Burgers

Hollymatic helped standardize hamburger portions, for better or worse. The Distance profiles the 77-year-old company.

Food Based on a Dare

It's here: the Cheez-It kimchi beer cocktail you never asked for.

Joly Reigns Supreme

Charles Joly of the Aviary won the 2014 Diageo World Class Champion Bartender in London this weekend. Add that to the World's Best Cocktail Menu award the Aviary won at the Sprited Awards earlier in July and Joly's having a very good year.

Last Supper

The Reader's Michael Gebert bids farewell to Serious Eats: Chicago, which still exists but is shifting towards more SEO-friendly and non-local recipe and "best of" posts.

One Plate and Seat at a Time

Lookingglass' production of Cascabel, which features the acting styles of celebchef Rick Bayless, begins tonight; the ticket price is hefty, but the production comes with a multi-course meal curated by Bayless himself. The production runs through Aug. 24th.

The Beef is Here

The Tribune's Kevin Pang takes a deep dive into the jus, peppers, and meat that make up the best Italian Beef in Chicago.

So You Don't Have To

The Trib's Kevin Pang has compiled a dining guide for out-of-towners looking for recommendations.

The Benefits of Longevity

Eater talks with Tony Durpetti, owner of Gene & Georgetti, the oldest steakhouse in Chicago. Meanwhile, the Distance profiles Hala Kahiki, Chicagoland's oldest tiki lounge.

No Bathtub Necessary

This is Chicago Craft Gin Week. Get tippling.

Sweet, Salty, Sour, Spicy

Chicago is seeing a boom in neverias, Mexican ice cream shops that serve much more than just ice cream.

"Magnificent and Popular"

Logan Square bar Analogue finally has a sign. Wonder if people will get bent out of shape about it.

The Baristas vs. Paula Deen

Local café owners are resisting the latest trend of adding some butter to your coffee.

Bacon Double

If you can't imagine waiting till next April for BaconFest, you're in luck: The folks behind the American Beer Classic are organizing the Great American Bacon Festival for September.

Stuffed with Steak & Accolades

L'Patron's carne asada burrito made the The Daily Meal's list of the 35 Best Burritos in America.

Donut Smackdown

L.A.-based Stan's Donuts is opening a second Chicago shop practically next door to the upcoming Do-Rite Donuts in Streeterville. Eater.com has the full story.

New Restaurants from Achatz & Izard?

Apparently you have to go to Aspen to get Chicago restaurant news now. Eater learned that Stephanie Izard may have a new restaurant in the works, and that Grant Achatz definitely does, plus Alinea will be undergoing a thorough remodeling in time for its 10th anniversary next year.

Remembering Josh Marks

Chicago Magazine looks back at the budding culinary career and sudden death of Josh Marks.

Dog Dealer

After graduating from Vienna Beef's Hot Dog University, writer John Carruthers found out what it's like to work at a hot dog cart.

A Garden Underground

An old freight tunnel underneath the Palmer House Hilton now serves as a mushroom garden for the hotel's restaurant.

Put Some Butter On It

Culver's is bringing their Wisconsin brand of butter burgers and custard to Wrigleyville.

United States of X: Bartender's Handshake Edition

While Malört is no doubt still popular, at least some of Chicago's bartenders have moved on from the bitter stuff for "staff meals," according to this article from Punch. (In other Punch news, read this nice writeup of Three Dots and a Dash.)

Optimalist Cooking

Food & Wine offers a peek inside Alinea co-founder Nick Kokonas' kitchen.

Tastes Good Going Down

New Bubbly Creek Soda from Bridgeport Coffee tastes like coffee and is named after the still-stewing South Branch waterway that runs through the neighborhood. Sales of the drink benefit the Wetlands Initiative, which is working to clean up Bubbly Creek.

This is Getting Ridiculous

I tried to resist posting about yet another donut hybrid, but the bonut, based on the tasty biscuits at Bang Bang Pie Shop, actually sounds pretty good.

What Ticketing Tables Does

It's been three years since Next opened with a ticket-based reservation system, and the concept is beginning to catch on in the industry. Nick Kokonas explains how the system works and what difference it's made to the business.

The Burger That's Second to None

Kuma's Corner just earned more bragging rights: The Daily Meal declared the Kuma Burger the best burger in the nation.

Burrito Bracket Goes Big

Back in 2007, Nate Silver -- soon to be of FiveThirtyEight fame -- began the Burrito Bracket in an attempt to find the best burrito in his neighborhood. Today, Silver turned his attention back to his favorite Mexican-American food and took the bracket national.

Custom Combos

You can invent the next cronut, wonut or cuffin with Chicago Magazine's food combo generator.

Gin, Campari & Compassion

Evidently this is Negroni Week; order a negroni at one of more than three dozen bars and restaurants around town and a portion of the cost goes to charity.

No Longer Homemade

Homemade Pizza abruptly closed all its stores this weekend, and deleted its website and social media presence.

No Beer Was Harmed

Production of Half Acre Beer's "Daisy Cutter" variety will be halted for a week following a fire last weekend at the Indiana factory that makes the brew's aluminum cans. Stay strong, we'll get through this.

Last Days of the Telegraph

Logan Square wine bar Telegraph is closing June 7 due to an "amicable parting" between executing chef Johnny Anderes and the rest of the management team. The popular spot will undergo reconcepting and reopen in July.

Spirited Competition

Celeste, The Aviary, Sable Kitchen & Bar, and Three Dots and a Dash are finalists in the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.

10 Years of Taste

LTHForum is 10 years old; cofounder Michael Gebert recalls the dinner that instigated its creation.

Give the Others a Chance

As the James Beard Awards come to Chicago, Anthony Todd makes a convincing argument that the city get its own Best Chef category.

Beard's in Chicago

Chicago will host the James Beard Awards ceremony next year, the first time the awards will have been held outside New York. The awards gala will be on May 4, 2015.

Because it's Happy

McDonald's is bringing to the US a new Happy Meal character named "Happy," who will either delight your children or haunt their dreams. Happy was designed by the chain's European ad agency and debuted over there in 2009.

Warning: Insipid music.

A Tech Company Dealing in Food

The Tribune peers into The Matrix, the computer brain pieced together by Chef Homaro Cantu to help run things at Moto.

Get Drunk Faster

If QwikerLiquor (previously) wasn't enough for your immediate booze delivery needs, Boston-based app Drizly is now available here.

Statistically the Best

Chicagoist aggregated data from a variety of ratings to produce a "statistically accurate" list of the 25 best restaurants in Chicago.

Get the Legs Out

Don't worry, turkey legs are coming back to the Taste this year.

Don't Waffle on This Book

Remember the Waffleizer? Author and former GB contributor Daniel Shumski's book Will it Waffle?, based on the popular foodblog, is now available for preorder.

Counting Down to the End of the Bun

Hotdogs.com is, amazingly, a countdown clock for the closure of Hot Doug's.

Where to Eat Next

Time Out Chicago announced its 2014 Food & Drink Awards, with Cicchetti taking Readers' Choice for Best New Restaurant.

United States of X: Beer Tweet Edition

Vox shares several maps of Twitter data about beer. Chicagoans really like Schlitz and Goose Island, not surprisingly. But we tweet more about church than beer.

Let the Carts Cook

Two years after the food truck legislation passed, food cart vendors are trying to get a little regulatory relief of their own. Their fight is sadly not new.

Doggone It!

Hot Doug's is going on "permanent vacation," per owner Doug Sohn, who also told DNAinfo that it's "time to do something else." "I'm not burnt out. I also don't want to be burnt out. It's just time," he told the Trib's Kevin Pang.

Beard Winners Announced

Jacquy Pfeiffer of the French Pastry School, an episode of This American Life, Curtis Duffy's Grace, Dave Beran of Next, Jimmy Bannos, Jr. of The Purple Pig, and Paul Kahan (Publican, Avec, etc.) were among the winners at last night's James Beard Awards ceremony in New York.

Donut Forget Your Receipt

Stan's Donuts was printing Mitch Hedbergs "Receipt for Donut" joke on their receipts for donuts.

Goodbye, Johnny

Johnny's Grill in Logan Square has abruptly closed, just one more victim of the march of gentrification. Owner Nicholas Kalliantasis tells DNAinfo he was not given the option to renew his lease.

Drink Your Best Tea

In addition to the rumors that she may buy the Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal, former Chicagoan Oprah Winfrey has collaborated with Starbucks to create a chai tea blend that is sure to make your life better.

Pick Up Some Portillo's

As in, all the Portillo's. The privately owned, Oak Brook-based Portillo's Restaurant Group is exploring the sale of its namesake restaurant chain.

Alinea #9

Alinea is ninth on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list from S. Pelligrino, up from 15th last year.

The Alinea Cookbook Book

VFX artist and photographer Allen Hemberger has spent the past five years cooking every recipe from Alinea's cookbook. His resulting blog, The Alinea Project, is full of beautiful photographs that Allen hopes to turn into a book about his efforts. The project is up on Kickstarter. [via]

Eating Green

Speaking of green restaurants, four star-certified green restaurant Big Delicious Planet, Michael Jordan's Chicago Steakhouse, Topolobampo/Frontera Grill and Uncommon Ground are on the Daily Meal's America's Greenest Restaurants list.

Green Tap Lines

Goose Island will be donating part of the proceeds from sales of Green Line Pale Ale to the Trust for Public Land, which supports The 606 and other park projects.

Latest Doughnut Development

From Waffles Cafe comes yet another doughnut hybrid, the Wonut.

Watch Them Repair the Circle

As part of the massive Circle Interchange reconstruction project, IDOT is currently rebuilding the Morgan Street bridge. UIC's Urban Transportation Center has installed a webcam so you can watch it happen. [via]

Burger Time

NPR's Planet Money maps out how long it would take workers in each neighborhood to make enough money to buy a burger. Lincoln Park and Englewood are among the shortest waits, while Edgewater is one of the longest in Chicago. [via]

Beer & Circuses

Lagunitas is bringing its Beer Circus to Chicago in May, which apparently means live music and lots of clown burlesque. Oh, and beer fresh from the brewery. Get your tickets here.

Table for 50

This year, NewCity's annual Food & Drink Fifty list is made up exclusively of chefs, bartenders and other people making food and beverages in the city -- no restaurateurs.

You Win or You Schnitzel

The owners the Schnitzel King food truck and sandwich shop announced they will be closing both, although their lawsuit against the City's food cart restrictions will continue.

Barcade All-Stars

RedEye's Mick Swasko profiles gamers striving for the High Score on barroom arcade games.

Tougher Reservations

Chicago magazine's annual Best New Restaurants list is out.

Whitefish Wiped Out

Fish sellers are rationing the hundreds of pounds of whitefish they sell each year during Passover because ice on top of the Great Lakes made it difficult for fishermen to catch a big enough supply.

Two Scoops of Summer

With this warm weather (mid-50s! woo!) you might be tempted to get some ice cream. Bobtail is celebrating its 10th anniversary by giving you an extra scoop of the week's special flavor; this week it's Signature Sunset.

Not So Useful Nuggets

WBEZ's Monica Eng is trying to figure out what ingredients make up the top five food items at CPS schools, but responses from officials so far include that chicken nuggets contain: chicken nuggets.

Malört Face on Film

This Story Will Never End: Jeppson's Malört Documentary, by Fire Engine Red Films, tells the story of the beloved and maligned bitter liquor. It's due out this summer. [via]

Tunes for Tastebuds

Building the right playlist is key for restaurants looking to set the right mood for their food.

Butcher has Beef

The Butcher & Larder's Rob Levitt dispels some myths and airs some grievances about his job in the Food Republic.

Malört™

Malört is no longer fooling around: the Carl Jeppson Company has trademarked the name of its signature (and only) bitter liqueur.

The Next Best Chef

Next's Dave Beran was named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs. Beran is also nominated for Best Chef: Great Lakes in this year's Beard Awards.

Alinea Tops Again

Alinea is the best restaurant in the world for the third year in a row, according to luxury magazine Elite Traveler.

Zagat Names Chicago's "30 Under 30" Chefs

Zagat released its 30 Under 30, a list of "gastronomic game changers," which includes a butcher, a baker, but alas, no candlestick maker.

The Mexican Cookbook Library

Eater got a peek inside chef Rick Bayless' personal library above Topolobampo & Frontera Grill.

Hold the Lime

If a bartender tells you to take those tequila shots without any citrus, it's probably because local bars are coping with the skyrocketing cost of limes caused by a shortage in Mexico.

Time to Kick It

A minimalist pour-over coffeemaker, a contemporary Korean restaurant and sockless shoe liners are among the projects currently on GB's Kickstarter page.

Tilling the West Side

Oakpark.com profiles Urban Till, an urban farm in Austin.

Foresworn

Four Loko as we knew it will be no more, as Chicago-based Phusion Projects agreed to cease production of caffeinated alcoholic beverages under pressure from government officials. They're still making Four Loko products, and in fact just released a new flavor. (Previously.)

Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood

Food LTH Forum has released its list of this year's Great Neighborhood Restaurants and Resources, among them Lincoln Square's Rainbow Thai Cuisine and Roscoe Village's Bad Wolf Coffee.

Distilling a Trend

The Reader looks at the increasing popularity of local distilleries.

You Get a Buzz, and You Get a Buzz

Starbucks announced it will begin selling alcohol in evenings at certain stores, as well as a blend of chai tea endorsed by Oprah herself.

It's Soup Weather

Join us tonight at 5:30pm for Soup & Bread at the Hideout, where members of the Drive-Thru section will be dishing up two of the soups being offered -- just donate if you can and grab a bowl.

Get Drunk Fast

Too lazy to go to the liquor store? QwikerLiquor now delivers wine and booze from local shops to your door. [via]

Battle of the Beard

Plenty of Chicago chefs and restaurants are among the finalists for the James Beard Awards, including Spiaggia for Outstanding Restaurant and The Violet Hour for Outstanding Bar Program. More details in Drive-Thru.

Flagging Foodies

Posted in the kitchen of a "prominent Chicago restaurant," a memo on how to spot a food critic discovered by Tribune writer Kevin Pang warned servers to be especially careful with diners eating alone.

A Dash of History

The Foodseum would be a permanent space for visitors to taste, touch, and smell exhibits about edibles of the past and present.

On Reluctant Vegetarianism

Chicago author, Joe Meno, writes about "surrendering" to a vegetarian lifestyle in this month's Chicago magazine.

Probably Not Bat Meat

The AnchorVan, the "world's first combination news/food truck," is serving up free chicken downtown to promote Anchorman 2.

Prepare for the Dark Lord

Fans of beer deepest black: tickets for Dark Lord Day go on sale today at noon. Three Floyds' annual celebration is April 26.

Deep Dish in the Big Apple!?

You remember all the New Yorkers bitching about how deep dish isn't really pizza? Well, one of the hottest restaurants in Manhattan right now is Emmett's, a Chicago-style pizzeria, where waits stretch to three hours. (Though it might not be that great.)

3.1415-Yum

Don't forget, Friday is Pi Day. Celebrate by eating some.

Crossing the Border

Chicagoist's Chuck Sudo says 18th Street Brewery in Gary gives beer lovers another reason to go to Indiana besides Three Floyds.

Gourmet Year-Round

Food fest Chicago Gourmet has launched Beyond Gourmet, a quarterly dinner series intended to give foodies opportunities to mingle with chefs, mixologists and industry folks throughout the year.

United States of X: Meaty Edition

If Illinois (and the rest of the states) could only eat one meat, what would it be? Slate attempts an answer. [via]

Careful with that Carp

WBEZ's Curious City looks into which Lake Michigan fish are safe to eat, and in what quantity.

White Bread for Health

Before it was considered junk food, Wonder Bread was a health innovation. Loaves will soon be back on Chicago store shelves.

Pastry Invaders

While Chicago is in the middle of a homegrown doughnut boom, the competition is heating up as Stan's Donuts comes to town from LA, the "Doughnut Capitol of America."

Lenten Eating

Former GB contributor JP Pfafflin is on a constant search for the best Friday fish frys.

Hot Chefs, Big Food

Mike Sula explores the phenomenon of top-rated chefs collaborating up with manufacturers of frozen dinners, fast food and breakfast snacks.

Mark's Chop Suey Final Day After 38 Years

The Chinese food restaurant Mark's Chop Suey in Boystown will permanently close its doors today after 38 years of service. The restaurant's owner, Amy Mark, 64, is ready to slow down. Marks' is right next to Sidetrack, one of the best-known gay bars in Chicago, which is one of the reasons why Mark chose the location in the first place.

How Much for a Large?

NPR's Planet Money tallied the median price of a pizza in every neighborhood of Chicago (and other cities) using data from Grubhub Seamless. Hit pizzerias in Austin, Avondale or the East Side to pay the least. Oh, and order a large. (Thanks, @tutebot!)

Pie in the Sky

Soon you will be able to grab a slice of Giordano's while looking down on the city from the Sears Tower's Skydeck.

Next Stop: Coffee

OK, there's the L bar map, but how 'bout one of coffee shop L map?

Heart-Stopping Races

The Bacon Chase fundraiser will feature the standard 5K race followed by unlimited bacon, as well as a .05K "blitz" because you're probably not there for the exercise anyways.

Chicago CTA Bar Map

Since drinking on the CTA is not (yet) legal, a map has been created correlating the "best and closest" bar to every "L" stop. Each stop on the map has been replaced with the correlating bar.

Vote Chicago as America's Favorite Food City

Food & Wine has created a survey inviting readers to rank the top American food cities. Vote for Chicago and look for the results in the September 2014 print issue of Food & Wine.

2 Chicago Chefs Up For Culinary Award

The International Association of Culinary Professionals will release the winner of its annual cookbook awards on March 15, and two cookbooks written by Chicagoans are among the list of finalists.

Supreme Pizza Wars

Let's all agree not to take US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scolia's bait about Chicago-style deep dish not being pizza.

Green Machine

Stocked with salads and healthy options made from fresh, locally sourced produce, the Farmer's Fridge vending machines offer much more than candy bars and Gardetto's.

Where to Show You Don't Care

Eater put together a list of the least romantic places for Valentine's Day. And no, White Castle isn't one of them.

Coffee Talk in Englewood

Englewood's Kusanya Café is a rare place where neighbors can sit down and have a chat.

Cuties in the Kitchen

Here are your Chicago chef and bartender valentines, courtesy of Time Out. (Here's the PDF.)

Eating Up Accolades

Food Politic talks with Sarah Becan about her webcomic, Sauceome.

Foodie Flirtation

City tourism officials are courting the organizers of the James Beard Awards, trying to bring the "Oscars of food" to Chicago from New York.

Ina's Rules

The "Breakfast Queen" Ina Pinkney may have closed up shop, but she has some parting advice on how to run restaurant.

No Coffee Blues

Follow Michael McSherry as he roasts coffee in his garage and delivers it by bike all around Chicago for his upstart "Grinderman Coffee" in a short documentary produced by RedEye.

Whose Booze is Best?

RedEye narrowed their search for the best up-and-coming bartender down to eight contestants, and they're now taking your votes on who's #1.

All You Can Poutine Your Mouth

The second annual Poutine Fest is Feb. 23, and tickets go on sale on its website this Friday, Feb. 7 at noon. Last year it sold out almost immediately, so be ready to jump. [via]

The Cheesy Confines

Giordano's is now the official pizza supplier of the Cubs and Wrigley Field.

All Hands on Deck

Employees of Snarf's Sub Shop who were fired in an email sent just before Christmas are heading back to work after reaching an agreement with the sandwich chain's management.

Chicago Sandwich Bracket

An online tournament of sandwiches has begun in Chicago, and is being called an "edible version of March Madness." The bracket currently consists of 64 sandwiches of various types all around the city. Participants who agree to the challenge eat the sandwiches, take photos and blog to the group's Google Docs.

Spreading #MalortFace

Malört's bitter tentacles continue to spread: it's now available in a couple bars in Washington, DC.

Dessert from the Sky

With yet another layer of snow falling, perhaps you could make something with it.

DePaul Campus: No Longer a Food Desert

Whole Foods Market Inc. confirmed purchasing four former Dominick's stores in Chicago, including the Lincoln Park location at 959 W. Fullerton Ave., the center of DePaul University's campus. Other locations purchased includes the West Loop, Edgewater and Streeterville.

Secret Sandwiches

According to food blog Sample the Culture, Potbelly's has a secret "underground menu," including sandwich hybrids like "Fireball" and "Seven Wonders." If you try ordering one, let us know how it goes. [via]

Averting a Coffee War

Close-by coffee shops in Evanston avoided conflict by, get this, talking to each other -- and their supplier.

Evolution of the Donut

NPR's Ian Chillag got a taste of Endgrain Restaurant's "doughscuit," the latest pastry innovation in a post-Cronut world.

Micro Brewhaha

The would-be builders of Forbidden Root, billed as the first "botanical brewery" in the U.S., are meeting resistance from West Town residents who don't want any more liquor licenses issued in its proposed location.

You Don't Have to Go Home

Chicago magazine captured glimpses of the special, magic moment that is last call at bars around the city.

Free Oysters

Pearl Tavern, the Loop's brand new craft, oyster and "sea delights" bar, is giving away free oyster tastings to all who make a reservation, in celebration of its opening. Call them at 312-629-1030 or follow the link for free oysters between now and January 30.

Sweet Liquor

The upcoming Candy Crush Crawl has nothing to do with the videogame and everything to do with chocolate fountains and pools filled with jelly beans. And booze.

Where to Drink

And speaking of Chicago magazine, its annual Best New Bars list is out, with Three Dots and a Dash taking the top spot.

Malört, Now with More Malörtiness

Has Jeppson's Malört seemed a bit too mild to you lately? Not to worry: their batch of Malört coming out this Spring will be even more bitter than their bottles on the market now.

Feast with Your Eyes

The Reader shows what it takes for the folks behind Sunday Dinner Club to prepare cassoulet -- a traditional French mixture of beans, meat, and assorted deliciousness -- for 500 people. Time for lunch.

Buns of Influence

The controversial Ghost burger special at Kuma's Corner last year made TIME's list of most influential burgers of all time. Seems like they're giving it a little too much credit.

Jewel Takes Over

Four former Dominick's grocery stores -- among them the ones at Roosevelt and Canal and Clybourn and Wrightwood -- reopen today as Jewels.

Alinea Baby Fracas Continues

Grant Achatz's tweet over his dilemma of whether a couple who brought their crying eight-month-old to Alinea this past weekend should have been asked to leave is earning him some major attention, as well as a new parody Twitter account.

Crying Over Pricy Dinner

A couple brought their 8-month-old baby with them to Alinea after their babysitter fell through. Chef Grant Achatz was at a loss as to how best to handle the situation after the infant's crying upset other diners, which led to plenty of discussion on Twitter -- and a parody account.

100 Percent Useful

The Zero Percent app helps grocery stores and restaurants share their surplus food with charities in Chicago.

Drink Beer Here

Draft magazine picked its 100 Best Beer Bars of 2014, and not surprisingly a lot of Chicago spots are on it. Congrats to Bangers & Lace, Fountainhead, Hopleaf, Local Option and Map Room.

Where Kahan Cooks

Home design site Houzz gives us a close-up look at chef Paul Kahan's kitchen.

You're a Mean One, Mr. Snarf

All of the employees at local sandwich place Snarf's Sub Shop (600 W. Chicago Ave.) were laid off last night. By email.

Lincoln Lodge Loses its Home

The Lincoln restaurant in North Center is closing at the end of the year, which means the Lincoln Lodge is looking for a new home. The long-running standup showcase begins its final performances tonight.

Make it a Fortnight

Reservations for Chicago Restaurant Week Jan. 24 to Feb. 6 are now available -- book one of more than 200 restaurants in the city and suburbs.

Cheeseborger, Cheeseborger, Salad

The latest Billy Goat Tavern in the Loop is courting the downtown lunch crowd, offering more than two types of beer and a salad bar.

Where Everybody Knows Your Game

The founders of the Kickstarter-backed Geek Bar found a fitting location in Lincoln Park, and plan to start serving Chicago's nerds in the spring of next year.

GB Gift Guide: Hot Dogs

You've got just a little time left to send Vienna Beef hot dogs to friends across the country. Maybe this commercial will convince you. [via]

No More Free Grub

GrubHub is getting rid of Yummy Rummy, the rewards game that gave frequent users a chance to win free food.

GB Gift Guide: A Flagon of Mead

Well, not a flagon per se, but Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery makes some delicious honey-based brews. You can purchase them online via Bev-Art.com.

Eat This List

Time Out's 100 Best Things We Ate & Drank This Year features special oysters, doughnut ice cream sandwiches, Russian style vodka shots and more.

Preparing for Hurricane TBOX

Wrigleyville businesses and residents are bracing for the hordes of Christmas sweater-clad bar hoppers set to stumble through the streets during this weekend's Twelve Bars of Xmas pub crawl.

Bari's Lunch Secret

I have a feeling Bari has a lot more people asking for Italian beef after Serious Eats discovered how well they make it. They make their own giardiniera, after all.

Few Better

Whisky Advocate named FEW Spirits Rye its craft whiskey of the year. Which means it's going to be even harder to find.

Take a Seat, Bacon

This morning, Do-Rite Donuts added a $20, special order Truffle Donut to their menu.

Pass the Plate Virtually

The Greater Chicago Food Depository has launched the Donation Plate, a simple site that makes it easy to create a fundraising campaign to fight hunger. Here's Gapers Block's plate; pitch in if you can.

The Peoples' Groceries

Chicagoans looking to start food co-ops are setting their sights on Dominick's locations that will soon be empty across the city.

Ate All of the Things

After people lined up around the block last week for Eataly's grand opening, the Italian food mecca had to close today to re-stock and prepare for more crowds of hungry Chicagoans.

Gift Guide: Bicycle Tire Fire

A Malört water bottle for your bike; fill it with yellow Gatorade for the full effect.

GB Gift Guide: Wine of the Month Club

There are the standard wine-of-the-month clubs, and then there's the one offered by Fine Wine Brokers in Lincoln Square. Each bottle is carefully chosen for the utmost quality for your fancy, and hopefully sharing, friends.

Happy Ordinary Days

An "A is for Atheists" display marking the pagan holiday of the winter solstice is joining the menorah and Nativity scene on Daley Plaza for the first time.

The Grid: Stickney Water Reclamation Plant

Want to know where your Thanksgiving meal went? If you stayed in the Chicago area, it probably ended up at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant. Stickney is the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world and the subject of our newest episode of The Grid.

Orange Crocs Descending

Eataly Chicago, the food store brainchild of celebchef Mario Batali, opens today at 4pm.

For the Bacon Lover in You

Cyber Monday gets porky: VIP tickets for next year's Baconfest go on sale at 10am.

Leona's Changes Hands

The Leona's chain has been sold (except for the Sheffield original and Rogers Park location) to an Evanston lawyer who plans to refresh the menu and the look. I'd gladly lose the psychedelic salad for roasted garlic heads on the menu again.

Put Turkey on Their Table

Hip hop shop Exclusive 773 is giving away 1,000 turkeys to needy families today at the store, 857 W. 87th St. Young Chop, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Durk, Co-Still, Twista and other local rappers have sponsored hundreds of turkeys, and there's still time to donate a couple yourself.

No Boot for You

The Christkindlmarket returns to Daley Plaza next week, with one notable absence: no ceramic boot mugs. This year's souvenir gluhwein mug is a skinny cylinder shape, and has some boot fans, well, bent out of shape, to say the least.

Best of a Least Favorite

Dining Chicago put together a bucket list of Chicago's tastiest versions of every kid's dinnertime nemesis: Brussels sprouts.

Mimosas for Brunch

Yelp has determined that Chicago likes to brunch -- and Broadway Cellars has the fourth most mentions in the nation of Mimosas in its reviews. (Thanks, Dee!)

Building a Better McRib

LTHforum member Binko made his own McRibs at home. They look a whole lot more appetizing than the original.

Turkey Takeout

Serious Eats picks its top spots for grabbing Thanksgiving staples to go.

Frankfurter Facts

O'Hare sells more Vienna Beef hot dogs than anyplace else in the world, and salami used to get salesmen out of parking tickets, according to Thrillist's listicle of things you probably don't know about Vienna Beef.

Busing it in Fresh

The Fresh Moves mobile produce market, built inside an old city bus, will reopen Nov. 23, in time to supply folks in food deserts with fresh ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner.

Stewart Gets Saucy

Jon Stewart unleashed an epic rant against Chicago-style pizza on the Daily Show after commentators pointed to it as something other than tallest building-having that Chicago still does better than New York.

Black Bean Friday

Dining Chicago highlights Black Friday deals at local eateries, perfect for shoppers looking to recover calories lost while battling the crowds.

New Michelin Star Recipients Announced

Elizabeth and EL Ideas are among the first-time recipients of Michelin stars; they are part of the 25 local restaurants who have received the award. The 2014 Chicago guide is available today.

Billy Goat at Risk

The famed Billy Goat Tavern may be pushed out of its home at Hubbard and Michigan if the Realtor Building undergoes redevelopment.

A Toast to Our Vets

Today, Veteran's Day, Veteran Beer launched here in Chicago.

Reasonably Delicious

Michelin's latest Bib Gourmand listing of high-quality, moderately-priced restaurants recommended for locals added over a dozen Chicago eateries.

HapPieNess

Local pie experts share a slice of their trade secrets in the Sun-Times.

Top Your Beef with the Best

Serious Eats Chicago taste-tasted 16 of the many varieties of hot giardiniera on the market to find the best of the lot. (Tangentially related: Our own taste test of neon green relish.)

Tech & Tacos

Dan Sinker turned to github to assemble Tacofancy, a taco recipe repository.

No More 24-Hour Starbucks

The Piper's Alley Starbucks is no longer open 24 hours, and some people -- writers and students, especially -- are none too pleased. (For future reference, the Northwestern Medical Center location is open from 4:30am to 3:15am, as close to 24 hours as they get.)

Skim Milk

Childhood obesity among CPS kindergartners seems to be on the decline, with some experts crediting healthier school lunches. The weight of older kids has plateaued, however.

The Spooky Bits

Serious Eats shares some of the tasty offal dishes around the city, from blood pudding to crispy pig ears.

Red Scare

The California plant where Sriracha is produced may be shut down after residents complained it emits an intense spicy odor, so now is a good time to stock up on the hot sauce, writes ChicagoNow blogger Ana Fernatt.

Lula Becomes Fat Rice

After dropping cryptic clues about their annual restaurant-wide Halloween costume, Logan Square's Lula Cafe is teaming up with their neighbors Fat Rice for a special one-night-only meal tomorrow.

Appetite for Profit

Locally led #Foodiechats has figured out a way to make money off its weekly Twitter chats.

Reminder: GB's Microbrewery Crawl is Saturday!

Gapers Block's Microbrewery Crawl is coming up this Saturday, Nov. 2, and there are still a few tickets left! Join us for brewery tours at Lake Effect, Finch's, Metropolitan and DryHop, where you'll get to see how each one makes their beers -- and enjoy samples of the finished product.

Sayonara, Sushi

The Reader's Michael Gebert laments the loss of authentic Japanese restaurants in River North and Streeterville.

Get Crazy with the Cheez Whiz

The Reader's latest Cocktail Challenge involves Cheez Whiz. Revel Room's Robbie Guevara manages to make something fairly decent sounding with it, but I think I'd still order a Furball over a cheezy bloody.

Pizza Pride

Seven Chicago slices are included in the Daily Meal's ranking of the 101 best pizzas in the country, with Spacca Napoli's Bufalina coming in highest at #23.

Chicago in a Martini Glass

Absolut teamed up with Threadless for a "Chicago" vodka. It's flavored to emulate a dirty martini -- but NPR's Scott Simon thinks a different spice blend would have been more appropriate.

United States of X: Food Edition

Deadspin ranked Chicago-style deep dis pizza #1 on its rundown of the Great American Menu." Cincinnati chili came in last, below getting hit by a car.

Hold the Raccoon

An investigation found that a man was selling wildlife to Chinatown restaurants. But he (allegedly) sold turtles, raccoons, and deer, and two out of those three actually sound delicious.

Beer & Scam Fest

The Crab & Beer Thirsty Fest was supposed to happen this summer at McCormick Place, then the Zhou B Arts Center. In reality, though, it was a scam designed to hit foodies in the pocketbook.
[via]

Beef with Bill Kurtis

Broadcaster Bill Kurtis and his Tallgrass Beef Company are being sued by the former CEO, who says he's owed back pay.

Stuffed Pumpkins? No.

Gozamos shares a fun take on Halloween/Dia de los Muertos food.

Chow Downtown

A different kind of rally is taking over Daley Plaza today as eight food trucks from around the city serve their wares to the lunch and dinner crowds.

Save a Little Dough So You Can Watch Movies About Dough

The Chicago Food Film Festival returns Nov. 21-23 at Kendall College; tickets are on sale now, but if you get yours today (and only today), you can get a 24% discount.

Dominicks' on the Block

Safeway Foods announced during its quarterly earnings report yesterday that it will pull out of the Chicago market by early next year, selling or closing its 72 Chicagoland Dominick's stores, which face increased competition on both the low and high end. Four stores, including two in Chicago, have already been sold to Jewel's corporate parent.

Five Star McDining

McDonald's treated food writers in New York to a fancy five-course dinner made from fast food ingredients, from pre-dinner cocktails to dessert. Kung Pao McNuggets, anyone?

Judge My Apple Pie, Please!

Need an expert opinion? In addition to Oct. 20th's Bucktown Apple Pie Contest, the folks at Bang Bang Pie are also holding a contest for the best apple pie later this month.

This Cake Takes the Cake

Girl and the Goat's Stephanie Izard got married this past weekend; her cake, made by pastry chef Mathew Rice, featured "layers of Strawberry Nesquik-infused chocolate marble cake with bacon buttercream, and a Cheez-It-flavored cake with a crunchy filling of chocolate ganache, peanut butter and chocolate-covered Cheez-Its."

Our Patty's Past

From The Jungle to "Cheezborger, Cheezborger," the hamburger has a more storied history in Chicago than you might think.

More Love for Local Food

Both Carriage House and Embeya made Esquire's Best New Restaurants list. [via]

Street Food Showdown

While some foodies were underwhelmed by the turnout, food trucks from around the city competed for the first-ever Chicago Vendy Awards. "Olga's Snacks" won the day.

Feed the Feds

County Barbecue is offering a free sandwich to government workers furloughed during the shutdown.

Dept. of Logical Conclusions

Ald. Deborah Graham has proposed banning BYOB at restaurants within dry precincts, in reaction to a new banquet hall within a dry district in the 29th ward. Graham is the same alderman who helped make it possible for a convicted felon to open a liquor store with TIF money in an area with a moratorium on new liquor license. Ward Room has a good perspective on it.

Is This Why the Parks are Closed?

It's National Taco Day today (according to whom, we're not sure) so you should eat some tacos to celebrate, right?

The Countdown of Monte Cristo

The last Bennigan's in the city will close at the end of the year. It was saved from the scrap heap in 2009, but this time rising rent is doing it in.

A Final Visit to Fox and Obel

The Streeterville grocery store, which struggled with bankruptcy and health department woes in recent months, will be closing Sunday after 12 years.

Sacrilicious

Kuma's is drawing some heat for its new burger, the Ghost, which features slow braised goat shoulder, a red wine reduction and a communion wafer garnish.

So. Much. Beer.

Karl Klockars runs down the long list of upcoming breweries in Chicagoland in Time Out... and adds further thoughts at Guys Drinking Beer.

Taste Back in Black

Taste of Chicago managed to make a profit this year, for the first time since 2007.

Pushing Liquor in Austin

Despite a moratorium on new liquor stores in the South Austin neighborhood, a convicted drug dealer was given special approval -- and TIF money -- to open a new one, the Tribune discovered. Twenty-ninth Ward Ald. Deborah Graham shepherded the arrangement, about six months after receiving a campaign donation from the owner. Smart Chicago's Dan O'Neil adds insight on the data side of the story.

DJ Food

STV SLV of the Hood Internet shares his famous Dr. Pepper chicken slider recipe with Vice.

Please Move to the Next Checkout Lane

Jewel-Osco has removed the self-checkout lanes at some of its Chicagoland locations. The move is intended to reconnect staff with shoppers.

How You Like Them Apples?

Gene Yale of Skokie grows 178 varieties of apples in his yard (they're mostly dwarf trees) -- but he doesn't eat apples.

Firm Plans for Hard Liquor

Explore Chicago's nascent microdistillery scene and the wide world of booze all this week as part of Craft Spirits Week.

The Food Fight Continues

A combination of fast food pricing, intense competition, and restrictive parking rules makes Chicago a tough place to own a food truck, Chicago Grid reports.

Goose to Stay Put, Bayless to Expand

Goose Island is in talks with its landlord to keep the Clybourn brewpub open. Meanwhile, chef Rick Bayless is planning a new spot in Wicker Park, in the old Salud space.

Copyright Mumbo Jumbo

A judge ruled that Washington, D.C.'s popular mumbo sauce is actually a Chicago concoction.

Shop in the Name of Lunch

A picture of what reportedly is R. Kelly's grocery list has hit the internet.

The Wrong Kind of "Old Fashioned"

The federal government filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Rosebud restaurant chain, which includes Rosebud on Rush and Carmines, saying it purposely fails or refuses to hire African Americans.

Thai Town Has Him Now

Arun Sampathavivat, chef-owner of Arun's, is hoping to transform a few blocks of Pulaski Road north of Montrose into a new Thai ethnic neighborhood.

Chicago's Wine Knight

New short documentary Wine for the People profiles Humboldt Park-born Charles Stanfield, master sommelier, chevalier in France's Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne -- and Binny's wine expert. [via]

Get TJ's Delivered

Grocery delivery service Instacart is expanding into Chicago, partnering with Trader Joe's. The company promises delivery in as little as an hour, which unfortunately means service is limited to within quick driving distance of a TJ's for now, but they plan to add Whole Foods, Dominick's and Costco soon.

Drinking on the Trail

Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail is leading a pub crawl along the 606 this Saturday. Five stops, with a suggested donation of $25. Email info@bloomingdaletrail.org to RSVP. [via]

Beyond Deep Dish

Zagat released a very good-looking list of must-try dishes from some of the city's best restaurants.

Glossary of Chicago Eats

It may be too early for dinner, but this guide of Chicago dishes, from a Jim Shoe to a Maxwell Street Polish, is making me hungry.

On the Trail of Delta Tamales

Mike Sula found a place to get true Mississippi Delta hot tamales, which made their way to Chicago with the Great Migration and morphed into the paper-wrapped style common in hot dog stands.

It's the Clash of the Pie Tins

Registration is open for the ninth annual Bucktown Apple Pie Contest, which deserves full credit for that awesome pun. The contest is Oct. 20.

Baconfest Expands Next Year

Think the nation's love affair with bacon is on the wane? Fear not, for Baconfest is doing three sessions next year, April 25 & 26 at the UIC Forum.

Public House Hosts a Gluten-Free Beer Dinner

Public House, River North's beer focused eatery, is hosting its first-ever Gluten Free Beer Dinner next Wednesday, Sept.18. The six‐course pairing menu from Chef David Blonsky & Chef Jeremy Tannehill was created to complement the hand-picked gluten-free beers. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here!

Fixed Income, Full Flavor

WBEZ's Monica Eng did a two-day trial of the SNAP Challenge and produced very delicious-looking results (a feat, compared to others' attempts). The Greater Chicago Food Depository is organizing a SNAP Challenge next week, if you're interested in experiencing a food budget of $5/day firsthand.

Crawling Through Restaurants

The Wicker Park/Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is bringing back its Fall Dinner Crawl Oct. 1. Like last year, there are three routes to choose from, each featuring tasting portions of signature dishes from a dozen neighborhood restaurants. The Fork route is already sold out, and tickets are going fast for the Knife and Spoon routes. Get'em while they're hot!

Bike Safety is Paramount

The Paramount Room at Kinzie and Milwaukee has set up a bike repair station to help passing commuters -- and encourage them to pop inside for a drink or bite.

Real Food for Real People

Chicagoist's Melissa Wiley gets a taste of Comfort Station's community-focused potlucks in Logan Square, where the only cost of a home-cooked meal is your company.

'Pink Slime' Back in Illinois Schools

According to USDA purchasing data obtained by Politico, Illinois schools are once again buying ammonia-treated 'pink slime' beef to serve in cafeterias, likely in an effort to save money.

Taste of the Buggy Bits

Dennis Lee took a trip to Four Belly in Lakeview to partake of the silk worms, frog legs and other odd items on the menu.

[Insert Your Food Truck Name Here] is the Best New Food Truck

Want to start your own food truck? A free seminar Thursday at the Bucktown Public Library can help you figure out your next steps.

The Doughnutty City

Doughnut Vault earned a spot in USA Today's list of the nation's best doughnut shops.

Pizza & Malort: Delicacy or Travesty?

Did you hear that Dimo's Pizza has a pie made with Malort? Time Out's Amy Cavanaugh tried it, and it's not bad.

No More Aged Old Fashioneds?

Anthony Todd broke news yesterday about a possible crackdown on barrel-aged cocktails due to the technique's technical violation of several liquor and food safety laws.

No Guns at the Dinner Table

City Council is considering an ordinance that would require all restaurants that serve alcohol to post signs saying guns are not allowed; the state's new concealed carry law already bans them in bars.

Katsu Gets Top Spot in Zagat Survey

Rogers Park hole-in-the-wall sushi spot Katsu upset culinary titans like Next and Alinea to win "Top Food" in the 2014 Zagat Survey. [via]

Whole Foods to Open in Englewood

Whole Foods is publicly stating what's been known by Englewood organizers for a few months: It will open a store at 63rd and Halsted ... by 2016. For what it's worth, while Whole Foods and the Sun-Times imply Englewood is like the neighborhood where the Detroit location opened, it isn't.

Logan Square, We Hardly Knew Ye

Julia Thiel makes the case that Logan Square's influx of cocktail bars and restaurants means Wicker Park-like gentrification is just around the corner.

Your Garden Overfloweth

If you're lucky enough to have a space in a yard or a plot in a community garden, you're probably enjoying the bounty of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers and more that your carefully tended plants are producing. But if you find that you're producing too much and you can't bear to watch the produce wither in your vegetable bin because going out sounds better than eating more zucchini, consider donating your excess to a local food pantry. Ample Harvest has created a nationwide database of all food pantries willing to take homegrown veggies and there are several in Chicago.

Brunch Will Never be the Same

Restaurant icon Ina Pinkney is retiring and closing her eponymous restaurant; last service will be Dec. 31.

Public School Drunkenness

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Kegs for Kids event at Hopleaf. Get your drink on to help a neighborhood school.

Doughnuts Get a Makeover

Black Dog Gelato is teaming up with Glazed and Infused for a daylong collaboration of ice cream doughnut sandwiches. Order today for pick-up tomorrow.

"Raising a brewery takes a village."

The interesting origin story of Off Color Brewing.

Feel Free to Start Salivating

Eater looks forward to some of the most anticipated bars and restaurants opening this fall, including a German beer hall, a butcher shop/ concert venue, and a bar to fill the "Bonny's sized hole in your heart."

Eating in White

Diner en Blanc, an annual outdoor dining event in a surprise location to which guests are expected to dress all in white, is back in Chicago on Sept. 19. If you weren't already on the mailing list, you missed the chance at tickets, but you can still register for the wait list.

Starbucks Will Be Contained

This fall, Starbucks hopes to bring their new drive-thru shop design to Rogers Park/Edgewater at the corner of Broadway and Sheridan. The kicker — the shop will be constructed entirely out of shipping containers.

Of Coffee and Donuts

Curious City did a crawl last month to find Chicago's best doughnut, but the question they really wanted to answer was, did Dunkin' Donuts kill the competition when it came here in 1965? The answer may surprise you.

Hungry for a Win

Seth Unger has started a bracketed Tournament of Dips, and your votes are needed. [via]

Stomach-Turning Tech

Food Safety News reports on Foodborne Chicago, the app from SmartChicago that monitors Twitter for food poisoning (previously).

Married to the Chef

Lisa Kornick may not be the typical chef's wife -- she runs operations for husband Michael Kornick's mk. But she can definitely give perspective on what it's like being in a restaurant marriage.

Drink Up, Chicago

Chicago magazine's Best Beers in Chicago feature is online, along with a scorecard to see how many of their 62 picks you've tried.

The Big Cheeses

Who's tops in the city's culinary world? NewCity's annual Food & Drink 50 breaks it down. The top 10 you can probably guess, but 11-50 is where it gets interesting.

The Next Top Chef Could be a Chicagoan

Chefs Aaron Cuschieri (Slurpling Turtle) and Carlos Gaytan (Mexique) will compete on the next season of "Top Chef," which premieres in October.

Hot Fat Rice

Bon Appetit announced its 10 Best New Restaurants list a little early, and Fat Rice made the cut.

Pizza Travesty

Gnash your teeth and rend your clothes, for Chicago has been left off TripAdvisor's list of the 10 best cities for pizza. This has got to be the only time San Diego has ever topped such a list.

Three out of 50's Not Bad

Bon Appetit's narrowed its list of best new restaurants in America down to 50, including Fat Rice, Grace and Trenchermen. The final list will be announced Aug.14.

Hop on This Ticket

If you want to attend this year's Hamburger Hop at Chicago Gourmet, be ready at your keyboard at 10am this morning, which is when tickets go on sale.

Son of La Creperie Owner Dies

The son of the owner of La Creperie was discovered dead of a heart attack last week. Jeremy Roignant was back in town, after moving to LA with his wife and children, to help his father close the restaurant later this month.

Who's Lovin' It?

Chicago-based food journalist Josh Schonwald will be among those sampling the first lab-grown hamburger today.

312: Still Local?

Goose Island's popular 312 Urban Wheat Ale is no longer brewed in Chicago. At all. So is it still a local beer? And are other area code beers still a possibility from parent AB InBev?

Flash in the Pan Taco

Chicago Taco seems to have shut down already, not even a week after it opened to replace the West Town Tavern.

Stuffed Full of Buns

Dare you enter one of Wow Bao's bao eating contests to celebrate its 10th anniversary?

Malört Snow Cones?

Yep, Malört snow Cones. At Red Door.

LGBT Bars Boycotting Russian Vodka

Sidetrack decided to stop serving Russian vodka in protest of anti-gay legislation and attacks in that country. Several other bars have followed suit, part of a national trend. The boycott spurred Stolichnaya Vodka's CEO to write an open letter noting the brand's support of the LGBT community.

West Town Tavern is Dead, Long Live Chicago Taco

Proving old dogs can learn new tricks, Drew and Susan Goss of West Town Tavern (previously) have announced they're reopening as Chicago Taco. Viva los Gosses! [via]

Find Your Next Meal

City Eats, a NY-based restaurant discovery and reservation site, launched in Chicago today.

Hip Ice Cream on Wheels

Keep your eye out for the Gladwell Company, a new ice cream trike.

Upscale Grocers Continue Expansion in Chicago

Mariano's South Loop location has been put up for sale today, says Crain's. The Chicago Tribune reported recently on upscale grocers gaining heat in the city.

Lunch Melts in Your Mouth

"Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" staffers had some fun with another odd Chicago sandwich, the "Gravy Bread," which is essentially a dipped Italian beef without the beef.

Eat a Hot Dog Today

Why? Because it's National Hot Dog Day. Chicagoist rounds up their 13 favorites, while the Daily Meal more than doubles it to 29, while also proclaiming the Chicago-style dog the best in the world. You might also peruse GB's The Dog Show archives. And if you're really hard up, a few fast food places and convenience stores have deals today.

Redesigns & Special Sandwiches

LTHForum launched a redesign today, which includes a new focus on feature-length articles about Chicago culinary topics. The first is an investigation into the origins of the jim shoe sandwich.

Joly Takes Top Bartender

named American Bartender of the Year at "Tales of the Cocktail this weekend.

Crawling for Crullers

WBEZ's Curious City would like your help on a doughnut crawl.

Uber Your Ice Cream

Car service Uber has an ice cream truck on call today. Use the app to get frozen treats from Ice Cubed delivered to you for $25 for six people.

Fresh Vodka Cocktails

CH Distillery aims to be the first distillery in Chicago with an in-house bar.

South Side Groceries

There has been some discussion about which grocery chains are best for the city and why they aren't moving into the food deserts in Chicago. Gaylon Alcaraz, a local activist, has created a petition to challenge Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to open a store on the South Side of town. Whole Foods does plan to open a store in Hyde Park next year, but she hopes they will move into food deserts.

Hot Night for Barbecue

The Green City Market's annual Chef's BBQ Benefit is tomorrow night. Enjoy food prepared by some of the city's top chefs -- and this year, there's also Green City Cocktails to go along with the food. Tickets are still available.

Don't Come to Bad Wolf Coffee Looking for a Chair

Bad Wolf Coffee opened last week in Lakeview, DNAinfo reports. The owner wants to create a social atmosphere with no chairs so that people aren't glued to their laptops.

Still Cool

Koval was named one of America's coolest distilleries by Travel & Leisure.

Get Your Hot Dogs Here

July is National Hot Dog Month, which is part of the reason we're throwing our Hot Dog Cookoff this Saturday (get your tickets here!) Meanwhile, Time Out put together a list of the city's best hot dogs.

Hey Champ, Drink Up

Double Door's new subterranean "speakeasy" bar, Door No. 3, opens tonight with Hey Champ performing live, along with DJ sets by Gemini Club, pOCEANs and Greg Corner. It's free, but you have to RSVP on Do312.

Another Donut Gang Rolls into Town

An outpost of the Los Angeles-based Stan's Donuts will be opening in the former Skewerz space located at the base of the Wicker Park/Damen Blue Line.

Popping in at Cretors

Crain's took a tour of C. Cretors & Co., the Chicago-based inventors of the popcorn machine, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011.

Evanston Votes for Temperance

Temperance Beer Company received the first-ever craft brewery license in Evanston at last night's city council meeting. Temperance plans to build a tap room and brewery at 2000 Dempster St.

Hire a Chef

Kitchensurfing is a site that helps you find a chef to cook for a dinner party, teach you how to make something, or put together a catering plan, based around your budget. It just launched in Chicago with a couple dozen chefs on board.

The Brat Variations

Keep your eye out for Johnsonville's latest sausage, a giardiniera-infused smoked link, made specially for the Chicagoland market.

Low-Hanging Fruit

Are you a huge fan of Juneberries or mulberries and upset that you can rarely find them at a farmer's market, and never at a grocery store? There is a great database called Falling Fruit with a Google map showing where every public or semi-public fruit tree is. Type in an address, or share your location, and then search to see where gingko nuts or even an apricot tree can be found. Feel free to add to it. The Oak Park Forestry Division seems to have pretty good coverage of what can be found on the far West Side.

The Ghosts of Moo & Oink

Vintage advertising murals for defunct Moo & Oink were recently revealed on a building at 72nd and Stony Island. (You can still buy Moo & Oink brand products online.)

Dogs Around the World

Doug Sohn of Hot Doug's shares some thoughts on hot dogs in other countries in Condé Nast Traveler.

United States of X: Booze-filled Edition

Thrillist's "Red, White and Booze" map of the best-known alcoholic beverage from each state is miles ahead of that corporation map that went around the web last week, while still giving people plenty to argue about.

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The Whole Bresaola

West Loop Salumi is the city's first USDA-certified salumeria. Their Randolph Street storefront isn't open yet, but you can shop online.

Farming on the Green

Modern Farmer profiles Chicago Lights Urban Farm, which grows fresh produce in Cabrini Green. The farm was recently sold to the CHA.

Screw Loyalty

Jewel-Osco is phasing out its loyalty card in favor of "card free savings."

Check out this kind of weird video they created to introduce "new" features like fresh-cut fruit and fried chicken.

Pick Up Fresh Veggies After Work

The Logan Square Farmers Market's new Night Market launches tonight from 5 to 9pm in the Logan Square Blue Line plaza. It'll run on Wednesday nights through Sept. 4.

Ice Cream with Sprinkles on Top

Sprinkles Cupcakes is getting into the ice cream business starting this weekend, and to celebrate it's giving away free samples this Friday at noon. Supplies won't last long, so line up early.

Twinkies Making a Comeback

The snack cake and its Hostess brethren returns to the shelves in mid-July after production shut down last fall due to bankruptcy.

Drinking to Their Health

Un86'd is a charity aimed at helping injured restaurant professionals pay for medical care after an accident (in- or outside work). You can contribute by buying special cocktails at Carriage House or La Sirena Clandestina this weekend.

Say Hi to Bob

Myles Dannhausen profiles tap room and Lincoln Square hangout the Cardinal Lounge in Center Square Journal.

Maxim's to Rise Again

Brendan Sodikoff, the mastermind behind Gilt Bar, Au Cheval, Bavette's and the Doughnut Vault, has purchased and will rehab and reopen Maxim's, the historic restaurant that was auctioned by the city.

Kickstarting a Fraud Case

Meanwhile, elsewhere on Kickstarter, a supposedly LA-based campaign for Kobe beef jerky raised suspicions with its too-good-to-be-true pricing. It was soon discovered to be an apparent fraud perpetrated by someone based in Chicago. It's since been suspended.

Free Coffee & Doughnuts Friday

Glazed and Infused and Bow Truss are giving away each other's coffee and doughnuts this Friday to celebrate the latter's coffee now being brewed in the former's locations.

Eat Local

Chefs share their favorite locally made food products with Small Batch America.

Food Truck Lesgislation Rolling Along

While nothing will be decided for 30 days, a Circuit Court judge heard arguments this morning by food truck advocates and attorneys who are pushing for the end of regulations that prohibit food trucks from parking within 200 feet of established restaurants and required trucks to use of a GPS tracking device.

Buzz Down to the Lake Shore Drive

As if you needed more reasons to either avoid downtown or head there, Coffee Fest is at Navy Pier this weekend. It's a coffee snob's dream.

Whatever Happened to Brandon Baltzley?

Sarah Nardi profiles chef Brandon Baltzley in the Reader this week. Baltzley flamed out of Chicago's dining scene two years ago, has a memoir out now, and will soon open a small restaurant and boarding house in Michigan City.

Maifest Resteverwurtung

With all the rain last weekend, Lincoln Square's Maifest ended up with a lot of uncooked food left over, so they're selling it off. Swing by DANK Haus Friday afternoon if you want a 5lb. case of brats for cheap.

On the Foodie Trail

This Saturday, Bon Appetit magazine is hosting a Grub Crawl: for $149, get exclusive access and food at restaurants on Randolph Street or in Logan Square on one of two routes. Still a few tickets left, but hurry up.

Putting that Knife & Fork to Good Use

Enjoy this photograph of Patrick Stewart enjoying some Chicago-style pizza.

Everyone Gets Bored of the Food

The Trib's Wailin Wong profiles Fooda, a startup that brings more food options to office dwellers. Maybe even yours.

What's on Your Dog?

The Chicago dog is easy to spot in this fun video for Applegate hot dogs. [via]

Where the Sidewalk Cafes End

WBEZ maps outdoor seating in Chicago, and explains why it's nearly absent on the South Side

The McDonald's Diet? Not Exactly

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson says he lost 20 in the past year while eating at McDonald's every day -- the key being that he also began working out. Salads only make up 2% to 3% of McDonald's sales in the US.

Contemplate Wing Warfare

Last minute plans: ManBQue is working on a book, and they're holding events to collect recipes. This Thursday, you're invited to show off your best grilled chicken wing recipe at a "MEATing" in Pilsen.

The Hot Cocktails

The Aviary and The Barrelhouse Flat are among Esquire's Best Bars in America list for 2013.

Making More Malort

As Malort's fame and mystique continues to grow, the Reader's Julia Thiel learned why Letherbee decided to make a boutique Malort, which will soon join Jeppson's on local liquor store shelves.

Local Lunch Delicacies

The jibarito, Italian beef, mother-in-law and downstate's horseshoe make Grub Street's list of "hyper-regional" sandwiches.

More Food Stamps

Food assistance programs have seen a surge in usage recently; Whet Moser breaks down why.

The Opposite of Local Eats

If you like Grub Street Chicago, pay a visit today -- it and Grub Street's other city blogs closed today, and will redirect to a newly nationally focused main site. Writer Michael Gebert reflects on his time with the site.

Distributing the Farmers Market

New distributor Local Foods Grocer is trying to turn locavorism into a business.

Lincoln Park GoogaMooga?

Looks like Brooklyn's Great GoogaMooga food and music festival is coming to Chicago in August; permits have been applied for.

Your Seamless Hub for Food

Chicago-based GrubHub is merging with New York-based Seamless, creating an even bigger player in the food delivery biz. GrubHub's co-founder and CEO Matt Maloney will lead the combined company.

Meet the Meatpacking District

Tickets are on sale right now for From Cuts to Cult: Chicago Meat Past and Present, Chicago Detours' new tour through the Fulton Market Meatpacking District, giving the history of the neighborhood and a look at its future.

GB at 10: Tap Rooms

Chicago Craft Beer Week begins this Thursday, highlighting the city's vibrant beer culture. In 2003, Mark W. Anderson wrote about the decline of tap rooms, the bars attached to liquor stores, for Gapers Block. Half Acre's tap room aside, they're still a dying breed; visit one today.

It's a Foodie Town

Chicago was voted Best Food City in Tablespoon.com's 2013 Munchies food awards -- and Butcher & the Burger, Bar Toma, Hoosier Mama Pie Co. won in the burger, pizza and bakery categories. [via]

Doughnut & a Ride

SideCar is giving away Glazed & Infused doughnuts with rides Friday morning.

What is a Chicago Burger?

Over in the United Kingdom, McDonald's is currently selling a "Chicago Supreme" hamburger that doesn't have much at all to do with Chicago. Then again, all of the "Great Tastes of America" burgers are somewhat arbitrary.

Dragged Through Disney's Garden

Apparently you can get a Chicago-style hot dog at Disneyland now for $7.19. From the looks of the photo, it comes sprinkled with green relish and chives.

Tea by the Kilo

Intelligentsia has launched a new line of teas, called Kilogram. The packaging is beautiful. [via]

Try the Malort Cheese

Still tickets available for the Reader's Key Ingredient Cook-Off tonight at the Bridgeport Art Center. If you're culinarily adventurous, this is the event for you.

Feeding the Community

Bernard Loyd hopes that Bronzeville Cookin', a new dining complex at 51st and Prairie, can help revitalize Bronzeville.

Lunch isn't Sitting Well

If you think you got food poisoning from that last taco, pad thai or whatever, fill out a report at Foodborne Chicago or tweet at @foodbornechi. Your case will be logged into the 311 system for the City to check out.

You're Soaking in It

Foodie culture is deeply entrenched in Chicago -- so much so that it can be easy to miss what a luxury it is.

Food Trucks Screwed Over at the Taste?

The City has invited food trucks to participate in Taste of Chicago this year by selling food to concert ticketholders. But is charging them a higher commission on sales than pop-up restaurants, Food Truck Freak reports.

Fine, Fine Dining

Over in Drive-Thru, we visit Spiaggia, a nominee in the Outstanding Restaurant category for this year's James Beard Awards. The winners will be announced Monday in New York; other local nominees include Grace, Purple Pig and Girl and the Goat.

Book a Quick Bite

1871-bred startup TableSAVVY helps you land last-minute dinner reservations at a discount. It's partnering with Chicago magazine to allow readers to book straight from the reviews.

So Many Microbreweries

New microbreweries are opening in rapid succession here in Chicagoland. The Local Beet has compiled a list to help you keep track. [via]

A Donation Wrapped in Foil

The Green City Market is currently running a fundraising drive, and Chipotle is helping out this Saturday: all proceeds from Chicago stores (up to $20,000) will be donated to the market.

Walking Out for Higher Wages

Some fast food workers are staging a walkout today, led by Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, to call for a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. Watch for picket lines in front of various Loop fast food joints.

Better Weather Spots

Sure, it's snowing. Ignore that and focus on the days coming when we can hang out on patios and rooftop decks.

Emergency Cookie Delivery

Got the munchies? Insomnia Cookies delivers cookies, brownies and ice cream until 3am -- provided you live near DePaul in Lincoln Park. The national chain caters to college students.

Eating on Paper

Not only is the last print issue of Time Out Chicago their Eat Out Awards issue, but the Reader's food issue is out on newsstands, too.

A Tasty Haul

A 17-year-old burglar allegedly decided to take a break from robbing an ice cream shop to sample some of the merchandise.

Get the Check

Quick reminder, this is your last day to vote for the next host of "Check, Please!"

Time Out Still Eating Out

Time Out's 2013 Eat Out Awards have been announced, with Fat Rice winning best new restaurant and Scofflaw winning best new bar.

Murder, Arson & Persian Food

Things are not going so well between the brothers who own Reza's.

In Praise of Danny's

It's been a very long time since GB held a Get-Together there, but Britt Julious writes about exactly what we love about Danny's Tavern.

One Cup of Coffee, Then I'll Go

The coffee shop at the Ohio House motel will close at the end of the month, to most likely be replaced by a chain.

Singh on the Restaurant Biz

Alpana Singh shares what she's learned about restaurants in her time as host of "Check, Please!" -- and after.

Chicken and Beer

The forthcoming Honey Butter Fried Chicken is joining forces with Half Acre for a newly added second evening of food and drink and OMG. Get your tickets before they disappear! UPDATE: Sold out.

Da Coach's Sausage

Vienna Beef is now selling Ditka brand sausage in "hot polish" and "chicken with tomato and mozzarella" varieties. [via]

Goodbye, Caribou

Most Chicago-area Caribou Coffee locations will close this Sunday at noon, with some later reopening as Peet's Coffee. According to the Tribune, most of the shops in the city will remain open. UPDATE: Crain's reports that the shops at 2453 N. Clark St. and 500 W. Madison St. are scheduled to close this weekend.

Great Food in Many Guises

Chicago magazine's Best New Restaurants list is out, and it ranges from high-end dining to kosher barbecue.

The Next Cheers

Lottie's Pub in Bucktown will star in several episodes of "Chicago Fire" next season.

A Good Saloon is Hard to Find

Peter Balla laments the death of "saloon life" in ChicagoNow. Mark Anderson covered similar ground regarding tap rooms for GB back in 2003.

Big Hurt's Liquid Diet

No, Frank Thomas isn't going on an all-Big Hurt Beer diet -- he's juicing (the veggies and fruit kind, not steroids) to lose weight. But speaking of beer, he's rolled out a low-calorie version of BHB.

Catching up with Cleetus

I talked with Cleetus Friedman shortly after he closed City Provisions, his locavore deli. Now Guys Drinking Beer talk to him about landing at Fountainhead and becoming a finalist for "Check, Please!" host.

You Have Dinner Plans

Gapers Block's Drive-Thru writers are among the soup makers at Soup & Bread this evening. The theme is "Chicago vs. Chicago," and we've got a couple of boozy doozies for you. Stop by the Hideout between 5:30 and 8pm for a bowl or two.

Props to Nightwood's Vincent

Nightwood's James Vincent is among Food & Wine's Best New Chefs of 2013. He shares his thanks on the restaurant's blog.

More to Eat, More to Drink

Two Wicker Park favorites are planning expansions. Big Star is moving its take-out window to a neighboring building, with more patio seating in between, and Emporium Arcade Bar is leveling up into an additional storefront.

Battle of the Beer Bashes?

The Chicago Beer Festival landed in hot water with some ticketholders after being informed by the state liquor commission that it couldn't offer unlimited beer. Rumor has it the competing American Beer Classic (previously) complained about the policy, which is against state law.

Where the Chefs Eat After Work

Twenty-five chefs dish on which greasy spoons, bars and other joints they hit when their shift is done.

The Apocalypse is Nigh?

An Olive Garden will be opening in Avondale this summer.

T's Bar Closed

The popular Andersonville bar and restaurant was shut down yesterday after months of not paying rent. The restaurant's owner, Colm Treacy, confirmed the closing in a Facebook posting.

Alinea: the World's Best Restaurant, Again

Alinea topped Elite Traveler/Laurent-Perrier Top 100 Restaurants in the World list -- and l2O came in at #18.

Not Loving it as Much

McDonald's isn't popular among Millennials, so they're working on new menu items like the McWrap.

The Confluence of Many Crafts

Britt Julious writes about The Perch, a Pilsen underground dining spot/indie press/arts collective that will be printing Todd Diederich's first book.

90,000 Square Feet of Plants & Fish

FarmedHere in Bedford Park is the country's largest indoor vertical farm.

Lillie's Q Open in the French Market

Lillie's Q reopened its Chicago French Market location today at 11am, a week after fire shut down the Bucktown restaurant. It will start with a limited menu, and will close when all food has been sold.

Two All-Beef Patties...

Time Out helps you get your burger on this week. Meanwhile, FoodGenius gives a little peek back at McDonald's menus of yesteryear.

Coffee in the Alley

Tucked way back on the alley at 22 E. Jackson St. is Pickwick Stable, one of the few pre-Chicago Fire buildings left in the Loop. It will soon be visited far more often, as Asado Coffee plans to build a roaster and cafe there.

Feeding the Neighborhood

Turkey Chop is part of an effort to help revitalize West Humboldt Park. Will it work?

Beard Award Finalists Announced

The finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today [PDF], and Paul Kahan and his One Off Hospitality received four nominations.

Wrong Kind of Smoke at Lillie's Q

A fire broke out in the basement of Lillie's Q in Bucktown last night, destroying the restaurant. The fire means both the main location and the satellite shop in the Chicago French Market are closed indefinitely, but the owners vow to reopen ASAP.

Living on Bar Time

It's nearly 5, and the Reader's annual bar issue is out. Drink up.

Calculate the Circumpherence of Deliciousness

Tomorrow is Pi Day, and NPR's Kitchen Window has rounded up Chicago's pie options for you.

Banning Lion Meat? Really?

Lion meat has only rarely been on menus in Illinois, but local state Rep. Louis Arroyo has introduced a bill to ban it anyway.

Narrow it Down to an 8-Pack

Forget the NCAA. Chicagoist has been running a March Chicago beer bracket, and it's currently at the Sweet 16 level.

"It was a dark and stormy Dark and Stormy..."

Your brief audio essay on the subject of "appetite" could result in several of the city's best chefs (among them Rick Bayless, Elizabeth's Iliana Regan, and Lula Cafe's Jason Hammel) making a dish in your honor, courtesy of the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the James Beard Foundation.

Vote for the Best Bacon Amateur

Baconfest wants your input on the best dish of their amateur cookoff contest; the winner gets free tickets to the (sold out) April 20th pork extravaganza.

Going Drinking

Four of the 19 cocktail bars Time Out revisited this week didn't live up to their "iconic" status. Up to you to find out which ones -- and decide whether they were iconic in the first place.

Not What's for Dinner

SB Nation's "Spilly" makes a Chicago-style hot dog ...by way of Kansas City ...and hell.

Eating Through the City

Competitive eater Jamie McDonald just visited Chicago and hit as many food challenges as he could find.

Making One Happy Dog

Bucktown's Toast raised money to to replace a dog's custom wheelchair that was stolen from a resident's porch.

First Slice

Travel & Leisure named Chicago its top pizza town. Not surprisingly, New Yorkers are up in arms.

Let's Move (This Healthy Stuff Off the Menu)

While FLOTUS advocated for healthier living in the city's kids earlier today at McCormick Place, McDonalds announced that they are taking its low-selling (and reasonably healthy) fruit and walnut salad off its menu (along with chicken strips) later this year.

Lessons from Salt Removal

Michael Moss's Fresh Air interview about his new book, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, references intriguing experiences with suburban Kraft's food science team.

"There's no wrong way to consume alcohol."

That vaportini from "Parks & Recreation"? It exists, invented by Julie Palmer, owner of Red Kiva.

Soup & Bread Goes West

If you've always wanted to go to Soup & Bread at the Hideout but live off in the western suburbs, Soup & Bread: Forest Park, tonight at Skrine Chops, might be up your alley. (The Hideout edition's still on, of course.)

Hungry for Beats

This Here's Overrated, but I Love Your City Baby is a collection of Chicago's finest rap videos that are fully or partially filmed in or near restaurants.

Beard Award Semi-Finalists Announced

Kevin Pang has this list of Chicago-based semi-finalists in the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards. The finalists will be announced March 18.

The Pork is Calling

General Admission tickets for Baconfest go on sale tomorrow at noon.

Black History on the Plate

What do Chicago's African-American culinary elite think of Black History Month? Audarshia Townsend gets a variety of answers at DiningChicago.com, along with some recipes.

Tickets to Athleticism & Gluttony

By coincidence, registration for the Chicago Marathon and Baconfest are on successive days: Register for the marathon beginning at noon Tuesday, and get your Baconfest tickets at noon on Wednesday.

Check Out Charlie's Auction

The online auction for Charlie Trotter's restaurant is now open, with nearly everything starting at $10. Pick up anything from an "Viennese Secessionist" bar stool to Reidel wine glasses to a whole lot of steam pans. The auction closes Feb. 25. [via]

The Grace of Curtis Duffy

Kevin Pang spent a year and a half working on this long, engrossing profile of Chef Curtis Duffy -- as well as a documentary film that will debut later this year.

The Ballad of Tobi & Bruce

Roger Ebert pays tribute to the Old Town Ale House as only he could. (He mentions resident artist-raconteur Bruce Elliott's blog, The Geriatric Genius, but doesn't link to it.)

The Innovation & the Room

Alinea and Avec appear on Bon Appetit's list of the 20 most influential restaurants in America.

The Great Debate

While it's paczki mania in some parts of the city, at UofC it's all about the Latke-Hamantash Debate, the 66th edition of which occurs tonight. Watch it live online at 7:30pm.

Happy Paczki Day

Huffington Post gives Chicago-area Paczki Day options the slideshow treatment.

Better than Winging It

The wings at Belly Shack and Yusho made Food & Wine's list of the best chicken wings in the country.

Beware of Girl Scouts Hawking Cookies

It's National Girl Scout Cookie Day, which kicks off the selling season. If you don't have a connection, you can find one here. Or you can make your own.

Eat Early, Vote Often

Voting is open for Time Out's 2013 Eat Out Awards.

Mistakes Were Made

Several of the city's best pastry chefs discuss their biggest dessert flops (although with the right protective gear, I would have happily eaten most of these).

Pencil Shavings & Heartbreak

On a recent episode of WTF with Marc Maron, John Hodgman discusses his love for Malort. Chicagoist has pulled some quotes.

Cooking On Board, Finally

The Salsa Truck is the first food truck to clear the grueling process to become the first food truck licensed to cook on board. Find the truck via Twitter and celebrate.

Pour Some Out for City Provisions

City Provisions may be gone, but Cleetus Friedman's beer collaborations live on. One will be tapped tonight at Haymarket Brewery; stop by from 6 to 7pm to sample Rosemary's Red Devil and grab one of the limited edition mini-growlers.

Pipeworks Named Best New Brewery

Pipeworks Brewing Company was named new brewery of the year in the 2013 RateBeer Best Awards. Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout won "top beer" in Illinois and placed eighth overall; three Three Floyds beers also made the top 50.

Green Mermaids & Brown Beams

Loyola is getting a very fancy Starbucks indeed. Meanwhile, the second Bowtruss will open at 406 N. Wells St. later this week, according to co-owner Phil Tadros.

Origins of the Egg Roll

Fanny Go makes egg rolls. She's done it for decades, and in fact is part of the reason they're in every Chinese restaurant you've ever been to. Monica Eng tells her story, and shares Go's recipe with you. [via]

Lunching by Rail

Time Out tracks its favorite L train-accessible restaurants, from Pulaski to Morgan to Noyes.

Save Marie's Riptide; Too Late for Cocktail

Marie's Riptide Lounge, a favorite old-school dive, may close this week due to legal wranglings after longtime owner 's death. Stop by today for a "Save the Bar" fundraiser. Meanwhile, Cocktail in Boystown has been seized by its landlord, alleging $85,000 in back rent.

Alpana Checks Out

Alpana Singh is leaving "Check Please!" to focus on her new restaurant, The Boarding House. The show will begin searching for a new host soon.

Barrel-Aged Best

Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout made it on First We Feast's list of the 20 most influential beers of all time. [via]

Pack in the Paczkis

Bennison's Bakery in Evanston is holding a paczki eating contest on Feb. 9. They've just added space for two more teams of two -- if competitive Polish donut eating is your thing, sign up now!

Here's video from the 2010 competition.

Losing our Wings

Ald. Ed Burke has proposed banning the sale of energy drinks such as Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy, within city limits. Don't worry, coffee's not on Burke's hit list... yet.

Here's to Good Eating

The Tribune Dining Awards are out, with accompanying Instagram slideshow.

Dining by Technology

Yumbly is a new search engine for finding great food in Chicago.

Eating in Their Shoes

Several staffers at the Greater Chicago Food Depository took the SNAP Challenge to eat on a $35 budget for a week to mirror the average weekly benefit for those receiving food assistance.

Chicago Bars Get Honors

The Fountainhead and the Old Town Pour House are among the new additions to Draft magazine's 100 Best Beer Bars in America, joining a nice list of Chicago honorees (among them Sheffield's and Local Option).

100 Great Bars

Chicago magazine puts a hundred bars on the map for your drinking pleasure, and supplies a handy checklist to see how many you've already made it to. (A shocking 51 for me.)

How to Protect your Lemon Meringue

Piebox sells state-of-the-art wooden receptacles for your pie. (Thanks, Ian!)

Mmm, Illicit Bacon

Steve Delahoyde produced a short video for Alternative Apparel about Flesh for Food, a pop-up dinner team that also makes bacon on the side.

Flesh for Food from Alternative Apparel on Vimeo.

Beer Geek App

Chicago Beer Geeks have released an iPhone app to help you keep tabs on upcoming events -- this month alone includes a tour of Chicago's Argus Brewery and a special tasting with California favorites Stone Brewing Co.

Cataloging Chicago's Food Gardens

Two U of I researchers conducted an aerial photography assessment of food gardens in Chicago and determined there may be as many as 4,500 of them. While those familiar with food gardening in Chicago can probably already see that the methodology is overly conservative, it's an interesting view of urban agriculture.

World's Greenest

With 447.26 GreenPoints, Chicago's Uncommon Ground has been awarded the title of World's Greenest Restaurant, somehow topping their 2011 award for Greenest Resturaunt in America. [via]

Pre-Order Hot Doug's

Not your lunch, the book. Hot Doug's: The Book doesn't come out until July 16, but you can pre-order it on Amazon now.

Dinner & a Show

Reservations for Chicago Restaurant Week Feb. 1-10 are now on sale, and tickets for Chicago Theatre Week, Feb. 12-17, go on sale tomorrow, Jan. 9. Too bad they didn't coordinate so we could all enjoy some cheap dates.

Another Dollop

Popular North side coffee shop Dollop is opening a second location downtown at 345 E. Ohio, being the first to sell Metropolis coffee in the area, and bringing with it Hoosier Mama pies, Fritz Pastry donuts and Southport Grocery cupcakes. [via]

Food Truck Licenses Stuck in Traffic

Progress isn't always progress: not a single food truck has been granted a license for preparing food to order since the practice became legal in July.

Dining with Scrooge

Some jerk tried to subtract more than the tip from his bill at an Andersonville restaurant Christmas Day.

Undergrad Underground Dining

College dorm food is generally not that great. Unless you happen to live near Robert Lipman. The UofC first-year runs a monthly underground restaurant in various secret locations -- including dorm communal kitchens.

Kuma's Too

Chicago has finally willed it into existence: the second (and larger!) location of Kuma's Corner, Kuma's Too, will be opening at 666 W. Diversey in just a few months.

Illegal Christmas Chocolate Alert

Over at WBEZ, Louisa Chu reminds us that German Kinder Uberraschung chocolate eggs are still illegal and heavily fined in the US, no matter what those pushers at Christkindlmarket might tell you. Achtung!

Last Call at Cal's

After months of uncertainty, Cal's Bar, the South Loop dive that's been a favorite of bike messengers and punk bands, will be closing at the end of the month. The bar's last day is New Year's Eve; a free concert is scheduled.

OneDerBrew

If you've been interested in homebrewing but wary of the process, a Chicagoland brewer has developed OneDerBrew, a streamlined one-container system you can both ferment in and serve from.

GB Gift Guide: Co-op Sauce

Co-op Sauce has expanded its line to include more varieties of hot sauce, as well as barbecue sauce, salsa, pasta sauce and more.

Artisanal Brewing

Apparently beer brewed in art galleries is now a thing.

Yusho's Shooting Star

Yusho is the sole Chicago item in this year's Saveur 100.

The Hot Ticket

2013 Chicago Wingfest tickets went on sale this weekend -- get them fast if you want to go on Feb. 24.

No Beer for You

If you were hoping to get in on yesterday's release of Westvleteren XII, a highly regarded beer made by trappist monks in Belgium who are known for their brew, you're out of luck. Binny's Lincoln Park and Downers Grove locations, which were the only places in the Chicagoland area to sell the $85 limited edition six-pack, have sold out their stock.

Trotter's Auction Closes

Charlie Trotter got a little testy, unsurprisingly, at the auction of his eponymous restaurant, interrupting the auctioneer and kicking journalist Mark Caro out of the preview.

Treating Himself

Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari, who put an unsuccessful call out to his Twitter followers while at O'Hare this past weekend to bring him a torta from the airport Frontera at his gate in exchange for tickets to his next Chicago show (he made a mad dash to the restaurant instead), has a special love for Chicago's food. Tom Haverfood would be proud.

GB Gift Guide: Dining & Drinking at a Discount

The 2013 À La Card Chicago and Drink Deck restaurant and bar discount packs are now available -- always a good stocking stuffer for foodies.

Regulating the Drunken Mob

After a TBOX reveler was stabbed with a broken beer bottle and another was pushed through a window at Chicago Comics, Ald. Tom Tunney says he'll introduce an ordinance to regulate pub crawls

Hostess' Last Stand

When asked if they'd be interested in the last shipment of Twinkies, Jewel Osco bought 100% of it, and is sending most of them to Chicago.

GB Gift Guide: Rub BBQ Classes

Got an aspiring pit master on your list? Rub BBQ offers barbecue 101 cooking classes covering everything from picking the meat to smoking procedures to side preparation -- and attendees chow down at the end of class.

Aloha to Kona

Beer from Hawaii's Kona Brewing Company, the state's largest, will be available in Chicago as of January. Their Longboard Island lager, Big Wave golden ale, Fire Rock pale ale, and seasonal selections will be at Binny's and taps around town. [via]

GB Gift Guide: Santa Sacks

Safari Cup, an independent African coffee roaster and cafe, offers "Santa Sacks" stuffed with coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate. Festive, fair trade and totally delicious.

GB Gift Guide: VIP Tickets for Baconfest

If you love someone who loves bacon, this is the ultimate holiday gift: VIP tickets to April 20th's Baconfest at the UIC Forum, which go on sale this Monday at 9am. Your $200 ticket gets you a special hour-long early admission to the event, which is the equivalent of being in an amusement park with no lines -- and lots of pork. (FYI, $100 regular admission tickets go on sale in February.)

Kaufman's Reborn

Grub Street has a great interview with Bette Dworkin, owner of Kaufman's Deli in Skokie, which just reopened after renovations following a fire last year.

Free Doughnuts Friday

Glazed & Infused (previously) celebrates the long-delayed opening of their Lincoln Park shop, 939 W. Armitage Ave., this Friday, and you get the presents: free doughnuts.

Feed Others While You Eat

The Greater Chicago Food Depository has created Eat Out Check In, a program that lets you donate food every time you check into a restaurant on Foursquare or Facebook. [via]

GB Gift Guide: First Slice Meal Subscription

First Slice Pie Cafe, the brainchild of chef Mary Ellen Diaz, combines charitable giving with deliciousness. Sign up for a subscription for three meals a week, and you'll not only get mouthwatering, delicious meals that you don't have to shop for, cook, or clean up after, you'll also be helping to feed the same fantastic meals to people who would otherwise go hungry. An individual subscription costs $40.33 a week, and a family subscription goes for $78.36 per week. Purchase a subscription for a friend or for yourself! Your taste buds will be glad you did, and so will your conscience.

Krapfen & Birria & Big Hugs, Oh My

Time Out's annual 100 Best Things We Ate & Drank list is out.

GB Gift Guide: Mapped Glasses

The Uncommon Green offers highball glasses etched with city maps, including Chicagoland. (There's a matching carafe, but you might want to wait till they correct "Evansboro" to Evanston before you buy it.)

(Not The) World's Best Cup of Coffee

The Tribune reports that (spoiler alert!) Dunkin' Donuts coffee is not the best cup of coffee in America.

GB Gift Guide: A Beer Basket

Half Acre has teamed up with other like-minded companies to create a holiday gift basket filled with beer, coffee, hot sauce and other stuff.

Give Me All of the Twinkies That You Have

You may have heard about people stocking up on Hostess products in light of the company's liquidation, but few people have likely gone as far as Andrés DeLeón did.

Cobbler or Gobbler?

President Obama will be pardoning a turkey tomorrow; which one is it gonna be?

Malört Gets Facetime

The WSJ gets to the bottom of Jeppson's Malört.

The Twinkie Gets a Lifeline!

Hostess Brands, which claimed union demands were to blame for closing their operations (while requesting hefty "liquidation bonuses" for their execs) has suspended closing and is currently in talk with the Bakers Union.

Tony's Last Chicago Layover

Tony Bourdain's Chicago episode of "The Layover" airs tonight at 8pm on the Travel Channel. RedEye has a review, and the Sun-Times' Lori Rackl notes that Bourdain drives a vintage Cadillac in it, an unexpected echo of his anger with Travel Channel for cutting him into an ad for the car company without his permission.

Red Bull's Not for Kids?

Ald. George Cardenas wants to ban caffeinated energy drinks for people under 21 years old after reports that the drinks have been tied to more than a dozen teen deaths.

Ding Dong, The Twinkie's Dead?

A showdown between Hostess Brands Inc. and striking workers at the company's Schiller Park plant may mean the death of Twinkies, HoHos, Honey Buns and other iconic American treats. Update: They're now the Hostess with the Leastess.

Changes on the Island

John Hall, who founded Goose Island, is leaving the CEO position. He's being replaced by a Anheuser-Busch veteran who will grow the Goose Island brand "the right way." Hall will be a founding member of the Anheuser-Busch Craft Advisory Board. (Cynics might note that the word "beer" does not appear in the board's name.)

We Found Cheesecake in a Hopeless Place

Eli's annual warehouse cheesecake sale is this Saturday.

Local Food Trucks Sign on for Lawsuit Against City

The libertarian Institute for Justice, an anti-regulation voice in the Chicago food truck battle, and owners from Schnitzel King and Cupcakes for Courage filed a lawsuit against the city today. Read the Institute for Justice's press release or watch their video (below) for their pitch.

Waffleizing a Book

Will it waffle? Past GB contributor Daniel Shumski asked that question on his blog, Wafflizer. That blog will soon be a book.

Michelin's Stars Come Out Early

Well, so much for waiting. The list of restaurants receiving stars in the 2013 Michelin Guide was due to be announced tomorrow, but after some chefs began tweeting their wins today, the full list was released to the Tribune.

Talking Turkey

Order your holiday bird from a tasty local place: Publican Quality Meats, Paulina Meat Market, Gunthorp Farms turkeys (Green Grocer), TJ's Free Range Poultry, Mint Creek Farm, and Caveny Farm. Slow Food Chicago also has a nice list of resources.

It's Chocolate Week in Chicago

Maybe technically it always is Chocolate Week everywhere, but this time it's more organized for Chicago. Huffington Post Chicago has the latest.

Tasty Kickstarters

An "adult ice cream lounge," an innovative video game and a gourmet restaurant are among the projects currently funding on the Gapers Block's Kickstarter page.

538 Burritos

We heard about Nate Silver's Burrito Bracket blog back in 2007, but his newfound celebrity as an election predictor has brought that long-defunct site back to everyone's attention.

Celebrity Spice

Old Town's Spice House teamed up with celebchef Alton Brown to create three custom spice blends.

Painted Boobs Cause Controversy

Logan Square's Real Tenochtitlan was forced to cover up the bare breasts in a painting hanging in the restaurant after a patron complained about "obsenity." Eater spoke to an employee, "Yes, it's art, but to some persons they are a kind of pornography and that's what they understand."

Bib Gourmands Announced

Ceres' Table, Au Cheval, and Opart Thai are among this year's Michelin Bib Gourmand winners. The newest Chicago edition of the Michelin Guide comes out next week.

Another Bowl of Chili at the Ramova

Save the date for Jan. 24, when Chicagoist will be hosting a star-studded soup kitchen in the "Ramova Room" at Benton House in Bridgeport.

Great Lake, Great Drawings

The Andersonville pizza place gets a NYT profile.

Public (School) Health

Since 2011, 35 percent of Chicago's schools have failed at least one health inspection -- due to improper food storage, rodent droppings in the food, and in one case, a live snake caught in a glue trap. [via]

Carnitas Burrito & a 5 Vulture, Please

Chicago Chipotle shops will soon add 5 Rabbit beers to their adult beverage offerings.

Ada for the Arts

Ada Street and Facets are teaming up to present Chicago-based documentaries alongside a five-course dinner and drinks. There are two evenings to choose from -- Documentary Shorts by Tom Palazzolo on Nov. 5, and Maxwell Street Blues on Nov. 12.

The Blanding of Beer

"I have a problem with a craft beer like Goose Island being treated like a mass-produced brand," says a bar owner deep in Bloomberg Businessweek's great profile of AB InBev and its spendthrift CEO.

Go Dough-nutty

Chicago's recent influx of trendy doughnut shops reflect a profitable business with few hours and lots of dough.

Send a New Mom Dinner

New mothers often don't have time or are too tired to cook. Moment for Mom is there to help with that.

Smaller Taste Still Falls Short

The smaller, shorter Taste of Chicago didn't turn a profit this year, and might not for quite some time.

Life's Deep-Dish Questions

Lou Malnati's deep dish was voted the most life-changing pizza in America by readers of Esquire's Eat Like a Man blog. Gino's East came in at #5.

Caught Red-Handed

Yes, red-disgusting handed. Though not a new issue, some schools in Illinois, California and New Mexico are banning Flamin' Hot Cheetos specifically and completely. The Tribune considers whether or not the snack is addictive.

What We Used to Eat

Explore vintage menus from Chicago restaurants, clubs and railroads on New York Public Library's "What's on the menu?" project and Cool Culinaria. [via]

Apple and Oranges: Streetside

Streetwise has partnered with Neighbor Capital to start Neighbor Carts- a social business that funds fruit carts, providing both job opportunities and access to healthy food. [via]

When is Malört not Malört?

When it's custom distilled by Letherbee just for the Violet Hour. [via]

Eataly Coming to River North

New York's Eataly is coming to Chicago, finally filling in the long shuttered ESPN Zone space on Ohio Avenue near Michigan. It's expected to open in September 2013.

Cheers to Chicago!

Six breweries in the Chicago area were awarded medals at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival in Denver this past weekend. Details in Drive-Thru.

Everything Old is New Again

It's not news, but the noncompete clause that kept Logan Square's La Boulangerie from selling individual croissants so close to their neighbor New Wave Coffee is heating up an Everyblock thread today.

You Cantu that on Television

Chef Homaro Cantu's rumor mill is rumbling. There's the one about him taking over Charlie Trotter's old restaurant space, which has a built in TV studio. Meanwhile, he posted on Facebook that he has another TV show in the works, titled "CookiNG Under Pressure" -- then deleted it. Perhaps his claim of signing a multi-season deal was a little premature?

Mother-in-laws & Big Babies

Chef and artist Eric May takes Time Out on a tour of unique South Side foods.

Hope You Got the Bread for This

Chicago Mag names the city's 50 best sandwiches, with the BLT from Old Oak Tap topping the list.

Have a Coke, But Maybe Feel Bad While You Do It

Starting next year, municipal buildings in Chicago and San Antonio will be the first in the county to get vending machines with calorie counters- as well as signage that will remind you to take the calorie counter seriously, eat healthy, and may even venture into previously unexplored areas of vending-machine induced guilt.

Brew Camp Shut Down

Home brewing supply shop Brew Camp is temporarily closed by the city due to issues with licensing. They expect to reopen soon. UPDATE: The shop will reopen soon at a new Ravenswood location.

Kind of Like a Restaurant, Right?

City Council passed an ordinance today that establishes 23 locations on the North Side where food trucks can legally park while selling their wares.

Meat Free on Milwaukee

The Social Foodie got a sneak peek at the new Chicago Diner location in Logan Square.

"It was a smoky bar."

Eater continues its "the Regulars" series with an oral history of the Rainbo Room

America's Best Burger?

Is Au Cheval's cheeseburger the best in the country? Bon Appetit thinks it might be. Chicagoist is less sure.

Commuting & Grocery Shopping: Two Peas in a Pod

Online grocery service Peapod will expand its virtual retail locations to nine CTA and eight Metra stations across Chicagoland. Customers can use a free app to select and pay for their items and schedule home deliveries.

Contest: Oktoberfest Pub Crawl Tickets

CitySwarm is running an Oktoberfest Pub Crawl this Thursday, with three stops for big German beers. We've got a pair of tickets to give away!

Just email your name and phone number to contests@gapersblock.com with the subject line "Prost!" We'll draw one entry at random from those received by noon Tuesday, Oct. 2. Must be 21 or older to enter; one entry per person. UPDATE: We've got a winner! Congratulations to Dan W. There's a consolation prize for those who didn't win, though: enter the code GAPERS and get $10 off your ticket!

Drink Local

Craft Spirits Week begins tonight, and fills the week with events featuring independent distilleries from Chicagoland and nearby.

West Side Pete's in Trouble

Work has stopped on a new Pete's Fresh Market being built in the food desert area of East Garfield Park, after the developers allegedly received threats of violence if they didn't hand out jobs or pay a bribe. Of course, Pete's doesn't have a stellar record in worker relations themselves.

Are Reviews Coming Too Fast?

Michael Gebert talks with members of Chicago's restaurant media scene about whether restaurant reviews are now happening too soon after a place opens. Part two here.

Porking Out

People, your bacon obsession has gotten out of hand. First you basically killed the pork belly futures desk at the Merc, now it looks like there will be a worldwide shortage next year. When will the madness end?

Another Bucket for Monsieur

At 6pm tonight, a man is going to attempt to eat everything on the menu at BadHappy Poutine Shop. You're welcome to watch, and perhaps offer him one wafer-thin mint.

A Den of Scum and Villainy ...and Martinis

Rockit Ranch has purchased Martini Ranch, and is asking for your help in re-concepting the River North bar. Do312's Jeremy Scheuch thinks it should be a Star Wars cantina.

Chik-fil-A Changes Heart; So Does Moreno

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno acquiesced on his opposition to Chik-fil-A building a branch in Logan Square after the chain agreed to stop funding anti-gay organizations and issued a company mandate supporting equality regardless of sexual orientation.

Graham Elliot Settles a Suit

TMZ reports that Graham Elliot settled a lawsuit filed by 14 former servers that claimed his eponymous restaurant engaged in illegal tip pooling. Eater has the court documents.

Would-be Terrorist Targets ...Cal's?

Adel Daoud, an 18-year-old kid from Hillside, was arrested Friday night after allegedly trying to blow up a Loop bar with a car bomb. The FBI had been tracking him for months. The target was not released, but the owners of Cal's are pretty sure it was them.

Billy Corgan's Tea House

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan opened a tea house, called Madame Zuzu's, in Highland Park yesterday. The grand opening was celebrated with a special acoustic performance by Corgan himself.

Have a Bloody Carrie

Cafe Mustache, a favorite hangout of more than one GB staffer, now has a liquor license.

Trees to Grow in Logan

The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project is actually moving forward in Logan Square.

Longman & Eagle Team Tackle Hyde Park

The Promontory, a new restaurant planned for an early 2013 opening at 53rd Street in Hyde Park is being built by Longman & Eagle owners Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden. No word yet on if there will be hotel rooms upstairs.

Raise Your Glass for a Berghoff Toast

The Berghoff kicks off its annual Oktoberfest tomorrow at the Kluczynski Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn St. It runs 11am to 9pm Sept. 12-14.

D.Rose Loves Giordano's

Giordano's landed a big-time investor and spokesperson this week: Derrick Rose. [via]

Foraging for Elizabeth

The Reader profiles underground chef Iliana Regan, now coming above ground with her new restaurant, Elizabeth.

Beer Drinkers at Your Mark

Tickets go on sale at noon Saturday for the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild's Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer at Bridgeport Art Center Nov. 17.

The Charlie Trotter Beat

An avalanche of coverage followed the closing of Charlie Trotter's, which happens tonight. Mark Caro published a masterful three-part tribute to the chef and his restaurant, and Phil Vettel had one last dinner. Janet Rausa Fuller did a quick piece for the Sun-Times. Grub Street went inside for the big 25th anniversary dinner last weekend. The Toqueland ran a two-part interview with Trotter. Time Out's David Tamarkin reflects back on his cover story five years ago, and Chicagoist delved into the dark side regarding a lawsuit over pay.

RedEye Staff Tries Malört for the First Time

During a rare glimpse of the origins of the fabled Chicago grown liqueur, RedEye staff sample the beverage on camera. They react exactly like anyone who has ever tried Malört for the first time.

450 Animals, 40 Beers, Lots of Rain & People

Chicago Beer Geeks has a write-up and pictures from Zoo Brew, the Craft Beer Festival held at Brookfield Zoo, which, despite the rain, was a great time. Their next event is the Fugly Chandelier Contest, tomorrow at Sheffield's.

Another Year of Bacon

Baconfest 2013 will happen on April 20, to satisfy your munchies.

Pronounced "Free Year-Ohss"

Today is the fourth annual Kronos Free Gyros Day! Fill out the coupon form, find the closest participating restaurant and collect your free gyros sandwich. (Consider putting a couple bucks in the Fisher House donation box while you're there.)

Keep Your Friends Close, Your Hot Dogs Closer

Stat of the Day: You are never more than 1.5 miles from a hot dog stand within Chicago city limits. (Cincinnati is the most hot dog hungry American city, however.)

Melting Ice Cream on the Street

Ice cream truck owners are claiming the city forgot about them in the mobile food and the food truck ordinance, and that it's going to make their business more difficult.

Lao Sze Chuan Heads North

The legendary and tasty restaurant will be opening a second location in Uptown (in the space formerly occupied by Marigold) next month.

Unsalted Politics

Object Design League have the perfect butter dish for your most political friend.

Capitol Butter Dish from ODLCO on Vimeo.

Hey, That's My Ketchup Packet!

A Chicago man is suing Heinz for patent infringement for allegedly stealing his design for its Dip & Squeeze packets.

Avec's Grieveson Departs

Koren Grieveson, the Beard Award-winning chef of avec, is leaving the restaurant and moving to New York, apparently to get married. Grub Street's Mike Gebert puts it in perspective.

Sweet Nectar

I stopped by the Illinois Wine pavilion at the Illinois State Fair last weekend and sampled some great local wines. One that blew me away, though, was Sweet Desire Mead from Wild Blossom Meadery, based in Beverly at 100th and Western. Aged in bourbon barrels for a year, it comes in traditional or somewhat racier bottles.

Goodbye, Charlie

Legendary restaurant Charlie Trotter's served its final dinner last night. Grub Street's Huge Galdones offers a slideshow of the $2500-a-seat proceedings.

Eating in Secret, in White

Is it a secret if an event is widely publicized and hundreds of people are expected to attend? Yes, if the event is Dîner en Blanc and the exact location of the "chic picnic" to which everyone wears white is unknown. Get on the waiting list to be notified about where to show up on Aug. 24.

Squirrel, the Other City Chicken

The Reader's Mike Sula makes a case for eating squirrel. He served it in burgoo at an April Soup & Bread event.

Big Dreams and Encased Meats

If, at some point in the past 50 or so years, you stood in line for a hot dog and fries at the Parky's on Roosevelt Road, you know the unmatchable feeling of a real Chicago stand and the way that the best of them transcend the notion of a restaurant. Just when condemnation seemed inevitable for the building that housed the iconic spot, Chicago native Brendan O'Connor, a man with a dream and curious palate, set out to save it.

Thanks to his creative take on sausage, and the overall fast food experience, the Food Network show "3 Days to Open With Bobby Flay," chose to help O'Connor and Big Guys Sausage Stand become a reality. Bobby Flay himself showed up at the small, narrow-roofed building at 7021 W. Roosevelt Road in Berwyn and worked with O'Connor and his team to turn passion into crowd-pleasing originality. Ultimately, they stayed true to O'Connor's vision of creating a classic atmosphere, with a nod to the Chicago "Super Fans," while taking a truly unique and modern approach to traditional menu items. So far, Big Guys has been well-received, living up to its promises of big flavor, competitive prices and the quick-but-satisfying turnaround perfected by the best Chicago hot dog stands for decades. Check out the food, the vision and the Bobby Flay touch Mon-Thru 11am-2am; Fri-Sat 11am-3am; Sun 11am-6pm.

Free Achatz

Got a Kindle? You can download a new book of collected Trib coverage of chef Grant Achatz for free.

Crawling for Caffeine

Caffentures is leading a coffee crawl along the Blue Line Aug. 25.

Bee on the Lookout

The Chicago Honey Co-op's minivan, which was loaded with their booth gear and a couple of beekeeping smokers, was stolen over the weekend from their Ukrainian Vilage workspace.

Claire's, Macy's & Kuma's?

Is it just wishful thinking on Woodfield Mall's part, or is Kuma's Corner opening a location in the Schaumburg mall?

Where the F*ck Should I Go Eat?

Hell if I know, but this site will give you some f*ckin' suggestions. (Or maybe you just need a drink.)

Young and Hot

Balena and Yusho made Bon Appetit's Top 50 Best New Restaurants.

Evanston's Food Truck Law Gets Served

Beavers Donuts has filed a lawsuit against the City of Evanston, challenging its existing rule that mobile food trucks must be owned by brick and mortar restaurants.

Um, That's Maybe Not Actually Yours

In yet another chapter of the seemingly endless Bleeding Heart Bakery saga, questions have been raised about the bakery's recent garage-style liquidation sale. It seems that some of the items being sold may have belonged to the building's owner -- that is, a bank.

High School Foodies

The Buffet is a food blog written by students at Northside College Prep. [via]

Chi-Scream, You Scream

Tickets for the musical Kinky Boots go on sale this morning. To celebrate, Chi-Scream will be giving away free ice cream sandwiches throughout the city, starting at 10am at the Bank of America Theatre at 18 W. Monroe. Follow @BroadwayChicago on Twitter to get the scoop (ha ha) on the cart's whereabouts.

More Food, Less Liquor

Lupe Fiasco brought vegan food to Englewood's Payless Grocery as part of his foundation's pledge to feed 100 people every night of Ramadan, as they did last year.

A Fight to the Chef

Head over to the Daley Plaza farmers market between 11am and 1pm to witness the Country Chef Challenge, an "Iron Chef" style cookoff pitting Spaggia's Sarah Grueneberg, Frog n Snail's Dale Levitski and Telegraph's Katie Wyer.

The Kitchen is Closed

It's been a cruel summer for food critic Steve Dolinsky. First Graham Elliot kicks him out of his restaurant, now Schwa unexpectedly closes for the night and cancels his reservation.

Too Straight to Look at a Map

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who declared today "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" to show support for the restaurant's political and religious positions, has been posting pictures of lines forming outside of Chick-fil-As all over the country on his Facebook page; however, he mistook the suburban Wheaton branch for the Chicago one. Big difference there in clientele, pal.

Playing Chicken Sandwich

Tomorrow is Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day (also Chik-Fil-Gay Appreciation Day), and the Chicago Republican Party is celebrating by holding a press conference at City Hall announcing the filing of civil rights complaints over Ald. Moreno and Mayor Emanuel's comments about the chain's opposition gay marriage. (On that note, read Ramsin Canon's thoughts on the matter.)

Kornick on Chicago's Dining Awakening

Restaurateur Michael Kornick talked about his life in the restaurant industry and the growth of the city's culinary scene in general at the Interview Show last month. [via]

Harvesting These Green Streets

The Chicago Department of Transportation recently contributed an unlikely product to the Lincoln Park Zoo: food, in the form of bamboo from a Chinatown roadside. [Thanks, Chris!]

Bleeding Heart Bleeding Out, Redux

Grub Street reports that Bleeding Heart Bakery has placed a Craigslist ad liquidating its Belmont store this weekend, likely spelling the end of the controversial bakery empire. (Food Network chef coats and other items are up on eBay.) The anonymous anti-BHB blog claims eviction notices have been received for both the bakery's current locations. Meanwhile, the former BHB West Town location reopens as the West Town Bakery & Diner this weekend. UPDATE: BHB posted on Facebook on Friday that they are closing August 5.

Taco Thursday

Time Out's annual "cheap eats" issue this week is all about tacos -- where they're from, who makes the best al pastor, and where to go on a taco crawl. Meanwhile, Grub Street Chicago has 25 recommendations of its own.

"No Soup For You," Chicago

According to Eater, a "No Soup For You" Food Truck will be in Chicago on Friday, July 27. No word yet on planned stops or a route for the truck, which will feature "free iconic Seinfeld" treats and The Soup Nazi himself, Larry Thomas, so check this Facebook page for updates (and be careful when asking for bread).

Food Truck Ordinance Now Law

The food truck ordinance was passed by City Council today, just after the lunch hour. In Drive-Thru, Robyn Nisi explains why this might spell the end of the fledgling food truck industry.

If It's Not Good Enough for The Muppets, It's Not Good Enough for Logan Square

First Ward Alderman Joe Moreno and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are joining the outcry against Chick-fil-A.

Break Out Mr. Boston's

Think you've got a killer cocktail recipe? Enter it in Public Hotel Chicago's contest and it could earn you $1,000.

The Layover Fakeout

Apparently Tony Bourdain's tweet about canceling his shoot for "The Layover" at Budacki's was just a trick to get rid of the fans who would have crowded the place on the promise of a $1 hot dog and a glimpse of a celebrity chef. He ended up there on Saturday after all.

Happy National Hot Dog Day!

One way to celebrate would be to participate in #Foodiechats today -- either online or in person at the Vienna Beef Factory Store this evening. Details in Slowdown.

On the Chicago-Style BBQ Trail

Chicago magazine offers a tour of Chicago-style barbecue joints. I can't help but notice that it's significantly different from Sky Full of Bacon's list.

Here's Michael Gebert's Beard-nominated documentary of the history of Chicago-style barbecue:

Pair with Filbert's Tonic Water

Keep your eye out for Letherbee Gin, a new locally distilled gin from the bartender and former general manager at Lula Cafe.

Free Ice Cream, if You Like Raisins

The French Pastry School is hosting an ice cream social at the Clybourn Treasure Island tonight from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The only hitch is, it's all raisin ice cream.

Food Truck Bill Rolls On

The food truck ordinance passed out of committee yesterday and will soon be voted on by the full City Council.

Where Tourists Should Eat

The Trib's Kevin Pang has created one-, two- and three-day dining itineraries for visitors wanting to eat their way through the city. You will no doubt disagree.

Food Trucks Circling the City Council

WBEZ's Louisa Chu and Food Truck Freak are live-tweeting today's City Council discussion about mobile food truck ordinances. UPDATE: the Ordinance, which places a lot of very unrealistic expectations on food trucks (fines for parking within 200 feet--or for more than two hours--in front of a restaurant, and requiring GPS monitoring) passed, and will go for full vote in front of City Council next week.

What 2,500 Meals a Day Yields

Forbes lists Bob Chinn's Crab House in Wheeling as the highest grossing restaurant in the US. It earns $24 million a year in food alone.

"Rate them 5 stars or you must be a drunk @#&$##."

The Taco Bell at Clybourn and Wrightwood has 4.5 stars on Yelp, thanks to apparently the best customer service you'll ever find in a fast food joint.


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Bourdain at Budacki's: Be There

Anthony Bourdain is in town filming an episode of "The Layover" for Travel Channel. He'll be at Budacki's in Ravenswood on Saturday from 1 to 3pm. Be there and enjoy $1 hot dogs in celebration, and keep an eye out for him elsewhere around town. [via] UPDATE: Or maybe not. Bourdain tweeted this morning, "How NOT to get your place on TV: ‪#cancelthatshoot‬!"

We All Scream for ...Uber?

Uber launched on-demand ice cream trucks today only. From noon to 6pm on Friday, downtowners* can make a truck request, and it'll show up with ice cream sandwiches, cookie sandwiches, push-ups and bomb pops -- as well as free swag. $12 will get you five cold treats.

*Sadly, the ice cream trucks will be serving the Loop, River North, West Loop, Gold Coast only.

The Taste of Asian Carp

You'll be able to try free samples of Asian carp at the Taste of Chicago. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will serve carp sliders at a booth near the Congress Parkway entrance on a first come, first served basis.

A Newspaper Man's Ode to "Boyle's"

Pete Anderson came across a 1922 poem dedicated to restaurateur Billy Boyle, the proprietor of a famed "Chophouse in the Alley" on Calhoun Place.

Discounting Doing Good

Actually, there's no discount at all on this Groupon for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Just $9 worth of helping others.

Food as Sport at the Cell

Just in time for Independence Day, the White Sox have introduced the Giant Slugger, a two-foot-long hot dog. It'll set you back $26; antacids sold separately.

Dishing Up New Containers

Frustrated by the lack of restaurant kitchen-optimized disposable storage containers, The Southern's Chef Cary Taylor designed and produced ModPans, which are based on industry standard modular metal containers.

Trotter's No Longer To Go

Trotter's To Go, the take-out sister restaurant to Charlie Trotter's, has closed. Trotter's itself will close later this summer. (Incidentally, charlietrotters.com is no more as well.)

A More Natural Farming

Sky Full of Bacon is back on the farm, this time visiting with Wisconsin farmer, dairy nutritionist and author Gary Zimmer.

Sky Full of Bacon 19: Soil, Corn, Cows, and Cheese from Michael Gebert on Vimeo.

For Millers, It's Miller Time

If your last name's Miller, get ready for some free beer.

Any Press is Not Good Press

Food critic Steve Dolinsky was spotted today at the newly opened g.e.b. taking pictures of his lunch. Word got to owner Graham Eliott Bowles, who ordered his staff to immediately stop serving Dolinsky. Eliott had his reasons; it was because Dolinsky had dissed Eliott's mentor Charlie Trotter over Twitter last fall. Dolinsky is baffled.

A Sweet Trend

Michael Nagrant surveys the fancy doughnut scene.

Beer Pong: Fancy Edition

Last year we mentioned a high end beer pong table created by two DePaul alum; they've rebranded the table the Chippewa Five, and have managed to place the table locally, as well in the offices of big tech companies like Facebook and Mozilla.

Well, I Guess it Still Refreshes

Speaking of the Trib's business practices, its keyword based Google ads generated this recent gem in an article about potentially questionable chemical additives in foreign Coca-Cola formulations.

Tribune Article

Pasticceria Natalina at Home

If you miss the authentic Italian pastries from Pasticceria Natalina, you're in luck: Nicolas and Natalie Zarzour are turning the shuttered bakery's website into a cookbook.

Get Cooking on a Business Plan

Want to open a restaurant? The City has made it a little easier with the Restaurant Start-Up Program.

No More Candy or Pastry for You

Sarah's Pastries and Candy is closing both its Oak Street and Macy's locations at the end of July. [via]

What the Fork?

Attendees of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials will be eating their meals today with limited cutlery as they listen to President Obama give a speech; Secret Service mandated the removal of forks as a security precaution, but as NY Mag points out, POTUS has been around plenty of forkful situations for a while.

Stop 2 Might Take Some Doing

Sable is the first stop on GQ's cross-country Great American Bar Crawl.

No Legs at Taste

Though a Taste of Chicago staple since their introduction in 1981, Tim McGivern, the man behind the barbecued turkey leg, will be taking the year off due to surgery.

Artist's Café to Add Second Restaurant

The Fine Arts Building's Artist's Café is opening a second location just north of Roosevelt and Wabash. The new restaurant will have a replica of their famous sign and a slightly different menu to cater to "the kids."

If Jon Bon Jovi Can Do It...

Panera just opened a pay-what-you-can cafe in Chicago -- their fourth, but the city's first. They're in good company.

Find the Gumbo Truck

Big Fat Tuesday is a food truck run by a Katrina survivor, serving up Louisiana cooking almost exclusively on the South Side.

Have a Nice Cold ORD?

Following its registration of a bunch of area codes to possibly create Goose Island 312 clones in other cities, Anheuser-Busch has filed for trademarks on 42 airport codes, including ORD and MDW. [via]

Special Sodas Popping Up

Suddenly custom sodas are a trend.

Sweet Energy Efficiency

Head to Anthony's Italian Ice this Saturday and help them buy an energy efficient freezer. [via]

Meet the New Abe Froman

Jen Bacher experiments with sausage-making in Drive-Thru's newest feature, and the results are Too Blue--but very successful.

Guys Dish Up for Charity

Are you a "real man"? Do you cook? Sign up for Real Men Cook this Father's Day -- or just head down and eat what the dads are cooking.

Colbert Talks Growing Power

Will Allen, MacArthur "genius grant" recipient and CEO of Growing Power urban farming nonprofit that's active in Chicago, was on "The Colbert Report" Tuesday night to talk about the organization and his new book, The Good Food Revolution. [via]

Running the Table at Hot Doug's

The crew from Serious Eats Chicago invaded Hot Doug's on Saturday and ate everything on the menu. Everything.

Hot Dog Architecture

FoGB Phineas X. Jones has created a poster that will soon hang in half the hot dog stands in town -- unless you buy them all first.

octophant_chicagodog.jpg
© Phineas X. Jones

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Claire Zulkey has a great neighbor, and it's a bar.

A New Downtown Farmers Market

So wait, the Downtown Farmstand is closing, but it's being replaced by an indoor farmers market? That's not so bad after all.

Aztec Eagle Bayless

Rick Bayless is now a member of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor in Mexico awarded to foreigners, for "his important work in the promotion and dissemination of cultural expressions of our country." [via]

Fresh Fruit: Coming Soon to a Curb Near You

Even though the term "food desert" has been the subject of some debate lately, the City Council's decision to allow mobile produce trucks has got to be good for folks who don't have easy access to grocery stores -- or who just want a really, really ripe peach.

Doughnuts Beyond Breakfast

Phil Vettel at the Tribune does a round-up of Chicago's blossoming doughnut scene, looking at a few of the new craft pastry operations -- Do-Rite, Doughnut Vault, and Glazed and Infused.

No More Farmstand in the Loop

As neighborhood farmers markets begin their season, the Downtown Farmstand, overseen by the Department of Cultural Affairs, is shutting down at the end of June.

Today's Urgent Ticket Purchase

The sixth annual Chicago Festiv-Ale, a beer bash benefiting the Chicago chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, isn't until September, but tickets went on sale at noon today and they won't last long.

RIP, Felony Franks

Felony Franks, the West Side hot dog stand employing ex-cons that battled for years to get approval for its sign, closed for good Wednesday.

Winos Battle it Out

Tonight and tomorrow, there's a Wine Riot at Union Station. Get your tickets.

Joyeux Anniversaire!

Lakeview's La Creperie continues their 40th birthday celebration with 1972-era prices (as expensive as $3.50! C'est cher!) on their menu today from 11:30am-6pm.

Galloping Chicago Gourmet Tickets

Tickets for Chicago Gourmet, Sept. 28-29, went on sale today, and they're already selling out. Get yours fast!

Blasts from the Cocktail Past at NoMI

If you miss Violet Hour cocktails such as the Blinker or Part & Parcel, you can get them again at NoMI Kitchen -- for a couple dollars more.

Tapping the Revolution

The tap room at Revolution Brewing's new Kedzie Avenue brewery officially opens today at 2pm.

Speed Eater

While passing through town, ChicagoNow challenged Kobayashi to an Al's Beef eat-off against several of their bloggers. I'd tell you who managed to eat five sandwiches in the time it took the rest to eat one, but I don't want to spoil the ending. [via]

Tuesday Night is Malort Night

Well, this Tuesday, anyway -- as in tonight. Nisei Lounge hosts the first-ever Malort Night, featuring malort cocktails, history and contests. You'll hate yourself if you miss it -- and your tongue will hate you if you don't.

Farmers Market in the South Loop

Grant Park still doesn't have a farmers market, but the Wheeler Mansion is stepping in to fill the void in the South Loop.

For the Glory of Ribs

Ribfest will be holding an amateur rib-eating competition next Thursday night at Black Rock Pub and Kitchen [PDF]. The winner advances to RibMania the next night to compete against the big guns of competitive eating. Have you got what it takes?

The Best 'Cue

Smoque made LocalEats.com's list of the top 20 barbecue restaurants in America; Lem's and Uncle John's got honorable mentions.

Eat Before You Leave

Eater shares recommendations on where to eat at O'Hare and Midway.

Dining a NATO Casualty

Perhaps not surprisingly, the "OMG stay away from downtown!" hysteria during the NATO Summit hurt downtown restaurants -- as well as some far from the action.

BYO BYOB App

The Chicago version was recently released, and it's pretty much what it sounds like -- an (iPhone only, as of now) app that allows you to hunt down BYOB-friendly joints by cuisine or neighborhood. [via]

The Pedi Cab and The Pub: A Windy City Lovestory

So you're as excited to be able to officially stick your winter coat in the coat-closet as the next guy but you want to do something different this summer, for pete's sake? Well, for a reasonable fee, you and your sun-loving, beer-fan friends can take to the streets and pedal your way around with -- that's right, not to -- the pub. Chicago Pedal Pub has made this summer dream a reality! Helmets not required.

Baderbrau is Back

Baderbrau, once called the best pilsner in North America, is flowing again in Chicago, starting Thursday. It will soon be available in Binny's across the city.

More Doughnuts Monday

Glazed and Infused, the new doughnut shop we previewed in Drive-Thru back in March, opens Monday.

Pork & Beer

Today is your last chance to get early bird pricing on tickets to the Slow Food Pig Roast at Goose Island Clybourne on June 10.

Nearly Beer O'Clock

Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off today, with several events starting at 11am, and runs through the 27th. (Wait, isn't that more than a week? Well, it's hard to do math while drunk.)

I'll Have 19,000 Chicago Dogs, Please

McCormick Place's Director of Culinary Services dishes on the logistics of preparing food for approximately 20,000 NATO summiters.

Kitchen Closed

Logan Square Kitchen, which fought many battles in getting kosher with city regulations, is closing at the end of June.

Real Top Ramen

Even if you've burned out on Maruchan, it's worth giving the real thing a chance -- Chicagoist has put together a list of their top 5 Chicago ramen destinations.

The Grandeur of an 86-Component Dish

Alinea has a new dish, called "Lamb 86," that involves 86 ingredients in tiny portions. A new video gives a peek at how the cooks assemble it; it almost comes off as a parody of fussy modern cuisine. [via]

Putt Putt Goose Goose

On May 20th in celebration of Chicago Craft Beer Week Goose Island and their merry band of Illinois Craft Brewers will conjure up a 9 hole minigolf course inside their Fulton's Barrel Warehouse. More info on how to enter a drawing to buy tickets to this zen event are on the Chicago Craft Beer Week website.

Summer of Beer

Two promising events hosted by the Chicago Beer Society: Big Brew Day on May 12 -- a day of brewing and BBQing, and the Blues & Brews Cruise on July 7, an evening of craft beer and live music off Navy Pier.

Chicago Foods Abroad

Robyn Nisi and Laura Sant check out deep dish in San Francisco and hot dogs in New York in Drive-Thru.

Hitting the Snackpot

The Snackpot, a locally produced foodblog about snacks, launched today. Celebrate with them at Schubas on Thursday.

AARPizza

The A.V. Club ditches fancy dough and trendy toppings for old-fashioned, looking at Chicago's handful of 50-plus-year-old pizzerias.

Haagen-Dazs: Good News and Bad

The good news: tomorrow's Free Cone Day -- just walk into a Haagen-Dazs shop between 4 and 8pm, and get a free ice cream cone. The bad news: the only participating city location is at O'Hare.

That Doggie Bag Won't Be Necessary

The City Council's set to vote on a new ordinance that would collapse the separate "dog-friendly restaurant" license into the regular retail food license.

Even More Local Artists on the National Food Scene

Saveur's Recipe Comix has been loving on Chicago artists lately. Chris Eliopoulos stayed Midwestern with a recipe for fried smelts; Sarah Becan went continental with les galettes completes.

Local Makes Beck's Art Bottle

Chicago artist Willy Chyr's work is featured on the latest edition of Beck's Beer art bottle series, which is being sold in the US for the first time starting May 7.

Follow Those Trucks

Despite the ordinance to let food trucks cook on board still being stalled in City Council (looking at you, Ald. Tunney), Chicago has 50-some trucks on the streets. Time Out Chicago has created a convenient guide to them all.

3 Floyds Hates Resellers

Three Floyds would like to see the aftermarket for bottles of Dark Lord disappear, and is making a plea for people to stop buying.

Punk Rock Pastry Club

The Bleeding Heart Bakery, most recently open in West Town, is gearing up to welcome customers into their Lakeview spot, just down the street from the original Roscoe Village location. To celebrate, they're offering a deal on membership for a limited time. For $100, members get a handful of perks, including a discount on a monthly "Box of Curiosities" designed by Michelle and filled with handmade sweets and savories. Supporting local, sustainable practices never tasted so good.

Jim's Original vs. Express Grill

Serious Eats Chicago compares the two side-by-side on every menu item they share, and comes away with a clear winner.

The Story of Baderbräu

Two local beer fans are working with Argus Brewery to resurrect the once-beloved Chicago craft Pilsener discontinued in 1997.

Feeding the Dark Lord

In advance of (sadly sold out) Dark Lord Day this Saturday, the Tribune has a great profile of Three Floyds Brewery, including a hint that a Chicago brewpub might be in the works.

Discount & Do Good Simultaneously

Toodalu is a new service that gets you a discount at local restaurants, bars and a few shops -- with the added twist that every purchase also earns money for the charity of your choice.

Delicious Rings of Dough

Food & Wine named the Doughnut Vault one of the best doughnut shops in the country. Now everyone's going to want them.

Music Makes the Meal

Graham Elliot's iPod and Grant Achatz's plans for a live cellist at Alinea earn mention in a NYTimes story about music in the restaurant. Garin Pirnia explored the topic for us in Drive-Thru awhile back.

West Town Tavern Toasts to Ten Years

West Town Tavern is turning 10 and to celebrate, they're offering $10 glasses of Turley wines every Tuesday in April and May. The celebration includes Monday nights too, with $10 glasses of Grand Cuvée champagne. Stop in and pair your spirits with some delicious food from Drew and Susan, fixtures in the Chicago culinary and nonprofit worlds. Eat, drink and feel good about it!

Our Market, in the Middle of the Street

Another year, another controversy strikes the Logan Square Farmers Market: there's a proposal to move the market from its current location, much to the surprise of the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, who runs the market.

Bad Cheese is a Bad Business

Good idea not to wash and resell moldy cheese.

Eat Out Today

Time Out Chicago announced its Eat Out Award winners this week.

Down Ramps

The ramp, the wild onion that may have given Chicago its name, is being wiped out by demand from foodies.

Bars: Anti-Douche Edition

In response to Complex Magazine's "25 Douchiest Bars in Chicago" list, Chicagoist has countered with a list of 26 non-douchey bars.

Was Selling Good for the Goose?

Chicagoist assesses the situation one year after Goose Island was bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Wirtz is Rolling Out the Barrels

Rocky Wirtz is no doubt happy that his Blackhawks are in the playoffs, but Crain's reports that he's really excited about the state-of-the-art distribution center he's building for Wirtz Beverage Illinois.

Booking Dinner

Soup Next Door is a startup that handles ticketing for "unique food experiences" hosted by anyone from underground restaurants to budding chefs. There are only a couple listings for Chicago at the moment, but expect more soon.

Two Lists of Restaurants to Try

Chicago magazine released its 2012 Best Restaurants list yesterday -- and LTH Forum added 19 more spots to its compendium of Great Neighborhood Restaurants.

Here's a convenient googlemap of all of LTH Forum's GNRs:


View LTHForum.com Great Neighborhood Restaurants in a larger map

The NYTimes on the Closing of Trotter's

Chicago magazine's Jeff Ruby: "In the Mount Rushmore of Chicago, his face would probably be up there: Michael Jordan, Al Capone, Charlie Trotter, Mayor Daley -- and they'd all be scowling."

Food Trucks Face Tickets

Food truck fans may have trouble finding their favorite snacks, thanks to an apparent police crackdown.

Lagunitas 2013

Chicago-born owner of Lagunitas brewery, Tony Magee, is opening up a second 250 barrel brewhouse here in his hometown. Production will be in full swing in late 2013.

Editor Andrew Huff pulled together more info on Storify:

Getting to Know the Regulars

Eater knows that the best way to learn the history of a place is to talk with the regulars. The new series leads off with Hopleaf.

Glutenless Goodness

Tonight, Ravenswood's Fountainhead cracks into some gluten free drafts and ciders. Last Monday's event, "It Might Get Wild," featured an evening of wild and sour beers.

What is a "Supermarket"?

Mari Gallagher's work on food deserts requires figuring out what really constitutes a grocery store.

The Girl and the Goat and the Camera Crew

You can see a day in the life of Stephanie Izard over at Hulu.

Why the Billy Goat Still Matters

The A.V. Club looks at the classic establishment's past, and tries to figure out where it fits into the present.

Alinea's Tops with the Jet Set

Alinea is the best restaurant in the world, according to Elite Travel magazine -- which is distributed primarily on private jets, so I guess they would know. [via]

Chicago Gets Glazed and Infused

Glazed and Infused, a new craft doughnut upstart, is about to open up shop near several CTA locations across the city, selling everything from old-fashioned staples to maple-bacon long johns. We have a preview in Drive-Thru.

McData Mining

At the end of this very technical post, Twitter data scientist Edwin Chen uses his tools and techniques to dig into the menu at McDonalds.

Young Turks in the Kitchen

Zagat released a 30 Under 30 list of Chicago food and wine scene.

Caution: Hot Coffee is Hot

McDonald's is facing two lawsuits over hot coffee spills, including a case involving a 4-year-old Chicagoland girl who received second-degree burns on her chest.

Julius Meinl isn't Starbucks

They may be called Julius Meinl North America, but they're just a three neighborhood coffeeshops, a smaller chain than Intelligentsia.

Bleeding Heart Bleeding Out?

Trouble seems to be brewing between Bleeding Heart Bakery founders Michelle and Vinnie Garcia and their partners, Fifty/50 and Roots owners Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner. The Garcias want out of the relationship, saying it's killed the stores they own independently. Someone started a "Save Our Bakery" Facebook page, which then got taken down. Meanwhile, former BHB employees are dishing dirt on an anonymous blog.

Burgers for Lunch Tomorrow

Tomorrow, March 21, M Burger turns 2, and to celebrate, it's giving away burgers -- any of its burgers -- with a purchase. Any purchase. Be ready for a line, and be aware that the secret milkshake flavors are the Grasshopper (mint, espresso, chocolate and cookies) and the Minty Leprechaun (mint, with crushed Andes mints on top.)

Watch "The Weiner's Circle" Tonight

Reality show network TruTV is airing a show about The Weiner's Circle, giving its notorious bad behavior (on both sides of the counter) more attention than it probably deserves. It debuts tonight at 9pm. Do312 and Chicagoist are teaming up for another viewing party at Liar's Club tonight; RSVP here.

The Dog in Repose

While Serious Eats Chicago was putting together a guide to Chicago-style hot dog variants, the Village Voice was wondering why it's so hard to get one done right in New York.

Welcome to WhiskyWeek

If you don't have a ticket to WhiskyFest this Friday, there are still plenty of whiskey events you can attend all this week -- including nightly tastings at Delilah's and other bars and our own screening of Capone's Whiskey at Mayne Stage on Thursday.

Where to Drink

In step with the weekend's holiday, the Reader provides a guide to neighborhood bars, from gastropubs to 4am joints.

But it's Not a Diner, Drive-In or Dive

Guy Fieri from the Food Network was spotted filming at Hopleaf earlier today--be on the lookout.

Happy Pi(e) Day!

You can celebrate the wonders of 3.14159 with special offers on pie thanks to the efforts of the Illinois Science Council and a bunch of local bakeries and restaurants.

Fin-ished

In what can only result in days of "No Soup for You" headlines, The State of Illinois is a vote away from banning all shark fin trade in the state. Between 26 and 73 million sharks are killed annually, and while most are consumed overseas, Illinois is one the the country's largest consumers.

March Chili Madness

The Ramova Grill is closing April 14, as its owners retire. You'll have only until then to enjoy one of the last old-school lunch counters -- and some of the best chili -- in the city.

R.I.P. Chef Michael Altenberg

Michael Altenberg, chef and owner of Bistro Campagne, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. Altenberg is credited with pioneering the farm-to-table movement in Chicago; he was 48 years old. A memorial is scheduled for Wednesday; details have not yet been announced.

Cupcake ATM

The first cupcake vending machine debuted at the original Sprinkles location in Beverly Hills, providing 24-hour access to, well, cupcakes. There should be one at the Chicago location by summer.

Fundraiser for Susan Stursberg @ Gold Star Bar

Help one of Chicago's most beloved bar owners: Susan Stursberg of Gold Star Bar (1735 W. Division) was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A GiveForward campaign has been launched on her behalf to help with medical bills.

This Restaurant Looks Appetizing

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is going out to eat -- to examine how architecture and interior design influence our dining experience at restaurants with its new Appetite for Design series. Learn more in Drive-Thru.

Beer Riddle Resolved

For those stumped by Half Acre's Cipher beer riddle from a few weeks back, they've posted the solution and winners on their blog.

Delivering the Good

GrubHub turns eight today, and in honor of the anniversary it's rounding every order to the next dollar* and donating whatever the difference is to Feeding America until midnight tonight.

* So, for example, if your order comes to $15.49, that's still what you pay, but GrubHub will donate 51 cents to Feeding America.

A Movie about Bootleg Booze

Gapers Block is premiering a documentary about Templeton Rye (both the one at the liquor store and the stuff Al Capone smuggled up to Chicago during Prohibition) at Mayne Stage on March 22. Details in Drive-Thru.

Share this event with your friends on Facebook!

Pick Food & Wine's Best

Lots of Chicagoans in Food & Wine's "Best New Chef: Great Lakes" nominations. Vote for your favorite.

Good Beer is Here

Three Floyds topped RateBeer's list of the Best Brewers in the World this year, with Founders and Bells taking second and third. Goose Island came in 35th and Half Acre was 66th.

Rate Food to Give Food

FoodGenero.us is a quick rating site from the folks behind Food Genius; like or dislike dishes and your votes add up to donated meals to Feeding America.

CSA Joining Time

It's time once again to figure out from whom to get your weekly box of veggies (or maybe meat!). Luckily, The Local Beet published its 2012 CSA Guide this week.

We'll Always Have Texas

Spiaggia's Sarah Gruenberg placed second in tonight's season finale of Top Chef. Boo.

Hot Dog Arms

Superdawg has a few fans willing to take their love of the Northwest side hot dog stand to a tattooed extreme.

The Girl and the German?

Find out tonight if Sarah Grueneberg of Spiaggia becomes the next Top Chef to hail from Chicago. Spiaggia will be holding a viewing party; we'll recap it tomorrow over in Drive-Thru.

Small Breweries Becoming a Big Deal in Chicago

While Chicago lags behind many cities in the amount of local brews available to its drinking public, a growing thirst for craft beverages is attracting quite a few new breweries to the area.

Chicago's Oldest Eats

Check out this roundup of Chicago's oldest restaurants, still operating today. Included on the list are The Berghoff (1898), Daley's Restaurant (1892), and the oldest of them all: Schaller's Pump (1881).

Your Every Coffee Option

If you're a fan of coffee, this guide to your options in Chicago is pretty comprehensive.

Is Bacon Over?

RedEye thinks so, but Baconfest (whose April 14 homage to pork quickly sold out) begs to differ.

55-cent Drinks for 55 Years at The Lodge Tavern Monday

Know that fishbowl of change you have? Forget going to Jewel to turn it in for a Starbucks card, put it to good use at the The Lodge's 55th anniversary celebration, where from 9pm to 4am all drinks are 55 cents! Check out Slowdown for details.

Next Battles Cancer with Tables

Next Restaurant held a fundraiser for the University of Chicago Cancer Center by asking people to bid on tables for two for the elBulli menu at the restaurant. The tables sold out in four days and raised $339,000.

Cracks About Humboldt Park Earn Tipsy Cake Scorn

Humboldt Park activists are protesting outside of Tipsy Cake's Humboldt Park location today in response to owner Naomi Levine's comments about the neighborhood in a video interview with City Soles TV. (UPDATE: Owner Naomi Levine has issued an apology.)

Levine said she opened a Bucktown store because "there were just too many gunshots in the cakes" at the Humboldt bakery, and named a pastry the "Humboldt crack bar" because police officers would knock on the bakery door late at night asking for "crack."

In addition to the protestors, Yelpers have been heaping scorn on Levine for her comments, leaving dozens of one-star reviews on the bakery's listing.

Slow to Develop the Taste

Restaurants have been lukewarm on this year's smaller Taste of Chicago; the City has had to extend the signup deadline.

Ferrara Pan in Talks to be Sold

Crain's reports that Ferrara Pan is in talks to be purchased by Farley's & Sathers Candy Co., with Salvatore Ferrara II becoming the CEO of the merged company. Ferrara's father and company chairman, Nello Ferrara, passed away earlier this month.

CNN's Most Gluttonous City in the Nation Goes To...

Chicago, and not for its rich foodie culture. Between laying claim to the world's largest food festival and the creation of Baconfest, Chicago seized the title over the seven other US cities with a higher rate of obesity.

Rick Bayless in Cascabel?

Chicago Magazine has written up Rick Bayless' new, um, project- a musical theater/dinner service/circus at the Lookingglass Theater running March 21 to April 22. Tickets start at $200 and include beverages, a three course meal and the chance to watch the host of Mexico: One Plate at a Time woo a long-lost love in a 1940's boarding house.

TOC Gets Secretive

Time Out focuses on "secret Chicago" this week, sharing hidden spots in Edgewater, Bridgeport, Chinatown and Logan Square, among others. Meanwhile, voting is open for Time Out's 2012 Eat Out Awards.

Food for Fat Tuesday

While the city freaks out for paczki today, Brandy Gonsoulin, Drive-Thru's resident Cajun, shows you how to make another Mardi Gras traditional food: gumbo.

Talking About Good Food

Tickets are on sale now for the Good Food Festival & Conference in Chicago March 15-17. Unless you run a food-related business, you're probably going to be most interested in the activities on the 17th.

Truffle Butter & Beef Tenderloin, Delivered

Artizone is sort of a Peapod delivery service for gourmet foods. [via]

Cupcake for Cans

Until the 26th, bring in canned goods to Southport Grocery (to be donated to the Lakeview Pantry) and receive one of their super-famous cupcakes in return.

Porky Pork Pork

Baconfest 2012 tickets go on sale Monday at noon. The event is April 14 at the UIC Forum.

Chicago has a Fifth of GQ's Best New Restaurants

Alan Richman ranks Ruxbin and Next among his 10 best restaurants in America in GQ.

312 Gets Canned

Goose Island's popular 312 Urban Wheat Ale will debut in cans March 12. (Get it? 3/12.)

Eating and Painting

Constructive Chaos, a culinary and arts learning center for kids ages 5-18, is scheduled to open next month in River Forest.

Tea for Sharks

Chicago tea boutique Talbott Teas will be on "Shark Tank" this Friday.

Bottles & Buttons

Emporium Arcade Bar, opening this spring in Wicker Park, will bring alcohol and video games together in perfect harmony. [via]

Senior Foodizens

Domu has assembled a list of Chicago's oldest restaurants still in business, with Bridgeport's Schaller's Pump (opened 1881) getting top billing.

Start Exercising Now

Want to see a rundown of Restaurant Week menus? The annual event of prix-fixe menus at selected local restaurants starts this Friday and ends February 26.

Neighborhood Taps Running Dry

USA Today reports on the fading of neighborhood taverns. It's unfortunately not a new trend.

Stocking the Corner Store

Convenience stores are on the front line of the battle to end food deserts, little by little.

Whistling Tiki

Former Whistler mixologist Paul McGee will be taking his talents south of Logan Square to open a tiki bar called Bub City in River North.

Fat Tony Doesn't Feel so Great

Artist Ron English reimagines Tony the Tiger, the Kellogg's mascot created by Leo Burnett, as an obese over-indulger in his own sugary cereal. The vinyl figure is available at Rotofugi.

Scrape Your Plate

The third issue of SOILED zine is out, with the theme "Platescrapers" and articles about food and "comestible politics."

Vote for the Best Pastry Chef

Voting is open in Food & Wine's The People's Best New Pastry Chef poll. Eater has a cheat sheet listing the local nominees.

United States of X: Chocolate Edition

The Food Network made a chocolate map of the country, and northwest suburban Long Grove Confectionery represents for Illinois.

Man Size Wads

CollectingCandy tells the fascinating story of Big League Chew, which until 2010 was made by Naperville-based Amurol, a division of Wrigley. [via]

This Bar Really Satisfies

The crew over at Numero Group take on a giant Snickers bar straight from Mars--the company, that is.

A Farmer's Drink in the Big City

Chicago's brewing scene has been taking off -- and now it's not just beer. South Korea's Baesangmyun Brewery is opening a brewery for makgeolli, a milky colored rice wine, here in Chicago.

Rib Bibs at the Ready

Our first ever BBQ Bowl is tomorrow at noon, and tickets are going fast. Get yours in advance to guarantee your chance to judge delicious barbecue from Honey 1, Honky Tonk, Mrs. Murphy & Sons, The Piggery, Pork Shoppe, RUB and host Club Lucky!

BBQ, Bowls, Art Top Your Weekend: Time Out: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

Filet of Pork Pagoda

This is what you would have eaten if you flew first class on United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Chicago in 1966. More airline menus in Northwestern University Library's transportation collection.

Asado Reopens Saturday

Asado Coffee, which I noted in Drive-Thru was undergoing a remodel, takes the paper off the windows and throws open the door this Saturday.

Trendspotting in Booze

Lunchbreath has some unsolicited suggestions for new alcoholic beverages. It's cutting edge stuff.

Earl Grey Loko

Pronounced "Con"

Kevin Pang profiles Paul Kahan, probably the city's most beloved reluctant celebrity chef. His latest venture, Publican Quality Meats, soft opens Monday.

Upcoming Rib Opportunities

Dates for this year's North Center Ribfest have been announced. Can't wait till June? Allow me to remind you the Gapers Block's first annual BBQ Bowl is this Saturday at Club Lucky. Tickets here!

Tracking the Elusive Shamrock Shake

McDonald's Shamrock Shake is already available at certain locations. Amazingly, there's a site that tracks sightings.

Grits and Gumbo

Chicagoist pulls together a few of the city's best options for real Southern food.

Sweets and Savories & Sweet & Savory

Grub Street reports that Sweets and Savories has closed, along with its sister restaurant Bluette. In more positive news, Time Out coincidentally rounds up a few sweet and savory brunch options in this week's issue.

Gluten-Free Good Time

Serious Eats Chicago adds a few more interesting gluten-free options in the city.

The Opposite of Foodporn

At least one food cart in London has absolutely no idea what's on a Chicago-style hot dog. Warning: the evidence will shock you. [via]

london style chicago style hotdog.jpg

Most of That is for Parking

Half of the nation's most expensive restaurants are in Chicago.

Single Speed, Double Espresso

Grid Chicago got a sneak peek inside of coffee/bike shopHeritage Bicycles, opening on Jan. 28.

How to Spend a Sunday

Travel and Leisure Magazine has named Chicago's The Publican as one of the best brunch spots in the country.

The Drinking Season

Baby, it's cold outside -- might as well warm up with a drink. Chicago magazine's February issue contains a drinker's guide to Chicago.

Milk Stout

If the headline didn't mean anything to you, neither will this: Left Hand Brewery is rolling out their most popular beer in nitrogen-charged bottles that will hit Chicago next week. Milk Stout nitro will be the first of its kind produced by an American craft brewery and aims to give the beer a mouthfeel closer to that of a draft pour. See link for details on tastings and launch parties.

Zagat Books a Gift Card

The Zagat Smartbox is an "experiential gift card" that gets you a three-course dinner for two at one of 46 area restaurants for $99 -- which, depending on where you dine, might not be such a great deal after all.

Beer Train Express Leaving From Unions Station

Tickets for the Chicago Beer Festival happening March 31st at Union Station have gone on sale. The first batch of breweries in attendance are Hamburger Mary's, 5 Rabbit, Argus, Three Floyds, Half Acre, Lagunitas, Duvel St. Fullien, Crispin, Sierra Nevada, Stone, Sea Dog, Shipyard and, Pyramid.

Twinkies Shelf Life Shortening

Twinkies, which were invented in Chicago, face an unsure future as Hostess Brands enters bankruptcy. A former executive with Continental Baking Co., the original Twinkie maker, shares why the iconic treat was better back in the day.

Welcome to Downtown, Wherever You Are!

GB flickr pool contributor Katherine Hodges noticed that the new Walgreen's seems to have a pretty liberal definition of "downtown living."

downtown living, according to the new Walgreens, State & Randolph

What're You, Cheap?

Then this week's Time Out is for you. (On the other end of the spectrum, Julia Kramer talks with Grant Achatz about Next's tribute to elBulli, which will cost $473 per person all told.)

Be Careful When Picking Your Seat

This past Saturday at Edzo's Burger Shop a group of people tested the rule that you should only reserve a table after you've ordered. For the outcome of that experiment, please see Ed's version of what happened, corroborated by Grub Street Chicago. And of course, this led to the inevitable one-star Yelp review.

Having a Good Time All the Time

...could win you a historic bar tour of the city for you and your friends! Chicago Detours has the details.

Vinnie Goes West

Potato chip maker CJ Vitner Co. has been purchased by California's Snak King, leaving Chicago without a locally owned chip company. Jay's was sold to Snyder's of Hanover in 2007.

Don't Drink & Drive-Thru

If you're so drunk you fall asleep in the drive-thru at the Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's, a Big Mac isn't going to help you.

Calling Out for a Mugging

A new trend in restaurant delivery: scrutinizing mobile phone orders. The CPD recently warned restaurants to avoid mobile phone orders after a string of delivery robberies in Chinatown and Hyde Park.

End of a Culinary Era

Charlie Trotter's will be closing in August. The legendary chef plans to travel, earn a master's degree, and open another restaurant in the future.

Tour Revolution

Revolution Brewing has a virtual tour of their new facility available online. It's a bit on the CAD side, but a great feel for their new space.

The Man Aisle?

Apparently more men are going grocery shopping. As a man who has always gone grocery shopping, it surprises me that this is news. [via]

Virgin Cocktail Connoisseur

From pink peppercorn and thyme soda to lemon and bitters with house-made tonic syrup, Chicago Magazine rounds up some local designated-driver specialties.

Evolving the Taste

Taste of Chicago will be a five-day festival focused solely on food in 2012 -- and will be held July 11-15, instead of late June to early July.

Shop Til You Eat

Though a few days late for your holiday shopping pit-stops, Chicago Serious Eats put together a culinary survival guide for the Magnificent Mile and State Street shopping districts, as some of the best places to eat are "underground, way above ground, or slightly hidden behind storefronts."

Another Award for Achatz

The Daily Meal named Grant Achatz its chef of the year.

Get Supper to the Table

If you liked our coverage earlier this year about the in-progress documentary about Wisconsin supper clubs, perhaps you can kick in a few dollars to help get the project finished.

Human Rumaki

Here's a great last-minute holiday gift: a bacon-patterned neckwarmer, courtesy of writer/farmer/crafter Vera Videnovich.

Home-Brewed for the Holidays

If the gift you were really hoping for this year was learning to brew your own beer, you may be grateful that New Chicago Beer Company is promoting home-brew culture in Chicago. Thanks to them we know about Homebrewers Pride of the Southside and CHAOS (Chicago Homebrew Alchemists Of Sud). There is also the Chicago Beer Society, which has a wider focus. If you live in the burbs, there are nearby options for you as well.

Vending Machine Sandwich Scandal!

It turns out those sandwiches found in vending machines are just as disgusting as you thought they might be.

This Project Carries Water

Project: Living Well is a startup crowdsourcing funds to produce a water bottle in a shape familiar in Latin America: the Calabash.

"Shove it in a Mug"

Laura Park is back in Saveur's Recipe Comix, this time with a tasty-looking apple dessert.

End of Year Beer

Right about now you're going to wish you were one of Vessel's clients.

Journeyman Chicago

In time for holiday libations, the spirits of Southwest Michigan upstart Journeyman Distillery have found a retail home in Chicago. Their Bilberry Black Hearts Gin and W.R. White Whiskey is available at City Provisions, Perman Wine, The Noble Grape, and In Fine Spirits, who will be hosting a tasting tonight from 6 to 8.

Classy Christmas Concoctions

'Tis the season to make things merry by mixing up these holiday cocktails. (There's also our own series in Drive-Thru.)

The Bouncer Has a Blog

Stephen Sowley, who mans the door at Bucktown bar Danny's, breaks down the unpleasantness of his job.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 31

More a roundup of culinary options: here's The Local Beet's gift guide, some book suggestions from Grub Street, and Time Out's food and drink gift ideas.

Over 300 Ways to Bring in 2012

Still making New Year's Eve plans? Check the Chicago Reader's extensive guide to the best eating, drinking, and concert-going the big night has to offer.

Time Out and Metromix also have guides, of course, and don't forget Transmission's own NYE concert guide.

Bid on a Bit of the Bakery

"Punk rock pastry" purveyor Bleeding Heart Bakery recently announced that the Roscoe Village location is moving down Belmont to a new spot beside Schubas, but they can't quite take everything with them. Bid high on eBay and you can be the owner of the shop's 16-foot neon sign (local pickup only).

Foodstuffs of Fictional Old

Happy lunch time. A local graphic designer is eating his way through "A Game of Thrones."

Food for the Holidays

Looking for culinary gift? Ms. Mint's Holiday Bazaar has you covered, today and tomorrow, with a couple dozen food and beverage related artisans all in one place.

Yule (Need to Look Elsewhere for Those) Logs

Citing, among other things, an "inability to operationally meet the seasonal needs of our customers," Rolf's Patisserie is closed. Effective immediately. (Maybe it's because, thanks to last year's food poisoning outbreak, the at-a-glance Google details are, um, less than appetizing.)

Which Way to Griddle Women?

Hilarious blogger and GB staffer Jasmine Davila came up with names for restaurants she'd like to open. Table for one, please...

Bees Seeing You

The Chicago Honey Co-Op has to move, and it needs your help to do so.

Big Hugs from Half Acre

The rascals at Half Acre Brewing have announced the details for their December 18th release of their yearly Dark Matter coffee enriched imperial stout Big Hugs.

On Dec. 18 the Half Acre brewery located at 4257 N. Lincoln will be open from 11am until 6pm. Big Hugs will be sold at $12 per 22oz bottle or $21 for a half gallon growler fill. Half Acre would like you to know that if you come dressed as a cat you will get a prize.

If your torso can't wait for liquid hugs until the 18th, there will be a Big Hugs release party on the 16th atThe Blind Robin at 853 N. Western.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 17

À la Card Chicago is 52 gifts in one -- each a $10 discount at a local restaurant.

Checking In at Dinner

Time Out Chicago's annual 100 Best Things We Ate & Drank issue is out, and this year it comes with a Foursquare badge (more).

Simon's Suffers Register Theft

Longtime Andersonville tavern, Simon's, had a theft from its basement over the weekend of an antique cash register that's as old as the bar itself (nearly 77 years). If you have any leads, they'd be very interested to recover it. [Update: Simon's has additional information describing the register, should you see it at your local pawn shop or flea market.]

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 16

First Slice is a unique organization that combines charitable giving with a delicious way to save time on grocery shopping and cooking. For $33 a week for an individual, or $75 a week for a family, you can purchase three home-cooked meals. All you have to do is reheat and presto -- delicious, nutritious, locally sourced dinners for you and yours. That includes side dishes, entrees, and their legendary pie for dessert. Profits are used to serve the same amazing high-quality meals to the hungry, so you'll feel doubly good.

Greater Than the Rest

Greater Than sports drink won BevNet's 2011 Best Sports or Hydration Beverage.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 13

The only time you'll get something with "Hot Doug's" on it, without waiting in the occasionally epic line outside the encased meats emporium, is when you buy one of these cute Hot Doug's shirts or hoodies online. There are no better words than "no line," my friend.

H.O.V.A., Party of Two

Jay-Z and Beyonce were spotted at Andersonville's Vincent last night having a drink while waiting for their table at Great Lake.

Treat Yo Self

Escape to a World of Chocolate tonight; the event benefits the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and will serve you right.

A Broth with History

College Inn chicken broth has its history in the Sherman House Hotel, which once stood on the block now occupied by the Thompson Center.

The Snap of the Casing

Serious Eats Chicago made a map of all the hot dog stands with natural casing dogs they could find.

Weirdos, Fried Chicken & Christian Rock

The A.V. Club interviews a Chicagoan who camped out for 24 hours ahead of a Merrillville, IN Chick-Fil-A grand opening in order to get a years' worth of chicken nuggets.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 3

Already known for their salted bourbon caramels, bacon bourbon caramel corn, and stout marshmallows, Salted Caramel is adding hot cocoa mix (and a bevy of gift baskets) to its repertoire just in time for the holidays. For those on your list who are a bit salty as well as sweet.

Feasting on Uncertainty

While discussing the One City, One Food Drive campaign, Emmanuel announced, "One in six Cook County residents is food insecure, or uncertain of where their next meal will come from." If the surplus on your table so moves you to donate, find out how with the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Your Blackout Wednesday Plans

Among the items in Time Out's Thanksgiving feature this week is a list of all the "blackout Wednesday" options tonight.

Where's Upton?

Upton's Naturals has just purchased land somewhere in the city for construction of a future store, but are not saying where it actually is located--you have to figure it out, for a prize.

Talent vs. Tantrums

Michael Nagrant has a short piece in Chicago mag online about local celebrity chefs and their "celebrity" behavior. Just posted and the comments are already getting heated. Stay tuned...

Turkey Balls Closer to Home

Speaking of unusual food events, if you can't make it to the 29th annual Turkey Testicle Festival out in Huntley tomorrow, Timothy O'Toole's in Streeterville has you covered. Details in Slowdown.

A Debate for All Time

Tonight, the 65th annual Latke-Hamantash Debate takes place at UofC. Be there for history... and starchy Jewish foods.

Hot & Fresh, 125 Years Later

Haven't you always wanted your own popcorn machine? Chicago-based Cretors still has some of its 125th anniversary popcorn machines available.

Restaurant Inspections, from Customer to Chef

The online database of city restaurant inspection reports has gotten a huge upgrade; read more on the experience of being inspected as well as being a curious consumer in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Fighting Over Michelin Stars

A cook from L2O, which lost two stars in the new Michelin Guide, got into a fistfight with the kitchen staff from Boka last night at Old Town Social after they ribbed him about the demotion. Relax dude, it's a book for tourists.

What a Cock(tail)

Chicago attorney Adam Levitt is suing Southwest Airlines for discontinuing a free drink program for their business class passengers.

Green Plate Special

The Reader wants you to eat your veggies, so it put together a big guide in this week's paper. And The Local Beet can tell you where to get a CSA or hit an winter farmers market.

Quinoa at Wow Bao...Oh! Ah!

Where will they stop? Between the new truck, and Secret Word Wednesdays (free bao with password), the latest coup for the "o" and "a" combo is Wow Bao's addition of ginger and scallion-studded quinoa as the base layer of its bowls (for an extra $0.50) in case "rice" just didn't have enough vowels for you.

Second Verse, Same as the First

The Michelin Guide 2012 ratings have been released--with not a lot of surprises.

Next's iPad Cookbook Released

Next Restaurant's Paris 1906 cookbook is now available in iTunes.

Misery Loves Food

If it's happened to you, you know the joy of a Hot Doug's experience is equal only to the misery endured by arriving and finding it closed. But no fear, this is Avondale, Serious Eats' Alternatives to Hot Doug's flowchart to the rescue!

The Virtues of Cider

Time Out's Julia Kramer talks with Greg Hall about his new hard cider company, Virtue.

Teeny Pies, Big Tour

Local "lady pie baker" Teeny Lamothe has embarked on a mission to bake pies across the country; you can help fund her exploits on IndieGoGo.

Chicago Eats Seriously

Serious Eats Chicago makes its official debut today (previously).

Now Anyone Can Buy Moo & Oink

A Sun-Times piece on the pending Moo & Oink auction indicates there's still some hope for a reconstituted meat depot, but a lot of suitors have their own intentions.

Cheap Trick's Gonna Raise Hell on Motor Row

Cheap Trick plans to open a new space on Motor Row with a restaurant, radio station, performance space and a museum.

The Business of Impermanence

The Awl delves deeper into McRib economics than ever before.

Bib Gourmand 2012

The Michelin Guide announces Chicago's Bib Gourmand restaurants for 2012 -- eateries where, "for $40 or less, you can enjoy two courses and a glass of wine or dessert." See what's changed since last year in Drive-Thru.

Grapefruit & Godwin's Law

Chicagoist dug up a new commercial for Jeppson's Malört, the intensely bitter liquor sold almost exclusively in Chicago, created by comedian Sam Mechling, the voice behind Malort on Twitter.

A New Crop of Jobs

Amid the worst recession in thirty years, Chicago's urban farms are hiring. But it takes more than a power tie and snappy resume to get the job. Read more over at Drive-Thru.

Historic Brewery Under Retail Demolition Threat

If you've ever driven north on Elston from Fullerton, you may have noticed the large brick factory building directly south of the Home Depot parking lot. Slow down the next time you cruise by this long-closed building. It may be the last time you see it.

State of the Art

The Reader's big feature this week is about The Arts of Life Band, a rock group made up of developmentally disabled people. Watch the band play and enjoy some tasty chili at the Half Acre Charitable Chili Cookoff this Saturday.

Beer Art

Hogsalt.com talks with Half Acre's Gabriel Magliaro and illustrator Phineas X. Jones about the brewery's fantastic labels.

Tastes Like Chicken

Amish-raised, antibiotic-free chicken. That's what will be served in Chicago Public Schools from now on.

Cafe Lula Dresses Up

Pictures are up from Cafe Lula's annual Halloween costume -- this year, Taco Hell. And who better to sell your soul to for Mexican food than Rick Bayless, dressed as the Devil himself.

McDonald's Introduces Somewhat Healthier Happy Meals

Now Happy Meals at Chicago McDonald's restaurants can be configured with a few fries, a few apple slices and milk. Most surveyed owners think it won't make any difference, which also seems to be the response in the health community.

"Smoking Out" Gangsters

How do you keep gang members from hanging out on your street corner? Try a cookout.

Chicago-Style Overkill

Hot Doug's and Pizzeria Uno make Grub Street's list of restaurants that need to take a food TV hiatus.

No Worse Than Hot Dogs

Whet Moser tells the history of the McRib (which is back, if you hadn't heard.)

Be Like Guy

If you've ever wanted to eat in the, er, footsteps of Guy Fieri, here's a list of Chicago restaurants featured on "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives."

The Back-of-the-House Divide

There are many ways to make it in the restaurant industry. For some, it's hard work and a hard-earned culinary education. For others, it's a tap on the shoulder. Chaya Babu explores who gets which in Drive-Thru.

Food Deserts Shrinking

Chicago's food deserts are shrinking, according to a new report by food desert expert Mari Gallagher. Michelle Obama will be in town tomorrow to highlight the issue of food deserts and, no doubt, laud this development.

Hamburger Heaven

Someone took pictures of every burger at Kuma's Corner, even immortalizing ones no longer on the menu.

Architecture Touring with a Little Culinary Character

Most travel recommendations from national publications are pretty uninspired, but the WSJ's weekend architectural blitz does a decent job of balancing architectural and culinary stalwarts with a few of atypical restaurants.

We'll Give Him Tomato Pie

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia called Chicago-style deep dish pizza "tomato pie" in a talk at Chicago-Kent Law School this week. He likes it, though.

It's Quittin' Time

A look at Chicago's saloon culture in 1900. From GB's own archives: "Tapped Out," an elegy for the city's fading tap rooms.

Fight for Fresh-Cook Food

Food Truck Freak has started an online video petition site, Let Them Cook, encouraging City Council to approve an ordinance allowing food trucks to cook onboard. They're running a Facebook contest to get the word out. [via]

Eating Childhood

Next's chef Dave Beran teased a menu for the restaurant's "Childhood" incarnation yesterday, and tickets went on sale last night at midnight. They're sold out, but same-day reservations will be announced on Facebook. Meanwhile, Eater has an interview with Beran about the menu.

A Thousand Crumbs

Cupcake chain Crumbs is opening its fourth Chicago location tomorrow at 346 N. Clark St., and is once again giving away 1,000 cupcakes to celebrate, starting at noon. Expect a line.

Drawings About Food

Laura Park (who designed our 3rd anniversary poster!) is featured in Saveur's "Recipe Comix" this week -- and Sarah Becan was last week's artist!

Get a Lula Chalupa

Lula Cafe "dresses up" for Halloween every year; last year it was Kuma's Corner, the year before that it was Hot Doug's. According to Time Out, this year it'll go a bit lower-scale, masquerading as Taco Bell.

BBQ in a Cup?

Speaking of Solo, the company is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and is sharing the love by, oddly, publishing a booklet of employees' barbecue sauce recipes [PDF].

Proceed to Party

Slate delivers a paean to the red Solo cup, a Chicago-made party staple.

United States of X: Lunch Edition

Chicago's Italian beef is well represented.

Hope She Hasn't Been Snacking on Security Guards After Hours

Sue the T-rex was a lot heavier than originally thought. About three tons heavier.

Pump Room Officially Open Today

The revamped restaurant in the Public Hotel has its grand opening today, featuring a menu designed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Phil Vettel got a first look back in September.

Making the Cut

Chicago Cut Steakhouse was named one of Esquire's Best New Restaurants; Girl and the Goat, Next, and the Paris Club also received nods.

Michael Nagrant is the Sun-Times' New Dining Critic

Michael Nagrant, foodblogger and restaurant reviewer about town, takes over as Pat Bruno's replacement in the Sun-Times today. Read his first column, and then read my interview with him over in Drive-Thru.

Billions of Bubbles for Big Stars

A Russian billionaire spent $100,000 on a very large bottle of Champagne (a 15-liter "Nebuchadnezzar" of Armand de Brignac) for Zac Efron and Heather Graham at Board Room this week. And now you know such things exists.

Taco Bell Introduces Doritos Taco Shell

Only in California right now, but cross your orange-stained fingers some of that cheese dust makes it out East.

Four Loko = 4 Beers

That's what the FTC says the Phusion Brands will now have to print on its cans.

Beer Here

Some local breweries did very well at the Great American Beer Festival, though Red Dog winning gold for Lager is...interesting. [via]

Cafeteria Nation

Jamie Oliver wants to know about your kid's school lunches. Fresh and healthy, chemical-laden, or somewhere in between, upload your photos and rate others' contributions here.

RIP Moo & Oink

Moo & Oink closed this weekend after 150 years in business.

Back from the Grave, 15 Years Later

Sizzler, the steakhouse chain that is more likely to live in your childhood memories than in your usual restaurant list, is going to try to win your cash again by opening 18 restaurants in the region in as many months.

The Pink Dress Run

The Chicago Thirstday Hash House Harriers' Pink Dress Run to raise money for Imerman Angels will be held this Thursday.

Find the Market Near You

Kind of late in the season, but the City launched a new farmers market map over the weekend, featuring both city-sponsored and independent markets. [via]

Tribune Co.'s New Food Road Trip

Tribune Broadcasting is bringing a little of the Food Network to WGN with "America's Best Bites," a new show touring the country looking for tasty food. It debuts this Saturday at 5:30pm.

Mac and Cheese for Lunch?

The Southern Mac and Cheese truck's store at 60 E. Lake opens today. The line looks long, so bring a lunch. How meta!

Where the Hunger Is

The Greater Chicago Food Depository released a study mapping the city's hungry neighborhood by neighborhood. Riverdale had the highest rate of food insecurity at 40.8 percent, followed by Washington Park (34.0 percent), Englewood and North Lawndale (both at 31.2 percent), while Edison Park (7.4 percent), Forest Glen (7.8 percent) and Norwood Park (8.3 percent) had the lowest.

United States of X: Caffeinated Edition

Chicagoans spend more money in coffee shops than any other city in America -- which probably says more about the cost of living here than our actual coffee consumption.

Craft Beer in Chicago

Imbibe's current issue has an outstanding piece on the local beer scene, charting its too-occasional successes over the past few decades, through the recent boom and the industry's future. All in all, an almost definitive to-drink list for the beverage nerd.

12,000 Pounds of Chicago Chocolate

Chicago's World's Finest Chocolate created the world's biggest chocolate bar, which weighs 12,000lb. and is 3 feet high, 21 feet long. The purpose of the gigantic chocolate bar is to teach kids to think about eating smart.

From Ambrosia to Yusay

The endearingly quaint Chicago Breweriana collects promotional products and ephemera from Chicago's bygone breweries.

Enter the Adobo

Adobofest 2011 is looking for a few more contestants for their annual adobo (that wonderful Filipino dish of meat marinated in vinegar and garlic) contest, which is taking place this Saturday in LaBagh Woods. If you aim to compete or just eat, get the details in Slowdown.

Washing it Down in the Heartland

The WSJ features a Midwest beer tour that starts in Milwaukee and loops around to Chicago among its "Heartland Drive-Through Vacations."

Food You Can Print?

Cornell Creative Machines Lab has developed a 3-D food printer that will allow the creation of previously unheard of cuisine. And not just a hamburger with liquid layers of ketchup and mustard inside, either (though also that). Chicago's Moto Restaurant looks like it'll be one of the early adopters.

Lula Reopens Tonight, Sorta

Lula Cafe, which has been undergoing expansion, will reopen tonight at 6pm. However, their bar isn't open yet, so it'll just be the drinking basics (i.e. beer and wine) until the dust finally settles.

Take Down the Bacon

The Chicago Bacon Takedown is next Sunday, Sept. 18, and there are still a couple slots left in the competition. Cinnamon Cooper and I took second place last year -- could it be you this year?

But Which Hot Dog is the Best?

Sarah Lee and suburban Kraft foods have called a truce in their epic hot dog court battle, so we'll never know who makes the best hot dog in the land.

Old Style (Kinda) Hearts the Cubs

It looks like Old Style is staying with Wrigley Field after all ... at least until the 2013 season, that is.

Hard Luck for Hard Luck Josephine's

Chicago's soul food is disappearing as blacks move out of the city.

Eat Local: It's a Challenge

This year's Locavore Challenge from the Green City Market starts Thursday, Sept. 8. Are you up for the challenge?

Local Beer Awareness: Argus Brewery

Chicago Beer Geeks tour a too easy to miss Chicago craft brewer. They've only been around since 2009, but their current HQ was built in 1906 as a stable for Schlitz delivery horses, which is nothing if not several kinds of beer awesome.

Free Nuggets at Chick-fil-A Today

The Chick-fil-A at 30 E. Chicago Ave. is offering unlimited free refills on orders of 12-piece nuggets from 3pm to 5pm today. There are, of course, a couple catches, not least of which being your health will suffer.

Next on Your iPad

Next Restaurant will be releasing a cookbook based on its inaugural Paris 1906 menu -- and it will only be available for the iPad.

Bartering for Dinner

If you've got something to offer, Fireside Restaurant might make you a deal.

Veggie Up Your Fridge

We're giving away a CSA box of organic produce to the writer of the best haiku! Details in Drive-Thru.

It's Free Gyros Day!

Fill out this form and go get in line!

Achatz and Gross

It's a rebroadcast, but tune in today at 2pm to Fresh Air on WBEZ for an interview with chef Grant Achatz of Next, the Aviary, the Office, and (of course) Alinea.

Homebrewers Take Note

And aspiring homebrewers as well- Brew Camp, recently opened at Belle Plaine and Lincoln, offers frequent classes for beginners and high quality ingredients for everyone.

Top Chefs

Michael Nagrant runs down the most influential people in the restaurant industry in this week's NewCity.

To Live and Die By the Standardized Menu

Over at Chicago magazine, Whet Moser charted key moments of his life in chain restaurants. Mine would surely include Perkins.

Art & Food Inspire Each Other

Last week the Chicago Artists Coalition held an event at which four artists and four chefs collaborated to create food and art inspired by each other. We interviewed the artists and the chefs about the experience.

Maria's Community Bar Celebrates Makeover Anniversary

Bridgeport favorite Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar announces a celebration of the one-year anniversary of its makeover on September 3 at both the bar and art space Co-Prosperity Sphere down the street.

Insect Eating for the Future

That's the slogan of Entom Foods, a company started by some UofC undergrads to get Americans eating more bugs.

Gettin' Cakey With It

Threadcakes, the super contest that pairs a love of Threadless shirts with cakes, is in the process of judging this year's submissions. Want to see them?

The Logan Square Kitchen is Fed Up

They've had 19 health inspections in two years and they're challenging their most recent fine. There's more information on their site than I can summarize here, but they make a pretty good case that they're being harassed by the Food Safety Division of the Chicago Health Department.

Breaking the Fast

The Lupe Fiasco Foundation is working with the Block By Block initiative to feed at least 100 people each day Aug. 15-31 in honor of Ramadan.

Big Hurt Beer?

There is now a beer named after Frank Thomas. Big Hurt Beer, which Beeronaut determined is brewed by Minhas of Monroe, WI (aka Huber Brewing), should be on shelves later this month.

Knife, Fork & Pen

Related to the previous post: They Draw & Cook features several recipes illustrated by Chicagoans.

Kraft Foods is Trying to Kill You

Triple Double Oreos, coming soon to a store near you.

"The frank should look delicious, iconic and heroic."

The 312 pulls out some of the most entertaining quotes from the Sara Lee/Oscar Meyer hot dog battle. (Previously.)

The Latest Top Restaurant: Ruxbin

Meanwhile, Bon Appetit named Ruxbin the fifth best new restaurant of the year.

The Latest in Achatz/Kokonas News

NYTimes weighs in on Next and Aviary; Eater interviews Nick Kokonas. UPDATE: Grant Achatz revealed the next four Next menus to TOC's Heather Shouse.

Way Beyond Sugared Cereal

Want to have dessert for breakfast? A.V. Club explores your most decadent options.

Weiner Wars Escalate

I'm really happy for you, Sara Lee and Kraft Foods, and I'ma let you finish, but Vienna Beef makes some of the best hot dogs of all time!

Gourmet Eat-athon

Gourmet spends 24 hours eating in Chicago. [via]

Taxi Cab Recommendations

Chicago Cab Fare reviews restaurants recommended by the city's many ethnic taxi drivers. The author is profiled in the ChuffPo today.

Food Truck Friday in Grant Park

Mobile Cuisine Magazine, the folks who've been organizing a food truck corral in the Clybourn shopping district on Tuesdays, is launching a new series on Fridays in Grant Park. At least two trucks will be at the inaugural event today at Columbus and Balbo starting at 5pm.

So Good it's Criminal

After two years of battling Ald. Fioretti, Felony Franks finally got a permit to put up a sign.

Moo & Oink on Butcher Block

Moo & Oink, the 150-year-old meat butcher and grocery, faces liquidation if it can't find a buyer.

Huge Check, Please!

Alinea and Charlie Trotter's placed fourth and fifth on a list of the most expensive restaurants in the country, and Tru, Les Nomades and Everest joined them in the top 10. [via]

Coffee Wars: Battlefield Chicago

Starbucks and Caribou both plan significant expansions in Chicago, and the first volley is from Starbucks: It's opening a store at 8 N. Michigan Ave., directly next to an existing Caribou.

Candy and Restaurants Nearly Devoured by the G8

Two major trade shows have changed their annual show dates in order to accommodate next May's G8 summit and its security demands.

Edenic Fall from Grace

Edenic Soy & Tofu had some pretty serious health code violations on a recent FDA inspection. [via]

Leaded Glass of Water

High levels of lead were found in seven of 38 homes tested by the EPA this year, the Tribune reports. Read some of the backstory on how the paper found out.

The Next Best Thing to Thailand

Want to see what Next is up to these days? Take a look at pictures of their most recent menu over at Drive-Thru.

Lolla-food-ooza

...or something. Grub Street breaks down the food options at Lollapalooza, while Food Genius crunches some data.

"It's Foodie Fascism"

Kevin Pang flies in the face of Chicago prevailing wisdom and defends the practice of putting ketchup on a hot dog.

Got Beef?

Surprisingly, I've never come across ItalianBeef.com before. Unsurprisingly, it's a site obsessively cataloging its namesake delicacy in Chicago.

312 Moves East

Production of Goose Island's 312 Urban Wheat Ale is being outsourced to upstate New York. Goose Island CEO John Hall says it'll allow the brewer to devote more attention to Matilda and other smaller beers; it might also be the first step in Anheuser-Busch's area code diversification plan.

Growing Trend: Guerrilla Gardening

The housing boom led to a bunch of knockdowns -- and the crash left many of those lots empty. Robyn Nisi explores what happens when community gardens spring up on what is technically private property.

Out with the Old Style

Rumor has it that Old Style wants to drop its 61 year association with the Cubs.

Casting Illinois in Iron

On Re-Nest, they have a swell Etsy find: specialty cast-iron pans in the shape of Illinois. You can even load up on pans in the shape of other Midwestern states if you so desire.

Dine on a Dime

Time Out focuses on "cheap eats" this week; coincidentally, Food Genius was inspired by a Forbes article to find the cheapest food in the richest neighborhood, Lincoln Park

It's a Genuine Chicago Hot Dog

Here's a poster to remind your friends what's on it.

hotdogposter.jpg

Designed by Betty Turbo.

Chalking Up Meal Deals

The Chicago edition of Blackboard Eats launched on Friday; subscribe and get a secret code for a discount or other perks at local restaurants.

Take Our Grain, Please

Chicago brewery (and FoGB) Half Acre is looking for some creative business ideas to use its spent grain. A lot of spent grain.

"We're always afraid of being bored."

Grant Achatz talks with Gilt about switching from Escoffier to Thai at Next.

Baking in the 'Burbs

Bleeding Heart Bakery announced on Facebook that it is opening a new location in Elmhurst by the end of the summer. Afterwards, they "will be working with [their] partners and a team of other folks to figure out what to do next."

Megachains Find Healthy Ways to Colonize Neighborhoods

Michelle Obama held a joint press conference this week with reps from Supervalu and WalMart to announce that to be good, (cough) profit-earning guys, the retailers will open new stores in underserved neighborhoods in the next five years. Walgreens will also add more produce and healthy foods for sale at 1,000 more stores, as they've already done.

The Girl Battles the Goat Curse

Chef Stephanie Izard will sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch at today's Cubs game.

Follow Those Trucks

Keeping track of the city's food trucks is becoming increasingly difficult -- which is where Food Truck Freak comes in. [via]

Pitchfork Players Club

If you've got a Pitchfork wristband, a lot of doors (and discounts) open up to you.

This Dish is Recommended

Food Genius is a new app for Android and iOS that helps you decide what to eat at Chicagoland restaurants.

Great Local Farmers Markets

The Glenwood and Logan Square farmers markets are in among the top five farmers markets in Illinois according to the American Farmland Trust's competition. Voting is still open.

Go Next Go

The once-faulty reservation system for the sittings of its Tour of Thailand at Next is back on. Get in there before it dies! UPDATE: it sold out. Sorry, folks!

The Day After Next

If you're a Grant Achatz fan, you've probably heard that Next Restaurant is offering a Thai menu now that "Paris, 1906" has closed. However, due to having a reported 20,000 people logging in with 2,800 queries per second, the site crashed as the appointed reservation time arrived. And the foodie world? It went totally apes shitting bananas. Seriously, so many people have great, know-it-all, techie, entitled, hilarious and just plain offensive comments. They're due to launch again today -- good luck!

Ice Creamed

Margies Candies' "World's Largest Sundae" takes on several members of the A.V. Club's staff--and wins.

Starbiggulps

Caffeine fiend alert: Starbucks' 31oz. "Trenta" drink size debuts in Chicago next Tuesday.

Playing Telephone?

Some recent trademark applications may tip Anheuser-Busch's hand in its plans for recently acquired Goose Island.

Presidential Maki

Hot Woks Cool Sushi's Obama-nami roll boasts a diversity of fish, a "hint of green pepper" and a political message amidst the rice and vinegar.

Big Brother Hits the Bars

Chicago start-up SceneTap wants to bring facial recognition software into bars so owners can monitor the number, age, and gender of their customers. Because figuring that out without computers would be impossible, right?

Free Fro-Yo

Get free Pinkberry on Thursday from 5 to 9pm at the frozen yogurt chain's first Chicago store, at 635 N. State St. The store officially opens Friday.

Mmm, Turkey Legs

The Beachwood Reporter got a little turkey-leg obsessed today after news broke that it was one of the Taste of Chicago's most-gobbled items.

Who Will Be Top Dog?

If you're looking for someone to cheer for on July 4th, try Chicagoan Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, who is competing in Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at New York's Coney Island.

Cold Soup'n'Bread for a Hot(house) Cause

Unless you've never used the Garfield Park Conservatory as a mid-winter in-city escape, you're probably upset by the damage the conservatory has undergone. Martha Bayne was upset and decided to revive her fabulous Soup'n'Bread event as a fundraiser for the park. She'll feature chilly souper dishes from Swim Cafe, Inspiration Cafe, Bonnie Tawse, Anastasia Davies Hinchsliff, and more on Wednesday, July 6. All donations will be donated to the rebuilding efforts.

Trader Vic's is Dead, Long Live Tiki

Chicagoist's Rob Christopher notes the passing of the second coming of Trader Vic's in Chicago, and points to some other options to get your tiki drink on in the city (assuming you don't want to cab it to Hala Kahiki.)

Searching for Buns Next

Chicagoans search for "hot dogs" on Google 1.6 times the national average, and Illinois leads at the state level. I guess there's something to that state motto poster (previously).

Steamed Secrets

Head into Wow Bao, say the secret password (accessible through their Facebook page), and a free bao.

Cirque du Soleil vs. Tristan & Isolde

Jonathan Gold compares Alinea and Noma, the best restaurant in North America versus the best restaurant in the world.

Save Foodmiles at the Taste

If you need a compelling reason to go to the Taste (and really, who doesn't), Grub Street has a nifty map showing where vendors are coming from, all over the city. You'd save gas money just by going to Grant Park -- especially if you're into dessert.

Inferno of Pizza Comes to Logan

The western end of Logan Square's getting a new, spicy pizza place. Offering slices and BYOB, Dante's Pizzeria comes courtesy of Georg Simos (High Dive, The Rocking Horse) and a few people from Santullo's and Piece.

Slow Food from Brew City

Making a Milwaukee expat pine for more northern shores is as easy as mentioning the beloved Comet Cafe. Now, Comet's owners bring their locally sourced, from-scratch comfort food south in the form of Lakeview's Northdown Cafe and Taproom.

Feds to Chicago Mag: No Bootlegging!

OK, not really. But the magazine did get a call from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms telling that due to licensing issues, they can't give away the beer they brewed with Pipeworks Brewery at their shindig tonight. However, there will still be free beer: startup brewery 5 Rabbit has stepped in with a keg.

The Turkey is Compulsory

The menu at Just Turkey might remind you of a certain Monty Python skit, done with a healthier meat. Learn the backstory in Drive-Thru.

Better Guarded Taste

When the Taste of Chicago opens Friday, expect a stronger police presence than in past years.

It's the Beef

Leah Zeldes loads up on wordplay in her paean to the humble Chicago-style weiner.

Time for Tunney to Recuse?

Karl Klockars questions whether Ald. Tom Tunney is in violation of City Council ethics rules for not recusing himself from the food truck legislation, since he owns several restaurants and has catered events for the City.

Say Cheese and Burgers and Hot Chocolate

Editor of local food website The Feast/Eat Carly Fisher's Class Photo series talks to the staff of Kuma's (most recently), The Girl and the Goat, Moto, and more. All interviews include a high school-style group picture.

Good Truck, Heel

There's one food truck roaming the streets that doesn't need to worry about whether Ald. Tunney ties up legislation: Fido to Go serves up "canine cookies" and dog-friendly ice cream.

Delicious in Space or Your Kitchen

Tang is now a billion dollar brand.

Sweet and Savory Strawberry Scene

Strawberries are in season -- take advantage of it with these recipes from Guy Meikle from Nana and Jeff Donahue from Next and the Aviary. Here's a place to start if you want to pick your own.

That Tipplin' Town

Chicago's a pretty good wine town, according to the WSJ's Lettie Teague. In fact, she says it's "the second-most important wine city in the country right now."

Even so, You STILL Don't Want to Know How It's Made

One Pork Taco turned up a postcard of Adolph Luetgert's sausage factory. Mr. Luetgert killed his wife way back in the 19th century, and rumors persisted that he'd turned her into sausage. He didn't, but the real story is just as yucky.

Corner Bakery & Cinnabon Now Siblings

Arby's wasn't the only restaurant chain sold yesterday; the same private equity firm bought Corner Bakery. Roark Capital Group also owns Cinnabon, Auntie Annes' pretzels and Schlotzky's Deli.

At Least There's No Ketchup

Martha Stewart clearly has no idea what a Chicago-style hot dog is.

Helping Out the Little Guy

Grub Street reports that the Grasstoots Collaborative is holding a bake sale in front of the Mercantile Exchange (20 South Wacker) today to benefit the CME Group, the parent company of the Merc who is threatening to leave the state unless Gov. Quinn gives them some special tax considerations.

Deep Dish Strange

John Apostolou, president of Giordano's (which is currently in bankruptcy proceedings), is accusing the government of committing "bank fraud, securities fraud and tax fraud" in its handling of the pizza chain case. Apostolou was forcibly removed from the chain's headquarters last month.

PBR Buyout Canned

Remember a couple years ago some guys tried to crowdsource the purchase of Pabst Brewing Company? They got slapped with a cease-and-desist order by the SEC, some months after shutting down the attempt. [via]

An Out of the Ordinary Potluck

We dish with Chicago Cooking Chicks in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Ipsento Reopens

Bucktown coffee drinkers, your world is back on its axis: Ipsento reopened this morning after The Man shut them down for six long days.

Get a Taste

The Taste of Chicago isn't for a couple more weeks, but you can get a preview today, as a dozen or so Taste vendors set up in Daley Plaza from 11am to 2pm.

Hot Dog! A Lawsuit

Vienna Beef is suing Red Hot Chicago, a rival that happens to be owned by the grandson of one of Vienna's founders.

Food Truck Tuesdays

If you too are skeptical of the food truck hype, you may want to head to the corner of North and Halsted on tomorrow night Food Truck Tuesdays. At least four trucks will be there every Tuesday in June.

Ipsento Closed Temporarily

Bad news for Bucktown coffee drinkers: Local favorite Ipsento (2035 N. Western) closed suddenly yesterday after an Illinois Department of Revenue official showed up to revoke its business license because of unpaid taxes. Store owners said today they're "working hard" to right the ship and reopen soon.

Here's the explanation they posted on their Facebook page:

Ipsento is temporarily closed. In 2010, we mistakenly overlooked the filing and paying of nine months of sales tax. We have been current with this years sales tax. However, to date, we have been unable to pay the lump some [sic] we fell behind. For this reason, the state revoked our business license yesterday. We are working hard to get the license back...and have been told by our tax expert lawyers that this shouldn't be a problem. We originally thought we could turn this around right away. But that's not how the Department of Revenue works. Our hope is to re-open next Monday afternoon. We'll keep you informed as we find out more. We REALLY appreciate how supportive you all have been!

Food Trucks Remain on Trend

The Tribune surveys the current food truck scene as Ald. Waguespack reintroduced legislation to allow vendors to prepare food on their trucks.

Food Therapy

Chicagoist reports on In Chef's Hands, a new charitable organization providing one-on-one culinary training to people with special needs.

Escoffier on Next

Jeff Ruby channels the ghost of Auguste Escoffier for his review of Next's Escoffier-inspired menu.

Everywhere to Eat, Nowhere to Go

You can find a lot of food trucks roaming around the city, but as this week's Drive-Thru feature shows, they aren't that convenient.

Functional Gourmet Art

Kevin Pang makes a case for Hot Doug's being the quintessential Chicago restaurant.

Yes, Virginia...

"There is a beef jerky chocolate bar."

Free Fieri

Fanfound is giving away free tickets to the Guy Fieri Food Tour this Saturday at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.

The Doughnut Dame

Meet Julie, the lady behind the counter at The Doughnut Vault.

Uncompromising Cocktails

Apparently one of the Bulls went to Aviary after the game last night -- and asked for a vodka and seltzer. The bar denied the request, and the baller left.

Food Travel on the Brain

With travel season approaching, we've got edible reasons for you to get out of town and even the country -- details in Drive-Thru.

Steve Albini Produced This Plate of Pasta

He has a food blog in which he names a female fennel bulb "Latifa" and says things like, "How did people make soup before stick blenders? They are the absolute stone cold nuts."

Most Illinest BYO-Boys

The Reader's Miles Raymer profiles the BYOBandits, two 20-something dudes into drinking heavily and pigging out at BYO restaurants.

One Business Helping Another

Boystown restaurant Ping Pong is closed after a kitchen fire last week. Nearby Scarlet, which was closed by a fire itself in 2009, is holding a fundraiser for Ping Pong's employees tonight; $10 of your $15 drink wristband goes to them.[via]

Mapping Chicago Craft Beer Week

Wondering if your favorite watering hole is included in Chicago Craft Beer Week? There's a map for that.

Save Gas, Drink Local

John Greenfield has some suggestions of bars near the CTA to get buzzed. You might also check out Centerstage's venerable Virtual El guides.

Adonis to Zazerac

Sepia's bartender Logan Lavachek came across her grandmother's "Bar Aid," a cocktail recipe gadget from the '60s. She's working her way through its recipes and updating the ingredients; you can follow along on her blog, or sample her experiments at the bar. [via]

Odd Dish

Dishtip is meant to be a guide to the best food in a city, but some of the results are a little odd. Is the salad bar at Fogo de Chao really the second best dish in Chicago? And since when does Lou Malnatti's serve New York-style pizza? [via]

Cheese That Isn't Yours

Stolen nacho cheese was at the center of a recent scuffle at a West Side 7-Eleven.

Summer Snacking

The weather may make it seem like summer will never come, but this year's Taste of Chicago food vendors have been announced.

A Savory Drink

Following the success of its Key Ingredient series, he Reader has added a new column, "Cocktail Challenge," to its arsenal. Each week a bartender takes on a new ingredient; first up is garlic mustard, a culinarily friendly invasive weed, taken on by Sable's Mike Ryan.

Claw to Claw in NYC

Chicago boasts two contenders in Tasting Table's New York Lobster Roll Rumble later this summer, with seafood stalwart Shaw's Crab House and extremely new GT Fish & Oyster.

Bin Laden's Remains?

Filter had an unusual lunch special earlier this week, spotted by Josh Andrews.

Bin Laden's remains

I suppose it falls along the lines of eating the souls of one's enemies.

What're You Eating?

The top recommendations for Chicago dishes on foodporn site Foodspotting are pretty solid recommendations.

Strike While the Ire is Hot

Logan Square alderman Rey Colon will be at City Hall today to try to shut down the popular farmers market in the neighborhood--over a political feud. Find out more over at Drive-Thru.

Some Red and Black Earns Red Velvet

Wear your Bulls gear and head into Sprinkles Cupcakes on Tuesday, May 3rd for a free cupcake! Fans sporting some swag get a red velvet treat that's sure to inspire some team spirit. The offer is good at the 50 E. Walton St. store from 9am-8pm tomorrow.

Fishy Fun

Why would we write about the long waits for foo-foo drinks at Aviary when there's a Red Lobster in Lincolnwood with immediate seating? Details of an annual pilgrimage are in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Whiskey in Ravenswood

Center Square Journal takes us on a tour of Koval distillery.

Taking a Slice of NYC's Pizza

An odd chapter in Chicago and New York's pizza rivalry: Supposedly you can't get a just a slice of pizza at certain NYC institutions because of Al Capone's strong-arm tactics regarding cheese distribution.[via]

Making Grant Park Even Greener

The south end of Grant Park may get a farmers market this summer run by the same folks as the Ogilvie Station French Market.

Win a Classy Dinner!

Want to attend the Growing Home Gala Benefit tomorrow night? Details in Drive-Thru.

The Phusion Projects Saga

Months after their sickly sweet caffeinated malt beverage landed them in hot water, the makers of Four Loko finally tell their story -- and what they're up to next. [via]

LINKing Farmers Markets

Good news for low-income Illinois residents who use LINK cards — Chicago farmers markets doubled the number of sites where they now accept the card as payment for fresh produce. Especially important in an area hampered by food deserts, this expanding service hopefully will get healthy food into more homes. There are also participating markets around the state. Chicago farmers markets open on May 12, 2011.

More Mug Talk

Bring your own mug to Caribou Coffee tomorrow, and get a free coffee. Use the caffeine rush to walk or bike to work -- it is Earth Day, after all. (And BTW, Caribou's got one of the best, everyday, non-Earth-Day BYO mug discounts around: 50 cents off, all day, every day.)

Influential Achatz

Thomas Keller sings the praises of his protege, Grant Achatz, in this year's Time 100.

Speaking of Mugs...

Pack your travel mug the night before (unless you're just naturally good at remembering such tasks in the morning, pre-caffeine) and bring it by Starbucks on Friday for a free coffee or tea in celebration of Earth Day.

Alinea: 6th Best in the World

Alinea remained the best restaurant in North America, and rose a spot overall in S. Pelligrino's annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Last year in ranked 7th.

Mobile Oasis in the Desert

A whole different sort of food truck is getting ready to roll in Englewood. Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market is converting a CTA bus to bring fresh produce into food deserts.

The Year in Mobile Food

Last week Time Out took a look back at the last 12 months of the food truck movement. Take a survey yourself this Tuesday at the Food Truck Summit.

Whetting Your Appetite

Chicago magazine's Best New Restaurants list is now posted, but you'll have to pick up the magazine to find out why they picked Bistronomic as the best.

Meat for a Better Tomorrow

Apparently there was more to that Crain's ham map than met the eye. Consumers are still buying meat, which means we're on our way out of this recession.

The Girl's Night Out

Time Out announced its 2011 Eat Out Award winners last night, with Girl and the Goat winning best new restaurant and Stephanie Izard landing Chef of the Year. No doubt she'll put that award next to her Best New Chef award from Food & Wine. Next up, the James Beard Awards.

But will the Gardens Grow Wheat?

In a move that clearly establishes that community garden initiatives have gone mainstream, Triscuit will be sponsoring new gardens in Chicago and Los Angeles.

"Who's Buying More Ham?"

Surprisingly, an infographic in Crain's Chicago Business, not The Onion.

School Lunch Controversy

Some CPS schools have banned lunches brought from home in an effort to promote healthier eating. Students and parents are, of course, not all happy about this.

Farming 24/7/365

You can still get fresh produce even if it's cold and dreary outside. We visit the indoors Green City Market in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Cravin' Bacon?

So, Baconfest is sold out, but it's put you in the mood. Steve Dolinsky has some suggestions, but at Paddy Long's you can schedule a bacon and beer tasting, pairing five seasonal beers with five cuts of bacon. Or dare to order the Bacon Bomb. Finish it and a mess of fries in 45 minutes and you'll win a t-shirt and your photo on the wall -- and get it free.

Free Popcorn Tomorrow

Garrett Popcorn is giving away free snack size bags of its CaramelCrisp popcorn tomorrow, April 6, from 11am to 2pm -- and will donate $1 to Japan relief efforts for each bag given away

One Hoodoo Voodoo With Bacon

About a week ago, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy finally wandered into a sandwich shop in Toronto that was oddly familiar, or at least the menu was. It definitely left an impression.

Dining Domain Justice

Dining Chicago's David Lissner finally got ChicagoRestaurant.com back, two years after it mysteriously transferred to a Turkish squatter. [via]

A Month Between Bread

The Trib's food writers are highlighting a sandwich a day for all of April. First up is HotChocolate's cheddar melt. (Not coincidentally, Saveur is all about sandwiches this month, too.)

Eat Your Words

The Center for Book & Paper Arts' 12th annual Edible Books & Tea is this evening from 6pm to 8pm. Get there early -- the books aren't just for show, and you'd be surprised how many people are hungry for literature.

This Time, It's More than "Just Lunch"

The vegan chain Native Foods Café is moving its headquarters to Chicago and opening three new restaurants before the end of the summer.

In Control, Out of the Race

The New York Times ponders the peculiar predicament of Charlie Trotter: still excelling while the culinary world seems to pass him by.

Free Refills at O'Hare

Now after you're forced to dump your water bottle at O'Hare security, you can refill it for free. Not at McDonald's -- at these fancy new water fountains. [via]

Ketchup at Gene & Jude's?

Fame comes at a cost for some of Chicago's cult restaurants, as word spreads internationally.

Paying Donating for Friends

Formerly Chicago-based Menuism has announced Feeding Hunger Chicago. They're donating $1 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for every like they gain on Facebook between now and April 25.

Anheuser Island

Local brewery Goose Island has agreed to be purchased by Anheuser-Busch for $38.8 million. Despite the ownership change, the brewery will stay in the city, and their brew pubs are not part of the deal.

Cooking up History

Chef Troy Graves has been trying out recipes from an 1896 edition of the Chicago Daily News Cook Book; we ran excerpts from the 1930 edition in Drive-Thru awhile back.

Spring Dining Deal

Today only, you can get the A la Carde restaurant discount pack for half the regular price.

Pizza Map

Serious Eats' Slice pizza blog has created a googlemap of all the Chicagoland pizzerias they (well, Daniel Zemans, mostly) have reviewed.

The Zombies Crawl Again

Pre-registration is open for the Zombie Pub Crawl through Andersonville April 30.

The All-Beef Fame of Chicago Hot Dogs

Speaking of Chicago foods in elsewhere in the country, a Missouri couple smitten by the flavors of Chicago hot dogs decided to open a Chicago-style hot dog restaurant in Holden, Missouri. So, you know, the next time you're in Holden, you're all set.[via]

Calling All High School Kids

Chicago loves student design contests. The latest one will feature a CPS high school student's design on 10,000 reusable bags to be handed out at farmers markets. Here's some info from one of the sponsors.

Procuring Local Delicacies in a Foreign Land

It seems New Yorkers are having a hard time finding ingredients to make a proper Chicago-style hot dog.

3.14 Equals Pie

Pie deals all over the place in honor of Pie Day. Morton's and many others are offering slices of pie for $3.14, and Hoosier Mama is both staying open late and borrowing the Gaztro-Wagon to sell around the city (find'em via twitter).

Also, this Saturday, March 19, Hoosier Mama is teaming up with Drive-Thru to hold its second annual scavenger hunt. Get details here!

...And Their Weather Stinks, Too

Bernardo Hees, CEO of Burger King, said during a recent visit to U of C, "The food is terrible and the women are not very attractive [in England]. Here in Chicago the food is good, and you are known for good-looking women." Not surprisingly, the Brits are pissed.

The Grid: Congress Conducts El at Cal's

Today we release the second feature in GB's short film series The Grid. "Congress Conducts El at Cal's" explores the construction congestion at Congress Parkway through the music and activity at Cal's, a nearby hangout and liquor store.

Put Away Your Winter Coat

...and get ready for the foods of spring. We'll show you how to prepare in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Earwax Re-opening?

According to their Facebook page, yes - under the guidance of former Landmark Grill chef Kurt Guzowski, and with a slightly retooled menu.

Beer Pong Meets High Design

Burr Ridge-based designer Joseph Mollo has created a sleek, Poplar-finished beer pong table now available on Etsy.

Walgreens Beer Taste Test-off

In one corner, A.V. Club Chicago got Goose Island's Greg Hall and Jared Rouben to try out Big Flats lager, Walgreens' new house beer. In the other corner, Time Out put together a taster panel of its own.

Saving a Lot, Gaining a Lot

A new grocery store chain that recently opened in several south side food desert communities gave away a bag of free groceries to residents and the assurance that fresh, affordable food is no longer miles away; we cover the neighborhood response in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Signs of Spring

Scooter's Frozen Custard opens today at 2pm, which chocolate peanut butter as the daily special.

Miracle Berry

After transforming dinner at MOTO, Homaro Cantu's star has steadily risen. Now he believes he has made a stride in his most personal project, the modest task of combating world hunger, and it all comes down to a berry.

Stimulating Drinks

Stimulus Social Club meets again tonight at Public House. Your $10 goes to Multiple Solutions, the junior board of the MS Society -- and gets you complimentary appetizers and a round of drinks.

Pancakes for Dinner

We're a little late to the news, but IHOP is offering a free "short stack" of pancakes to all diners today; now you have dinner plans.

I'm Sorry, Consumer. I'm Afraid I Can't do That.

Meet suburban-based Kraft's "Meal Planning Solution," a kiosk that will be able to recognize your face and give you shopping suggestions based on your shopping history. In the process, it'll also provide recipes, free samples ... and "anonymously" collect data.

More Sugar than a Snickers

The oatmeal McDonald's is promoting as a healthy breakfast option is a bit more complicated than it seems.

Healthier than Our Own

Apparently, Sweden's Statoil gas stations now offer a "Chicago menu" of a (non-Chicago style) hot dog, a Coke and ...baby carrots? [via]

It's Bacon Time

Bacon nuts probably already know, but just in case: Baconfest Chicago tickets go on sale at noon Friday.

Daley's a Lettuce Guy

The Stew published the first post-election interview with Mayor Daley yesterday -- about his interest in food.

Food Truck Food Court

The release party for Heather Shouse's book, Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels, April 19 will double as the first-ever Food Truck Summit in the parking lot of Goose Island Clybourn.

Drink Early and Often

With a new Mayor-elect in the wings, one ponders if the city can be unified by a crowdsourced alcoholic beverage. Chicagoans, the choice is yours. (h/t Joe)

Healthy Eating

Perhaps not so coincidentally, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week overlaps with Restaurant Week. Dr. Kathrleen Young has some suggestions on how to observe it.

Three Floyds Gets Strict

Beer fans, be warned: Dark Lord Day is for ticket-holders only this year.

United States of X: Daily Special Edition

Not a map, exactly, but The United Plates imagines each state as food. Illinois looks tasty.

Earwax No More

Once shut down temporarily, now permanently: long-time Wicker Park food institution Earwax Cafe will be closing February 28.

Skipping School Lunch

A healthier lunch is only good for kids if they eat it -- and apparently CPS students aren't. More food discussion in Drive-Thru.

Chicago's Youth and the Future of Food

Not every kid is sucked into the McDonald's vortex! We meet up with a local youth-centric food policy group in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Raise a Toast

Chicago is the best beer city in America, according to Esquire.

Not So Stuffed Pizza

Giordano's filed for bankruptcy Thursday, but said it plans to keep its restaurants open.

Don't Tell the Revenuers

Speaking of criminals, Mike Sula talks with some folks making moonshine over at the Reader.

Achatz Redux

Not to be outdone, the New York Times has a profile of Grant Achatz today, too.

Composition: Achatz

Past, present and future blend together in Chris Borelli's profile of Grant Achatz.

The Secret is Out

As of this writing, This American Life's site is just barely reachable, thanks to the nearly one million people who've visited to read Coca-Cola's secret formula since it was mentioned on last weekend's episode. [via]

Haters Gonna Hate...Wild Boar

Award-winning restaurant Longman & Eagle has made lemons into lemonade, printing a negative review from Yelp onto a fancy postcard.

Swine & Wine

Looking for something a bit more exclusive than BaconFest? Perhaps Cochon 555 is up your alley. Eater has some details about the March 20 Chicago celebration of pork and wine.

Cupcakes for a Cause

In this week's Drive-Thru feature, we visit a bakery that churns out sweet treats and even sweeter charity...just in time for your Valentine's Day treat shopping.

A Sweet Encased Treat

You have just a couple more days to get Hot Doug's latest special, a cherry-apple pork sausage (with a touch of cinnamon) topped with Sir William pear mustard and a crumbled Vosges bacon chocolate bar. he encased meat emporium closes Sunday and doesn't reopen until March 2.

To Toddle No More

The last Chicago Toddle House--a former chain of eat-in/take-out restaurants and a precursor to modern fast food eateries--will soon be razed. The location has been closed for eight years, and locals complain that the site is an eyesore.

Awards Season

And not just for films. Time Out's Eat Out Awards are open for voting, and LTH Forum is taking nominations for its latest Great Neighborhood Restaurants awards.

No Music at Taste of Chicago?

Mayor Daley has proposed a way to keep Taste of Chicago free without incurring losses on the festival: do away with the music programming.

Mmm, Bacon

BaconFest has announced its lineup of exhibiting restaurants and chefs. Tickets go on sale soon.

United States of X: Microbrew Edition

GOOD puts better brews on their United States of Good Beer. (Previously: 1, 2) [via]

United States of X: Beer & Football Edition

Two maps relevant to today's big event: The United States of Football and beer consumption in the U.S.

Un-Pack-ing Our Love of the Steelers

In this week's Drive-Thru feature, we plan for what we'll be making this Sunday--the fine, fine foods of Pittsburgh.

United States of X: Beverage Edition

Yep, it's enough of a meme to start doing editions, like google maps a couple years ago. This time, Goose Island reps for Illinois on the United States of Beer, while Green River is ours on the United States of Soft Drinks.

Top Pints

RateBeer.com's list of the best brewers in the world includes some familiar local names: Three Floyds at #1, Goose Island at #10, Half Acre at #75 and Piece at #82.

A New Beverage Horizon

Is it time to crack open a Walgreen's beer?

What a Bunch of Wieners

Sammy's Taste of Chicago, a suburban Milwaukee hot dog stand, has renamed its Chicago style variety the "Packer Dog." Right back at you, buddy.

Start the Day Off Right

That's what 410,000 Chicago Public School students will be able to do now that Chicago Public Schools has agreed to offer free breakfasts in classrooms to students. As a former free-breakfast and -lunch kid, I can't say how surprised I am that this is a new thing.

Grubwithus: Never Dine Alone

Mashable profiles startup Grubwithus, a social-networky site about dining out with new people.

Drink Well Here

Hopleaf, Local Option, Map Room and Sheffield's all made Draft magazine's America's 100 Best Beer Bars list. Nearby, there's also Firkin in Libertyville and Heurot in Muncie are also worth hitting.

Frequent Dining Card

You can now get a subscription to The Local Tourist's popular Chef's Table dining events.

The Non-Musical Fortunes of Chicago Musicians

Pete Wentz has reopened Angels & Kings in the Hard Rock Hotel, while Kanye West's Orland Park Fatburger location has closed.

Doodles For Your Beer

DIY lifestyle mag ReadyMade recently gave props to (already beautiful) Pilsen bar Simone's for their accidental artistic venture: blank beer coasters. Patrons are enjoying the chance to draw their own designs and decorate it with a glass of their favorite bevvy.

Food Trucks with a Conscience

In this week's Drive-Thru feature we meet up with two chefs who want to make an impact in their community through food trucks.

Fresh Brewed

Time Out focuses on coffee culture this week, including a meticulous breakdown of beans, brewing methods and prices at 33 indie shops and chains.

Let this Meat Divide and Unite Us

The NY Times visits the Brat Stop, the Kenosha restaurant that attracts the love of both Bears and Packers fans.

Sheffield's' Ric Hess Dies

Ric Hess, the owner of Lakeview's Sheffield's bar/restaurant, passed away Monday night from a heart attack. He was 48.

In Enemy Territory

If you're a Packers fan, Will's Northwoods Inn may be the only safe place in the city next weekend.

Eat This Before You Die

Not to be outdone, Eater has created The Eater Doomsday Map -- one place to eat in each state "before the Apocalypse."

Illinois is a Deep Dish

Another map boiling the US down to a single trait (previously), only this time by foods.

Cold Outside, Meaty Inside

The season of crock pot roast beef has returned! Details in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Take My Compost, Please!

Erlene Howard's burgeoning green business helps those who can't compost for themselves. For under $11 a week, she'll take northsiders' compostables and put them to good use (not a landfill).

That Name Sounds Familiar

Gulpon is a new deal-a-day site promising "up to 90% off" beverages of all sorts.

Mayor Spice Trader?

Whether you support her bid for mayor of the city or not, you might enjoy Carol Moseley Braun's Ambassador Organics line of teas, coffee and spices.

2010's Food in Review

If you haven't been reading Mike Gebert and Michael Nagrant's ongoing conversation about the year in Chicago's food scene, you've got a lot of great reading to catch up on.

Hot Breakfast at Union Station

McDonald's will be handing out free bowls of their new fruit and oatmeal at Union Station this morning from 7am till 10am.

Yelp It's Not

ShamelessRestaurants.com is a forum for "the inside scoop by restaurant employees" The Chicago section must be read to be believed.

Paint Thinner isn't for BBQ

On Reddit, a neighbor adds details (some very sad) to the suspicious fire at Ole Hardwood yesterday.

Not Drunkest ...Yet

We'll probably prove them wrong tomorrow, but Chicago is only #29 on Daily Beast's list of America's 40 drunkest cities. Then again, #1 is no surprise. (Thanks, Dee!)

With Sprinkles

Just in time for New Year's Eve, here's a recipe for the Rum Emanuel. (There's another recipe from some bar in New York, but it doesn't look as good.)

What We Ate

The Drive-Thru staff shares their favorite food experiences from 2010 in the first annual Eatacular. Share yours in the comments.

Bacon is Killing the Merc

Thanks in part to the popularity of bacon, pork belly trading has all but ceased on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Wall Street Journal reports. [Google News link] Learn more about the history of futures in a new book.

Ring in a Reasonable New Year

Want to do something more special than TV and beer, but can't afford New Year's Eve specials hovering around three digits? Metromix and the Reader have some ideas to get you started.

Share Your Strength, Eat at Alinea

Carol Blymire, author of the Alinea At Home foodblog, is doing a fundraising contest for Share Our Strength -- and the grand prize is dinner for four at Alinea. [via]

Salvation, Low and Slow

In Drive-Thru, Alan Lake shares the story of his annual tradition of serving Christmas dinner, BBQ style, at the Salvation Army's Harbor Light Center on the near West Side.

Greasy Fingers and Good Conversation

Eric May -- artist, proprietor of Roots and Culture and food enthusiast -- has set out to start up a "Mobile Culinary Community Center."

Call it a Drink Special

The Drink Deck has launched an iPhone app, which gets you the same deals as the 52-card deck but costs $10 less. [via]

Get Some Hot Cocoa

Seems like a good day for Mexican hot chocolate.

SF's Best Chicago-Style Pizza

Chicago-style pizza is surprisingly common in San Francisco. Ex-pat David Shamma recently set up a double-blind taste test, pitting three of the city's best up against FedExed pies from Gino's and Malnatti's to see which was the best.

The Public & Personal Taps

Marina City News has an early look inside Public House, opening Jan. 13 at State and Kinzie, where a dozen of the tables will have not just their own beer taps but also liquor taps.

From Humboldt Park to Trump Tower

In this week's Drive-Thru feature, we introduce you to Cob Connection, an organization that teaches urban farming skills to ex-offenders in the most unlikely of places.

Bring It On

@Eligratz put together a list and made a map of all the BYOB restaurants in Chicago (though he'd like to know if he missed any).

Eat on the Street

Chicago's food truck battle hit the Wall Street Journal today.

Tip Jar Bandit Caught

A Chicago man was arrested for stealing tip jars from at least three Starbucks and possibly several other coffee shops in the city and suburbs.

Mado Walk-out #2

Things don't look good at Mado. After its original chefs, Rob and Allie Levitt, left to open a butcher shop, Brandon Baltzley took over. Now Eater reports Baltzley's quit, too, and took the whole kitchen staff. They'll be doing a "pop up dinner" at Delicious on Dec. 17.

City Farms Take Root

Produce industry magazine The Packer reports on the City Produce Project's first harvest.

Jackson the Mushroom Man

Herbert Fickenworth, 12 years old, Chicago, writes: "I am picking and selling mushrooms every day."

A Hundred Ways to Blog an Egg

Chef's hats have 100 pleats to signify the number of ways a chef knows how to cook an egg. One Hundred Eggs shares a few of those ways, along with sumptuous food photography.

NewCity's Number Ones

Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.

You're Brewing it Wrong

Intelligentsia has come out with an iPhone/iPad app that teaches you the proper way to make your coffee. (Thanks, Roderick!)

Chicken Skin is the Next Bacon?

The Stew makes some food trend predictions for 2011. While bacon may be getting a little old, chicken skin seems like an unlikely successor.

How to Make Tea

Ever wonder the best way to make tea? Chicago Tea Garden's Tony Gebely breaks it down for you.

Not Another Teabag

Ineeka is a Chicago-based tea company with a farm in India and a unique "delivery system."

Chicago Survival Pack

BYOB Chicago, Drink Deck and Not For Tourists have teamed up to create the Chicago Survival Guide, a good gift for friends who want a cheap drink with dinner in a neighborhood they're not that familiar with.

What's In Season?

The Local Foods Wheel can help figure it out. [via]

Shaken, Not Stirred

Need a bartender for an upcoming party? You could win the services of one of the city's best.

The Key Ingredient Is...

What would a chef do with an ingredient they've never used before? The Reader intends to find out with its new series, Key Ingredient. First up is, of course, Grant Achatz and kluwak kapas nuts. The online version includes a video by Sky Full of Bacon's Michael Gebert.

Pop Open a Cold One

You have Chicagoans to thank for both canned beer and a way to open them.

Achatz on the Line

Both Eater and Grub Street have early peeks at Grant Achatz' upcoming memoir, Life, On the Line. Meanwhile, GQ offers a glimpse at Achatz' thought process behind Alinea's fall menu

Biodynamic Drinkability

In Drive-Thru, meet Shebnem Ince, a Chicago-born sommelier who specializes in biodynamic and organic wines.

Would You Like Fries with Those Vegan Ribs?

Northwestern is ranked as being the most vegan friendly "small" school in PETA's 2010 ranking of U.S. universities. The U of C made the initial list but was promptly defeated by Northwestern.

An Uncomfortable Thanksgiving Dinner

Chicago's own Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation says that pumpkin pie is the most arousing smell for men.

Oversized Deli Items

E.leaven has created a giant bagel they're calling a "party bagel." Seems like the ideal accompaniment to your Big Hot Dog (previously).

Farming in the City

Eight Forty-Eight paid a visit to the farm at Altgeld Gardens on the far South Side.

Wake Up With Wilco

American aquarium drinkers also now have the option to enjoy Intelligentsia's Wilco blend, selected unanimously by the band.

Your Pun for the Day

Local coffee roaster Crop to Cup is now providing IIT with a custom blend: Mies van der Roast.

Sustain This

Lessons learned at State of the Plate in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Pioneering the Food Truck Movement

The Gaztro-Wagon is out there, plying the streets with its naanwiches and waiting for the City to change laws against food trucks.

For Your Next Celebration

Bon Appetit included Grant Achatz' Next on its list of great celebration restaurants. Only problem being, of course, Next isn't open yet. They've since removed it from the list, but The Stew has a screenshot. [via]

L2Over and Out

Laurent Gras left L2O for "a break" just three weeks before the restaurant received three stars from Michelin. Yesterday news broke that the departure is permanent, and Eater Chicago got an exclusive interview.

Alas, Four Loko, We Knew Ye Well

The makers of Four Loko are caving to pressure and reformulating the drink to eliminate the caffeine and energy drink ingredients. Meanwhile, bars everywhere continue selling vodka and Red Bulls and Jack and Cokes.

Starbucks BOGOs Your Afternoon

Tomorrow, Nov. 18, through Nov. 21, Startbucks will help you get through the afternoon with a buy-one-get-one-free deal on its holiday coffee drinks between 2 and 5pm.

Queens Crushing Plantains

Tostones are easy to make, but making them with drag queens is more fun.

I'll Have a Suicide, Please

Remember mixing all the soda flavors at the fountain when you were a kid? Coke's experimental "Freestyle" soda dispensers bring back the fun (and danger) of that experimentation, and are now at a couple restaurants around town.

Michelin Stars are Out

The Michelin Guide announced its list of restaurants receiving stars a day earlier than planned after it leaked on Yelp.

"I don't know whether to drink it or snort it."

A powdered gin and tonic was among the experimental drinks Grant Achatz and team demoed at a private event in LA Friday. You'll have to wait for The Aviary to open to try snorting it yourself.

Newsweek Shows Chicago Food Some Love

In light of the Michelin guide's arrival in Chicago, the current issue of Newsweek is waxing poetic about some of Chicago's not-so-fancy (but still very loveable) foods.

A Survey of Chicago's Pizza Scene

Slice finally got around to Illinois (aka Chicago) on its tour of the United States of Pizza, courtesy of Daniel Zemans.

Take a Restaurant Flight

Flight Chicago is different from the usual restaurant deal: buy a flight and you get a three hour tour behind the scenes at three top restaurants, including Q&As with the chefs.

Canned Awards

Eater Chicago announced the winners of its first annual awards.

Decorate the Kitchen Sink

Edgewater coffee shop, Kitchen Sink, is looking for local artists to display their work at the business in 2011. The cafe is located near the Berwyn Red Line stop. Details.

Toast of the New Town Guide

Speaking of free, Drive-Thru is co-hosting a pre-release cocktail party for the Michelin Guide Chicago at Violet Hour next week. Space is limited, so sign up today! UPDATE: Sold out!

L20, Minus the L

Laurent Gras has left his post at L20. Whether it's for now or for forever remains to be seen.

52-Card Eat Out

A la Card has announced its 2011 restaurant discount deck, and for a limited time you can get 20% off your pre-order and get the 2010 deck to use as fast as possible. This year's deck is discounted to $15, too. (Thanks, Caffrin!)

A Home-Roasted Enterprise

We look at a group of DIY coffee roasters with big plans in this week's Drive-Thru Feature.

"Unknown" may be a Misnomer

Chances are you've been to at least one or two of Time Out's 50 unknown bars, or at least have heard of them.

Raiding the Spice Cabinet

Alinea was busted in 2006 for having a supply of the needlessly illegal tonka bean.

Verdict: Delicious

Lawyers like burgers. Some lawyers like them enough to pass judgment over them.

Lose-Win

Rob and Allie Levitt have left Mado. But by the end of the month, they'll be opening a butcher shop in Noble Square that will feature custom-cut meats from animals raised on small Midwestern farms and handmade charcuterie. (For those jonesing for the Levitts' cooking, there'll also be a small lunch menu.)

Hair o' the Dog

Local illustrator Mitch O'Connell designed this awesome tiki mug for the day after.

Beware of the Sweet Drinks Stalking School Halls

Because they're still widely available, says a UIC researcher.

Next Iron Chef Will not be Local

Vermillion's Maneet Chauhan was cut on this week's "Next Iron Chef," but you can still try her show-inspired lunch boxes for $24. Chef Ming Tsai, who won while Chauhan lost, is at The Chopping Block tonight for a book signing and cooking demo.

Kindly Check All Cutlasses, Rayguns, and Glow in the Dark Vampire Fangs with the Attendant

Halloween in Chicago: A completely reasonable sign on the door of a northwest side liquor store.

Cuisine Fit for the President

Obama Foodorama has the details regarding President Obama's weekend dinner at Topolobombo and take-out breakfast at Valois.

Gettin' Cheesy With It

We head to Wisconsin for a trip full of dairy goodness in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Pizza and Cake? Yep, That'll Fly in Chicago.

The owners of Bleeding Heart Bakery are teaming up with The Fifty/50 crew to create side-by-side pizzeria and bakery collaboration in Wicker Park.

Chicago's First Legal Whiskey in 90 Years

Koval Distillery is releasing Lion's Pride Whiskey, the first whiskey made in Chicago since Prohibition, this weekend. The Reader's Mike Sula got an early taste.

Tina Orders the Chicken

Thinking about dinner at the Athenian Room tonight? Forget it. Ever since Tina Fey endorsed it in a "30 Rock" web video, it's been packed.

A Little Cart of Home in Vegas

Of course Vegas proudly promotes "Chicago Style Polish" dogs.

Four Loko is too Many for College Kids

Chicago-based Phusion Projects is under fire as its Four Loko alcoholic energy drinks are implicated in underage drinking cases at colleges around the country. More details in Drive-Thru.

New Brews in the Pipeline

The seasoned local craft brewers behind Pipeworks Brewing Company have taken to Kickstarter in search of the funds to build their brewing facility in Garfield Park. If you're feeling particularly flush, they've got some very creative rewards for the big spenders, including a trip to Belgium and a chance to create a beer with them.

Food Police

A 10-year-old boy in Buffalo Grove called 911 last week to complain that he hated the food his parents served him for dinner.

Son of a Son of a Tourist

Margaritaville is coming to Navy Pier.

Room Service: Eating Locally in the City's Hotels

The Mag Mile Marriott and the Elysian Hotel get name-checked in a New York Times article about hotels committed to über-local food sourcing.

Goats and Zebras and Dragons, Oh My

Grub Street Chicago points us to a cool restaurant map by Vidhya Nagarajan.

"Where did you steal this cart from?"

A multimedia artist takes a summer job as a paletero in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Pairing with Pinot

Devon Seafood has a special dining deal for GB readers; learn more in Drive-Thru.

The Future of Food

Time Out covers coming trends in food and drink in this week's feature package, which naturally includes an interview with chef Grant Achatz. David Tamarkin posted a longer version of the interview online.

Take One Down

Chicago magazine hosts 40 Bottles of Beer tonight at the Village Tap in Roscoe Village.

Nom Nom Nom

Soup's on at the Lincoln Park Zoo! What are your favorite ruminants, amphibians, and primates noshing on and how much does it cost per animal each year? Yum, krill!

Turkey Tom vs. Tom Turkey

Jimmy John's is suing Halsted Street Deli over trademarked sandwich names. (Watch out, Mr. Pickle's, you're next)

Fighting for Space in the Kitchen

The Reader takes a look at the zoning battle facing the Logan Square Kitchen.

Sudo Make Me a Sandwich

Ever wish someone would just make you something to eat? Or maybe you'd really like to cook for someone. CookItFor.Us, a new site, er, cooked up at a hackathon last week, can help party A find party B.

Where's Our 24-Hour Coffee Shop?

The Kitty Journal expresses frustration at how tough it is to find a late night cup of coffee in this town. (Presumably the author doesn't want to hang out in a diner.) [via]

Getting Your Drink On

MyDrinkOn brings the crowd-couponing concept to booze, starting with Chicago.

Carrying Bacon into the Next Decade

Baconfest 2011 has been announced.

Well, Duh: It's Really Good Pie!

Hoosier Mama Pie Company just made Bon Appetit's list of the country's Top 10 Best Places for Pie. Achatz Handmade Pie Company, from Armada, Michigan, also gets a shoutout -- as much for the pie as for being related to Grant Achatz and served at Alinea.

Eating at the Poverty Line

Could you eat on $4.50 a day, as people on the SNAP program do? Chicagoist's Betsy Mikel tried it for a week.

Sake It Up

Today is International Sake Day! We've got some places for you to sip sake, hot or cold, in Drive-Thru.

Meat & Gwiv

LTHForum's Gary Wiviott will be on the Food Network's new show "Meat & Potatoes" tonight, showing host Rahm Fama the wonders of Sun Wah BBQ.

Dining at Deep Discount

Arlington Heights-based Restaurant.com tried their hands today at the group discount game today, offering 90% off restaurant gift certificates. It's proved so popular that it's crushing their servers -- so they're extending the deal through Friday to make up for it.

Eating is a Sport

Game Time Dine brings together sports and food.

A Really Early Preview

Gene's Sausage Shop's rooftop deck and beer garden won't open until next spring, but a few lucky folks got a sneak peek last weekend.

Bacon Blog

And other food, too: the 2nd place winners for Judges' Choice in the Chicago Bacon Takedown have a blog, The Green Chalkboard, where they explore porky and non-porky (or even meaty) delights.

River North's Taste of the Season

Octoberfeast returns to River North next week: spend Oct. 5 wandering from restaurant to gallery to bar, capping off with a party at the Hard Rock, all for $65.

Eating Across the Region

After that somewhat underwhelming visit from the New York Times, it's nice to see someone who really dove into Chicago's (and Wisconsin's) food scene.

Cheers to These Guys

Chicago-based glassware company By the Glass has been getting some attention lately for their tasteful lines of drinking glasses inspired by several cities around the world. Maybe I'm biased, but I like the Chicago line.

Binge on Pasta, Then Exercise, Then Beer

The Chicago Marathon's right around the corner. Put your feedbag over your race number for Frasca's half-price-pasta Carb Cram on marathon eve, then trade your Bibs for Beers at Dunlay's on Clark post-race.

A Decade of Media Justice

Billed as a "gala celebration & tasting for friends, fans and foodists" the Chicago media-arts nonprofit, Beyondmedia, is celebrating 10 years of media justice, 10 top Chicago chefs and 10 honor awardees. Regrettably, another Chicago event dominates the 10-10-10 slot, so they bumped theirs to October 14th. Check Slowdown or the event site for tickets and details.

You Scream Saturday

It's free ice cream day tomorrow at Capannari's in the French Market.

Big Beer in a Craft Bottle

If you notice some new craft beers at the bar this weekend, keep in mind that they may not be as microbrewed as they seem.

Warning!

Kevin Pang, a reporter at the Trib, spotted a sign of culture clash at Dan Ryan's Chicago Grill in Hong Kong.

This Logo is Bananas

Allan Nacapuy, a Harrington College of Design student, is a finalist for a nationwide contest to create a redesign of the Chiquita Banana logo; his artwork will appear on selected bananas from November to January.

Liquid Uppers & Downers

Two new drinks are vying for space on shelves: Greater Than, a new coconut water-based energy drink, and Sleepyhead, an elixir to help you sleep.

Goose Island's Takes Home the Bling Again

Yet another good year for Goose Island. The brewery's 312 urban wheat ale won a gold medal in this year's Great American Beer Festival in the category of English-style Summer Ale. Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout also won the bronze in the Wood- and Barrell- Aged Strong Stout category. Full results here.

Hot Dogs: Now With T-Shirts

Devotees of Hot Doug's encased meat emporium have been rejoicing all over the city today, but not about food; Hot Doug's has released a new line of t-shirts, and they are actually awesome.

Making Over McDonald's

How might the McDonald's of the future look? Much more stylish. [via]

Start Saving Your Pennies: Izard Hosts Beard

Chicago's It Girl Stephanie Izard will host a Friends of the James Beard Foundation dinner at Girl & The Goat. If that's not enough capital letters for you, check out the lineup of guest chefs, breweries and producers she'll be featuring at the November 2 dinner.

Bird-Brained Beer

The latest craft brewery in Chicago, Finch's Beer, is still looking for a name for their flagship brew. Make the winning suggestion and you could win free beer for life.

Heading to the Hall of Fame

Chef Art Smith -- of Table Fifty-Two, Oprah, and Top Chef Masters fame -- is being inducted into the Chefs Hall of Fame by the Chicago Culinary Museum. And Mayor Daley has proclaimed September 30, the same day as the induction ceremony, to be "Chef Art Smith Day In Chicago." Oh, and in other news, there's also a Chicago Culinary Museum.

More Traveling Bar Food

The Tamale Guy is no longer the only game in town for late-night bar snacks sold out of a cooler: Time Out Chicago introduces the Burger Guy. Wonder when he'll have his own tribute t-shirt, too.

Rocking Oktoberfest

Metromix runs the numbers on the various Oktoberfest celebrations around town.

Starbucks Innovations in Chicago

Starbucks is testing two new ideas at Chicago locations: an email based order and payment system and a separate drip coffee order line.

Beer for a Reason -- or No Reason

Beer lovers, here's your calendar: On Sept. 24, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation throws its Festiv-Ale, a beer-soaked fundraiser for cystic fibrosis research. And on Oct. 9, the beer podcast HopCast is organizing a bike crawl to 10 breweries and brewpubs. Then on Oct. 22, Alphabeer returns with 26 new selections to sample.

No One's Immune to Groupon Fever

Not to be outdone by Groupon, YouSwoop, SocialBuy, and all the others, Open Table has launched its own discount coupon site.

Hot Dog Imperialism

The Detroit News sees Leo's Coney Island as a victory for the Detroit-style hot dog. But if Yelp ratings are any indication, the Chicago style in Detroit is more of a success than Leo's.

The Local Options

I occasionally find myself putting together a gift basket of Chicago-based foods. I'm definitely not alone.

Help the World Come Out to Roscoe's

Roscoe's Tavern is in the running for TripOutGayTravel's five best gay bars in the world list. Vote for it here.

Positive Changes

We look at some new developments in the ever-complex "food desert" problem in the city in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Escargot and Goat Balls: Not a Sex Act

Probably the best review of The Girl and the Goat you'll ever read.

How Jelly Bellies Get Made

Chicagoist has a two part tour of the Jelly Belly factory in North Chicago. While that factory isn't open to visitors, the one in Pleasant Prairie, WI is.

Everybody Loves Waffles

The Waffleizer blog, written by former GB contributor Daniel Shumski, came to an end last week with a post about the one thing he promised never to make with his waffle iron: the thing it was intended for.

Major Federal Smuggling Case Run Out of Chicago

What was smuggled? Honey.

Roger Ebert Writes About Cooking Too

Roger Ebert's cookbook is set to come out later this month. Here's a story in The New York Times on it.

Eat Your Way to More Food

If you eat at five of these restaurants, you could earn yourself a free ticket to Chicago Gourmet.

Chicago's Food Trucks Already Compete

Chicago's nascent food trucks are in the running to be on the next season of Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race." Vote for Chicago's Fired Up, Flirty Cupcakes, Gaztro-Wagon and Happy Bodega by selecting Chicago on the map, because we can't link to specific trucks.

Read a Restaurant Opening

Mark and Liz Mendez, until recently chef and wine director at Carnivale, are planning a new restaurant and blogging about the process on WindyCitizen.

Eat Your Food, Even If You Hate It

Chicago magazine's food critic spent the afternoon with Nutraloaf, food for misbehaving inmates, a.k.a. "a thick orange lump of spite with the density and taste of a dumbbell."

Voting for Chicago Veggies

Tomorrow is the last day to vote in the VegNews 2010 Veggie Awards and give props to competing locals, including the Chicago Soy Dairy, The Chicago Diner, Karyn's on Green, Loving Hut and Karyn Calabrese. Oh, and you might win some prizes too.

Another Food Truck Readies

Simple Sandwiches is getting ready to roll. Keep an eye on them via Twitter.

Unless Time Is Money

Bon Appetit just crowned Chicago the nation's top spot for inexpensive eats. With Xoco, Big Star and Urban Belly -- and their infamous waits -- on the list, you should have plenty of time to scrounge up loose change. Takashi, Gene's Sausage Shop, Danny's, Franks 'n' Dawgs, Edzo's Burger Shop, and Floriole Cafe & Bakery also made the cut. Popularity, local/organic/seasonal ingredient sourcing, and general deliciousness notwithstanding, can we accurately call a $3 oatmeal cookie, a $13 bowl of ramen, or a $12 bowl of soup "cheap"? Discuss.

St. Jerome's Had 80 Little Lambs...

We head down to Bridgeport to celebrate a Croatian holiday and eat some delicious lamb in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Average Appetites

Chicagoans spent just a little above the national average on food in 2009, according to research by Cornell University. Enjoy lunch!

Bikes and Bars

This Sunday, occasional GB contributor John Greenfield will be signing copies of his book, Bars Across America: Drinking and Biking from Coast to Coast, at Lush Wine and Spirits, 1257 S. Halsted St. -- conveniently close to the Boulevard Bike Tour start/finish line. And if you stop into the new Rapid Transit Cycle Shop at 1305 S. Halsted, you can get a free Rapid Transit pint glass, which Lush will fill with free Half Acre beer at the reading.

Evanston Lunchin'

Visit a small block of mammoth edible potential in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

TEDxWindyCityxFood

If you missed TEDxWindyCity back in February, you've got an opportunity to see a food-related mini version in October. Tickets are on sale now, and expected to sell out today.

Mooooo

The Butter Cow, now on display at the Illinois State Fair.

Stay Away from the Egg Salad

The eggs might have been OK, but you gotta worry about the salmonella-tainted pickles.

That Was Quick

Looks like Half Acre is getting a new brew master, and St. Louis a new brewery. [via]

Chicago's Potbelly Expands

Did you know that Potbelly Sandwiches had never signed a franchise deal until this week? Apparently the Lincoln Park store has held out for more than a decade, despite expanding into 40 cities and receiving some 6,000 hopeful franchise inquiries.

Nasty Meat Treat

The "meat-man parfait" is basically a giant plastic cup layered with scoops of barbecued pork or brisket, mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce. Ingest it for $7 at the Illinois State Fair -- I have a feeling there won't be much left once PETA finds out.

Crowdsourcing a Table for 12

Grubwithus puts a social spin on dining deals: members buy seats at a group table, meaning you get to meet some new friends while you eat on the cheap. (Thanks, Lakshmi!)

Cinnamon Caramel Donuts in the Loop?

Yes, oh, yesssss. We visit a delicious downtown Amish bakery store in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Chi-town Shucking

What do you get when you combine 60,000 people, a carnival and 50 tons of sweet corn? The 2010 Mendota Sweet Corn Festival, of course! The weekend event begins tomorrow, and don't forget the free Del Monte sweet corn on Sunday afternoon.

Grab a Beer

Wondering what's on the beer list at the bar you're heading to? Here you go.

See Your Food

We take you through a Guerrilla Dinner from snout to tail in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

1,000 Shares of Wheat

The Reader profiles Sarah Kavage, creator of Industrial Harvest, an "experiment to discover how an abstract 'wheat futures' contract connects to real wheat, real food and real people."

Pork's Swine Song?

Kevin Pang asked a dozen chefs what food is overrated, and five said pork. Is this the beginning of the end? (Two said hamburgers.) [via]

Goodbye, Edna's

A month after its namesake passed away, Edna's has closed.

Home CSA Distro Points Nearly Killed

A misunderstanding with a city inspector nearly led to all home-based CSA drop-off points becoming illegal.

Green Drinking

We head north to Wisconsin to visit an environmentally conscious brewery in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

I Scream, You Scream

We all scream for the 2nd Annual Chicago Luxury Ice Cream Festival! That's right, there will be a glorious festival tomorrow and Saturday night where micro-creameries and local chocolatiers practically hose people down with hot fudge and caramel. Get tickets and details here.

More Cupcakes

In Drive-Thru, we've got details about the third cupcake truck about to hit the streets, from More.

Drinking and Flying

No need to hit a 4am bar before your red-eye flight soon: Bars at O'Hare and Midway may never close if a change to Chicago's liquor granting airports exemptions passes the full City Council.

Still Wondering About That Hot Dog?

In other food news, ESPN tracked down health department reports about food service providers for major stadiums around the country. At first, the Chicago stadiums look pretty clean, but then an important distinction emerges: Unlike most locales, Chicago health inspections were conducted when the food vendors were closed.

Hollywood Bowles

In the wake of his tiff with Chicago magazine, Eater has an interview with Chef Graham Elliot Bowles about "MasterChef" and his personal life.

The Arrival of the Korean Taco

Local Korean-Mexican hybrids Taco Chino and Del Seoul got some attention from the NY Times in its recent write-up of the Korean taco trend.

Tap Into Your Temper

Hot Temper Hot Sauce is a locally mad, limited edition hot sauce with unique custom labels. They'll have a booth at Wicker Park Fest this coming weekend.

Bake Your Own Hot Dog Buns

Never have the wrong number of buns for your Chicago-style hot dog again! (Or, at least, it'll be your fault.)

An Apple a Day Requires a Permit

Want to know why Chicago has very few fruit-bearing trees on public property?

What's On a Chicago Style Hot Dog

Ever wonder where they neon green relish came from? Did you know that yellow mustard started here? Dining Chicago has your answers.

Randy Wells Can Make Dip?

After six months of preparation, a cookbook will be released on Friday authored by none other than the Chicago Cubs. Chicago Cubs Cookbook features collected recipes and stories from players and coaches, and all proceeds will go to pitcher Ryan Dempster's foundation, dedicated to helping those with the rare DiGeorge syndrome.

Riding the Bacon Wave 'til it Dies

Thought BaconFest was a one-off deal? No sir. The meat candy fest is already looking to 2011.

Would You Like a Mustache With That Coffee?

This morning, Cafe Mustache opened its Logan Square doors with an impressive lineup: Bleeding Heart pastries, Bridgeport Company coffee, Nice Cream ice cream and free Wi-Fi. Check it out at TimeOut Chicago.

Yet Another Pitchfork Guide

Adding to the long list of Pitchfork guides is this one, from the New York Times' T Magazine, geared more towards out-of-towners looking for places to eat and shop.

Bring Home the Homemade Bacon

I hope you have some pink salt on hand for this week's Drive-Thru feature.

The Stars Our Destination

Following the announcement that Chicago will get a Michelin Guide later this year, Esquire's John Mariani handicapped which restaurants would get coveted two- and three-star ratings.

Higher and Higher

The Signature Room in the Hancock has unexpected competition for the city's highest restaurant and bar -- from the Hancock Observatory, one floor below.

And That's How the Michelin Man Got so Roly-Poly

Chicago will be the third U.S. city to become the subject of a Michelin Guide. Last November, the New Yorker went undercover with one of Michelin's (in)famously anonymous inspectors.

Lighter Fare from Burger Meisters

A couple of McDonald's alums are working on a new, healthier fast-casual chain.

Chocolate is the Curriculum

We visit the French Pastry School in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Using Flames to do Something Other than Bake Pizza

It's official: The recipe for starting a lengthy online discussion is to malign or celebrate various Chicago pizzerias.

Fresh Veggies, Fresh Money

Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks, a local produce delivery service, just won more than $80,000 from a highly competitive national USDA grant program that funds innovative small businesses. Irv & Shelly's delivers boxes of fruits, veggies and locally made foods to customers' doors -- owners will use the cash to improve the company's distribution network of farmers and CSAs.

Taste of the Art Institute

The Art Institute reminds us that it's air conditioned, has food and displays scary pictures of food that may remind you to take it easy at the Taste.

Looking for a Good Scallion Cigar?

We've got recipes for your upcoming picnics and eat-offs in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Home Grown Hot Sauce

The very tasty Co-Op Hot Sauce is made with hot peppers and other ingredients grown on the West Side, and the proceeds benefit youth arts education.

Tasty Tees

Threadcakes, the competition to make the best cake version of a Threadless t-shirt design, is open and ready for your votes.

A Loaf for All Seasons

Leah A. Zeldes of Dining Chicago argues that meatloaf really is a summer food, and passes off a simple, delicious-sounding recipe from Chef Alfredo Anaya does at Dine in the West Loop. [via]

Candy, Gum, Chocolate, Coffee, Biscuits and Powdered Drinks

Suburban culinary megacompany Kraft Foods, Inc. is embarking on product and advertising realignment following its recent acquisition of Cadbury. The process provides some interesting insight into how multinational consumer product companies strategize global growth -- namely by selling sugary stuff to developing countries.

Goose-20? G-312?

Obama toasted with a Goose Island 312 in a photo op with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit.

Growing with Greenbacks

Some area residents are putting their money where there mouth is and investing in local organic farms in order to help sustain their own pantries.

Beware the Pizza Mafia

It seems that people didn't care much for Jeff Ruby's list of his 25 favorite Chicago pizzas.

This Champ Doesn't Win a Cup, He Pours One

Mike Phillips won the 2010 World Barista Championship in London on Friday. Sounds like the Stanley Cup should pay a visit to Intelligentsia.

Hot Diggity Dog

We visit a Chicago institution of encased meats in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Chicago Magazine Hearts Eating in Logan Square

And they want you to love it too.

Food Fights! At Noon Today

Join me and writers from the Trib, Time Out Chicago, Sky Full of Bacon and other bosses of the trade for today's Lunchbox liveblog chat at noon on Vocalo--we'll be talking about food truck legislation, the noshes that will be available at Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago, and whatever else tickles our fancy.

Get Your Hot Dog from a Hood

Chicago Storytelling has a story about Felony Franks, the new hot dog stand on Western Avenue that employs ex-convicts to dish out its "misdemeanor wieners" through bullet-proof glass. Owner Jim Andrews is fighting the alderman to let his stand serve time.

Food Porn for Your Morn

Behind the scenes at Kith and Kin, and a recent grand tour at Alinea.

Tasting Chicago on Your iPhone

Before you head to the Taste of Chicago this year, you may want to download its pretty darned good official app [opens in iTunes].

Big Star Tacos, Metal Burgers at Lolla

Wondering what you'll eat at Lollapalooza? Big Star, Kuma's, Rockit and Hoosier Mama are among the options.

No Winners Here

Lincoln Park's Wiener's Circle, described as "a microcosm of segregation in Chicago" and ranked 56th in journalist Catherine Price's highly subjective (nothing's unpleasant in France, really?) but admittedly entertaining 101 Places Not to See Before You Die. At least it beat out New Jersey's Grover Cleveland Service Area?

Feed Your Eyes

Chicago certainly is home to The Food of the Gods.

Snow in June

If you've tried everything your local ice cream truck has to offer, you can move on to more exotic frozen fare--like xue hua bing, shaved ice from Taiwan now available at Cloud 9.

The Sweet Taste of Corruption

Phil Vettel considers other Chicago politics themed frozen treats, inspired by Bobtail Ice Cream's Blago's Blues flavor.

Back to Work, in the Kitchen

Inspiration Corporation's Cafe Too is a place where the homeless and unemployed learn a valuable trade while they start a new chapter in their lives. We take a closer look at the program in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

I've Got a Sandwich & It's Effin' Golden

The cafeteria in the Dirksen Federal Building offered a special today: "The Innocent, aka Blago." Too bad we already had lunch.

Golden Beer in Red, Black & White Labels

Remember how Goose Island wanted help naming their latest beer? The winner is... Hefe-Hawks-Win. Try it for yourself at the RedEye/Metromix Tweet-up tomorrow.

Soul Food Restaurateur Edna Stewart Passes Away

Edna Stewart, owner of the legendary Edna's Restaurant on the West Side, passed away on Friday. For background about Stewart, her restaurant and her role in the civil rights movement, check out this interview from the Southern Foodways Alliance Oral History Project.

No Shiitake?

Let's get into mushrooms, courtesy of this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Fine Dining

Grub Street Chicago's put together a list of Chicago's most expensive dishes. At the top of their list - TRU's Caviar Staircase, a tasting course of sturgeon caviars that costs a cool $280.

Your Own State Dinner

Rick Bayless will soon be offering the menu from his recent state dinner at the White House at Topolobompo; check out photos of the courses here. Start calling for reservations.

Still No Food Trucks

The City's much-awaited food truck ordinance is delayed yet again, but don't despair, 32nd Ward alderman Scott Waguespack says it's "the right plan." We think the right plan would have us buying tacos from a food truck right now.

Candy Coming Soon

The AV Club has a round-up of notable candy and snack food from the 2010 Sweets & Snacks Expo (formerly the All Candy Expo), which happened in May at McCormick Place.

The Whole Wine World

Bottlenotes is back with its Around the World in 80 Sips wine tasting event at the MCA this Friday, June 11. And they've got a deal for GB readers: Use the code GAPERSBLOCK and get $10 off tickets!

Eat Like Achatz

Gridskipper's Star Map this month is Grant Achatz's tour of his favorite Chicago eateries. He lauds The Bristol and The Drawing Room as some of his go-to restaurants.

Clearly, it's Candy Time

In honor of National Candy Month, ABC News picked Sarah's Pastries and Candies as one of the top candy stores in the country.

Rogers Park Gets a Farmers Market

Rogers Park's Glenwood Sunday Farmers Market debuts today, featuring all certified organic or transitioning vendors.

Mmm, Donuts...

Oh hey, it's National Do(ugh)nut Day. You know what that means? Free ones at Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme.

Kids Growing Strong

Learn more about an organic farming initiative that gets high school students away from the TV and into the fields in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Mmm, Barbecue Party

Wicker Park's Smoke Daddy wants you to name its new smoker, offering a free BBQ party for 20 people to whomever creates the winning moniker. Head to the restaurant, write down your favorite names, and you'll be entered to win, but make sure you pick a name to match its power -- the 5,000 lb. beast can smoke 432 ribs at once. The contest is open June 14 through the 30th, and BBQ lovers can suggest up to three names.

Pier-ing into the Food Abyss

We learn that you can get a decent meal at Navy Pier in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Burnt Popcorn, Tuna & Bananas

Food smells are a regular annoyance in office kitchens -- and everyone has their personal stinky pet peeves.

Hipsters to Run Hipster Beer Co.

The Wall Street Journal reports that investor C. Dean Metropoulos has purchased Woodridge-based Pabst, makers of PBR, Schlitz, Old Style and plenty other "old man" beers. His sons, Evan (29) and Daren (26) are expected to have a role. Here's a bit of background on the Metropoulos boys.

Bacon Mania Rolls On

If BaconFest didn't cure you of your bacon fetish, maybe this special deal will help.

Who You Callin' Cupcake?

Your home can taste a lot more like 1955 W. Belmont, thanks to the release of Bleeding Heart Bakery's first cupcake cookbook. Try your hand ahead of time with the recipe for Infamous Spinach and Apple Cupcakes shared with No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner.

Create Your Own "Suicide"

Futuristic vending machines have been getting a lot of attention lately, and events at the (other) NRA show didn't buck the trend. One vending machine from the show will hit Chicago this summer with the ability to mix Coke with Fanta, lemonade or about a dozen other flavors to your specification.

Name That Wheat Beer

Goose Island wants your help naming its latest brew, a hefeweizen. Bragging rights aren't all you'll win if they pick yours.

Food Trucks Soon?

On June 9, Ald. Scott Waguespack plans to introduce an ordinance allowing food trucks of the sort that roam LA and New York. He made the announcement at a National Restaurant Association panel discussing food truck culture.

It's a Margarita Summer

We're exploring Chicago's wealth of margaritas in Drive-Thru this summer. Suggestions welcome.

AHHHHHH! GETITOFFGETITOFFGETITOFF!!!

An Amityville Horror-like gathering of bees amassed under a wicker table in Oak Park today in an obvious attempt to induce the heebie jeebies. [via]

Food Club

The first rule of underground dining is not to call it underground dining.

The Clown Stays in the Picture

Ronald McDonald is staying.

To Eat Quickly or To Eat Pretty Quickly

In other food news, Grant Achatz weighs in on the tensions between photographing and eating food as it's presented at the table.

Allergic to Bayless

Gizmodo.com writer Mark Wilson explains why a single Twitter update from Rick Bayless resulted in him canceling a reservation at Topolobampo.

Are You Ready for Herb Green Ceviche of Hawaiian Opah?

Perhaps you've reached Bayless saturation by now, but the official White House dinner press release is actually a pretty interesting read.

Wheeling Most of the Farm to You

Archeworks' most recent unveiling is the Mobile Food Collective "Urban Farm Tool," a hub for the creation and support of urban community farming.

Drink Up

Looking for some foamy action? Chicago Beer Week kicks off today and runs through the weekend.

Banana Power

Pilsen's Atom Banana is one of the country's largest wholesalers of bananas. In Drive-Thru, Cinnamon writes about appealing ways to use them.

Un-Cook This

Raw food gets back onto the plate again in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Heinz Changes Its Ketchup Recipe

Chicago's least favorite condiment is getting a makeover. Heinz is reportedly changing their ketchup recipe. The move comes as part of the company's efforts to be more health-conscious. Don't worry, though; your Chicago Dog's recipe remains unaltered.

Become an Iron Chef

Our own Cinnamon Cooper's new cookbook, Everything Cast Iron, isn't in stores until June 18, but it starts shipping from Amazon on Monday.

Bye Bye Betty

Former Cicero town president Betty Loren-Maltese has left her job as a hostess at Salerno's in Oak Park. Maybe she's looking to get in on the food truck trend?

Pre-Washed Produce

The Daley Plaza Farmers Market opens today, rain or shine.

Eat Your Way Through Chinatown

Kevin Pang has created a "Chinese Guy's Guide to Eating in Chinatown." It's in tomorrow's print Trib, but you can preview it on Facebook. (Compare and contrast with Time Out Chicago's guide from two weeks ago.)

Cooking for the President of Mexico

Rick Bayless, the chef behind Topolobampo and the new Xoco, will prepare the Obama administration's second state dinner in honor of Mexican president Felipe Calderón.

Julie & Julia & You

This Friday (the 14th) at 10am, within the Chopping Block, aspiring French chefs can receive a first hand introduction into the greatest of all culinary arts. The class will focus on some independent cook book titled "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" from an unknown author by the name of Julia Child. Registration for "Mastering the Art of Julia Child" is $85 and spots are filling up.

Foursquare Meals

Foursquare has made an unlikely alliance with Crain's Chicago Business to deliver restaurant recommendations for your next business lunch, based on your location.

Foie Gras Faux Pas, Revisited

Join Northwestern PhD student Michaela DeSoucey and the Culinary Historians of Chicago tomorrow at 10am at Kendall College to discuss her dissertation comparing the foie gras debates in the States versus France.

Chew to the Music

We look at how restaurants create their playlists for your enjoyment in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

But No Bars!

Booze: coming soon to a beach near you?

Just in Time for Lunch: Chicago's Biggest Chimichanga

From the "Unnecessarily Large Food Department" comes the 3.5 pound chimichanga at Dos Diablos in River North. In case you had $25 and an didn't know where to go for your Day-After-Cinco-de-Mayo lunch. Enjoy the slide show.

Hello Hotdish

What some would call a quintessentially Midwest food is now available through Le Cordon Bleu graduate "Johnny Casserole"'s delivery service.

Alinea's New Projects Take Flight

The team behind Alinea have announced two new projects: Next: and Aviary, a restaurant that offers tickets instead of reservations, and a cocktail bar. A few more details here.

Johnny Cupcakes at Bleeding Heart Tonight

Fans of pint-sized confections should hit Bleeding Heart Bakery tonight at 8pm (on your way to our Get-Together, of course) to meet Johnny Cupcakes on his tour across America.

A Guide to Local Chow

It's a gorgeous day outside, which means that seasonal produce will be coming back soon. Learn more about how to eat and buy locally in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

A Good Reason to Eat Out Tonight

If you don't have dinner plans yet, make them: Tonight you're Dining Out for Life.

The Latest Food Truck News

The Reader's big story this week sums up the legislative situation for getting food trucks on the streets of Chicago. Meanwhile, Time Out reports that a new cupcake truck will be hitting the road this weekend.

Alinea Gains in World Esteem

Alinea is now the seventh best restaurant in the world, and best in North America, according to the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Food Trucks or Fight

Time Out Chicago is throwing its weight behind legalizing food trucks in Chicago, with Street Food Now!, a portal to the magazine's coverage of the movement.

Even the Worm Now Wears a Top Hat

Tequila drinking gets more refined in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Questionable Taste Levels

PETA is coming after McDonald's for its support of the poultry industry with a new ad that appears in today's Tribune -- featuring Bea Arthur and the phrase "roll over in her grave."

Jelly-inea

Want the taste of Alinea at a fraction of the cost? Reproduce the menu with jelly beans. [via]

Vegetarians Can Double Down

Don't eat meat, but still want in on the latest fast food abomination? A local young lady and her boyfriend help you out with their meatless version of the KFC sandwich.

Food and Memories in Faber-Castell

Local comic book artist and hot dog aficionado Lucy Knisley gets interviewed in Book Club as part of the ongoing series One-Shots.

Push Something into the Sunlight, It's Bound to Get Burned

Time Out Chicago wrote about the only legal gourmet-style food truck in the city right now in last week's issue -- and the attention is getting All Fired Up hassled.

Delivery Extra

Chicagoist's Anthony Todd rants about food delivery fees.

The Greatest of All Time?

Perhaps even more controversial than the 40 best songs list, Chicago magazine's 40 Greatest Chicago Restaurants Ever list has people abuzz. Sky Full of Bacon offers a couple corrections.

Taste the Music

The musical lineup for Taste of Chicago has been announced. Highlights include Rob Thomas and Salt-n-Pepa.

Drinking in the Park

It's theoretically illegal to have alcohol in the parks -- but Mayor Daley wants to make it easier to drink, if it'll increase city revenue.

A Marriage of Flavors

Chicagoans have a delicious way to depart from traditional department store wedding registries with newly-launched Foodie Registry, which features gift certificates for local restaurants like BOKA and one sixtyblue. Here's a short profile of the site on Crain's.

Frozen Yogurt Market Chilling

Frozen yogurt favorite Berry Chill has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reportedly based on poor location choice. All locations will remain open for now.

Foodie the Website

Foodie the App is now available to those of us without iPhones: the web version of the discount deal app is live and fully functional.

Tax Tacos

Whether you're celebrating or trying to forget, make tacos a part of your April 15th. Taco Del Mar (3955 N. Broadway) is giving one away: head to the website to print out your coupon.

Tastes Like a Winner

Tony Mantuano, Terzo Piano chef and Top Chef Masters contestant, dominated the second season's debut challenges. Judge the dishes yourself at Terzo Piano through the end of the month.

A Berry Good Spring

We have some ways to take advantage of the strawberry surplus in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

We Can Have Happy Hour Underground

Stay dry while getting sloshed with a pub crawl via Chicago's subterranean Pedway. [Bonus: A map of the system for your designated navigator. Plus, GB's '04 Detour through the tunnels.]

Sleep(walk)ing around River North

Ever watch the Amazing Race and think you could do it -- if it weren't for the jetlag? Take part in the River North Sleep Around Challenge, and you won't even need to leave the 312 area code. The Challenge Starts at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza and ends up at Martini Park. Along the way, there are stops at seven hotels that will provide challenges and refreshments. Lots of prizes will be offered. Tickets available from the River North Business Association.

Getting Healthy, Panel by Panel

Local comic book artist Sarah Becan chronicles getting healthier in a sort of sequential weight loss diary. Good for anyone who likes beer and delicious food but is trying to slim down, and/or enjoys sweet, autobiographical, journal-style comics.

Drink Like Your Life No Longer Depends On It

That's right, the Zombie Pub Crawl is back. Sign-up opens this Saturday for the April 24 invasion of Andersonville.

Bakery Hop

Forget bar and pub: Chicago Bites' cupcake crawl is where it's at. [via]

Turning Coffee into Wine

While Intelligentsia may not be quitting the roasting business, its founder does want you to think of coffee the way you think of wine.

Final Four Drinks

Whether you're a fan of Butler, Michigan State, Duke or West Virginia, there's a bar in Chicago for you. Here's where to drink among friends this weekend.

Eating with Your Eyes

Food with a view in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Getting the Falafel Rolling

The upscale food truck trend is heating up across the country, and now chicagofoodtrucks.com is gathering opinions and support for an ordinance that would open the city to the mobile eateries. Time Out Chicago launches its own Street Food Now campaign this month.

Intelligensia is Out of Beans

We have the breaking news over at Drive-Thru. Also, a new CSA arrives on the scene.

Refunds and Uncertainty for Cakegirls

A couple of days after the Cakegirls building burned, Mary and Brenda Maher are contemplating their next steps.

A Loop Grocery Store

Milwaukee-based grocery chain Roundy's plans to open a grocery store in the Loop next year. It'll be called Mariano's, after the company's CEO -- who used to run Dominick's before it was purchased by Safeway.

Legalizing the Mobile Feast

A new movement is afoot to bring gourmet food trucks like they have in many other cities to Chicago. Share your thoughts at ChicagoFoodTrucks.com.

Fire Closes Lao Sze Chuan

Speaking of fires, Lao Sze Chuan was the victim of a blaze this morning, too. There go my Friday night dinner plans. [via]

The Neediest Hunger

A local food bank explains why you need to help now in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Jazzfood Cooked Live

Tonight from 6pm to 9pm, chef and Drive-Thru contributor Alan Lake will be doing a cooking demo at the Kenmore Live Studio, 678 N. Wells. Come be part of the studio audience (and maybe swing by the GB Get-Together nearby afterward!) or watch live on Facebook.

Save Your Cup

Speaking of coffee cups, Save the Cups is a locally based effort to encourage people not not waste paper cups at coffee shops. Sign up and log how many cups you save.

Bring a Mug, Get a Deal

A Fresh Squeeze checks out which Chicago coffee shops give discounts to customers who provide their own mugs.

"It's the best pizza, and I'm from Chicago."

Does First Lady (and South Side girl) Michelle Obama really prefer New York style pizza to Chicago deep dish? The folks at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn seem to think so.

Kid, You'll Go Far

Aron Pobereskin has worked at Alinea, Lockwood, Moto, Graham Elliot Schwa and Perennial. He's 16 years old. [via]

Not a Review

Is it OK for a blogger to review a restaurant based on one meal? Is anyone else surprised this question is still being asked?

Strange Brew

Beer gets solidified in the Odd Pairs dish concocted by Jared Rouben (Goose Island Clybourn) and Emiliano Pimentel Morado (L2O). Watch the granita form over at NBCChicago's Feast.

Thinking the Unthinkable

Crain's asks will there be an end to the cupcake craze?

Chef Week Menus

Each day during Chicago Chef Week, which runs through Sunday, we'll be sharing a menu from a participating restaurant in Drive-Thru. First up: Big Jones.

New Beer to Taste Old

Ever wonder what beer tasted like before Prohibition? You'll get your chance -- sort of -- when MillerCoors test-markets a new brew here later this spring.

A Tale of Two Blackies

As the owner of the Boston Blackies chain goes to jail, the owner of Blackies -- the original, in Printers Row -- hopes the confusion over their names fades away.

It's Good for Business

Street vendors band together for better working conditions in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Bleeding Heart Takes on Yelp

Bleeding Heart Bakery is the most recent party to one of three lawsuits [pdf] against the review site yelp. They're even making anti-yelp cupcakes in celebration.

Michiganders get the Scoop

Michigan's Hudsonville Ice Cream is coming to Chicagoland; it'll be in Jewel stores March 22.

Beaver Brew and Aardvark Ale

Local artist Phineas X. Jones is creating a new, fauna-centric labeling system for the tanks at Half Acre Brewery.

Eating on the West Side (of the State)

We find out that the Quad Cities have some good eats in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Explore the Complexity of Food Distributions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released a new interactive dataset called the Food Environment Atlas, where one can look at county level data on everything from access to grocery stores to the price of savory snacks. If you're not interested in playing on the site, the Trib did a summary of Chicago area data with some pretty interesting results.

Reuben Egg Rolls?

Surprise: Most of the food in Chicago's Irish pubs isn't very Irish.

The Chicago Chicken Community

Despite concerns about Chicago law that allows residents to keep chickens and roosters, chicken enthusiasts persist.

Skull and Bones

If you decide to spend a couple hours waiting for a table at Kuma's sometime in the future you may see some interesting artwork courtesy of the sous chef from another of Chicago's great restaurants, Mado. It's clear evidence of their "whole beast" philosophy.

Flip Madness!

Are you the master of flip cup? Form a team of four (or sign up solo and meet new friends) for Flip Madness — a flip cup tournament on 3/27 at Mad River benefiting Rock for Kids. Beer, food, entertainment provided. Details in Slowdown.

No, I Actually Want a Beverage

The popularity of a certain political movement is making those who are interested in tea a little frustrated.

Keeping it Local

Learn more about next weekend's Family Farmed Expo in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

A Stout Victory

Speaking of beer, Goose Island's Oatmeal Stout is tops in Serious Eats' book. More foodie links in Drive-Thru.

A Beautiful Union

Word has it that a new beer--a product of a collaboration between the glorious Half Acre and Three Floyds breweries--is fermenting somewhere in Chicago right now.

Soup Line Tonight

The Drive-Thru staff spent last night slaving over three soups for you to try at Soup and Bread at the Hideout tonight from 5:30-8pm. The soup's free! (Donations appreciated.)

BaconFest Chefs Announced

BaconFest has announced the chefs involved in the April 10 bacon mayhem -- and that tickets go on sale March 4 at noon. Be ready!

More Rock, Less Sham

Chicago writers William Shunn, Marcus Leshock, and Kyra Kyles get their Irish up over the dilution of McDonald's shamrock shakes with whipped cream and cherries. And now I'm picturing myself explaining shamrock shakes to my ancestors arriving on Ellis Island.

Heavy Metal Cupcakes

Kuma's isn't the only one naming tasty treats after metal bands.

Restaurant Week Reprise

You may not have missed Restaurant Week after all. Several of the participating venues are still offering their prix fixe menus. Check the A.V. Club's deal calculator to find the best (and avoid the worst) values.

Who Knew Mango Splitters Are So Useless?

...and other kitchen gadgets we can live without in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

March Bar Madness

The Fifty50 and CoachHouse are Chicago's entrants in Thrillist's "Bar Madness" contest to determine the best sports bar in America.

No Longer Just "Upstairs" vs "Downstairs"

The Trib reviews recent research on the disparities in compensation, working conditions and demographic characteristics for those who work in the front of the restaurant compared to those who work in the back.

BBQ for SYGC

It may still be winter, but BBQ is always a good idea. Get your grub on and help raise funds to aid the return of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir to the stage at Darkroom tomorrow night. Food by Man-B-Que. Live music and DJs galore. Details in Transmission.

Crime Doesn't Pay (but it Feeds)

A stolen bike investigation leads to the discovery of some great street food in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Down Payment on Drinks

Drinks Over Dearborn is trying to raise money to stay open with an interesting proposal; if you're likely to spend $100 on booze or mixology classes in the next few months, why not pay it in advance? [via]

The Apple of My Eye

...and the subject of this week's Drive-thru feature.

No More Foam?

Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke drafted a citywide ban of Styrofoam today. If approved by City Council, Chicago Public Schools will have to find another way to serve lunch.

A Valentine's Day Full of Hot, Spicy Oil

For the homemade egg rolls, silly! We've got the details in Drive-Thru.

Calumet Fisheries is a Classic

The James Beard Foundation named Calumet Fisheries as one of its 2010 American Classics. It joins Tufano's Vernon Park Tap and The Berghoff (pre-closure) as Chicago's only restaurants to earn the title.

Love is in the Air, Love is in the Food

We've got a round-up of some of the best Valentine's Day events and offers in Drive-Thru.

Better Than Chocolate

Valentine's Day approaches: show your love with heart-shaped pizza, available at a surprising (surprisingly awesome) number of locations.

Costa's Not Open for Business

Alvin Shubert, GB flickr pool contributor (and today's Rearview photographer), looked out his window last night to see Greektown restaurant Costa's in flames. Another contributor, Michelle Wotkun, headed down to get a closer view.

Eat and Shop Here

The Eat Shop Guide to Chicago came out recently; it's yet another guidebook to cool stuff in the city.

Goose Island's Green Line Pale Ale

Speaking of the Green Line, Goose Island is set to debut a new environmentally friendly "Green Line Pale Ale" tomorrow.

Re-Filtered

Drive-Thru contributor Christian reports that beloved Wicker Park coffeehouse Filter officially opened this morning in its new home, 1373 N. Milwaukee Ave. Stay tuned for more info in Drive-Thru.

It's Cold...Beer

We bring you part two of our homebrewing how-to in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Learn About Lager

Looking for some different indoor fun as January slogs into February? Local brewery Half Acre Beer Company offers free tours every Saturday at 1pm. Contact info [at] halfacrebeer [dot] com to register.

Ode to a Haggis

Tonight is Burns Night, when Scots around the world (and particularly Scotland) enjoy scotch whisky and haggis in tribute to poet Robert Burns. Currently, your primary source for haggis in the States has been Stahly Quality Foods here in Chicago, but soon you may see true Scottish haggis here soon if the current ban is lifted. (Interested in celebrating Burns Night? Head to The Globe Pub tonight at 8pm.

Producing in Hyde Park

Two U of C grads stick around the neighborhood to open up a produce market that goes the distance in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Are You Celebrity Sausage Material?

Half Acre Beer is celebrating the release of its Baumé chocolate stout in growler form by holding a contest to be a "celebrity sausage" at Hot Doug's next week.

City on the Make

Time Out Chicago's annual cheap issue is out this week, and MyOpenBar's Chicago editor pitches in with a list of budget drink deals.

Helping Haiti Here

Crain's Chicago Business lists 10 local ways you can aid the relief effort for Haiti. [via]

Sweet Relief

This Saturday, several of Chicago's beloved bakeries and celebrated sweet shops will join forces for a charity bake sale, hosted by Medici on 57th. All proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam for their ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.

Selling an Invasive Species

Asian carp, the potential bane of the Great Lakes, will soon be marketed as "silverfin" at grocery stores.

DIY Beer

Want to learn how to set up a home brewery? This week's Drive-Thru feature will help you (get drunk).

Here It's Called a SAHsage Tree

The African Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana) at the Lincoln Park Conservatory is bearing 20-pound fruits. Fun fact: the fresh "sausage" is poisonous, causes mouth blisters, and acts as a laxative. No sampling.

Eating for Haiti

Restaurants and bars around the city are teaming up to make it easy for you to help relief efforts in Haiti simply by eating out (which also happens to help the local economy.) Grub Street Chicago has a list of restaurants doing their part, and in Drive-Thru, you'll find a list of restaurants collaborating with the Heartland Alliance in a fundraiser, as well as details about Monday night's concert and bake sale at the Hideout.

Celebrity Food

I know when I want a steak, nothing is better than a Michael Jordan signature steak. They go great with my Mike Ditka wine.

Hamming It Up

The Greater Chicago Food Depository recently received 44,000 pounds of various pork products. Want to give them some eggs to go with all that bacon?

Will it Waffle?

Fruit slinger and occasional Drive-Thru contributor Daniel Shumski takes an often-ignored kitchen appliance to new heights with his new cooking blog, Waffleizer.

What's in Store for the Dill Pickle?

Learn more about the new Logan Square Co-op in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Neither Eat nor Drink

Roger Ebert eloquently describes not being able to eat or drink anymore, as well as the conversations that occur around a dinner table. (Share what flavors you'd miss most in Fuel.)

Eating Our Way Down Memory Lane

Our fearless and refined staffers share their best eats of 2009 in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Chicago's Finest Apple Sauce

Jim Mullen, a Chicago cop who was shot in the line of duty and left paralyzed, is finding a new life selling a family recipe apple sauce.

Kumas Corner Seeking Cook

Looks like one of the city's most iconic burger joints is seeking a long-term line cook. If you can keep from salivating on your keyboard to apply, I'm sure there's tons of taste testing involved in training, you know, to make sure it's done right.

Break These Chains of (Food) Love

We delve deeper into the connection between food and togetherness in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Eat for Cheap in January

January tends to suffer from the cold-weather, post-holiday doldrums, so the Local Tourist has organized its first Restaurant Week, with more than a dozen restaurants offering three-course meals for only $25 at lunch or $35 at dinner. Ten percent of each meal benefits pediatric cancer foundation Endure To Cure.

God Jul!* Now Drink Up...

The Sun-Times raises a glass to the glogg being served up at Simon's Tavern in Andersonville, as owner Scott Martin gives the inside scoop on the tradition. * "God Jul" is Swedish for "Merry Christmas."

The Art Institute by Way of Wonkavision

Yes, you can even eat the lions at the Art Institute's Gingerseum.

I Want Candy

Homemade candy, that is. This week's Drive-Thru feature will take you to a magical place where candy canes are plentiful and easily made in your own kitchen...

In Praise of Mincemeat Pie

Cliff Doerksen reminisces about an out-of-favor holiday treat in this week's Reader feature, which doubles as an intro to his new blog on historical oddities.

USDA Raids: Guilt by Association?

The USDA raided Frontera/Topolobampo/Xoco and plan to visit North Pond -- on the basis of sharing a meat supplier with two North Shore guys who make and sell their own bacon and sausage, as reported in a recent Reader story by Mike Sula. UDPATE: Or maybe it wasn't the USDA. Sula's updated the story.

Watching Pie Being Made is Nothing Like Sausage

Sky Full of Bacon takes you behind the scenes at Hoosier Mama Pie Company.

Tootsie Rolls, DOTS Now Kosher

If you keep Kosher, you can now enjoy Tootsie Rolls, DOTS and many other Tootsie Roll Industries candies. Oh, and their website has some classic commercials you'll likely remember fondly.

Food Minds Read Alike

Both Chicago Mag's dining staff and The Reader's Mike Sula posted their picks for 2009's best cookbooks today. Good gift suggestions for the cook in your life.

No More Healthy Food in Bridgeport

As LTHForum readers are lamenting, Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant will close December 15.

What Do You Do with a Big Ass Hot Dog?

Find out in the latest edition of The Dog Show, now in Drive-Thru.

Mies van der Dough

What does an architect's gingerbread house look like? The Trib finds out -- and lets you bid on the results or make your own. (Thanks, Dee!)

52 Drinks

Taking a page (or is that card?) from à la card Chicago, the new Drink Deck gives you 52 $10 gift certificates to Chicago bars of all sorts.

For All Your Upscale Food Needs

Should you be in the mood for a couple of lobsters, truffles, or a "giant wheel of brie," look no further than the Chicago French Market. We've got a first look report in Drive-Thru.

Getting Das Boot at Christkindlmarket

We visit the annual holiday outdoor market in Daley Plaza and it's the wurst -- in a good way! The details are in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Gift of Dinner

Speaking of gift-giving, the 2010 edition of à la card Chicago is now available, giving you 52 $10 gift certificates to local restaurants for just $30.

The Only Two Artisan Distilleries In Chicago

The Chicago News Cooperative has a story on the only two "artisan distilleries" in Chicago -- both, coincidentally, are family ventures.

More Chicago Food

The New York Times discovers the latest hot restaurants in Chicago, including Paul Kahan's new Big Star, Xoco, a certain heavy metal burger bar and America's best pizza.

Give Thanks for Meats Other than Turkey

If you want to liven up your holiday dinners, forego the Settlers of Catan tournament and go with serving a Standing Ribeye Roast. We got the details in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

City of 'Iron' Shoulders

Chicago native Jose Garces brought the city even more culinary acclaim as he walked away with the title "The Next Iron Chef" in the Food Network reality series contest.

Turkey Day Breakfast

All this focus on dinner eclipses the most important meal of the day, as we point out in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Cheap Eats for the Children

Kids Eat For is a web site that features "Kids eat free" and other food specials for kids at nearby restaurants. Click here for deals in Chicago.

Chicago: The New Barbecue Capital

Is Chicago BBQ better than Memphis? Michael Nagrant thinks so.

Happy 75th, Billy Goat Tavern!

After work snack alert: The Billy Goat Tavern celebrates its 75th anniversary today with 75-cent cheezborgers and beers. (If you followed us on Twitter, you'd have heard two days ago.)

Bleeding Heart Beats in Oak Park

Just a reminder, this Sunday is Bleeding Heart Bakery's grand opening for their Oak Park location: free mini cupcakes, donut holes, and a birthday cake raffle. Keep up with the tasty goings-on here.

Remember Urbis Orbis?

If you do, you should check out the videos GB reader Anna sent us documenting the Wicker Park coffeehouse's last weeks and the interesting folks who worked and hung out there.

Ever Wonder How a Turkey Pop-up Thermometer Works?

L. Stolpman shows you how over at Chicagoist.

Nourishing Neighborhoods

A nonprofit started by an award-winning chef is helping make fresh farmers market produce available in Chicago's low-income communities. Alan Lake has the story in Drive-Thru.

A Place to Eat Socially

Culinary Culture is a new social network for "serious and aspiring foodies" launched today by Threadless cofounder Jakob DeHart and his wife, Mischa.

Eating Fresh & Local Even in Winter

Want to keep up the locavore lifestyle this winter? The Local Beet has your guide to winter eating.

Food Stamps for Pets

OK, food stamps aren't involved, but a variety of organizations in the Chicago area and elsewhere are providing assistance to families who are having a hard time buying food for their pets.

Kickstart the Cookbook

There are just five days left to donate to help make the beautiful Soup and Bread Cookbook happen. If you were (and/or are) a fan of this delicious and fun project at the Hideout last winter, help them out by making a donation to offset the printing costs.

Introducing the Dog Show

We've got a new regular feature in Drive-Thru starting today: The Dog Show, an exploration of the city's hundreds of hot dog stands. First up, Superdawg.

Run On Dunkin For Less

Starting Monday, Chicago locations of Dunkin' Donuts will offer a new 99-cent menu. Keep an eye out for Dunkin' employees handing out $2 gift cards on your morning commute.

Make Your Own Hard Cider

It's not, er, hard, as the Paupered Chef demonstrates.

Hungry?

Check out this website devoted to pictures of Chicago-style food. It won't help your situation, but it sure is beautiful.

Sausage Pizza, Every Day for a Month: The Outcome

LTHForum's ronnie_suburban lost his bet that a coworker couldn't survive for a month eating nothing but sausage pizza. The Trib has a writeup, DiningChicago has a list of local pizzerias the victor sampled.

Kids n' Compost

Elementary school students in Oak Park, Naperville and Villa Park are learning early about making "zero impact" on their environment. They're recycling, composting food scraps after lunch and sending far less trash to area landfills.

Boozin' in Buenos Aires

A trip to Argentina is a lesson in their many drinks in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Energy for the Shark Tank

Element Bars, a local customizable energy bar company, got a big boost from a recent appearance on the reality show "Shark Tank."

Living Organically in the Concrete Jungle

Organic in Chicago is a site devoted to organic eating and living in the city.

Taking a Joke Literally ... in Court

In Will County, you can get out of community service for $50 worth of jerk chicken.

Where They Know Your Name

Which Chicago bars would the characters from "Cheers" hang out at? AV Club Chicago has your answers.

61st Street Garden Coverage Expanding

The imminent closure of the 61st Street Community Garden is getting a lot of attention from the media, with the Trib and Sun-Times augmenting weeks of coverage in the Hyde Park Herald and the Invisible Institute's Garden Conversations.

Funds for Food

Chicago-based crowd coupon site Groupon has started a fundraiser for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. A few clicks and a few bucks could bring someone in need a Thanksgiving meal.

Jewel No Longer "Urban Fresh"

Jewel's Urban Fresh market, part of its strategy to compete in a more specialized grocery field, will close by the end of the month.

Sweets on Paper

A new cookbook by Sarah Levy of Sarah's Pastries and Candies gets reviewed in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Ticket for Zestiness

If you live in Wicker Park, pay close attention to the ticket on your car -- it might get you free hot wings.

The Green Slime Are Here!

Grubstreet Chicago is (justifiably) wondering what the hell is going on in this advertisement for the Dana Hotel's Aja restaurant. Fans of sci-fi/horror B-movies know all too well what's coming next. Let's rock, before we blast that thing out of the sky!

The Art of Dinner

Food becomes more visual through the Bluebird's new dining and art series. We take a deeper look in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Rules of the Restaurant

Please watch "Mike G's Rules for Better Dining", a video from Michael Gebert of Sky Full of Bacon inspired by Michael Pollan's dietary rules recently featured in the New York Times.

Caramel Corn Returns to Michigan Avenue

Garrett's Popcorn is celebrating the reopening of its Mag Mile store, 625 N. Michigan Ave., tomorrow starting at 10am. They're giving away free bags of popcorn, so expect a long line -- just like old times.

One Zombie Dog, Extra Brains

Logan Square favorite Lula Cafe plans to "dress up" as another local gem this Halloween: Hot Doug's. I wonder if the menu of encased meats will be named after the dead, the undead or simply those whose careers have flatlined. (via)

Hot Dogs Get Hard Time

Felony Franks gets the Wall Street Journal's attention for its battle against neighbors and Ald. Fioretti.

Threadless Founder Goes Culinary

Crain's has an interview with skinnyCorp co-founder Jacob DeHart who's launching a new startup business website later this month: CulinaryCulture.com.

Spice Up Your Life

We visit a local gourmet spice company in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Three Sheets to the Windy City

Chicago is yours for the drinking, thanks to Cityscape Bar's new Architectural Martini Tour, an alcoholic ode to some of the Loop's best known buildings.

Sausage Pizza, Every Day for a Month

That was the challenge LTH Forum's Ronnie Suburban gave one of his coworkers. So far, he's holding fast -- even on business trips. [via]

Tru Dat

We head to a fancy schmancy wine dinner in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

You Need a Treat Today

And if you're near Michigan Avenue, you can get some free candy from Mars today till 6pm.

Tastes Like Burning

The smell of popcorn wafting from Garrett's, so familiar to Loop workers, prompted someone (presumably a tourist) to call out the fire department this morning. Must've been a particularly dark batch of caramel corn.

Chick-Fil-YAY!

OK, all of you Chick-Fil-A cultists, get ready to cluck for joy. The much-ballyhooed restaurant chain is moving a step closer to Chicago. They're going to open one in Orland Park.

Your Nearest McDonald's

You're never far from a McDonald's -- unless you're in South Dakota. More in Drive-Thru.

I am Woman, Hear Me Saute

NAHA executive chef/owner Carrie Nahabedian's the first woman to be inducted in the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame. She joins Charlie Trotter, Jimmy Bannos, and Rick Bayless.

This Dinner Never Happened

The co-owner of New Leaf Natural Grocery gives the lowdown on her first underground dinner.

Going Northwest to New Glarus

Lori Barrett goes north to Wisconsin for some family fun, weird neighbors and great-tasting beer in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Online Ordering Diversifies

Chicago's own GrubHub, which has been expanding into other cities, recently got a competitor on its home turf: Eat24Hours.

You Get a Meal! And You Get a Meal!

The Oprah effect may go beyond books, products, musicians. The next episode on the continuing saga of "It's Oprah's world and we just live in it": Local restaurants and certain chefs are seeing an Oprah bump, according to 312 Dining Diva.

Hot Doug in the Big Apple

Don't plan on going to Hot Doug's on October 7: they'll be in New York showing them Yankees how it's done.

Looking for Somewhere New to Go?

The Pilsen Community Market will be hosting a community garage sale for the next two Sundays on a vacant lot at 18th and Peoria.

Helping the Needy Find Help

A new website, direct2food.org, helps the needy find social services including food pantries and soup kitchens.

Cryovacing and Tofu: a Love Story

Chris Brunn sits down with chef Ryan Poli of Perennial to discuss their new (delicious-looking) vegan menu offering in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Try to Eat Local

The Green City Market's Locavore Challenge starts today: to participate, simply commit to, as much as possible, eating food grown or produced in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan or Wisconsin for the next two weeks.

The Roof, the Roof is on Fire...with Delicious Organic Produce

We visit a rooftop farming operation at Uncommon Ground in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Wait for Bacon

Baconfest Chicago has decided to postpone their pork extravaganza until April 10, 2010 due to lack of funding. However, the Baconfest VIP Bacon Cookoff is still on and will take place on October 24th at the Publican.

World Class on Northalsted

Is Sidetrack the best gay bar in the world? Gay travel site tripOut thinks it's a contender; you can have your say as part of their Gay Travel Awards. [via]

More than Kielbasa

Among all the other stuff going on this long weekend, you should try to make it to Taste of Polonia, which will open your mind to what Polish food can be -- and features the musical stylings of Poland's Sidney Polak among others.

"VaporTini" Certainly Sounds Better than "Huffing Vodka"

Either way, Red Kiva Lounge sells the concoction in a 180 degree fahrenheit container for $10 a pop.

Twix is Food?

So, how well is enforcement of the "Twix clause" in the brand new candy tax going? Not so well, first day out. (Twix clause? Any candy containing flour is exempt from the increase. Here's a list of other surprising items landing on one side or the other.)

85% Beef, 15% Lamb, 100% Tasty and Free

Don't miss out on a free gyro tomorrow, courtesy of our very own Kronos Foods, Inc (thanks for the tip, Jough).

Alinea Live!

Speaking of Alinea, you can watch Grant Achatz and team planning the fall meeting live on JustinTV. Follow @Gachatz on Twitter for heads up on future broadcasts. UPDATE: Well, that was quick. They finished the meeting just after noon, but promise to be back Saturday night around 8:45pm for about an hour. Tune in!

Back to the Land

Andie Thomalla heads out of the city for a decadent farm dinner (with some Shakespeare and microgreen gardening thrown in) in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Celery Salt, Maybe?

Absolut is rolling out a series of city-themed vodkas, and Grub Street Chicago asks, what would Chicago-flavored vodka taste like?

Food Tech

Alinea partner Nick Kokonas has been blogging on Gizmodo about some of the technology used in the restaurant, including a failed attempt at making culinary snow.

Beyond Kuma's

The Tribune's "Cheeseburger Bureau Chief," Kevin Pang, host of CLTV's The Cheeseburger Show--which launched new episodes today--beefs up Chicagoans on extraordinary burgers. This week takes Pang to the (gasp) burbs.

All Together Now

Coudal points us to a fantastic Budweiser commercial shot on the El (mostly the Brown Line), for the Irish beer drinking market if the URL attached to it is any indication. UPDATE: The Sun-Times gets the backstory on the ad.

Pure Tastiness

We have a nice guide to good eats in Michigan and Indiana for your next trip in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Land of Cheap Big Mac Attacks

According to the Economist, in Chicago it takes just 12 minutes of work time to pay for a Big Mac. Compare that to Nairobi where it takes about 2.5 hours to earn a special sauce fix. (via).

"I Had Literally Become a Numbskull."

As Chicago Mag's Jeff Ruby highlights the 30 best burgers in Chicago, he was hit with a consequential downside to his summer burger epic.

Ice Cream Man's Chimes No Longer Reel or Rock

The New York Times Dining section reports on last year's banning of ice cream trucks from the 18th Ward and modern parents annoyed with ice-cream-demanding toddlers and chain-smoking, shirtless, and burping ice cream vendors.

Princess Pugnacious Chablis Needs You

Do you love both pugs and wine? You might want to check out Alpanah Singh's Pug Chug this Saturday at Juicy Wine Co. For $45, you get a wine tasting, tasty food and a silent auction, all to benefit pug rescue.

It's Not Just the Mercury Now

Researchers have found that eating Great Lakes fish is associated with the development of diabetes because of DDE, the metabolite of DDT.

Treat Tweeting

For foodies and boozers around Chicago, Wait Watcher tweets wait times at key restaurants and bars. Developed by the Onion's AV Chicago section, local restaurant-goers can text or call in wait times to help their fellow diners.

Bacon Lettuce Tomato

Chicago Tomato Fest says, "This may be a 'Reduced Services Day' for the City, but it's an 'Increased BLT Day' for us." Make an old-school BLT and enter their contest, or just find a tasty one at participating restaurants. (More about the fest here.)

Turning Up the Heat on Top Chef?

Seems like a few bloggers are stirring up controversy over something many Chicago residents have known for years: Rick Bayless cooks delicious Mexican food. [via] Read further thoughts in Drive-Thru.

Gettin' Soupy in the Kitchen

It's hot outside, but it's still a good time for a bowl of (chilled) soup in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Shhh....Secret Supper on Southport

Southport Grocery and Cafe just announced their next Secret Supper, to be held Thurs., August 20 at 7pm. What will you get to eat? It's a secret! Call 773-665-0100 lickety-split to secure a spot.

Frozen Custard Summit

Scooter's Frozen Custard put some plastic chairs out on the sidewalk for patrons to sit. The City told them to stop. Patrons organized. The alderman is now intervening. (A much more interesting version of the tale.)

So Much for a Sense of Humor

Apparently a humorless Market Days visitor was so upset about the labeling of the Chicago Diner's tip jar as "Sarah Palin Retirement Fund," they're calling for an investigation of the Diner for "impersonating a charitable fund" and not revealing the jar would go to tips...

One Door Closes...

Chris Brunn talks with Vella Cafe's Sara Voden about the upcoming closure of the Bucktown eatery, the inspiration for her cooking, and plans for the future in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

100 Words Hungry

Win tickets to Taste of the Nation Chicago from Grub Street by writing about your favorite childhood food.

Another Day, Another Drink Special

Chicago, meet Small Tabs, the latest site dedicated to helping you bar hop on the cheap.

To Go Food

Fork and the Road, a "bike and dining adventure" series, got a nice write-up in the Trib today.

A New 'Leaf'

The crazy-popular Hopleaf finally gets the green-light on adding some much-needed space a sister restaurant next door. Now how long before THAT spot gets filled wall to wall? (via Edgewater Community Buzz)

Standing Room Only

Nick Kindelsperger of The Paupered Chef has been highlighting the best stand-up eating in Chicago for Serious Eats.

Something Fishy

Sky Full of Bacon shows you how fresh fish makes it to Chicago and your table.

Create Your Own Speakeasy Tour

Want to drink in some history? The Chicago Bar Project has a list of still-active bars that were once Prohibition era speakeasies.

Veni, Vidi, Vichyssoise

VF Daily's Society & Style blog asked some of the country's top chefs to take on the recipes of the late, great Julia Child. Chicago's own Graham Elliot Bowles presents a terrine based on Child's vichyssoise.

DIY Yogurt

An at-home science project yields delicious conclusions in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

The Caged Tomato, Unleashed

Ever wonder who designed the Hot Doug's logo? It was Caged Tomato, Bake and Destroy interviewed her recently about her influences, baked goods and more.

The Titans of the Gyro

Leave it to the NYTimes to remind us that the "Titans of the Gyro" are all Chicago-based!

At Last, Locally Produced Frangos

One reason to return to Macy's: Frango mints are once again being produced in Chicago. The start of production will be announced today by Macy's and South Side candy company Cupid Candies.

Watch Us Wait

How long is the line at Hot Doug's? What's the wait like at Kuma's? Are the lines crazy at Costco? Decider decided to help you find out without having to be there -- follow @WaitWatcher and get updates from people in line at popular places.

Vote for Local Favorites Nationally

It's the time of the year for the Veggie Awards survey -- vote for locals such as the Chicago Diner, Bleeding Heart Bakery and Chicago Soy Dairy.

Cooking With John Kass

Although it's not hard to catch him smoking in front of the Tribune Tower or having a burger at Billy Goat, 100 lucky Tribune print subscribers will schmooze and make beer-can chicken with legendary columnist John Kass Aug. 1 at the Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton.

Small Steps

If you're an all-or-nothing type when it comes to eating healthier, we have some tips on how to break the mold by incorporating a few new, smart foods into your diet in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Up a Creek

If your idea of summer sauce is Knob Creek, get ready for disappointment. The Deerfield-based distributor says massive demand for the nine-year-aged American whiskey could mean limited supplies until the next batch is ready in November.

Guava, Passionfruit, or Jerk Cupcakes?

Photos from last night's Iron Cupcake event. Also, Chicago Bites reports that the cupcake baking challenge is now a monthly event. Woo hoo!

Hold da Mustard

July is National Hot Dog Month -- and why wouldn't it be especially significant in the Windy City? Nothing screams "National Pastime" quite like tube-stuffed, processed chicken, beef and/or pork trimmings. So, go out and celebrate.

Taste of Food Waste

A Chicago Reporter investigation found that even though the Taste of Chicago has been getting smaller, the amount of food thrown out by vendors has increased -- primarily due to temperature violations discovered by health inspectors.

The Gift of Eating at the Taste

Those with major food allergies will appreciate Lisa's allergen free guide to the Taste [pdf]. [Via]

Gourmet Again

In our current Fuel thread about Taste of Chicago, a couple people wished there was a high-end version of the food fest. In fact, there is: Chicago Gourmet, which returns to Millennium Park in September. The downside is, high-end comes with high prices -- early bird discounted tickets start at $120.

You Don't Even Need a Dealer

Andie Thomalla reviews a field guide to (safely) hunting mushrooms in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Police Plan for Safe Taste

Going to Taste of Chicago? Worried about more than the heat, sweaty tourists, and the cash you'll need? Chicago police have announced their security plans to ease your mind and prevent a rerun of last year's violence.

A Rainbow on State Street

The best news I'm sure to hear all day: Original Rainbow Cone is opening a location in the Loop at State and Lake. Now we North Siders won't have to wait until the Taste every year to get our Rainbow Cones!

Wine and Cheese Advocacy

Come try Italian wine and wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano from 5:30-7:30pm today, courtesy of Pastoral (53 E. Lake), Atlantic contributor Daphne Zepos and Italian cheesemaker Giorgio Cravero. [via]

A Sub-Zero Feeling In The Mouth

The Taste of Chicago begins on Friday, and the Sun-Times has a story on one of the new food items that's sure to be talked about: frozen popcorn on a stick, brought to you by Taste newcomers Garrett Popcorn.

Iron Cupcake II: This Time It's Tropical

Chicago Bites has the details on the next Iron Cupcake challenge.

Puerto Rico on the Plate

To celebrate tomorrow's Puerto Rican Independence Day Parade (kicking off from Columbus & Balbo at noon), we are chowing down on traditional dish Mofongo over in Drive-Thru.

What Time is It?

It's HarvesTime in this week's Drive-Thru feature. Grab your grocery list and learn about one of Chicago's finest supermarkets.

Hopefully They're Not Corked

Longball Cellars has created wines named for Cubs and Sox stars Derrek Lee and Mark Buerhle, with proceeds benefiting the players' favorite charities. Keep in mind that CaberLee and Buerhlot might be more enjoyable to look at than to drink. (Oops, sorry for the Carlos Lee slip-up; you probably already guessed I'm a Sox fan. Thanks for the correction, Mark et al.)

Chicago Gluttony

The Chicago Gluttons foodblog is one of the raunchiest you'll ever see -- but it's also good advice about restaurants in the city. New City sneaks a look behind the personnas.

Taking a Walk on the Vegan Side

Chris Brunn talks with chef, writer and author Linda Long about her recent cookbook, Great Chefs Cook Vegan (which includes contributions by kitchen heavyweights such as Charlie Trotter, Eric Ripert, and Thomas Keller), in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Vegan Ribs Still Require Bibs

Northcenter's Ribfest is this weekend -- and for the first time, there will be vegan ribs on hand. Drive-Thru writers Chris Brunn finds out exactly how one makes a such a thing in this interview on Vocalo.

A Taste of the Taste Before the Taste

The Taste of Chicago preview event used to be the dirty (greasy?) little secret of local VIPs and intrepid reporters looking for "the inside story" -- as well as a chance for free food. But now they're thrown the doors open to the public.

Will There be a Breakout Session on Pepperoni?

Speaking of pizza (see below), the Pizza Executive Summit '09 is currently taking place here in Chicago. With a name like that, it sounds ominous...ominously delicious.

Crying Over Cooked Milk

Speaking of old news, Chicagoist went digging through LexisNexis and found a 100-year-old story about the controversy over pasteurizing milk.

Check Please Bump + Obama Bump = Closing?

Don't forget, this weekend will be the final days for the Dixie Kitchen in Hyde Park. Not even the fabled "Check Please" effect could save the restaurant from being closed by the U of C. For old time's sake the Reader has the fabled Obama "Check Please" endorsement.

Time's Running Out for Our Growing Home Photo Contest

Upload a picture that creatively displays your dedication to locally grown or organic produce to the Drive-Thru Flickr Group and you could win a pair of tickets to Growing Home's Annual Benefit (valued at $250), courtesy of the Drive-Thru Photo Contest, which ends Sunday at noon!

A Green Deli Comes to Ravenswood

We have all the details in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Donuts. Free. Tomorrow.

Friday is National Donut Day. This is important because it means a free Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donut for all. It IS the best day of your life.

Schwa Shares

312 Dining Diva points us to the first cameras reaching the inner sanctum of Schwa: NBC Chicago's interview with Schwa chef Michael Carlson. The interview includes a mini-rant against celeb-chef culture, reveals why your reservation calls are never returned, and shows some mighty facial hair.

A Market Oasis

Time Magazine notes a Chicago grocer trying to grow in the city's food deserts.

All Your Bacon Are Belong To Us

Mark your calendars: BaconFest Chicago will be held October 25 in Logan Square's tony Stan Mansion.

Aren't We All Winners?

Check out a little cupcake pron at this wrap-up of the Iron Cupcake Challenge.

1990 Oprah Cake

Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

Thinking Ahead to Date Night

Got a date coming up? Date Nite Delivery can help make it special with gift baskets of wine, cookies and other treats.

Free Eats for the Conscientious Produce Buyer

We're giving away two tickets to Growing Home's upcoming benefit, which will feature foods by Charlie Trotter's, Vie and Bistro Campagne...details over in Drive-Thru.

Elotes Under the Law

Today's Reader cover story takes a look at pushcart vendors' legal plight -- licensable in the parks, but not in the rest of the city.

Bakers Needed!

Got a good cupcake recipe? Then consider taking part in Chicago's first Iron Cupcake challenge, happening this Monday, June 1. Chicago Bites informs us that bakers are still needed for this event (apparently they already have plenty of judges), so if you can whip up something pretty fast in the kitchen, you should totally try out. See the links for details.

From the Rooftop to the Tabletop

The growing season is at hand, so Chicago magazine spends some time with micro gardeners.

Get the Beef

Top SECRET! Head over to Drive-Thru to learn how your lunch today can cost a measly dollar!

Andersonville Pizza Best in the Land

GQ Magazine has spoken, and according to Alan Richman, the best place for pizza in the nation resides in Andersonville. The Mortadella pie at Great Lake won top honors.

The Third Largest Whole Foods

The new Whole Foods Lincoln Park opens next week -- but we've got a sneak peek in Drive-Thru. If you want more, there's a preview party Monday.

Eating Local Food Locally

The Sun-Times' recent article about CSAs is pretty good, but its photo illustration offers a bold alternative to out of control condos.

Chicago Bars Earn Love

It's not just our restaurants getting the high-class recognition. Chicago represents in the newly released Food and Wine Cocktails 2009 guide. Of the 100 top bars named in the U.S., Chicago has five, including C-House, The Drawing Room, Green Mill, Nacional 27, and the Violet Hour.

Are You a Broke Hipster?

Then there's a site for you.

KFC-Gate Explained

Ad Age has a nice summary of the events behind Oprah's well-intentioned gift of a free plate of KFC chicken to viewers last week that erupted in a full-scale PR fiasco for the restaurant.

Second to None

Chicago earns four of the top spots on Travel + Leisure's recently released list of the "50 Best New U.S. Restaurants" with L2O, Urbanbelly, Perennial and The Publican. Peoria hot spot June also made the cut thanks to the unique "post-modern molecular gastronomy" of its Alinea-trained chef and owner, Josh Adams.

Distill This

We take a look at Ravenswood-based Koval Distillery in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

What Does Organic Really Mean?

OrganicNation.TV is "an exploration of the American sustainable food landscape focusing on the people, places and products that are shaping a new green economy and lifestyle." Produced by Fresh Cut Media's Dorothee Royal-Hedinger, the video tour hits the road May 10.

KFC KGF FUBAR

In case you were wondering, "The combination of free food and Oprah is a tsunami."

Bee Sting

Chinese nationals were arrested here and in Seattle on suspicion of running an international honey smuggling ring.

Historic Tube Steaks

"Hot Doug" Sohn and culinary historian Bruce Kraig will be discussing the history of the hot dog at Kendall College tonight; details in Drive-Thru and Slowdown.

el-two-oh

The NY Times included Laurent Gras's Chicago restaurant L2O [Caution: audio on website] in its "Outstanding Newcomers" series, which profiles exemplary restaurants that opened since the beginning of 2008. If you're feeling hungry, there's always more food discussion in Drive Thru.

Find the Farmers

Want to pick up some local produce but aren't sure where to go? Local Beat's Farmer's Market Locator helps find you the closest one to you.

Local Deep-fried Dough

Want a donut that's a step above the Dunkin' variety? Donut Database has you covered.

Miso Hungry

An exploration of the soup follows in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Your Lost Shaker of Salt is at Nacional 27

With all the swine flu talk, you may not be feeling all Cinco de Mayo this year. Just in case you're looking for a good margarita though, USA Today claims Nacional 27's is one of the ten best in the country.

Go to a Restaurant Tonight

Weather be damned, tonight is Dining Out for Life, which benefits AIDSCare Chicago. Check the site for participating restaurants.

One Way or Another: The Beautiful Chef

As if all the accolades for his, you know, cooking talent weren't enough, chef Paul Kahan of Blackbird gives us another reason to feel inadequate. He's named as one of People's 100 Most Beautiful 2009 ... or not. [Thanks for the update, Dan!]

Lauded Diner To Close

Patty's Diner, winner of the Reader's pick for Best Diner 2009 and one of LTHForum's Great Neighborhood Restaurants, is closing up. The word on the Reader's Food Chain blog is that the rent's going up by a prohibitive amount, and Patty will have to close up shop as early as May 6. So... plan that trip to Skokie now.

Misdemeanor Weiners

Felony Franks, a new hot dog stand to be staffed by ex-prisoners, is causing a stir over its name despite its positive mission.

Looking Between the Bread

Trends in sandwiches, from the upscale to the not-so-upscale. Discussed in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Chicago Barista Third Best in the World

Update on local barista Michael Phillips; he placed third in the World Barista Championships this past weekend.

Grab Your Snuggie and Go!

The Snuggie Pub Crawl is tomorrow, and there are still some tickets left!

Chicago Represented in World Barista Competition

Michael Phillips, the Intelligenstia Coffee employee who won the Great Lakes regional championship just last year, goes to Atlanta this weekend to represent the US in the World Barista competition. Best of luck, Michael!

The Chronic-What?-Cles of Alinea

When parody rap and molecular gastronomy collide.

The Bees' Needs

While there is an apiary in the city, most of Chicagoland's honey production is done in the suburbs. Lake Bluff's GazeboNews profiles a group of retirees who've taken up beekeeping as a hobby.

(Cupcake) Life After Butter

Natalie Slater of Bake and Destroy interviews former vegan and baker extraordinaire Michelle Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery on baking philosophy, butter alternatives, and making that perfect vegan chocolate cupcake.

Easter Without the Meat

Setting up a vegetarian Easter in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

A BYO Bonanza

GoBYO is a nifty little website that catalogs restaurants in the area where you can bring your own wine. Among other features, their database lets you know if a restaurant is solely BYO, if they serve wine but allow you to BYO, and the corkage fee. Chicago (including suburbs) is one of ten cities/regions covered by the site.

Hot Doug Drop Drops

Hot Doug's has put a stop to unofficial delivery service, but it could blossom into something more. (Hot Doug's will remain the same, though.)

How the Mighty Have Fallen

New City published its 100 Essential Restaurants list, and for the first time, Charlie Trotter's isn't one of them.

Encased Meats, Delivered -- for Now

Hot Doug Drop is a new service that delivers Hot Doug's to drop-off locations at the Merc and CBOT twice daily for a small fee. But it's unaffiliated with the restaurant, and owner Doug Sohn says the service's days may be numbered.

What is This, the PGA?

Bravo has announced that its new show, "Top Chef Masters," which debuts June 10, will feature three Chicago chefs -- Rick Bayless, Graham Elliot Bowles and Art Smith.

Alinea Fools Day

On April 1, Carol Blymire, the author of the foodblog Alinea at Home, posted a video of herself with Chef Grant Achatz, claiming he'd hired her to work at the restaurant. It was an elaborate and successful April Fools joke, and she explained how it came to be over the weekend.

Chocoholics Gently Weep

Just when you really crave some chocolate comfort food, Mars, Inc. is shutting down 5 of its 6 Illinois Ethel's Chocolate Lounge locations. Skokie's your last outpost in the state (or there's always Vegas).

Beer for Brains

The Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl returns to Andersonville in a couple weeks. More details in Slowdown.

A Menu for Weight Loss

The Four Seasons' executive chef Kevin Hickey is among a group of chefs who have devised their own diets -- he lost 90 pounds, and added many of his tricks to his restaurant's menu.

"If You're Really Down for it, Ask for the Brain to be Grilled"

Pork, pork everywhere in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Dunkin' Donuts: Serve Pork or Good-bye

Walid Elkhatib, the Muslim owner of a Westchester Dunkin' Donuts, is reluctantly converting his store to another donut business after a judgment that he could be denied a franchise renewal because he refused to sell pork products

Taking a Bite out of The Taste

Crain's reports that theTaste of Chicago will have 15% fewer food vendors this year.

BaconFest Cometh

That's right, an entire festival devoted to your favorite pork product, right here in Chicago. Follow @baconfestchi on Twitter or join the Facebook group.

French Toast for Dinner: 'Nuff Said

Kaitlin Olson turns her day upside down in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Cheese Pizza, Jello & Chocolate Milk

What was your school lunch like? The Healthy Schools Campaign wants your "most vivid memory of school food" -- and you could win a panini maker for it.

Weeklong Bender

WhiskyFest is still a week away, but the party starts tonight. Jill Jaracz rounds up your whisky (and whiskey) options in Drive-Thru.

Foie Gras Back in the News

Chef Didier Durand has announced plans to open a foie gras museum in his restaurant, Cyrano's Bistrot. Meanwhile, Mark Caro's Foie Gras Wars is selling like, um, foie gras.

Eating Cincinnati

Chris Brunn goes on a vegan vacation in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Heartland Cafe Reopens

After being briefly closed by the Chicago Department Of Public Health, the Heartland Cafe reopened last night. Heartland owner Katy Hogan felt the inspection was fair, and gave the building an opportunity for an overdue renovation.

Beer, Here

New Chicago breweries Metropolitan and Half Acre got some good press today, both in the Tribune and in the Wall Street Journal.

Small On Size, Big On Soccer

Tailgate's Steve Gillies continues his excellent series on the city's best soccer-watching bars to get your footy on. Today: The Small Bar.

Heartland Café Closed by Health Department

The Heartland Café was closed by the city Health Department on Thursday after inspectors found a variety of problems. Meanwhile, the restaurant's website says it's "closed for renovations," with a "reopening celebration" in the works.

Save Room for Pie

Made from scratch pies by Paula Haney (Trio, 312 Chicago, One Sixtyblue) have been at the Green City Market for two years, but as of tomorrow the mama in Hoosier Mama Pie Company has her own three-table bakeshop. Located at 1618½ W. Chicago Avenue, it features an open kitchen, '40s decor, and a rotating menu from dozens of seasonal selections available by the six- or nine-inch pie, slice, or flight.

Eating on the Cheap

We revisit Depression-era recipes to liven up our current Depression in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Close It Out

Did you know that setting a minimum on credit card tabs is against credit card company rules? Bars do it anyway.

Achatz on Oprah

Chef Grant Achatz appeared on Oprah this morning, talking about his cancer diagnosis and recovery. Chicago Celebrity Examiner has a couple quotes from the show; catch it again on ABC-7 tonight at 11:05.

Cross-reference That Cookbook

Recipe Comparison is a local site that allows you to search for recipes and compare them across several major recipe sites. Great for dishes where there's no one way to do it.

Dog Gone?

Time Out Chicago is reporting that Rockstar Dogs, the only place in Chicago where a person could shamelessly order a footlong "Tommy Lee", may be no more.

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy birthday to you! Watch out for the zombies! Happy Birthday to you!

When Dinner Freezes Over

Cooking becomes a party in your refrigerator in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Beer, Dog & Cracker Jack

The Sugar Syndicate created a quintessential Chicago birthday cake for one lucky Cubs fan. (I'd request a Sox version.)

Soup's On Tonight

Come to The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, tonight between 5 and 8pm for a bowl of tasty soup lovingly cooked by the Drive-Thru staff (along with Columbia film prof Dan Rybicky and dietitian Bettina Tahsin, and fresh-baked bread from Hugh Amano) as part of the bar's weekly Soup and Bread event, which is a fundraiser for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Donations encouraged.

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday with Donuts

Come celebrate the Polish tradition of Paczki Day with Illinois State Rep. John Fritchey at the Jefferson Park Blue Line Stop, 6:30-8:30am.

The French Word for Doughnut, but the American Word for Love

The excellence of beignets gets the spotlight in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Sweet and Wet

The origins of deep dish pizza may be shrouded in controversy, but the origins of Italian beef, are much clearer. The Straight Dope gives a taste of the sandwich's past, present and future.

OMG Obama Sushi

I'm speechless (mainly because I can't read Japanese). [via]

Days Of Our Knives

Want to be on the next season of Top Chef? Helen Rosner of MenuPages has got the scoop for aspiring cheftestants in Chicago.

New Stimulus Package Idea

Table Fifty-Two has been swamped with reservation requests since word leaked about the Obamas' Valentine's Day dinner there. As of Monday afternoon, Saturdays were booked through the end of March. I wonder if they'd have the same effect at any restaurant they visited...

Tamale Guy Tracker

The search for the Tamale Guy just got a little easier with Twitter.

Permanent Discount

Here's an interesting Valentine's Day deal: Angels and Kings, 710 N. Clark, is offering a free bottle of Champagne to anyone with a tattoo of someone's name. Offer's good while supplies last, starting at 8pm.

All's Fair in Love and War

Here's a dinner conversation topic for you and yours this weekend: tomorrow marks the eightieth anniversary of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, when seven members of George "Bugs" Moran's gang were shot down in a garage at 2122 North Clark (which is now a small park) by associates of Al Capone, several of whom were dressed as Chicago police (how interesting).

Cooking with Twitter

In this week's Drive-Thru feature, we discover that Twitter can be used for purposes other than broadcasting opinions about your cat.

Back in the Kitchen

Anxious to get a taste of what "Top Chef" alum Dale Levitski may be cooking up at his new restaurant? Well, Relax and eat up every Thursday (if you can get a reservation). [via]

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

MenuPages Chicago blog offers four restaurants at which to dump your significant other. (Share your best/worst/craziest break-up story in Fuel right now.)

Bleeding Heart Busted

The popular Bleeding Heart Bakery on Belmont Ave. was shuttered this week by the Chicago Dept. of Health for code violations. Eep. UPDATE: The bakery put out a statement about the closure.

Everyone is Splitting Up

The bill, that is. Separate checks are apparently on the rise as people feel the economic pinch in their wallets.

Drunken Goat News

No, not about Cubs fans. Serious Eats has an interview with Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard about her upcoming restaurant, The Drunken Goat. She mentions she's on Twitter, and MenuPages Chicago cleverly tracked down her account.

What a Long, Strange Tofu Trip it's Been

Yu Kizawa discovers a new, wacky Japanese tofu at Mitsuwa and her life is changed forever in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Bourdain's Chicago Photo Journal

The Chicago episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations aired on Monday, and ever since I've been in withdrawl. But never fear! The Chicago photo journal is up on the show's site. [Vegetarians note: After the jump, there are serious photos of sausages.] Update: And note the episode's Google map of dining locations along with video of missing scenes/locations (Ramova Grill, a tour of the Tom Tom Tamales Factory) here.

Contest with No Reservations

As mentioned yesterday, we're running a contest in Drive-Thru -- if you caught last night's episode of "No Reservations," answer our trivia question for a chance to win!

Part of a Healthy Breakfast

Or maybe not, in the case of this gargantuan Frosted Mini-Wheats cluster found in a Chicagoan's cereal box.

Anthony Bourdain X-Treme Prize Giveaway

Celebchef Anthony Bourdain will be spotlighting the foods of Chicago on his show "No Reservations"; the episode premieres tonight at 9pm on the Travel Channel. We will be liveblogging and giving away an awesome prize during the show, so stop by Drive-Thru later tonight for details on how to win.

Cooking in Half-Time

The Drive-Thru staff lists their favorite cooking shortcuts in this week's feature.

A Kitchen Savant

GQ's Alan Richman profiles Schwa's Michael Carlson and gains new insight into the restaurant's abrupt closure and reopening.

Champagne Taste, Beer Bottle Pockets

Sky Full of Bacon went to Food Network chef Sandra Lee for semi-homemade suggestions on how to reproduce some of Alinea's greatest hits for a fraction of the cost. Or did they?

Bottles at the Ready

You're going to need a lot of booze if you play along with Chicagoist's Blagojevich drinking game during his appearance on "Larry King Live" tonight.

Deer in the Headlights...of Your Kitchen

Andie Thomalla cooks with venison in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Mapping Dinner

Thinking about Restaurant Week reservations? The Local Tourist has made a handy Googlemap of the participating restaurants, so you know which are closest to you.

Chips Ahoy

Jill Jaracz goes on a hunt to find a replacement for her beloved Jay's Zestidos in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Capitol Beer

Another Chicago product is heading to DC this week. Goose Island will soon feature in the district's public houses.

One Good Meal Returns

The venerable One Good Meal has new digs over at Drive-Thru, and she's making soup this week.

The City That Never Sleeps?

And you thought it was the relentless winter weather, skyrocketing cost-of-living and hit-or-miss public transportation that was putting you on edge here in Chicago. Nope. Turns out we're the third most caffeinated city in America. Step away from the Coca-Cola...

Impalatable Tradition, Cheap.

Beginning tomorrow, enjoy (?) $2 shots of the Chicago-based, widely considered vile Jeppson's Malort at Stadium West.

Tlaxcalli Anyone?

In conjunction with the Aztec World exhibit at the Field Museum several area restaurants will be offering Aztec inspired food and drink. Taste of the Aztec World starts a week-long run this Sunday.

It's Tamale Time

A childhood treat gets remade with adult eyes in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Blago Burger

Kuma's Corner's January special is particularly topical: the "#@(*&%^ Blagojevich" consists of a 10 oz. hamburger patty, thick sliced bologna and yellow mustard between two grilled cheese sandwiches (made with American cheese and wonder bread), and a large dollar sign written in mustard.

Cheap Eats Ahead

The participants for this year's Chicago Restaurant Week have been announced; start making your reservations for Feb. 20-27 now.

The Good and the Meh

The Drive-Thru staff reflects on the highs and lows of their year of Chicago eating in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

O'Hare: First in Flight, Last in Food

The New York Times takes a look at seven airports to see what kind of food awaits travelers hoping for a bit in between flights. O'Hare ranks at the bottom of the list of airport cuisine: "particularly disappointing since Chicago is one of America's great restaurant cities." [via]

Getting More Than What You Paid For

The Trib's investigation of food mislabeling and hidden allergens found 117 products that violate federal law. While seeking the correct ingredient listings, it also conducted more food laboratory tests than the USDA and FDA have done -- combined -- over the last several years. How many tests did the Trib do? Fifty.

The Mystery of Nut Breads

A Chicagoan recounts her ongoing journey for the perfect potica recipe in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Even if You Lost, You Really Won

A kolacky recipe won this year's Trib holiday cookie contest, but a badass recipe for rogaliki gave it a wedgie and shoved it in a locker afterwards in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Gingerbread Masterpiece

April Reed Cake Design is selling a gingerbread version of Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House. The original, located in Plano, Illinois, was sold to local preservationists in December 2003 for $7.5 million. This edible treat sells for $4,320 - 15% of proceeds pays for repairs to the real house. [via]

Indian Done Right

Chris Brunn takes on the task of making sambar in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

The Obama Food Tour

Where does Obama eat in Chicago? Anywhere he wants. Actually, Sky Full of Bacon has a more precise list.

Ready for Repeal Day?

This Friday marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. 312 Dining Diva has a list of all the parties going on to celebrate.

Harry's Hot Dogs Doomed?

It's Demon Dogs all over again: developers are planning on buying up the Showman's League of America Building at 300 W. Randolph for office building development. That building, as you may or may not know, houses Harry's Hot Dogs, which has been around for over 50 years yet (according to the Yelp reviews) still features the original Harry! Better get your hot dogs now before Harry's closes up...

It's Turkey Time

Mandy Burrell Booth gives us the skinny on decadent turkey cooking in this week's Drive-Thru Feature.

City of Big Truffles

You probably aren't familiar with the saga of the Giant Italian Truffle, which has failed to find a home here in the States... until it reached Chicago, that is.

Lunch Planning

Speaking of lunch in the Loop, the Tribune has a foodporn gallery of some of their favorites.

Tiny Thanksgiving Treat

This week, diners at The Café at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago will be treated to "Thanksgiving Dinner in One Bite", an amuse-bouche that combines all the tastes of a traditional Thanksgiving meal into a single forkful.

Crispy Goodness

The Reader has a mouth watering piece on Cafecito, a new Cuban sandwich spot in the South Loop. I haven't tried it but it sounds like the owner definitely did his homework, even researching my neighborhood's favorite whole in the wall, El Cubanito.

Top Cupcake

File under "Nom Nom Nom": Top Chef cupcakes are back at the Bleeding Heart Bakery.

Now is the Time for Tater Tots and Cream Soups

Kaitlin Olson introduces us to the venerable Hot Dish in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

The Master Sommelier Blogs

"Check Please!" host Alpana Singh has a blog.

Potbelly Gets Crafty

Who knew that employees at Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Works were so into DIY and being green?

Not So Sweet

Wicker Park's Sweet Thang lost its lease and moved to Roscoe Village earlier this year. Now it's closed again -- embroiled in the same strange scandal that swirled around the closing of Sweet Occasions. Read more in Drive-Thru.

Presidents Can't Go Hungry!

The owners of Italian Fiesta Pizzeria, one of Barack Obama's favorite restaurants, are being flown out to Washington for the Presidential Inauguration Expo, an event that will preview the food to be served come inauguration time.

Reverse Mugging

Watch your pockets. A creepy guy in a mask might just stick something in them.

Happiness is a Warm Meatball

The weather is getting colder, the economy is getting weaker, and relief seems to be nowhere in sight...so why not cozy up to a meatball in this week's Drive-Thru feature?

Make Your Reservations Now

The Reader's 2008 best restaurants list is out, along with some notable runners-up. (You might also want to check out places the chefs eat.)

Goose Island Clybourn Staying Open

The original Clybourn location of the Goose Island Beer Company will stay open, thanks to a renegotiated lease. "I could not be happier," said founder John Hall in a press release. "I felt terrible, like I was losing a part of my family. We would not have been able to reach an agreement with our landlord without the support of our loyal customers. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support with e-mails, letters, and petitions."

A President's Gotta Eat

Sure, there will be a few important Cabinet positions to fill in the coming months, but what we really want to know is who will be cooking up the cuisine at the White House? The Obamas may be bringing a bit of local flavor with them to D.C., though it sounds like they are still partial to Spiaggia for special occasions.

The Numbers Have It

Meet Chicagoan Nate Silver, the U Chicago grad and statistics whiz behind fivethirtyeight.com, the election data analysis site that has "helped make sense of some of the things that didn't seem sensible."

Eat Noodles, Help a Cause

On Wednesday, November 12 Noodles & Co. (2813 N. Broadway) will donate 25% of all sales toward the Weisman Park renovation project. Donations accrue on sales between 4 PM and 10 PM, and you must have this flyer to have your sale count.

Left to Her Own Devices

Drive-Thru staffer Yu Kizawa stumbles upon every chef's fantasy--a deeply discounted Kitchen Aid mixer--and the results are life-transforming in this week's feature.

Vote and Get Fed Today

Many national chains are offering special free items if you vote (most, if not all, won't require you to show your "I Voted" sticker or slip as proof, either). Get in on some free coffee, donuts, chicken strips, or ice cream at participating businesses.

It's Not a "Diet," it's a "Live-it"

A change in administration...of the self in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

This Place Ain't Sexy

"The Squirrel," a blog by an anonymous Chicago restaurant worker, is one of the more entertaining reads I've come across in awhile.

You, Too Can Make Guava Foam

GB Editor Andrew Huff sits down with Michael Nagrant to talk about his newest project, co-authoring the Alinea cookbook, in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Earwax Café Under Fire

Popular Wicker Park eatery Earwax Café, 1561 N. Milwaukee Ave., was ordered to close after Chicago Department of Public Health inspectors found rat feces in a basement storage area, holes in walls that allowed insects and rodents to come in and a poorly maintained outside garbage container, the Tribune reports.

Chronicling the Red Hot Lovers

UIC News recently profiled reference librarian Lynn Westney, author of the ever-popular article "Dew Drop Inn and Lettuce Entertain You: Onomastic Sobriquets in the Food and Beverage Industry."

Beer Me a Medal

This week's Drive-Thru feature covers this year's Great American Beer Festival, which was heavy with Chicagoland brewers vying for national recognition.

Goose Island's Last Day on Clybourn

The Chicago Beer Society's e-mail listserv was buzzing over the weekend after Goose Island Brewing Company annouced they'd be closing their Clybourn Avenue brewpub on December 21.

Eating Bodega-Style

The Drive-Thru staff talks about our latest cooking and party adventure in this week's feature.

Full-bodied Bunny

Behold... the Playboy Wine Collection. The collectible bottles, each paired with a vintage magazine cover, are sold individually or as part of a subscription. [via]

Sandwich Wars

If the Fuel question for today has gotten you thinking about your lunchtime eating options, consider that Potbelly has unveiled a new sandwich to complete with the piled-high-with-meat options at Quizno's and Subway.

A Restaurant with Wireless (not that kind)

A Chinese restaurant in Urbana, IL (if you know which one, let me know) has started using a wireless remote to let customers summon their waiter for food, water, the check, or just regular old attention. Makes me want to roadtrip for some ma po tofu.

Stepping to the Plate

We look at Chicago Gourmet through the eyes of a volunteer in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Alinea: The Home Game

Mike Sula from the Reader goes to the launch party of the new Alinea cookbook (there's an Alinea cookbook? Yes!), held at Wired NextFest (NextFest is back? Yes!).

Mayor Places Sausage, Nuts on the Line

Showing faith in a White Sox win, the mayor has bet three Florida mayors that the White Sox will beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Apparently seeking intestinal vengeance, should he lose, Daley has wagered Vitner potato chips, Lemonheads from Ferrara Pan Candy, a "Pepsi for a Year" certificate, assorted peanuts, sunflower seeds, and trail mix from Fisher Nuts, and 100 Vienna Beef Polish sausages. Why, the headline just wrote itself, didn't it?

Another Chicago Chef Could Be "Top"

Competing in the next season of Bravo's "Top Chef" is Chicagoan Radhika Desai, executive chef of Between Boutique Café & Lounge. Let's hope she can bring home the title, just like Stephanie Izard did last spring.

(No) Soup For You? It Depends.

Groupon, a Chicago startup, will offer daily coupons for local events, services, hotels, eateries and more. The twist? You only get the deal if enough people sign up for it. If not - well, you know.

Pancakes, My Treat

Well, while Wrigleyville bar owners have agreed to stop alcohol sales after the seventh inning during the playoffs, Joe Fournier has an amusing take on Da Mayor's plan for good, clean fun in Lakeview.

Palin Spotted @ Old Town Ale House

A nude painting of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (or is it Second City alum Tina Fey?) now graces the wall at the Old Town Ale House.

Eating Around the World

This week's Drive-Thru feature takes us on a trip to eat the foods of Denmark and India through a Chicagoan's eyes.

The Daily Achatz

Eater Chicago may not be bowing until next month, but the love for "Chicago's darling" Grant Achatz has been simmering for a while. Get a taste of "The Daily Achatz".

Will There Be Cocoa-Ed Dorms?

Something called the U.S. Chocolate Academy, created by the Barry Callebaut company, is coming to Chicago. It's the first one in the US.; the other is in Russia. Sweet.

7th Inning Dry Stretch

The City is asking Wrigleyville bars to stop serving after the 7th inning during Cubs playoff games to avoid mayhem in the streets. Share your opinion in Tailgate.

Not So All Beef

Turns out Vienna's "all beef" hot dogs haven't been quite 100 percent. Get in on the class action lawsuit.

Food First, Seeing the Eternal Union of Todd and Lisa Second

This week's Drive-Thru feature explores some of the newest trends in delicious, memorable wedding reception eats.

Mai Tais by Thanksgiving?

The Sun-Times has an update on Trader Vic's return to Chicago. The restaurant is scheduled to return in late November at Newberry Plaza (1030 N. State). In anticipation of the grand re-opening, they've put out the giant tiki head that used to sit in front of the original Chicago location, so you can't miss the new restaurant.

Not Manic For Organic?

Organic food may be all the rage these days, but according to the Chicago Reporter, the pesticide-free food is hard to come by in minority communities, for various reasons.

Top Dog

GQ's food critic, Alan Richman, who has previously deemed Chicago "the best restaurant city in America," recently attempted his own version of a hot dog crawl to see how our dogs compare to those in NYC. [via]

Gourmet Discount

Thinking about going to Chicago Gourmet, the new high-end food and wine festival in Millennium Park next week? Use the code CG2008TEN when you buy your tickets and you'll get 10 percent off.

Following Achatz's Footsteps

In 2007, Carol Blymire decided she would try cooking every recipe in the French Laundry Cookbook and blog the experience. The project proved wildly popular, and now she's set her sites* on Grant Achatz's forthcoming cookbook. (You can preorder Alinea from Amazon for just $31.50.) Chicago MenuPages Blog interviews Blymire about Alinea at Home. *Pun intended.

Cooking with Sandra

We catch up with Food Network celebrity and cookbook author Sandra Lee in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Right On 'Cue

Chicago native Scott Johnson barbecues for a cause: to fight cancer. He donates his winnings in national competitions to a cancer research foundation. That's nice, but his reasons for getting into barbecuing might tick a few people off: he points to "the lack of quality barbecue cuisine in his native Chicago." Ahem...

September 11th Cake at Swedish Bakery

The title says it all.

Tag Team Baking

If you're setting your Tivo for the weekend, don't neglect to catch the Chicago chef Michelle Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery compete in the Food Network Challenge: Tag Team Cakes on Sunday at 8pm. The chefs didn't know who they'd be paired with for the competition, but if this snapshot of the final product is any indicator, I say it was a productive (and likely, delicious) pairing.

Summer in a Jar

You don't need to struggle to chow down the last of the season's produce. This week's Drive-Thru feature is all about what you can do to enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits far into winter...from a jar.

Michelle O. to cook with Paula D.

Michelle Obama will be a guest at "Paula's Party" on the Food Network. Besides sharing details about life on the campaign trail, Michelle will learn how to make host Paula Deen's Fried Shrimp and Creole French Fries. Put on your eating pants and tune in on Saturday, September 20 at 7:00 pm ET/CT.

Lettuce Entertain You ...Differently

Restaurant empire Lettuce Entertain You is branching out beyond food with a two-hour internet radio show featuring Mike North, who left WSCR in June. The show debuts Monday, Sept. 8, from 9 to 11am on WildfireRestaurant.com, and will be available as a podcast on iTunes and North's website later in the day.

Moving the Bar

Drunken Service Announcement: The Chicago Bar Project has had some trouble with their hosting company, and are now at ChiBarProject.com.

Better Than a Bag of Peanuts and Half a Can of Pepsi

This week's Drive-Thru feature takes a train trip and has a dining experience that ought to be in pictures. And is.

Burning Up the Kitchen

Thinking of opening a restaurant? Unless you're able to luck out like Smoque, think again.

Taste Of Melrose Park!!!

Can't stand politics? Then while the time away with the absolutely unfunny entertainment of "Taste Of Melrose Park" broadcasting on Channel 19's "Star Performers". (And in other news, the Taste Of Melrose Park is this weekend. Samples under $2, city's Web site is down, and LTHForum makes it sound awesome.)

Drunk on the Train from Chicago

Last call on Metra's bar cars comes this weekend.

Attacking Hot Dogs Upsets the Hot Dog Council

A group called The Cancer Project is going to run ads in our neck of the woods in September critiquing hot dogs and school lunches. Among those who are mad are the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. Yes, there is a National Hot Dog & Sausage Council.

Come on-a My House

Olympian Michael Phelps can eat 12,000 calories' worth of pasta, pizza and fried egg sandwiches each day. Wouldn't he enjoy spending his mealtimes gorging on Chicago foods instead? Our Drive-Thru feature for this week investigates.

Vote for Chicago's Veggie Establishments

VegNews is currently accepting votes for the 2008 Veggie Awards, which feature the Chicago Diner, the Bleeding Heart Bakery and products from the Chicago Soydairy, among others.

Nine Feet of Discomfort

Shaw's would like you to know the tapeworm did not come from them. Of course, the guy with the lawsuit doesn't see it that way.

It's Sonic Day!

In our continuing coverage of the arrival of Sonic burgers in the Chicago area (actually Aurora), the fast food chain with the omnipresent commercials finally opens today. And apparently not a moment too soon.

Put On Your Beer Goggles & Suit Up

It's time for the Chicago Bar Olympics, a tournament of bar games being held at 15 bars across the city. If you're not up for the travel, maybe just the Beer Olympics at either Mahoney's or Cortland's Garage would suffice.

Wisconsin is for the Thirsty

GB staffer Dana Currier recaps a weekend spent visiting three Madison-area breweries in this week's Drive-Thru feature. You may want to scrap your weekend plans and brave I-90 for the trip to Sconnie's capitol (only three hours away!).

Learn the Secrets of the Rosetta

Want to learn how to do latte art at home? Intelligentsia will teach you how. (Thanks, Shirley!)

Really? Not In-and-Out?

If you were a mega-bazillionaire and the fast food joint you loved didn't exist in your home town, what would you do? Well, buy a franchise license and start picking spots of course. Get ready for Fatburger Chicagoans.

Providence!?!

According to Forbes, we're the fifth hardest drinking town in the nation. We were outdrunk by, in descending order, Austin, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and... Providence, RI. Really?

Anthony Bourdain eats and films at Hot Doug's

Tony eats encased meat, my friend.

Nine Dogs, 17.8 Miles

According to their website, Bike The Dog is "Chicago's Premier Gastronomic Cycling Challenge." They're inviting bikers of any skill level to join them on September 13th for an almost-eighteen-mile trek through the north and northwest sides, sampling the wares at nine quintessential Chicago hot dog locations. It's a pledge-based event, with raised funds benefiting the family of Stella Ackerman, a two-and-a-half-year-old living with a rare blood disorder. More info.

Hot Eats, Cool Treats, LEED Certification

A visit to Wicker Park's new Dairy Queen/Orange Julius store is a sentimental trip down memory lane amidst a sea of stores that sell $200 t-shirts in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Hot Doug's Unveils New Chicago Dog

Today's the day that Hot Doug's unveils the winner in Time Out Chicago's recent hot dog recipe contest, The New Chicago. TOC will be at Hot Doug's today to celebrate; details in Slowdown.

Chewing Up the Charts

Singer Chris Brown's hit single "Forever" is also a paid ad placement for Wrigley's Doublemint gum; Wrigley has two more song-commercials in the works.

Snacking on Shrubbery

Nance Klehm teaches people about the edible plants growing throughout the city.

Soup's On...Ice

To combat the oppressive heat, Lori Barrett is cooking up chilled soups in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

Bell's Back in Town

Remember when Bell's vanished? It's back.

Yet Another Googlemap - Cheap Date Edition

UEatCheap.com, now in alpha.

But Where Will the Tourists Eat?

The Bennigan's across from the Art Institute was abruptly closed today, along with the rest of the nationwide chain. The Stew's Lara Weber pays tribute to the tourist favorite.

Shop Talk for Chefs & Servers

If you're in the restaurant or hospitality industry, check out FohBoh, a new social network.

Cooking and Playing with Fire

The blood, sweat and bain maries of making crème brûlée at home is chronicled in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

The Edible Presidential Candidate

I've seen a lot of Obama products in the last few months, but none of them compare to the Obama lollipop.

The Next Hot Doug Dog

Speaking of hot dogs, the finalists have been chosen in Time Out's contest to create the next encased meat special for Hot Doug's. Go vote now!

Get Your Frank On

The GB Drive-Thru staff reviews some of the city's best (and meh) hot dogs in this week's Feature story.

18 Chicago Starbucks to Close

Crain's tells us which ones will vanish.

Maybe This One Won't Have Rats

Obviously interested in Whole Foods' market segment, Jewel's going to open a new concept store called "Urban Fresh, by Jewel" in Lincoln Park in the fall.

Egg Over Wrigley

The McDonalds across from Wrigley Field is displaying an unusual billboard right now. [via]

More Free Stuff

It's Free Slurpee Day today! Also, enter to win a designer t-shirt from Chicago magazine, or $10,000 for your own design sense.

Berry Good

This week's Drive-Thru feature takes a look at the glories (and widespread availability) of the mulberry.

It's Beer Thirty

For those of you of that have graduated from Miller Lite and Bud (and no, Icehouse doesn't count) Chicago Mag's events editor is keeping a great blog, Get to the Pint, on drinking good suds in the city.

Failed Health Inspection Shutters Whole Foods

Attention urban food snobs: according to an email alert that’s not yet available online, the Chicago Department of Public Health has ordered the Whole Foods on North Ave. closed “after CDPH inspectors found mouse feces throughout the premises, including more than 100 droppings in one walk-in cooler alone. Also found was a dead mouse on a glueboard trap.” Resisting urge to make sarcastic “organic” jab...

Sayonara, Venti Coffee

Intelligentsia Coffee is ditching the 20-ounce size of its coffee and espresso drinks -- out of respect for the coffee. The owner says: "Drinking our coffee is not like drinking jug wine."

How Local Can You Go?

Sky Full of Bacon looks into the trend.

Foam: It's What's for Dinner

GB Staffer Lori Barrett takes on the world of homemade molecular gastronomy in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

I Can Has Hotdog?

Time Out Chicago have got a killer contest running right now: create your own Hot Doug's hot dog. Readers can submit their ideas for new encased meats or toppings, and Hot Doug himself will select finalists that readers will vote on. The winning entry will actually be made and featured at the restaurant for a week. Check out Hot Doug's menu to get some idea of their regular fare. You'd better think quickly, though, because entries are due in one week!

Mmm, Jibaritos.

Does Chicago have a signature dish? Must it be deep dish pizza?

Taste(less) of Chicago

Professional curmudgeon and columnist Thomas Roeser absolutely trashes the Taste of Chicago experience as "a sad trampling of civility" and says that it reduces the dining experience to "ashes and banal barbarism." But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Barleycorn's in Bridgeport?

The Sun-Times uncovers that Jimbo's Lounge's landlord wants the 22-year-old bar out so he can bring in an outpost of John Barleycorn.

Love, Italian Style

GB staffer Mandy Burrell updates us on her culinary adventures while on a European honeymoon in this week's Drive-Thru feature.

It's Bacon!

One of the reasons I love Chicago. (vegetarians and veg