As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block is on indefinite hiatus. The site will remain up in archive form while we evaluate our options, which may include a redesign or sale.
✶ Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. ✶
Sunday, December 11
Curious City looks at what's changed in meat packing and butchery in the years since The Jungle. (Spoiler alert: quite a lot.)
If you're seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens tonight, Dennis Lee and the A.V. Club have your dinner menu.
Vegan restaurant and spa Karyn's is in dire financial straits, and has turned to crowdfunding to stay open. However, a lengthy Facebook post by an anonymous employee outlines why maybe it's not such a bad thing if the place closes. [via] UPDATE: Karyn's owners are being sued for $112,000 in back rent.
Cane and Ebel fro Two Brothers in Warrenville (25), Gatecrasher IPA from Temperance in Evanston (43) and Ninja vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks in Chicago are among Livability's 99 Beers in 99 Cities list.
Next Friday's Eat to the Beat dinner with WBEZ Sound Opinions and musician Neko Case is sold out, but they are holding a drawing this Thursday at 5pm for a free pair of tickets to the event. Enter, you fool!
The Whistler transforms into the Mos Eisley Cantina, featuring the music of Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. They've just added a late show for those who aren't already in line for the new Star Wars movie.
À La Card Chicago is one of my perennial favorite gifts for foodies -- 52 cards, each worth $10 off at some of the city's hottest restaurants.
Time Out's annual 100 Best Dishes & Drinks list is out, featuring everything from blood sausage to toasted marshmallow milkshakes.
Tickets for the Alps, which is the first Next menu of 2016, go on sale next Wednesday at 10am (past customers get a two-day head start); if that's not your bag, later menus will pay homage to South America and The French Laundry.
School food is notoriously bad, but it's gotten even worse under the management of food service giant Aramark. Students in a Roosevelt High School civics class are holding Aramark accountable with a new website.
FiveThirtyEight examined what America eats on Thanksgiving, aside from turkey. We're a roll and/or biscuit state.
Gotham Greens just opened the world's largest rooftop farm in Pullman, covering 75,000 square feet of the Method factory's room with greenhouses to supply pesticide-free greens and herbs to local groceries and restaurants.
Danny's Tavern, the Bucktown institution that looked to be closing at the end of this month, is staying open after all, thanks to the outpouring of support from fans -- and several weeks of lease negotiations, no doubt.
Chicago has the second largest craft beer industry in the nation, and it's only getting bigger. Metropolitan is the latest brewery to level up, soon to move to a new brewery in Avondale, while Half Acre continues to build out its Bowmanville space.
If you commute out of Union Station, be sure to grab a Chicago Food Bank donation bag to fill up and drop off on Thursday.
Drinking Woman, a new blog by former GB staffer Meghan Murphy-Gill and Molly Heyward, covers all aspects of beer and other beverages from a woman's perspective. Its first story is an interview with Metropolitan Brewing's Tracy Hurst.
This year's Bourbon County Stout is being released on Black Friday, Nov. 27, and Binny's just released its procedures for getting some. Be prepared to wait longer than for a big-screen TV at Best Buy. (Meanwhile, a few lucky fans will be picking up their rare bottles on Nov. 13.) [via]
Dennis Lee documents 18 of the nearly 24 hours of constant work happening at the Roots Pizza-West Town Bakery-Homestead on the Roof restaurant complex.
The Roister, the upcoming casual restaurant from Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas and Andrew Brochu, is putting together its music playlist, and they're asking for your help. If they pick your song and you were first to suggest it, you'll get a free drink. (Hopefully this is a sign it's opening soon.)
Danny's Tavern, a stalwart of Bucktown's nightlife, is closing by the end of November, another victim of gentrification. The bar hold many memories for Gapers Block as one of the first places the staff hung out together. I think we should do it one last time.
That ordinance that legitimizes food carts? It'll include a ban on carts in parts of the Loop and other areas close to downtown, as well as large portions of Lakeview, under the excuse of avoiding congestion on crowded sidewalks.
Steve Dolinsky has been eating pizza for weeks as research for his "Ultimate Chicago Pizza Quest," an attempt at a definitive guide to the area's slices. The exhaustive results will be rolled out over the next two weeks.
Mayonnaise is a healthy part of your daily sandwich -- but Little Village residents worry that planned expansion of the Hellman's plant in their neighborhood may bring more pollution.
Planet Money tells the story of how a New York onion farmer played the futures market and ended up flooding the Chicago River with onions.
Pipeworks Brewing teamed up with Jared Saul, beer buyer at Emporium Arcade Bar, to create Twin Pines Mall, a Back to the Future-themed beer brewed with spruce tips and wildflower honey. They'll be releasing it on Wednesday, Oct. 21 -- the day Marty and Doc travel to in Back to the Future II -- exclusively at the Wicker Park Emporium location.
Lula Cafe is no longer dressing up for Halloween, but Fat Rice has taken up the tradition. On Oct. 31, the restaurant is transforming into Kill Grill: Haunted Izakaya, with two seatings available for $80 a head.
Fooditor, a new site by Sky Full of Bacon's Michael Gebert (now formerly of the Reader), promises to dig deeply into the city's food scene. Its first story breaks the news that Manny's is adding a deli counter to its cafeteria, finally giving Chicago a true Jewish deli.
In ongoing in-depth coverage of chain stores bringing "boozy" versions of themselves to Chicago, it turns out the new boozy Target in Streeterville won't let you walk around with wine while you shop, like Mariano's -- it just has a Starbucks that serves wine in it.
Remember the Indiana pizzeria that declared it wouldn't cater gay weddings? Robin Trevino of GayCo Productions managed to get them to unwittingly provide pizza their vow renewal ceremony.
The Chicago Foodseum opens the doors on its first exhibit, "The Hot Dog and Encased Meat of the World," this Saturday at Block 37. Executive Director Kyle Joseph talked with WBEZ about the show and the museum.
CPS can't figure out where hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of food from outside vendors ended up.
If you're craving a cheap snack you can pick up bags of Garrett Popcorn for 66 cents this week, but be prepared to wait in (an even longer) line.
Working for Beer takes an in-depth look at what it's really like to work in the beer industry, including profiles of Emporium's beer buyer, the owner of Eris Brewery & Ciderhouse, and a sales rep from Destihl Brewing Company.
City Council committee approved an ordinance allowing food cart vendors to be licensed, taking another step toward providing a level of legitimacy to a long pseudo-illegal industry that's been asking for regulation for years. The ordinance next will go the full Council for approval.
The family behind Franzia contended with the Chicago mob as it grew, split, and eventually included more than half of wine business in the U.S.
The online campaign to add a hot dog emoji started in Chicago with one couple's dream of a ketchup-free frank on every phone.
John Hall, who left Goose Island after its 2011 sale to Anheuser-Busch InBev to start Virtue Cider, has sold the majority of Virtue back to Goose Island, citing a need for larger distribution facilities; Virtue will continue to be made in Michigan. Hall's father started Goose Island in 1988.
WBEZ's Monica Eng dug deep to find some lesser-known dishes created in Chicago, including: the jibarito, the Jim Shoe, and Akutagawa. One common ingredient for many of them: huge amounts of meat.
Mad food scientist Dennis Lee put together a recipe for risotto made out of Rice Krispies that's "astoundingly delicious."
In the latest reflection on kitchen culture, Elizabeth chef Iliana Regan thinks intensity can be useful as a teaching tool but yelling at cooks is stupid.
Chef Didier Durand is raising money to erect a bust of Charlie Trotter on Michigan Avenue.
Springfield can't agree on a lot, but pumpkin pie is now the official state pie of Illinois.
Maurice Lenell Cookies pinwheel cookies will disappear from store shelves after the brand was eliminated by its Ohio-based parent company.
Local eats will soon be on the menu at the United Center, including food from "hot spots" like Big Star, Publican Quality Meats, and Lillie's Q.
Google uses location search data to chart the busiest times at popular Chicago restaurants, although the conclusions aren't surprising: the best times to go are close to opening and closing times.
The next time you get some Thai food, David Hammond offers some ways to be less like a culinary tourist.
Found in everything from Chinese to Polish food, Maggi is the flavor-boosting sauce you've probably never heard of, writes Kevin Pang.
Kuma's Corner was ahead of the gourmet burger trend when it opened 10 years ago, and still reigns as one of the city's top spots.
Documentary project The Midwestern Diner takes a look at food and drink in Chicago from all sides of the table, including the voices of chefs, farmers, and diners.
Local restaurants can't find enough cooks for their kitchens and it's unclear why, although the number of restaurants, other career options, and cost of living are probably factors.
"Best of" lists are click magnets but reviewers rarely have enough resources to try every option, leading to oversights noted by angry commenters, writes Michael Gebert.
Even though the Bucktown Apple Pie Contest will not be held this year due to planned (then nixed, courtesy of Gov. Rauner) repairs to Holstein Park's field house, the organizers will hold a Pie Party on Sept. 20 at Senior Citizens Memorial Park (adjacent to Holstein).
Scoutology is hosting a food truck free-for-all where you can vote for your favorite mobile eatery (or write in any that aren't listed).
If you're tired of chewing your hot dogs, journalist and chef Louisa Chu created a Chicago-style hot dog foam, which should be finished with celery salt, of course. (Probably not something that'll show up at the Gapers Block Hot Dog Cookoff Saturday, but you never know.)
Uber is now delivering a small selection of dinner dishes through its on-demand app in areas of downtown and Lincoln Park.
The New York Times takes a stroll through the fine dining options taking over the West Loop, noting the area's transition is similar to changes in New York's meatpacking district.
Eater put together a map of the inaugural Happy Hour specials in bars across the city, where the highest concentration (so far) appears to be in the Loop and River North.
Meet some of the up-and-coming talent from Chicago's hospitality industry in Zagat's 30-under-30, including chefs, bartenders, owners, and more.
You can hunt down some free Olive Garden breadsticks by finding their food truck as it drives around the city (and parks in Daley Plaza during lunch on Thursday).
Some parents think the talking minion toys included in a McDonald's Happy Meal are actually swearing.
If you're looking to spend your tickets wisely at the Taste of Chicago, the Tribune has a guide to the best and worst of the booths.
David Burke's Primehouse and an unnamed Chicago music venue
are among those who shared "don't eat that" moments with Jezebel's Kitchenette.
The Bean Soup Times is challenging Chicago foodies to patronize as many black-owned restaurants as possible this summer.
Masada's Shadi Ramli spent a decade building the massive Middle Eastern restaurant in Logan Square.
Microbrewery 5 Rabbits is turning off the tap on a house beer it was making for Trump Tower after Donald Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and "rapists."
An interactive map shows the best and most popular ethnic food in each neighborhood.
In honor of the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, Geek Bar is serving a special drink this weekend called "Scalia's Tears," a concoction of Jeppson's Malort, Triple Sec, apple bitters, and salt--a perfect cocktail for enduring the dissenting Supreme Court Justice's insults.
The Distance, Basecamp's profile series of long-time businesses, has fully transformed into a podcast, and the latest episode profiles two Fulton Market wholesalers and how they're handling the changes affecting that neighborhood and industry.
Jeni's Ice Cream reopens tomorrow at 5pm, following a series of voluntary shutdowns over the past two months after listeria was found in their product.
Following a nearly month-long closure in May due to a listeria contamination, Jeni's Ice Cream has closed its doors again due to a second outbreak of the bacteria. Recent customers, don't panic: Jeni's assures you that their product since returning from the last outbreak was thoroughly tested and listeria-free.
Jerry Seinfeld made the first Chicago appearance with Steve Harvey (meh) of his web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," grabbing coffee and pastrami sandwiches (and unheard-of table service) at Manny's Deli.
Booze-infused ice cream will be served up around the city by a gold-plated "Ice Cream Dream" food truck.
A search for America's best food cities by the Washington Post cuts a big slice off of Chicago's food past and present.
The Butcher & Larder will join Local Foods in Bucktown where the butcher shop will open a cafe and wholesale business.
The best sandwich ever made on the South Side may be the Gym Shoe from Stony Sub, writes Mark Konkol.
Half Acre tops a ranking of top local breweries done by industry experts for Thrillist.
A two-way mirror in the women's restroom of Cigars and Stripes will be removed from the closet door where it hangs, after the club's owner conceded to pressure sparked by a viral video about it.
A bill that would bring back happy hours in Illinois is waiting for the governor's signature.
Writer Dennis Lee is making the most of his unemployment by inventing a poutine microwave cake.
Pounds of sausage and other goodies leftover from Maifest are on sale for cheap at DANK Haus.
Crain's looks at restaurants' adoption of fancier breakfast fare over the past decade.
This year's Taste of Chicago will feature 60 vendors including well-known Chicago eateries, pop-up restaurants, food trucks and more.
Food writer Dennis Lee created a "Fart Dip" full of flatulence-inducing ingredients - and braced for the results.
Demonstrators calling for a higher minimum wage for restaurant workers used fake badges to get into the National Restaurant Association Show and stage a protest there.
Superdawg founder Maurie Berman passed away Sunday. Much remains the same since he founded the original location in the 1940s, including the giant papier-mache hot dog people modeled after Berman and his wife that stand atop its roof.
Jeni's Ice Cream, which shut down production and closed its scoop shops last month over a listeria outbreak, is now back in production. Scoop shops will have a "grand reopening" next Friday, May 22 at 7pm for your ice cream needs.
Three sommeliers critiqued the "piney, astringent" flavor of Jeppson's Malort - and even suggested some food pairings.
The planned Taco Bell in Wicker Park could be the first in the world to serve booze.
Chicago-based Restaurant.com could owe up to $1 million to customers in New Jersey after judges ruled expiration dates and other fine print on its gift certificates violated laws there.
Early warning: Starting May 14th you are entering Chibeeria-a magical place for one week where Chicago focuses its love on craft beers. The map and a schedule at Chicago Craft Beer Week will keep beer lovers busy hoofing all over town to the tasty events.
A man who robbed a Subway in Rogers Park walked across the street to a Potbelly shop and ordered a sandwich.
The City wants to break its sweetheart deal with the Park Grill in Millennium Park and make the restaurant pay more than $8 million in lost rent and fees.
Bearded cooks are technically supposed to confine their facial hair with a beard net or something similar, but most don't because the rule isn't strictly enforced.
Monday's James Beard Awards ceremony at the Lyric Opera will be the first time that the restaurant industry's version of the Oscars will convene outside of New York; this handy infographic of every local Beard award winner since 1991 gives you a picture of the interconnectedness between restaurants, chefs and restaurateurs that contribute to the city's dining scene.
To build the "world's first" fully sustainable restaurant that grows its own food, chef and marketer Jaime Guerrero is enlisting the help of students at a local high school.
Ten years ago, Alinea opened and turned fine dining on its ear. Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas talked with the Trib's Kevin Pang about the past decade and what's coming with Roister and Alinea, and Achatz chatted with Elyzabeth Alfano about his career.
Food critic Penny Pollack says her career as a journalist started on accident while she was in her 40s, working as an intern at Chicago magazine.
Fish tacos at Big Star, tonkotsu at Ramen-san, and the burger at Au Cheval are among the most-Instagrammed dishes in the city, according to First We Feast.
Federal agents ate at several of Tony Hu's restaurants before raiding them in October, searching for evidence they were underreporting earnings to the IRS.
Uber users can now order curbside delivery of lunch and dinner from a "curated menu" using the app.
Two former Hot Doug's cooks opened their own hot dog joint in Uptown, putting their own spin on Doug's classics like sausages made from strange meats and duck-fat fries.
Eater profiles chef Phillip Foss, whose EL Ideas brings accessible, avant-garde fine dining to an industrial area in Douglas Park on the Near South Side.
Ed Debevic's in River North will close and be replaced by a residential tower.
Adding as many toppings as possible with McDonald's build-your-own burger kiosk creates a four-pound mess costing almost $25.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is voluntarily recalling all its products and temporarily closing its shops -- including the ones in Chicago -- due to a possible listeria contamination, following the Blue Bell Creameries outbreak.
Thrillist figured out the part of town with perhaps the best pizza delivery options of all.
Want to know what the most disproportionately popular food is in your neighborhood-meaning the type of restaurant people rave most about on Yelp? Then look no further than the interactive map over at DNAinfo- and for your sake, I hope its not salad.
Homaro Cantu's Moto will reopen to the public this weekend thanks to some help from guest chefs and returning alumni.
Remember the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial that dismissed craft beer as "pumpkin peach ale"? Larry Bell of Bell's Brewery took offense -- and decided to retaliate by brewing a batch of pumpkin-peach ale, made with a pumpkin grown at Bell's Lakeview house. Just 48 bottles are for sale at the brewery this weekend, with proceeds going to charity.
The Illinois House voted overwhelmingly to make pumpkin the official state pie.
Newcity's Food and Drink Fifty serves up the butchers, restaurateurs, critics, and other leaders of Chicago's dining scene.
The City's new Lake FX Summet & Expo starts today, as does CIMMFest. The Chicago Latino Film Festival is ongoing, and Bacon Fest starts tomorrow. Oh, and there's also the Chicago Palestine Film Festival and HUMP! Film Festival this weekend. Whew!
If you're making dinner plans, Chicago Magazine's list of the best new restaurants is a good place to start, but book those reservations fast to beat the buzz.
Legal battles alleging embezzlement, forgery, and even inappropriate photos are raging behind the scenes at the Purple Pig.
Anthony Bourdain will stop in Chicago to perform his live one-man show, "Close to the Bone."
Well over a decade after the debut of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, brewers are entering the third wave of barrel aging beers, posits Aaron Goldfarb in Punch.
Jason Narducy and his band Split Single drove to Walkerton, IN to not eat at Memories Pizza, the shop that announced it wouldn't cater gay weddings after the state's RFRA law passed. Instead they bought $100 of pizza from the other pizza place in town, and fed it to the gathered journalists. Meanwhile, people have threatened Memories and defaced its Yelp page, leading to the owners closing the pizzeria for the time being.
Ever wonder what it's like running a hot dog stand? John Carruthers fills you in at Serious Eats.
Alinea was ranked as the best restaurant in the world by Elite Traveler for the fourth year in a row.
Binny's rejected a beer from Sweetwater Brewing due to its "sexist, borderline racist" label. The beer, called Happy Ending, is part of a broader trend of eyebrow-raising beer names and label art, leading Good Beer Hunting's Michael Kiser to reflect on the trend.
Lincoln Square's Elizabeth, Logan Square's Analogue, and a pizza place in Racine, Wisc. (yowza!) are among the recipients of this year's Good Neighborhood Restaurant award given by the good, food-loving folks at LTH Forum.
Kraft and Heinz will merge, forming the fifth largest food company in the world. Kraft's headquarters will remain in Chicago.
There's no doubt that indie-brewers are growing in number and size. Fans of Half Acre have been eagerly awaiting news of when they'll get to drink beer at their new location. The fine folks at Good Beer Hunting have put a quantitative set of visuals together. They make planning look pretty.
Dennis Lee's been telling people to eat a bag of dicks on his blog for years. Now he's taken his own medicine. (SFW...ish.)
Goose Island is reopening its Wrigleyille brewpub for the Cubs' 2015 season -- but probably no longer.
Today is the day to celebrate the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, so take it one step further and eat some circular items, like a (Pi)zza or (Pi)e today. WBEZ and the Adler Planetarium join up for a special party tonight.
The funmeisters at Jeppson's Malört have a special St. Patty's Day label for you to download, print and affix to your bottle of their special liqueur.
The Reader's annual bar issue is out, featuring profiles of the people Danny's, Maria's, Rosa's and others are named after.
Lee Varon, co-owner of pizza place The Squared Circle with his wife, Lisa Marie Varon (aka WWE Diva Victoria), easily subdued a man who came into the restaurant's kitchen with a gun Saturday night. TMZ uncovered video of the incident.
On March 28, Bacon Fest is volunteering its time to the Greater Chicago Food Depository to help repackage food donated by corporations. Lend a hand and you could earn yourself free tickets to Bacon Fest.
McDonald's is struggling to reinvent itself in a marketplace where consumers are concerned more about quality and customization.
Doug Sohn continues his tour of other people's eateries with the spicy sausage-topped Atomic Pizza at Piece.
Ricobene's breaded steak sandwich with mozzarella and hot giardiniera is the best sandwich in the world, according to USA Today's Ted Berg.
Sack Lunch Sunday gives thousands of free lunches to the homeless, complete with an inspiring handwritten note.
From the Frank Sinatra Booth at Gene & Georgetti to a seat near the Billy Goat's "Wall of Fame," Zagat sought out Chicago's ten most famous tables.
The owner of Piece, Love and Chocolate, a Colorado-based chocolate store, penned an open letter to Vosges founder Katrina Markoff after receiving a whopper of a cease-and-desist letter from her lawyers, threatening legal action if the store doesn't change their store name and marketing materials in one week. Vosges claims that they have trademarked the tagline "Peace, Love, and Chocolate" and that the Colorado store's name is "confusingly similar" and "unfairly competitive."
Eat your way through these arctic temperatures by cooking up some foods invented or perfected in Chicago.
DNAinfo has a handy map of bakeries selling packzis to satisfy your Fat Tuesday pastry cravings.
Crain's has an interesting "open letter to McDonald's" from Mayor McCheese, aka comedian Joe Janes.
McDonald's is accepting random acts of kindness as payment from randomly selected customers now through Valentine's Day.
Dirty jokes never get old, as shown by a booklet of one-liners printed by Heinegabubler's Boose Shop in 1905.
Being the oldest doesn't necessarily mean being the best, but in the case of Eater's list of 25 classic restaurants, there's obviously something good contributing to their longevity.
Two competitive eaters are opening a Taco in a Bag restaurant in Lincoln Square after perfecting their fare at Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee.
Zagat profiles the old-school butchers and new-school steakhouses bringing the best cuts to Chicago.
Thrillist compiled a list of the best dive bars in every neighborhood, and only included 31 neighborhoods -- or 29 if you don't consider River North and Streeterville distinct, or separate the South Loop from the Loop. Needless to say,
daydrinkers commenters from Rogers Park are pissed.
There are plenty of smoked meats, game rooms, and tiki bars among Eater's most anticipated openings of 2015.
In Lucky Peach, Kevin Pang writes about the food at Westville Correctional Facility, a supermax prison an hour outside Chicago.
Lagunitas is suing Sierra Nevada for printing "IPA" in big, bold letters on its packaging, part of a growing trend of craft brewer copyright lawsuits.
Learn the difference between deep dish, pan, stuffed, and many other pizza styles found in Chicago with a tasty guide put together by DNAinfo.
Alinea, Fat Rice and Topolobampo are among Eater's selections of the 38 essential restaurants in America.
The Tribune's annual Dining Awards are out, with Parachute named best new restaurant and Lee Wolen of Boka chef of the year.
Chicagoist shares unexpected things found by googling local restaurants, like how much fat rice contains and prohibitionist preacher Billy Sunday.
Thrillist puts Chicago at number three in its list of the best US cities for dining, behind New York and New Orleans.
Due to a crackdown by the City last year, fewer New Year's Eve parties are offering open-bar specials that may violate state's anti-Happy Hour law.
L20's new concept will feature a rotating roster of up-and-coming chefs, an incubator for new culinary talent that will be the first of its kind in Chicago.
À La Card Chicago is perfect for folks on your holiday shopping list who love to eat. It's a deck of 52 $10 gift certificates to local independent restaurants all over the city -- all for just $30.
Time Out's 100 best dishes and drinks of 2014 list includes everything from a honey badger to a milk maid to an autumn garden.
While the Loop isn't known for its nightlife, restaurateurs may turn downtown into a destination for locals and tourists alike.
It's the time of year when people think about donating goods to food pantries, and Jan Deckenbach of Hyde Park & Kenwood Hunger Programs has some thoughts about what food pantries really need. Tip: it's not leftover cooking experiment ingredients.
Ingrid Kosar invented the now-ubiquitous pizza delivery bags decades ago, finding a way to keep pies warm that was more practical than other methods, like makeshift backseat ovens.
"It didn't take long for the apartment to smell like the inside of a Taco Bell sauna. I couldn't tell if that was a good thing." What happens when you sous-vide Taco Bell for 48 hours.
Illinoisians are more interested in hawaiian salad for Thanksgiving than residents of other states, according to a study of Google searches by the New York Times.
Punch magazine offers a guide to bars in Chicago. Probably won't be many surprises for locals, but it'd be handy this holiday season for recommendations for visiting friends and family.
Raf Miastkowski picks the Chicago bars that would play home to "Game of Thrones" houses.
Farmer's Fridge's salad vending machines bring healthy options to office workers and people in low-income areas.
The Reader's food issue digs into how old food-making methods are revolutionizing modern cuisine.
Photographer Allen Hamberger finished cooking every recipe from the Alinea cookbook earlier this year (previously). Foodie produced a short documentary about his experiences, which included a visit to Alinea to get tips from Grant Achatz on a recipe.
A red-hued Chicago Fizz is an ideal cocktail for celebrating Republicans and self-medicating Democrats, according to David Leonhardt.
Serious Eats' Nick Kindelsperger ranked more than two dozen hot giardinieras to figure out which is the best to top your Italian beef.
Fox's "Masterchef Junior" is holding open calls for its recently announced third season. Contestants aged 8-13 can cook something up at Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 am to 5 pm. (Chicago's 10-year-old Nasir was one of the first to go home in Season 2, but 13-year-old Levi from Highland Park is still in it.)
Chicagoist traces the evolution of pumpkin spice from a blend of flavors used to season pies to a seasonal coffee phenomenon.
Officials are calling the Taste of Chicago a success despite losing $169,000 on the event, since one day of the event was cancelled due to rain.
While Jameson shots never go out of style, neighborhood bars are less central to community life than they used to be.
Tickets for the Chicago Food Film Festival are now on sale. The festival will run Nov. 20-22 at Kendall College.
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.
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).
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!
Three Chicago beers won awards at the Great American Beer Fest, including a gold medal for Haymarket's Defender, an American-Style Stout.
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.
Nick Kindelsperger has launched a new taco blog, full of interesting ideas for taco fillings and some beautiful foodporn.
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."
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.
Gino's East plans to go global for the first time, opening restaurants in Mexico City this year.
Seth Kugel's $100 Weekend in Chicago column for the NYTimes is pretty solid, and actually makes it beyond the typical neighborhoods.
The Chicago Department of Public Health is turning to big data to determine which restaurants are most at risk of health code violations.
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.
Riverview Tavern is hosting a Sriracha prix fixe dinner where every course features the popular hot sauce paired with a beer from Revolution Brewing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eater asked Chicago chefs, restaurateurs, educators and, er, Billy Corgan how they would change the world through food.
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.
With thriving neighborhood bars, local distilleries, and a cutting-edge cocktail scene, GQ calls Chicago the Greatest Drinking City in America.
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.
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.
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.
Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery got his first taste of a Chicago-style hot dog at the Wiener Circle.
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.
The New York Times profiles Hyde Park native and U of C grad Sam Kass, personal chef to the Obamas.
Is a hot dog a sandwich? This deep dive into sandwich ontology is food for thought as you plan those Labor Day barbecues.
While urban farms cultivate fresh produce and jobs, they still rely heavily on outside funding and most are not independently sustainable.
WBEZ explores how Chicago's changing grocery store mix is affecting how we live and shop.
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.
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.
The majority of pizzerias in Chicago give away 1-liters of RC Cola with pizzas. Here's why.
While there are over 40 Harold's Chicken Shacks across Chicago, not all of them are supposed to be using that name.
Park visitors actually spent more on snacks after Chicago Park District switched to vending machines only offering healthy options.
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 Market will be opening a second location at the corner of Halsted and Fulton Market every Saturday through October, starting this weekend (7am-1pm).
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.
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 Tribune's Kevin Pang takes a deep dive into the jus, peppers, and meat that make up the best Italian Beef in Chicago.
The Trib's Kevin Pang has compiled a dining guide for out-of-towners looking for recommendations.
Chicago is seeing a boom in neverias, Mexican ice cream shops that serve much more than just ice cream.
Local café owners are resisting the latest trend of adding some butter to your coffee.
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.
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.
Chicago Magazine looks back at the budding culinary career and sudden death of Josh Marks.
An old freight tunnel underneath the Palmer House Hilton now serves as a mushroom garden for the hotel's restaurant.
Culver's is bringing their Wisconsin brand of butter burgers and custard to Wrigleyville.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can invent the next cronut, wonut or cuffin with Chicago Magazine's food combo generator.
Homemade Pizza abruptly closed all its stores this weekend, and deleted its website and social media presence.
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.
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.
Celeste, The Aviary, Sable Kitchen & Bar, and Three Dots and a Dash are finalists in the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.
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.
The Tribune peers into The Matrix, the computer brain pieced together by Chef Homaro Cantu to help run things at Moto.
Chicagoist aggregated data from a variety of ratings to produce a "statistically accurate" list of the 25 best restaurants in Chicago.
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.
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.
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.
Stan's Donuts was printing Mitch Hedbergs "Receipt for Donut" joke on their receipts for donuts.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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.
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.
RedEye's Mick Swasko profiles gamers striving for the High Score on barroom arcade games.
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.
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.
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.
Building the right playlist is key for restaurants looking to set the right mood for their food.
Alinea is the best restaurant in the world for the third year in a row, according to luxury magazine Elite Traveler.
Eater got a peek inside chef Rick Bayless' personal library above Topolobampo & Frontera Grill.
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.
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.)
Starbucks announced it will begin selling alcohol in evenings at certain stores, as well as a blend of chai tea endorsed by Oprah herself.
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.
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.
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.)
WBEZ's Curious City looks into which Lake Michigan fish are safe to eat, and in what quantity.
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."
Mike Sula explores the phenomenon of top-rated chefs collaborating up with manufacturers of frozen dinners, fast food and breakfast snacks.
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.
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!)
Soon you will be able to grab a slice of Giordano's while looking down on the city from the Sears Tower's Skydeck.
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.
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.
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.
Let's all agree not to take US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scolia's bait about Chicago-style deep dish not being pizza.
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.
Englewood's Kusanya Café is a rare place where neighbors can sit down and have a chat.
City tourism officials are courting the organizers of the James Beard Awards, trying to bring the "Oscars of food" to Chicago from New York.
The "Breakfast Queen" Ina Pinkney may have closed up shop, but she has some parting advice on how to run restaurant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With yet another layer of snow falling, perhaps you could make something with it.
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.
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]
Close-by coffee shops in Evanston avoided conflict by, get this, talking to each other -- and their supplier.
NPR's Ian Chillag got a taste of Endgrain Restaurant's "doughscuit," the latest pastry innovation in a post-Cronut world.
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.
Chicago magazine captured glimpses of the special, magic moment that is last call at bars around the city.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Four former Dominick's grocery stores -- among them the ones at Roosevelt and Canal and Clybourn and Wrightwood -- reopen today as Jewels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GrubHub is getting rid of Yummy Rummy, the rewards game that gave frequent users a chance to win free food.
Time Out's 100 Best Things We Ate & Drank This Year features special oysters, doughnut ice cream sandwiches, Russian style vodka shots and more.
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.
Chicagoans looking to start food co-ops are setting their sights on Dominick's locations that will soon be empty across the city.
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.
A Malört water bottle for your bike; fill it with yellow Gatorade for the full effect.
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.
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.
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.
Eataly Chicago, the food store brainchild of celebchef Mario Batali, opens today at 4pm.
Cyber Monday gets porky: VIP tickets for next year's Baconfest go on sale at 10am.
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.
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.
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.
Dining Chicago put together a bucket list of Chicago's tastiest versions of every kid's dinnertime nemesis: Brussels sprouts.
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.
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.
Dining Chicago highlights Black Friday deals at local eateries, perfect for shoppers looking to recover calories lost while battling the crowds.
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.)
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.
Serious Eats shares some of the tasty offal dishes around the city, from blood pudding to crispy pig ears.
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.
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.
The Reader's Michael Gebert laments the loss of authentic Japanese restaurants in River North and Streeterville.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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."
From The Jungle to "Cheezborger, Cheezborger," the hamburger has a more storied history in Chicago than you might think.
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.
Taste of Chicago managed to make a profit this year, for the first time since 2007.
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.
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.
A judge ruled that Washington, D.C.'s popular mumbo sauce is actually a Chicago concoction.
A picture of what reportedly is R. Kelly's grocery list has hit the internet.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Want to start your own food truck? A free seminar Thursday at the Bucktown Public Library can help you figure out your next steps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chefs Aaron Cuschieri (Slurpling Turtle) and Carlos Gaytan (Mexique) will compete on the next season of "Top Chef," which premieres in October.
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.
Chicago Taco seems to have shut down already, not even a week after it opened to replace the West Town Tavern.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out this kind of weird video they created to introduce "new" features like fresh-cut fruit and fried chicken.
The snack cake and its Hostess brethren returns to the shelves in mid-July after production shut down last fall due to bankruptcy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy this photograph of Patrick Stewart enjoying some Chicago-style pizza.
WBEZ maps outdoor seating in Chicago, and explains why it's nearly absent on the South Side
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.
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.
Food assistance programs have seen a surge in usage recently; Whet Moser breaks down why.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sure, it's snowing. Ignore that and focus on the days coming when we can hang out on patios and rooftop decks.
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.
A 17-year-old burglar allegedly decided to take a break from robbing an ice cream shop to sample some of the merchandise.
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.
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.
Chicago magazine's Best New Restaurants list is out, and it ranges from high-end dining to kosher barbecue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Twenty-five chefs dish on which greasy spoons, bars and other joints they hit when their shift is done.
McDonald's isn't popular among Millennials, so they're working on new menu items like the McWrap.
Britt Julious writes about The Perch, a Pilsen underground dining spot/indie press/arts collective that will be printing Todd Diederich's first book.
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.
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.
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.
Forget the NCAA. Chicagoist has been running a March Chicago beer bracket, and it's currently at the Sweet 16 level.
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.
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.
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.
SB Nation's "Spilly" makes a Chicago-style hot dog ...by way of Kansas City ...and hell.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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]
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).
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 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.
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]
Time Out tracks its favorite L train-accessible restaurants, from Pulaski to Morgan to Noyes.
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.
Here's video from the 2010 competition.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
Some jerk tried to subtract more than the tip from his bill at an Andersonville restaurant Christmas Day.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Co-op Sauce has expanded its line to include more varieties of hot sauce, as well as barbecue sauce, salsa, pasta sauce and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Maybe technically it always is Chocolate Week everywhere, but this time it's more organized for Chicago. Huffington Post Chicago has the latest.
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."
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.
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]
Chicago Chipotle shops will soon add 5 Rabbit beers to their adult beverage offerings.
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.
"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.
New mothers often don't have time or are too tired to cook. Moment for Mom is there to help with that.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Chef and artist Eric May takes Time Out on a tour of unique South Side foods.
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.
City Council passed an ordinance today that establishes 23 locations on the North Side where food trucks can legally park while selling their wares.
The Social Foodie got a sneak peek at the new Chicago Diner location in Logan Square.
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.
Just email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
Object Design League have the perfect butter dish for your most political friend.
A Chicago man is suing Heinz for patent infringement for allegedly stealing his design for its Dip & Squeeze packets.
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.
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.
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.
Got a Kindle? You can download a new book of collected Trib coverage of chef Grant Achatz for free.
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.
Is it just wishful thinking on Woodfield Mall's part, or is Kuma's Corner opening a location in the Schaumburg mall?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!]
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.
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.
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).
Think you've got a killer cocktail recipe? Enter it in Public Hotel Chicago's contest and it could earn you $1,000.
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.
Here's Michael Gebert's Beard-nominated documentary of the history of Chicago-style barbecue:
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.
The food truck ordinance passed out of committee yesterday and will soon be voted on by the full City Council.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
Actually, there's no discount at all on this Groupon for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Just $9 worth of helping others.
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.
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.
Sky Full of Bacon is back on the farm, this time visiting with Wisconsin farmer, dairy nutritionist and author Gary Zimmer.
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.
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.
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.
Want to open a restaurant? The City has made it a little easier with the Restaurant Start-Up Program.
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.
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.
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."
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]
Jen Bacher experiments with sausage-making in Drive-Thru's newest feature, and the results are Too Blue--but very successful.
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.
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]
The crew from Serious Eats Chicago invaded Hot Doug's on Saturday and ate everything on the menu. Everything.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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?
Smoque made LocalEats.com's list of the top 20 barbecue restaurants in America; Lem's and Uncle John's got honorable mentions.
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.
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]
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.
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.
McCormick Place's Director of Culinary Services dishes on the logistics of preparing food for approximately 20,000 NATO summiters.
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.
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]
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.
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.
Robyn Nisi and Laura Sant check out deep dish in San Francisco and hot dogs in New York in Drive-Thru.
The A.V. Club ditches fancy dough and trendy toppings for old-fashioned, looking at Chicago's handful of 50-plus-year-old pizzerias.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Serious Eats Chicago compares the two side-by-side on every menu item they share, and comes away with a clear winner.
Two local beer fans are working with Argus Brewery to resurrect the once-beloved Chicago craft Pilsener discontinued in 1997.
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.
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 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!
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.
Chicagoist assesses the situation one year after Goose Island was bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
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.
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.
Here's a convenient googlemap of all of LTH Forum's GNRs:
View LTHForum.com Great Neighborhood Restaurants in a larger map
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 truck fans may have trouble finding their favorite snacks, thanks to an apparent police crackdown.
Editor Andrew Huff pulled together more info on Storify:
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.
Mari Gallagher's work on food deserts requires figuring out what really constitutes a grocery store.
You can see a day in the life of Stephanie Izard over at Hulu.
The A.V. Club looks at the classic establishment's past, and tries to figure out where it fits into the present.
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.
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.
They may be called Julius Meinl North America, but they're just a three neighborhood coffeeshops, a smaller chain than Intelligentsia.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
In step with the weekend's holiday, the Reader provides a guide to neighborhood bars, from gastropubs to 4am joints.
Guy Fieri from the Food Network was spotted filming at Hopleaf earlier today--be on the lookout.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.
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.
Lots of Chicagoans in Food & Wine's "Best New Chef: Great Lakes" nominations. Vote for your favorite.
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.
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.
Spiaggia's Sarah Gruenberg placed second in tonight's season finale of Top Chef. Boo.
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.
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).
If you're a fan of coffee, this guide to your options in Chicago is pretty comprehensive.
RedEye thinks so, but Baconfest (whose April 14 homage to pork quickly sold out) begs to differ.
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 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.
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.
Restaurants have been lukewarm on this year's smaller Taste of Chicago; the City has had to extend the signup deadline.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baconfest 2012 tickets go on sale Monday at noon. The event is April 14 at the UIC Forum.
Alan Richman ranks Ruxbin and Next among his 10 best restaurants in America in GQ.
Goose Island's popular 312 Urban Wheat Ale will debut in cans March 12. (Get it? 3/12.)
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.
Convenience stores are on the front line of the battle to end food deserts, little by little.
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.
The third issue of SOILED zine is out, with the theme "Platescrapers" and articles about food and "comestible politics."
The crew over at Numero Group take on a giant Snickers bar straight from Mars--the company, that is.
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!
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.
Lunchbreath has some unsolicited suggestions for new alcoholic beverages. It's cutting edge stuff.
McDonald's Shamrock Shake is already available at certain locations. Amazingly, there's a site that tracks sightings.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
...could win you a historic bar tour of the city for you and your friends! Chicago Detours has the details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From pink peppercorn and thyme soda to lemon and bitters with house-made tonic syrup, Chicago Magazine rounds up some local designated-driver specialties.
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.
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."
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.
It turns out those sandwiches found in vending machines are just as disgusting as you thought they might be.
Laura Park is back in Saveur's Recipe Comix, this time with a tasty-looking apple dessert.
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.
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.
"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).
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.
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.)
Hilarious blogger and GB staffer Jasmine Davila came up with names for restaurants she'd like to open. Table for one, please...
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.
À la Card Chicago is 52 gifts in one -- each a $10 discount at a local restaurant.
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.]
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.
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.
Escape to a World of Chocolate tonight; the event benefits the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and will serve you right.
Serious Eats Chicago made a map of all the hot dog stands with natural casing dogs they could find.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Tonight, the 65th annual Latke-Hamantash Debate takes place at UofC. Be there for history... and starchy Jewish foods.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Cheap Trick plans to open a new space on Motor Row with a restaurant, radio station, performance space and a museum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How do you keep gang members from hanging out on your street corner? Try a cookout.
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."
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.
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.
Someone took pictures of every burger at Kuma's Corner, even immortalizing ones no longer on the menu.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
Sue the T-rex was a lot heavier than originally thought. About three tons heavier.
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.
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.
Only in California right now, but cross your orange-stained fingers some of that cheese dust makes it out East.
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.
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.
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.
The Southern Mac and Cheese truck's store at 60 E. Lake opens today. The line looks long, so bring a lunch. How meta!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The endearingly quaint Chicago Breweriana collects promotional products and ephemera from Chicago's bygone breweries.
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.
The WSJ features a Midwest beer tour that starts in Milwaukee and loops around to Chicago among its "Heartland Drive-Through Vacations."
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 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.
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.
It looks like Old Style is staying with Wrigley Field after all ... at least until the 2013 season, that is.
Chicago's soul food is disappearing as blacks move out of the city.
This year's Locavore Challenge from the Green City Market starts Thursday, Sept. 8. Are you up for the challenge?
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.
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 Restaurant will be releasing a cookbook based on its inaugural Paris 1906 menu -- and it will only be available for the iPad.
We're giving away a CSA box of organic produce to the writer of the best haiku! Details in Drive-Thru.
Michael Nagrant runs down the most influential people in the restaurant industry in this week's NewCity.
Over at Chicago magazine, Whet Moser charted key moments of his life in chain restaurants. Mine would surely include Perkins.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Want to have dessert for breakfast? A.V. Club explores your most decadent options.
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!
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.
Two major trade shows have changed their annual show dates in order to accommodate next May's G8 summit and its security demands.
Kevin Pang flies in the face of Chicago prevailing wisdom and defends the practice of putting ketchup on a hot dog.
Surprisingly, I've never come across ItalianBeef.com before. Unsurprisingly, it's a site obsessively cataloging its namesake delicacy in Chicago.
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.
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.
Here's a poster to remind your friends what's on it.
Designed by Betty Turbo.
The Chicago edition of Blackboard Eats launched on Friday; subscribe and get a secret code for a discount or other perks at local restaurants.
Grant Achatz talks with Gilt about switching from Escoffier to Thai at Next.
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."
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.
Chef Stephanie Izard will sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch at today's Cubs game.
If you've got a Pitchfork wristband, a lot of doors (and discounts) open up to you.
Food Genius is a new app for Android and iOS that helps you decide what to eat at Chicagoland restaurants.
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!
Margies Candies' "World's Largest Sundae" takes on several members of the A.V. Club's staff--and wins.
Caffeine fiend alert: Starbucks' 31oz. "Trenta" drink size debuts in Chicago next Tuesday.
Some recent trademark applications may tip Anheuser-Busch's hand in its plans for recently acquired Goose Island.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Jonathan Gold compares Alinea and Noma, the best restaurant in North America versus the best restaurant in the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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]
We dish with Chicago Cooking Chicks in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
Vienna Beef is suing Red Hot Chicago, a rival that happens to be owned by the grandson of one of Vienna's founders.
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.
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!
Jeff Ruby channels the ghost of Auguste Escoffier for his review of Next's Escoffier-inspired menu.
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.
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.
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."
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]
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]
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]
Stolen nacho cheese was at the center of a recent scuffle at a West Side 7-Eleven.
The weather may make it seem like summer will never come, but this year's Taste of Chicago food vendors have been announced.
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.
I suppose it falls along the lines of eating the souls of one's enemies.
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.
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.
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.
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]
The south end of Grant Park may get a farmers market this summer run by the same folks as the Ogilvie Station French Market.
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.
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.)
Thomas Keller sings the praises of his protege, Grant Achatz, in this year's Time 100.
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.
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.
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.
In a move that clearly establishes that community garden initiatives have gone mainstream, Triscuit will be sponsoring new gardens in Chicago and Los Angeles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The vegan chain Native Foods Café is moving its headquarters to Chicago and opening three new restaurants before the end of the summer.
The New York Times ponders the peculiar predicament of Charlie Trotter: still excelling while the culinary world seems to pass him by.
Fame comes at a cost for some of Chicago's cult restaurants, as word spreads internationally.
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.
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]
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.
It seems New Yorkers are having a hard time finding ingredients to make a proper Chicago-style hot dog.
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!
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.
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.
...and get ready for the foods of spring. We'll show you how to prepare in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
According to their Facebook page, yes - under the guidance of former Landmark Grill chef Kurt Guzowski, and with a slightly retooled menu.
Burr Ridge-based designer Joseph Mollo has created a sleek, Poplar-finished beer pong table now available on Etsy.
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.
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.
Scooter's Frozen Custard opens today at 2pm, which chocolate peanut butter as the daily special.
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.
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.
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.
The oatmeal McDonald's is promoting as a healthy breakfast option is a bit more complicated than it seems.
The Stew published the first post-election interview with Mayor Daley yesterday -- about his interest in food.
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.
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.
Giordano's filed for bankruptcy Thursday, but said it plans to keep its restaurants open.
Speaking of criminals, Mike Sula talks with some folks making moonshine over at the Reader.
Past, present and future blend together in Chris Borelli's profile of Grant Achatz.
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]
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.
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.
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.
BaconFest has announced its lineup of exhibiting restaurants and chefs. Tickets go on sale soon.
In this week's Drive-Thru feature, we plan for what we'll be making this Sunday--the fine, fine foods of Pittsburgh.
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.
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.
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.
You can now get a subscription to The Local Tourist's popular Chef's Table dining events.
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.
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.
The NY Times visits the Brat Stop, the Kenosha restaurant that attracts the love of both Bears and Packers fans.
Not to be outdone, Eater has created The Eater Doomsday Map -- one place to eat in each state "before the Apocalypse."
The season of crock pot roast beef has returned! Details in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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).
Gulpon is a new deal-a-day site promising "up to 90% off" beverages of all sorts.
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.
The Drive-Thru staff shares their favorite food experiences from 2010 in the first annual Eatacular. Share yours in the comments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Stew makes some food trend predictions for 2011. While bacon may be getting a little old, chicken skin seems like an unlikely successor.
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.
Need a bartender for an upcoming party? You could win the services of one of the city's best.
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.
In Drive-Thru, meet Shebnem Ince, a Chicago-born sommelier who specializes in biodynamic and organic wines.
Eight Forty-Eight paid a visit to the farm at Altgeld Gardens on the far South Side.
American aquarium drinkers also now have the option to enjoy Intelligentsia's Wilco blend, selected unanimously by the band.
The Gaztro-Wagon is out there, plying the streets with its naanwiches and waiting for the City to change laws against food trucks.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Michelin Guide announced its list of restaurants receiving stars a day earlier than planned after it leaked on Yelp.
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.
Slice finally got around to Illinois (aka Chicago) on its tour of the United States of Pizza, courtesy of Daniel Zemans.
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.
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!
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!)
We look at a group of DIY coffee roasters with big plans in this week's Drive-Thru Feature.
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.
Alinea was busted in 2006 for having a supply of the needlessly illegal tonka bean.
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.)
Because they're still widely available, says a UIC researcher.
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.
Halloween in Chicago: A completely reasonable sign on the door of a northwest side liquor store.
We head to Wisconsin for a trip full of dairy goodness in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
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.
A multimedia artist takes a summer job as a paletero in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
Devon Seafood has a special dining deal for GB readers; learn more in Drive-Thru.
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.
Chicago magazine hosts 40 Bottles of Beer tonight at the Village Tap in Roscoe Village.
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!
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.
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.
Today is International Sake Day! We've got some places for you to sip sake, hot or cold, in Drive-Thru.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not to be outdone by Groupon, YouSwoop, SocialBuy, and all the others, Open Table has launched its own discount coupon site.
I occasionally find myself putting together a gift basket of Chicago-based foods. I'm definitely not alone.
We look at some new developments in the ever-complex "food desert" problem in the city in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
Probably the best review of The Girl and the Goat you'll ever read.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
We head down to Bridgeport to celebrate a Croatian holiday and eat some delicious lamb in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
Visit a small block of mammoth edible potential in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
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!)
Yes, oh, yesssss. We visit a delicious downtown Amish bakery store in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
We take you through a Guerrilla Dinner from snout to tail in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
A misunderstanding with a city inspector nearly led to all home-based CSA drop-off points becoming illegal.
We head north to Wisconsin to visit an environmentally conscious brewery in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
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.
Never have the wrong number of buns for your Chicago-style hot dog again! (Or, at least, it'll be your fault.)
Want to know why Chicago has very few fruit-bearing trees on public property?
Ever wonder where they neon green relish came from? Did you know that yellow mustard started here? Dining Chicago has your answers.
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.
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.
I hope you have some pink salt on hand for this week's Drive-Thru feature.
A couple of McDonald's alums are working on a new, healthier fast-casual chain.
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.
We've got recipes for your upcoming picnics and eat-offs in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
Threadcakes, the competition to make the best cake version of a Threadless t-shirt design, is open and ready for your votes.
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.
Obama toasted with a Goose Island 312 in a photo op with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit.
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.
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.
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.
Wondering what you'll eat at Lollapalooza? Big Star, Kuma's, Rockit and Hoosier Mama are among the options.
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?
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.
Phil Vettel considers other Chicago politics themed frozen treats, inspired by Bobtail Ice Cream's Blago's Blues flavor.
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.
The cafeteria in the Dirksen Federal Building offered a special today: "The Innocent, aka Blago." Too bad we already had lunch.
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.
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.
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.
Rogers Park's Glenwood Sunday Farmers Market debuts today, featuring all certified organic or transitioning vendors.
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.
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.
We learn that you can get a decent meal at Navy Pier in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
Food smells are a regular annoyance in office kitchens -- and everyone has their personal stinky pet peeves.
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.
If BaconFest didn't cure you of your bacon fetish, maybe this special deal will help.
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.
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.
Goose Island wants your help naming its latest brew, a hefeweizen. Bragging rights aren't all you'll win if they pick yours.
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.
We're exploring Chicago's wealth of margaritas in Drive-Thru this summer. Suggestions welcome.
In other food news, Grant Achatz weighs in on the tensions between photographing and eating food as it's presented at the table.
Archeworks' most recent unveiling is the Mobile Food Collective "Urban Farm Tool," a hub for the creation and support of urban community farming.
Looking for some foamy action? Chicago Beer Week kicks off today and runs through the weekend.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
We look at how restaurants create their playlists for your enjoyment in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
If you don't have dinner plans yet, make them: Tonight you're Dining Out for Life.
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.
Tequila drinking gets more refined in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
The musical lineup for Taste of Chicago has been announced. Highlights include Rob Thomas and Salt-n-Pepa.
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.
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.
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.
We have some ways to take advantage of the strawberry surplus in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
That's right, the Zombie Pub Crawl is back. Sign-up opens this Saturday for the April 24 invasion of Andersonville.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A local food bank explains why you need to help now in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
A Fresh Squeeze checks out which Chicago coffee shops give discounts to customers who provide their own mugs.
Is it OK for a blogger to review a restaurant based on one meal? Is anyone else surprised this question is still being asked?
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.
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.
Street vendors band together for better working conditions in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
We find out that the Quad Cities have some good eats in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
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.
The popularity of a certain political movement is making those who are interested in tea a little frustrated.
Learn more about next weekend's Family Farmed Expo in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
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.
...and other kitchen gadgets we can live without in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
The Fifty50 and CoachHouse are Chicago's entrants in Thrillist's "Bar Madness" contest to determine the best sports bar in America.
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.
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.
A stolen bike investigation leads to the discovery of some great street food in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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]
For the homemade egg rolls, silly! We've got the details in Drive-Thru.
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.
We've got a round-up of some of the best Valentine's Day events and offers in Drive-Thru.
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.
The Eat Shop Guide to Chicago came out recently; it's yet another guidebook to cool stuff in the city.
Speaking of the Green Line, Goose Island is set to debut a new environmentally friendly "Green Line Pale Ale" tomorrow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asian carp, the potential bane of the Great Lakes, will soon be marketed as "silverfin" at grocery stores.
Want to learn how to set up a home brewery? This week's Drive-Thru feature will help you (get drunk).
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.
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.
Learn more about the new Logan Square Co-op in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
Our fearless and refined staffers share their best eats of 2009 in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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.
We delve deeper into the connection between food and togetherness in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
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."
Yes, you can even eat the lions at the Art Institute's Gingerseum.
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...
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.
Find out in the latest edition of The Dog Show, now in Drive-Thru.
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 Chicago News Cooperative has a story on the only two "artisan distilleries" in Chicago -- both, coincidentally, are family ventures.
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.
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.
All this focus on dinner eclipses the most important meal of the day, as we point out in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
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.
L. Stolpman shows you how over at Chicagoist.
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.
Culinary Culture is a new social network for "serious and aspiring foodies" launched today by Threadless cofounder Jakob DeHart and his wife, Mischa.
Want to keep up the locavore lifestyle this winter? The Local Beet has your guide to winter eating.
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.
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.
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.
Check out this website devoted to pictures of Chicago-style food. It won't help your situation, but it sure is beautiful.
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.
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.
A trip to Argentina is a lesson in their many drinks in this week's Drive-Thru feature.
Organic in Chicago is a site devoted to organic eating and living in the city.
In Will County, you can get out of community service for $50 worth of jerk chicken.
Which Chicago bars would the characters from "Cheers" hang out at? AV Club Chicago has your answers.
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.
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.
If you live in Wicker Park, pay close attention to the ticket on your car -- it might get you free hot wings.
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!