Despite the fact those relentless summer weekend festivals are pretty much over, there’s still plenty of eating, drinking and live music going on this weekend in Chicago. WXRT is teaming up with Goose Island tomorrow for the 312 Urban Block Party. The event happens at Fulton and Wood (main stage is on the corner of Walnut and Wood) and costs just $10 to get in. I’m a fairly big fan of Cayucas, which goes on early, at 4:15 p.m., but there are several other bands, plus a half-dozen food trucks confirmed for the event, which runs from 4 – 10 p.m.
LOS ANGELES – Damn that Jessica Koslow. The diminutive chef/owner of the quirky Sqirl in Silver Lake has officially made the process of ordering a simple breakfast fraught with potential heartache. No doubt, if you happen to scan the narrow, rectangular menu in her corner store/cafe/hipster hideout, you’ll be racked with such 1st World problems as “should I order the avocado toast?” versus “what if you get the crispy rice bowl and I’ll get the burnt brioche toast slathered with ricotta and jam?”
Spending two years in oak, along with some Michigan cherries, Goose Island’s Madame Rose is truly a unique brew. This week, The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper urges you to go out and find some, before it’s all gone. Better yet, pick up a few extra bottles and cellar them for awhile; it will only improve with age. Cheers.
Ever since I tweeted from Smalls about their brisket bibimbop, I’ve been having dreams about it (I know, I’m sick). It’s so obvious and yet, no one in Chicago has dared combine the rich, earthy, smokiness of slow-cooked brisket with the bold, assertive Korean chili paste (gojujang) and crisp, blanched vegetables and rice that are endemic in Korean restaurants. It’s not served in a giant stone bowl, but rather, a simple, aluminum sheet tray. One recommendation: rather than get the standard white rice, ask for the Filipino-inspired garlic rice; you’ll thank me later. (Videography courtesy Todd Rosenberg Photography – @toddrphoto).
Smalls Smoke Shack & More
4009 N. Albany
It’s no secret food is the new rock, but the Food Network is taking things literally this Saturday, Sept. 20th. The all-food cable channel will join forces with musicians like John Mayer and American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips – along with dozens of Chicago-area chefs – to create a unique, all-day concert filled with food and music. Among the highlights: a venue called “The Greatest Hits” featuring bites from 50 chefs and more than 100 wineries. Other experiences include a BBQ-themed country cookout, a Farm to Turntable; Rock ‘n Rolls (sandwiches with a twist); Hot Hot Hot! with some of the spiciest dishes from around the world and “I Want Candy,” a dessert-themed tasting hosted by the Network’s Anne Burrell, along with 15 pastry chefs from around the country.
A portion of the proceeds benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign; for more information on tickets, check out their website.
LIMA, Peru – The earthenware dish was set before us, samples of raw potatoes, sourced from more than 3900 meters above sea level, were pointed out by our server, who spoke in both halting English and fluid Spanish. On a stone in the center of the plate, three small discs, resembling grey skipping stones with jagged edges, reminded me of something you’d find at the side of a lakeshore, but these were completely edible. Each one represented a silky puree of those potatoes, coated in edible chaco clay from some remote part of Peru. No, this was not René Redzepi doing a pop-up, but rather, young Robbie Benson look alike Virgilio Martínez Véliz and wife Pía León’s take on their native Peru, in which they utilize ingredients that are foraged or grown in the Andes and then manipulated or processed to create a new level of Peruvian cuisine at Central Restaurante; it’s light years away from the causal cebicheries and chifa restaurants (Chinese-Peruvian) you see all over this city of 10 million. Read More