This week, The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper looks to Belgium (the guy should know, his bar has more than 100 Belgians on offer) for his Beer of the Week. The Vicar Quinto comes from the Dilewyns Brewery; it’s a golden, high fermentation beer with secondary fermentation in both the bottle and the cask. It’s brand new in Chicago, so go pick one up this weekend. Cheers.
Nothing says summer like a sizzling grill. Roscoe Village is turning up the heat once again this weekend, bringing us its 5th annual Burger Fest featuring fourteen different vendors. Head to Belmont and Damen between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The chefs will compete for both the critic and crowd favorites, so visitors get to take part in the action. This year’s vendors include: Butcher & The Burger, Cortland’s Garage (last year’s crowd favorite and winner of the Critic’s Choice Honor), DMK Burger Bar, Goose Island, John’s Place, Leader Bar Drafthouse & Eatery, McGee’s Tavern & Grille, Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Reggie’s Music Joint, Rockit Burger Bar, Select Cut Steakhouse, The Slide Ride Food Truck, Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap, and Square Bar & Grill. The festival also features live music, with artists Better Than Ezra, Treaty of Paris, Fort Frances, This Must Be the Band, and Trippin Billies. Kids can have fun too at the Kid’s Zone Activity Area. Gate donation is $8.
I found this talk – by the owner of Alinea, Next and The Aviary – to be geeky yet fascinating. Kokonas doesn’t bother assembling a Power Point deck, he simply shares internal documents and the results of his own company’s research, in determining how they take, accept and chart reservations. It’s from the recent Welcome Conference in New York City.
So many summertime beers to sip, so little time. This week, The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper suggests a pair of craft beers – both less than 5% abv – from the pride of Paso Robles, CA: Firestone Walker (yes, the same family who made the tires). He says they’re limited to the season, so you don’t have a lot of time to try them. Go out and get one (or both) this weekend. Cheers.
Chicago fans of the cultish Outstanding in the Field national tour – where a local chef connects with a local farm(er) and cooks a multi-course meal in the field for guests who sit at one long table – may have been upset to see that both the Aug. 6th and 7th dinners at City Farm were sold out. Clearly, having Jared Wentworth (Longman & Eagle) cook on the 6th, and Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice) on the 7th proved to be too popular, even at $240 a head. The setting, at the corner of Division and Clybourn (pictured) is a rare chance to see how produce can grow (and thrive) in the midst of an urban environment, and the views of the city from there are breathtaking. But local fans will have three more chances to take in an OitF dinner here in Chicago this summer. Sources tell me that there will be dinners held each night during Lollapalooza, on the grounds at Grant Park, cooked by the chefs from Lula Cafe, La Sirena Clandestina and Hot Chocolate.
Come for the ribs and stay for the music at the second annual Windy City Smokeout, firing up this Friday and running through the weekend. This year, a new location: Grand and the River. This BBQ fest brings you not only the best in the city, but the best in the country, featuring joints like New York’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (soon to open in Chicago in 2015), St. Louis’s Pappy’s Smokehouse, and Driftwood Texas’s The Salt Lick. Then of course there are the hosts themselves from Bub City, and other Chicago favorites - Smoque, Lillie’s Q, and Chicago Q.