Friday, July 25, 2014

Green City Market Launches Cookbook

Filed Under: Blog , news

Creamy polenta with braised greens and mushrooms – one of the recipes you’ll find in the new GCM Cookbook

It’s easy to buy a bunch of seasonal ingredients at the Farmer’s Market; the hard part is often knowing how to cook them. The Green City Market is here to help. This month, GCM is out with the Green City Market Cookbook, featuring recipes that use local ingredients from the market. The cookbook includes 88 recipes, from chefs and farmers alike, which were tested and reviewed by volunteers. The book represents everything local: local ingredients, local chefs, even photographs by a local photographer.


The cookbook can be purchased here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buddy Bar at Dairy Star

When I first stumbled upon The Dairy Star, after a long jag down Devon Avenue, gobbling up boti kebabs and tearing into a round of crispy dosas, it looked like just another little ice cream stand. What I didn’t realize is that this little icon has been a beacon of sweet, creamy soft serve for kids of all ages for nearly 30 years. It reminded me right away of the famous Dairy Ripple near Lake Geneva. While the kids might go right for the chocolate cones (dipped, of course), I prefer the Buddy Bar, which looks an awful lot like a Buster Bar from DQ, just not as elegant; that’s perfectly fine with me. The fact that it’s a tad misshapen and a little crooked proves that they’re made by hand. Arriving in either chocolate or vanilla flavors, they’re all stuffed with Spanish peanuts and a ribbon or two of fudge, before being coated in an icy, chocolate shell. It can be enjoyed in one’s car, or on the small patio out front.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beer of the Week: 5 Quinto

Filed Under: Adult Beverages , Blog , Features , Videos

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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Roscoe Village Burger Fest Firing Up Grills

Filed Under: Blog , Festival , Kids , news , Roscoe Village

Sizzling, juicy cheeseburgers at Roscoe Village’s Burger Fest

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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nick Kokonas Geeks Out with Restaurant Data

Filed Under: Blog , news , Videos

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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beer(s) of the Week from Firestone Walker

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.