Oh the humble tamale. Bastardized via one too many big city food cart; compromised in quality, the result of sitting too long in a steam bath as inebriated customers wait to fill their stomachs with little regard for its construction or contents.
But behold the precious namesake at Tamales Garibay, a three-table storefront hugging the corner of Byron & Kedzie Streets, on Chicago’s far north side. Alicia Romero used to peddle her cylindrical snacks late at night, outside the clubs. She and her family saved their money, bought a former pizza joint, and now make tamales by the dozens everyday. Read More
I was feeling inspired this weekend, due in part to two factors. One, I had read the New York Times’ Dining section last Wednesday, which was all about pizza, and right off the bat, Mark Bittman assured us that anyone could make decent pizza dough. I had always known this, of course, I just didn’t want to go through the process of making the dough, waiting for it to rise and ferment a bit, then go out and get fresh mozz. The other factor was a shoot I was on last week for ABC, at a suburban pizza joint (which will remain nameless until that story runs in a few weeks); I kept a close eye on how the pizzaola was making the pies, and seriously, it didn’t look that difficult – he just had a much better oven than I do. But thanks to my food processor, it took me all of two minutes to make the dough, and while I let it rest and rise, I ran over to the store to get fresh mozz and some basil. I had everything else, including a pizza stone already heating up in the 500 degree oven, and an inexpensive pizza peel I had bought at Sur la Table a year ago. Read More
Soccer.. football.. call it whatever you want. But regardless of its many cultural variations, one fact remains constant no matter where you are: Soccer and food go hand in hand.
On Saturday, you can watch a live soccer match and enjoy Spanish food and drink at Cafe Ba-Ba Reeba in Lincoln Park. The restaurant will be showing a La Liga soccer match between rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid while offering discounted prices on beer and dishes such as goat cheese croquetas and beef empanadas.
Pintxos are $1 and tapas $3 from kickoff (1 p.m.) until the end of the match. Call the restaurant to make reservations.
Cafe Ba-Ba Reeba
2024 N. Halsted Street
That picture above looks pretty splendid, huh? It was taken two summers ago at the Dietzler Farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, part of the annual “Outstanding in the Field” tour. The tour bus (literally) snakes its way across the country all summer, pairing up local chefs with local farms, and usually hits the Illinois/Wisconsin/Michigan farms in late August. But for all the press OITF gets, there are other, home-grown organizations that also organize farm dinners. In some cases, the farms themselves organize things, and recruit a local chef to come over for the day and cook.
I realize most craft brew fans look to places like Portland and Colorado (even Chicago) for new flavors and cutting-edge brewers. But don’t forget about sleepy, minuscule Delaware, home of Dogfish Head Brewery. This week, The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper is bullish on a seasonal brew that combines apricots and hops. It’s clever name? Aprihop. Cheers.
Based on the number of volunteers, sponsors and dudes with walkie talkies roaming around the UIC Forum on Saturday, you’d think Baconfest was something well into its 2nd decade. The celebration of all things porcine (especially cured, smoked and belly-related) was a huge hit, attracting more than 3,000 people and well over 100 chefs. I couldn’t stay the entire day, but from what I saw, they were knee-deep in cured belly and lovin’ it. Seriously, Lipitor should be the premier sponsor next year.