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.
By Gulnaz Saiyed
It’s not easy being a foodie who’s practically broke, especially in Chicago, where delicious adventures await in every neighborhood. It’s also not easy when I’m craving something familiar. I grew up eating saffron rice and dipping my fingers into hummus prepared by my parents’ Middle Eastern friends. So when I’m not craving my mother’s spicy Indian cooking, I’m dreaming of roasted garlic, tahini and soft, oven-baked pita bread. I can typically find these, and other delicious dishes, throughout Albany Park, where there are a number of Middle Eastern restaurants. Although it’s not always an inexpensive night out when I want to drown my nostalgia in mint tea.
Enter Andersonville’s own Middle East Bakery and Grocery, where I can’t sit down for a meal, but where I can indulge, affordably, in lavash so soft I could sleep in a bed made exclusively from it. Read More
I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the Lookingglass Theater for the first time on Tuesday night. I had read pieces of the most recent reviews, but I have been traveling so much lately, I could barely remember what it was about. I saw the same picture in the press, of Rick Bayless dancing with a black-clad señora, and I knew he was involved in the show from a culinary and creative standpoint, but from what I knew, it sounded like those dreaded words: dinner theater. Lord knows I’ve seen my share of that genre at forlorn places like Chanhassen, Minnesota, where the theater is always more interesting than the food. What I hadn’t counted on seeing was the serious Cirque du Soleil-type acrobatics: Read More
By virtue of my job, I eat out. A lot. So I’ve started to see patterns in how service staffs have been trained; in some cases, by corporate monoliths eager for profits and positive customer service surveys. I never really paid much attention, until I came back from Asia last week, where they present you with a menu, take your order and bring you your food. Chitchat is kept to a minimum, as they must surely realize that if you’re dining with others, you might want to actually speak with the people at your table, rather than have to be lectured to about the minutiae of the menu. Read More
The Two Brothers Brewery in west suburban Warrenville (we’re talking pretty far west of Chicago) has been producing award-winning beers for many years now. One of their latest has caught Michael Roper’s eye this week, as it’s something he sells frequently at The Hopleaf in Andersonville. It’s their Domaine DuPage, a French style country ale that, as Michael describes it, has the essence of caramel malt. Beer for dessert, perhaps? Cheers.