There are all kinds of charitable events going on this time of year in Chicago. I realize we just had Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation back in August, but the Big One is upon us: the 25th anniversary of the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef Ball happens on a Saturday this year for a change, and in a major departure from the Macy’s/West Loop locale, they’re moving the festivities to the Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport (1029 W. 35th St.) which promises to keep things interesting. More than 70 chefs and 13 bartenders of note are going to be there on October 26th. Read More
To celebrate the close of patio season (geez, already?) Parson’s Chicken & Fish (2952 W. Armitage Ave) is having a party this Sunday (October 13th). Keeping things cheeky, the staff there is hosting the first annual Goat Beards & Oath Beers patio party.
Chef Hunter Moore will be roasting goats on an outdoor spit, and beermakers Solemn Oath will be offering up draft pairings. DJ Dan Maloney will deejay; plus, there’s going to be a table tennis tournament; the event will also serve as a chopper rally for biker fans.
If all of that isn’t enough, Lost Girls Vintage will also be set up on site, the restaurant will be introducing a new limited edition coozie, and there will be a new slushy recipe on special. Sounds like a swingin’ way to end your weekend. I think I just might stop by to show off my mad table tennis skills, honed from years of practice in a St. Cloud, MN basement.
Goat Beards & Oath Beers
A chopper rally, get-down, patio party, table tennis tournament & more
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
One of the wonderful things about beer is that it can often be produced and bottled for a specific season. You don’t have to make thousands of cases, but instead, can offer a small batch of something really special for a limited time. Such is the case with most Oktoberfest beers, in demand right now, but only fleetingly. Local brewers Metropolitan and Revolution have some Oktoberfest beers available in the market right now, but only Revolution’s is available in cans; Metropolitan is still just available on tap. This week, Michael says get out there and pick up some of Revolution’s Oktoberfest – it’s an amber lager that will match up really well with your next bratwurst. Prost!
Over the past few years, Nick Spencer has been showing up at places like Dose Market or the Logan Square Farmer’s Market, cooking up his homemade British-style bangers (sausage) and back bacon, and turning them into tasty sandwiches. But over the course of the last year, he’s opened a brick-and-mortar store along Irving Park Road, selling imported grocery items, those bangers and back bacon, as well as some mighty tasty scones. Now, he’s turning the space into more of a cafe, creating several sandwiches. One his most recent creations is the Coronation Chicken Salad, which obviously nods to the Queen, but also integrates his country’s penchant for zesty Indian flavors; in this case, cumin and mango chutney. Pull up a chair with a pot of English tea, and you’ll be transported back to Marylebone in no time. (Videography courtesy: Todd Rosenberg Photography – @toddrphoto)
I was so excited to check out Sala Bua on Saturday night, not only because the early word was that a real Thai woman was cooking down-home dishes here, but also because it was in Chinatown, thus becoming the only place to get a serious som tom fix south of 18th Street. It’s also BYO, which meant I could bring that bottle of riesling trocken auslese I’ve been hanging onto. I met some like-minded, adventurous friends there during a pretty busy dinner service – the restaurant is in the Richland Mall complex, just north of the Chinatown Square Mall, in a space that’s already turned over a few times (I think it was a hot pot place last). I could tell right away the kitchen wasn’t pulling any punches, as I saw several dishes listed in the menu from different regions of Thailand, such as the aformentioned som tom (papaya salad), plus ha mok (ground and steamed catfish curry with coconut cream), kao soi (my favorite chicken coconut curry with boiled and crispy noodles) and sai krog (fermented sausage). The only problem was our server completely misread us, taking us for a bunch of novices who were more interested in egg rolls than tod mun.
Chicago has always been the Candy Capital of the U.S., touting its Mars, Jelly Belly and Tootsie Roll roots, but the sweets industry – including some top talent from the pastry chef ranks – is coming together in two weeks, for the Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show, Oct. 18 – 20. Among the highlights at this year’s show: