September in Chicago is the month of festivals; communities from Hyde Park to Evanston are rolling out the barrel, grilling up the meat, and laying down a spread of local food and drink that attracts foodists from all over the country.
Certain sandwiches are better suited for summer, whether due to the deck-friendliness of the cooking method or the lightness of the ingredients, the seasonality of the produce or the brightness of the flavors. Whatever the reason, there are some sandwiches that just seem right for summer.
The harvests are coming in, there’s a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables on the table, and in Chicago, there are lots of things to do in August, many involving food and just about all of them to be held outside.
How buzzy—but not boozy—trends are reshaping the future. At first glance, Go Brewing seems like your regular taproom experience. There’s only one thing missing—and it’s a big one: alcohol. But you wouldn’t be able to tell from either the surroundings or the taste of the brew.
It may be a while before it becomes common to see a spirit-free section of the drinks menu, but there is a grass-roots trend toward genuinely delicious cocktails that contain not a drop of hooch. Starting a meal with an alcohol-free cocktail before switching to wine, beer or a spirited cocktail might be the best way to dip your toe into the rising tide of no-alcohol beverages.
Illinois may no longer be the nation’s whiskey capital, but whiskey has not faded from the scene. Nick Nagele makes whiskey from heirloom varieties of corn at a first estate distiller in Illinois, DeKalb’s Whiskey Acres.
There are many food festivals to enjoy in July, and most are taking place outdoors, in the sunshine and fresh air, so put on some sunscreen – and your feedbag – and indulge.
Dry aging steak? Sure, dry aging beef is a centuries old practice that enhances the meat’s texture and taste, and it’s commonly offered at many of Chicago’s best steak houses. Dry aging fish? Not so common, in fact to some it might seem downright strange to eat fish that’s days, perhaps weeks, old.
Father’s Day is coming, and getting dad a special bottle of wine to celebrate his awesome dadness might just be a perfect gift.
My understanding is that it’s bad form in stir to ask another inmate how long they’re in for, and I feel we should treat authors the same way. My book is an oral history of Chicago restaurants since the 60s and 70s to the present day. The book is being published by Evanston-based Agate Publishing, publisher of Iliana Regan’s memoirs, Hot Doug’s book, etc., and there are definitely more interesting things I’ve found along the way than how long I’m in for. Here are a few of them.