Fall fun at 5 Chicago restaurants

Music and good food at Petterino’s Monday Night Live

Petterino’s Monday Night Live (MNL), the impromptu musical showcase hosted by Denise McGowan Tracy and Beckie Menzie, starts celebrating its 10th anniversary Monday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy anniversary specials every Monday including $10/bottle wine specials plus a complimentary slice of birthday cake and champagne toast. Try the $19.95 prix fixe dinner menu and the special anniversary cocktail, or order from the regular menu.

September 25 – The SOLD OUT kick-off event promises appearances by old friends and new from the cabaret community in the impromptu format that has delighted crowds over the years
  • October 2 – Special guests from the cast of Billy Elliott at Porchlight Music Theatre
  • October 9 – Special performance to be announced
  • October 16 – Special guests from the cast of the regional theatre premiere of Fun Home at Victory Gardens Theater
Jake’s fries – or get ’em in the Street version!

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap41 East Superior St.

  • The Return of Monday Night Football – Boulevard American Kolsch Pitchers are now $20. Share a pitcher or two with your favorite Jake’s wings. Read the whole deal HERE.
  • National Drink Beer Day September 28 – specials on 3 Sheeps Water Slides (Sheboygan, WI) and Goose Island OMG “Old Man Grumpy” (Chicago). Stay tuned for details on a special event!
  • Limited-time September dishes to try: 4 Cheese Cheeseburger with fries: Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Provolone and Spicy Parmesan Butter on a grilled ciabatta bun. Smoked Apple BBQ Wings: crispy jumbo wings tossed in Jake’s house made smoked apple bbq sauce. Chimichanga Time!: house-made creamy mac and cheese with smoked chicken in a flour tortilla , deep fried until crispy. Top with roasted serrano aioli and more.
Chiya Chai Indian Nepalese cuisine

Chiya Chai, 2770 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square – Chicago Reader’s Best Indian Restaurant – adds fall flavors to its house-brewed chai program:

  • Pecan Maple – Distinct flavors of nutty autumn pies with a toasty Chiya Chai sweetness.
  • Apple Pie – Reinterprets a seasonal dessert staple into a sippable fall classic.
  • Pumpkin Spice – Combines two classic fall flavors.
  • Pear and Ginger – A refreshing tea sweetened with pear notes with a ginger-driven edge.
Psst! Chiya Chai also has a secret full-service dining room that features world-class Indian and Nepalese cuisine. From-scratch fiery curries and and more in this vibrant dining room.
Shaw’s Chicago Oyster Fest 2017 is 10 whole days long this year! Shaw’s annual fall time festival is kicking things off on Thursday, October 5th with a Tap Party with special guest, Haymarket Brewery. In honor of Oyster Fest, Haymarket has teamed up with Shaw’s for a beer collaboration, the very first time they’ve released a beer outside of their Chicago-based brewery. Named Lemon Rye-sing Saison, this brew pairs perfectly with fresh oysters and will officially debut the night of the Tap Party that starts at 4pm.
The Patio at Cafe Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Dr., celebrates fall with a special Harvest Dinner on Friday, October 13, 6 to 9pmLocally sourced ingredients, seasonal fruits, vegetables, whole roasts and wine under the harvest moon priced at $65 for adults and $30 for children. Think: Roasted Assorted Fall Squash and Pear Salad, Roasted Amish Chickens with Natural Au Jus and Charred Peach Trifle. Tickets here.

Tomorrow – Bar Louie program aids Red Cross Hurricane Harvey


Bar Louie has launched a ‘Louie Loves’ fundraiser. Anytime a patron eats or drinks at one of Bar Louie’s 15 Chicagoland locations on Thursday, September 14th, 10 percent of sales up to $50,000 will benefit The Red Cross. It’s a way for guests and staff to support the communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, the category 4 hurricane that recently crashed into the Texas coast.

“Texas is our home turf and we care deeply about our community all across the Gulf coast,” said Bar Louie CEO John Neitzel. “By declaring September 14th a Louie Loves day at all of our bars, we can give our communities a simple way to help Houston, the Gulf coast and the surrounding areas rebuild and restore. The Red Cross offers critical infrastructure support immediately following any natural disaster and we’re very supportive of their efforts.”

Louie Loves efforts have been around for 10 years. This Dallas-based Bar group helps the Red Cross mobilize hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, and tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support the response effort.

As Bar Louie’s fundraising program, Louie Loves is tailored specifically to restaurant locations and their surrounding communities.

For more information about Bar Louie and to find information about participating Bar Louie locations including hours, visit www.BarLouie.com.


4 Chicago places to eat and drink for September celebrations

Sepia private dining decor

Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson St., over the years has become a popular venue for discerning Chicagoans celebrating milestones. Now, you are invited to celebrate a milestone with them – their 10th anniversary. From September 8 to 17, they will feature a special commemorative tasting menu, older-vintage wine pairings, and cocktail selections from among past stars of their acclaimed bar program. Book your reservation today on OpenTable or by calling 312-441-1920.

Attention, beer lovers! Vice District Brewing in the South Loop is celebrating its 3rd anniversary over Labor Day weekend with three days of Beer and swag and music.
Thursday, Aug. 31, three breweries (Pollyanna, One Trick Pony and Twisted Hippo) will pour three of their own beers from 7 to 9:30pm. There will also be someone onsite to talk about each of the beers and to hand out some swag.
Friday, Sept. 1, Vice District will release a new beer in the Kitchen Sink Series, a Belgian Black IPA called Unforgivably Black.  Groove to Vibing with Vice, which features both old school and modern day hip hop music.
Saturday, Sept. 2, Vice District will open at 10 a.m. to kick off the first day as the official Iowa Hawkeyes game watch location for the South Loop. The party will also celebrate co-owner Curtis Tarver’s birthday and Vice District Brewing’s third anniversary.
Bistronomic’s Riosh Hashanah menu

Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash, is offering for Rosh Hashanah a special menu that features a delectable assortment of French-inspired dishes featuring seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients. From Wednesday, Sept. 20 through Friday, Sept. 22, enjoy a three-course, prix fixe menu for dinner from 5 to 10:30 p.m. for $39 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended and may be made via OpenTable on the website.

Skydeck pizza PIe in the Skyk

Skydeck Chicago on the 99th and 103rd floors of Willis Tower, not only provides breathtaking views of 50 miles and 4 states, but also offers 3 different party packages:

1) Pie in the Sky VIP Dinner. Guests will essentially have the Skydeck to themselves with an exclusive dining experience at 10:30pm, after the after Skydeck Chicago closes to the public. At $100 per person, this three-course meal is catered by Giordano’s Pizza. Only nine reservations are available to ensure a VIP experience.
2) Pie in the Sky VIP Lunch. The Pie in the Sky VIP Lunch is the perfect way to close out summer. At $80 per person, guests can enjoy lunch at 12pm on the 99th floor, experiencing a spectacular view of four states. Pricing includes Fast Pass entry, a visit to the 103rd floor Ledge, and a three-course lunch. A maximum of ten reservations are available.
3) Breakfast in the Sky for those looking to elevate their brunch experience. Catered by The Metropolitan Club at $125 per person, breakfast is available Monday through Friday. A full menu is available here.

3 Chicago restaurants kickstart September 2017

Happy 15th, Weber Grill!

Weber Grill Restaurant, 539 N. State St. Friday, Sept 1 – Saturday, Sept 30, they’re celebrating their 15th anniversary. For only $15, Executive Chef Jason Friedland’s giant burger (a Certified Angus Beef® patty, hickory smoked beef brisket, Merkt’s cheddar cheese, bread and butter pickles, and brisket mustard aioli) and a Weber Backyard Brew (a Goose Island wheat ale) draft beer. (Burger only $11). @thewebergrill

Maggiano’s lobster mac

Maggiano’s, 516 N. Clark St., is bringing back a feature favorite – mac n’ cheese adults will love! Langostino lobster mixed in with pasta and a rich, white wine truffle cream sauce. Baked with fontina cheese, fresh dill, and herb breadcrumbs. Make it your entrée or share with everyone as a perfect side. Only until September 27, so hurry in.

River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., has a new beverage program led by beverage manager, Ken Pritz – classic cocktails with a fresh, innovative twist. Look for local Midwestern beers in River Roasts’ 13 rotating taps along with classic wines from France, Italy and Spain, as well as Argentina and Chile. Check out the new Happy Hour Package: two hours  of passed hors d’oeuvres and a beverage package including local beers, red and white wines, and a selection of spirits for $35 per person. Hors d’oeuvres include a Slider Station – burger, pulled pork and coleslaw, and crispy chicken – all served with house made chips; Golden Gobbets, seasoned chicken with honey; BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with ancho chile cream; Preserved Fruit & Goat Cheese on walnut crostini; and Tomato Bruschetta with spiced ricotta and French bread.

Chicago restaurant news – today and more

Dos Toros Chicago

Dos Toros Taqueria opens its new restaurant today, August 28, at 1 N Dearborn St. and hosts $1 Burrito Day in stores and #DosTorosChi on social media today! For each image under the hashtag #DosTorosChi and every meal sold at our Chicago location that day, they’ll donate a meal to the Greater Chicago Food Depository AND The Food Bank for NYC!

Epic Burger, River North location ONLY (407 N. Clark Street), announces extended late night hours (11pm-4am) for THURSDAY nights as well as Fridays and Saturdays. Consider a #HangoverHelper meal = a classic Epic Late Night Burger plus fresh-cut fries. Even when you can’t come out, order online from Epic Burger’s full late night menu and have it delivered through the UberEats App.
Gene & Georgetti, 500 N Franklin St., an original Chicago steakhouse since 1941, introduces Saturday Brunch for the first time in more than 76 years in its downtown location in River North. Brunch selections include a frittata, an omelette and other 3-egg dishes plus signature Bloody Marys that are practically mini-meals in themselves. Gene’s Bloody Mary: Gene & Georgetti Vodka, garnished with thick cut bacon, salami, mozzarella cheese, lemon and lime, $13 . Georgetti Bloody Mary: Gene & Georgetti Vodka, garnished with jumbo shrimp, olives, mozzarella cheese, lemon, lime and celery, $15. Saturdays, 11am to 3pm.
Social Circle, inside the Cambria Chicago Loop – Theatre District, 32 W. Randolph, introduces new Happy Hour specials. 5–7 p.m. Monday – Friday, where both hotel guests and locals can enjoy:
    * $6 Pints of Haymarket Brewery’s Speaker Wagon Czech Pilsner
    * $6 Cambria Featured Cocktails: The Cambria Margarita and Strawberry Fields Forever
    * $6 Buy-One-Get-One House Vodka Drinks
    * $6 Wine: All wine, every wine, any wine!
    * $6 Appetizers: Pretzel Lollipops, Chicken Lollipops and Bacon wrapped Italian Sausage
Smoke Daddy, 1804 W Division St. Saturday September 16 to Tuesday October 3. Enjoy 4 Star Restaurant Group’s “Smoketober Fest” in honor of the world’s largest beer festival and to kick-off the fall season. Menu items include the Smoked German Sausage Sandwich served with potato salad ($10); the Smoke Corned Beef Sandwich with potato salad ($10); the Giant Pretzel served with beer cheese and caramelized onion mustard ($13.95); the Smoked German Sausage Platter with sauerkraut, potato salad, and brisket ($15.95); and the Smoketober Giant Pretzel Platter served with beer cheese, smoked German sausage, smoked brisket, sauerkraut, potato salad, and caramelized onion mustard (24.95). Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest pints will be available for $5 and Two Brother’s Atom Smasher pints for $7.

The Kimpton Gray Hotel, 122 W. Monroe, the 4,000 square foot rooftop bar Boleo complements its South American street food inspiration with all new East Asian-inflected midsummer cocktails from acclaimed Head Bartender Jess Lambert and her beverage team. The cocktails integrate Peruvian and Japanese ingredients as in the Nikkei cuisine found throughout South America.

Beverages at Kimpton Gray Vol. 39

Down on the second floor of The Gray, Jess Lambert’s Vol. 39, 39 S. LaSalle, bar team simultaneously unveils new cocktails that pay homage to 20th century American novelist Ernest Hemingway (himself an Oak Park native) and his time spent in Cuba where he tended his jetsetting soul at the Latin Caribbean island’s famed Hotel Sloppy Joe’s and La Floridita bar.


2 in Chicago make Bon Appetit’s Top 10 Restaurants 2017


In our last post we noted that the star culinary publication Bon Appetit just named Chicago the Restaurant City of the Year 2017. And now they’ve just issued their Top 10 New Restaurants 2017 and, we’re delighted to see, two Chicago restaurants made this list: Giant Restaurant in Logan Square, and Elske Restaurant in West Loop, each located in one of the hottest ‘hoods in the city these days.

The Bon Appetit judges spent almost three months on the road. “This year’s list is the most eclectic and culturally diverse one we’ve ever compiled,” says special projects editor Julia Kramer. The 10 they picked were the ones whose ” meals stuck with us the longest. These are the places you want to go back to multiple times.”

Both Chicago winners have been put together by Chicago chefs with experience in some very high profile restaurants. Here’s what Bon Appetit has to say about Giant and about Elske.

Consider putting these two on the top of your must-hit list.

*Photo credit: Wikipedia




7 Chicago restaurants with hot news bytes

Chicago style hot dog
Chicago style hot dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Restaurant news is never-ending in Chicago – of course, because we’ve now been named the 2017 Restaurant City of the Year by Bon Appetit magazine. We have a lot to be proud of, they tell us – as if we didn’t know! And it goes way beyond deep dish pizza and hot dogs with celery salt. Their take on the best hot dog places in Chicago disagrees in some measure with the rankings from Chicago Tribune, Chicago Eater and TimeOut Chicago.- in case you decide to invest the time to do a serious hot dog tour. At any rate, here are seven Chicago restaurants making news now.

    1. Nando’s PERi-PERi has got you covered

      Nando’s PERi-PERi will open its flagship Chicago restaurant at 155 N. Michigan on September 4 at 11am. This new and highest profile location, at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, marks the 12th in the  Chicago area, all known worldwide for spicy flame-grilled chicken and always-unique buildings that sport earthy textures and bright colors. The new location features a 21-foot installation crafted from 6,800 repurposed aluminum cans from Two Brothers microbrewery to form pendant lights in a grand chandelier that’s suspended over the main stairwell. It designed by Tulsha Booysen, a 19-year-old student from Cape Town, South Africa, in collaboration with Nando’s Chicago-based architecture firm. Come for the deliciously fresh food and bask in the artwork.

    2. South Water Kitchen, a Kimpton kitchen at 225 N. Wabash, is excited to announce the appointment of new Head Bartender, Melissa Carroll and welcome you to enjoy the debut of her first cocktail menu – a summer-focused list of 13 original cocktails. Melissa steps handily into the footsteps of former Head Bartender Dan Rook (RedEye’s “Best Bartender of 2015”) who left his Chicago post to head up Kimpton’s newest LA opening, Ever Bar. Melissa has some serious chops, having previously been behind the stick at  Spiaggia Restaurant and the JW Marriott’s Lobby Lounge. Her new menu uses uses locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and whimsical touches that “evoke memories of childhood.” Check these out: *The “Farmhouse” Ketelweissen evokes the sense of beer with delicate herbaceous notes and a light, caramel flavor. *The PB&G is a Gin & Tonic is a play on Chef Roger’s PB&J Grilled Cheese. *The Son of a Peach packs a tart whiskey punch. *Chicago spin on a classic Negroni, the 1919 is misted with Malort.
    3.  Good Fortune – a seafood-focused pop-up in the former Sink/Swim space on Armitage in Logan Square – opens August 18th and runs through the end of 2017. It’s the first in a series of new restaurant and bar concepts planned in Chicago within the next 12 months by the new collective, Out To Lunch Hospitality. The new group is led by Creative Director Andrew Miller, an international culinary and food services strategist, and  Executive Chef Charles Welch (Sepia, mk Restaurant), who gained critical acclaim at Honey’s.
    4. Benihana is back in downtown Chicago. Starting August 23, you can enjoy Japanese-inspired teppanyaki and sushi in the Concourse level of the John Hancock building, 875 N. Michigan Ave. across from Water Tower. To celebrate this grand opening,
      Dinner at Benihana restaurant.
      Dinner at Benihana restaurant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      Benihana will host patients of Lurie Children’s Hospital and their families at a pre-opening and will donate 10 percent of opening-day revenues. So come for the Benihana experience and help out the kids on August 23. Hours: M-Th 11am-11pm, F-Sa 11am-11:30pm (Sunday 10pm). Happy Hour Mon – Friday 4 – 6pm.

    5. Join the fun at Ceres Table, 3124 N. Broadway, on Friday, Aug. 11 as they roll out their new Apéritivo (Happy Hour) menu. Check out the Apérol Spritz cart on the patio from 5 – 7pm and enjoy free samples of Apérol Betty spritz. The Apérol crew will also be giving out branded goods to those who arrive early to join in the fun. Spritzes are traditionally low alcohol cocktails served in Italy during the hours between work and play. Inside at the  bar, the “build your own spritz” promotion will feature Apérol, Campari, or the Cynar apéritivo for $6.  House wine (white, red, rosé or sparkling) and draft beers, are $6, and full bottles of house wine $20 make great accompaniments to the new small bites “bar only” menu.
    6. Ace Hotel Chicago sports a rooftop and a full-service restaurant

      The brand new 159-room Ace Hotel Chicago has just opened at 311 N. Morgan St. It offers event and public spaces along with a signature restaurant and rooftop bar in one of the city’s most vibrant cultural, food, art and design scenes. Waydown, the rooftop/lounge area located on the hotel’s seventh floor, offers panoramic views of the downtown skyline. Enjoy inspired cocktails, spirits and beer & wine menus created by Caitlin Laman, Ace Hotel Chicago Beverage Director. Waydown offers a selected food menu from the hotel’s Executive Chef, Pat Sheerin. For a full dining experience, check out the hotel’s signature restaurant, City Mouse — a collaboration with Chef Jason Vincent and his team from the much-lauded Giant in Logan Square.

    7. Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. A devastating fire in December 2014 nearly destroyed this treasured Chicago landmark (received Landmark status in October 2003).  Fortunately, the owners O’Malley rebuilt the 230-seat facility in a way that fully honors the details of architectural styles of the early 1900s.
      • Happy Hour Sunday through Thursday from 4-6pm – menu featuring bar bites and $5 martinis and wine changes weekly
      • Beautiful Solarium on first floor and a Veranda on the second floor – perfect for ladies who lunch, brunch, wine and dine
      • New Brunch menu here.

    The new Firehouse Solarium with view of the patio

Brunch, Bourbon and Bake in bonny Wicker Park


Wicker Park is one of the hottest ‘hoods in Chicago these days. New restaurants and bars are constantly popping up, as existing establishments tweak their offerings to attract even more business. Here are a couple of cool places to check out on Division St.

Brunch at Bourbon on Division – Tasso Belly Hash

Bourbon on Division, 2050 W. Division,  serving only brunch (11 to 5pm) and dinner, offers a forward-thinking and innovative Southern-style menu of dishes that are made from scratch and change with the seasons. Check out some of these brunch items:

  • Grilled Walnut-Sweet Potato Bread Pudding ($15) with bourbon apple honey and spinach frisee Salad
  • Spicy Pecan Fried Chicken ($16) with a corn waffle, collard greens and bourbon apple honey
  • Grilled Shrimp and White Cheddar Grits ($16) with smoked tomato gravy, wilted spinach and celery leaves

Whether you eat at one of the two bars or on the elevated dining space, you can select your beverage from their craft beer selection or imbibe in one of their craft cocktails like Blackberry Julep ($10) with Buffalo Trace, blackberry-mint simple syrup and prosecco; Helluva Way To Wake Up ($10) with Old Forester, iced coffee, honey-rosemary syrup and whipped bourbon cream; or Basic Bitch ($10) with Tito’s, plum bitters, cranberry, simple syrup and press.

Whipped bourbon cream? Adding this to our must-try list.

Bake 4th of July cake

Bake° Bakery, 2246 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park, has a way with sweets to help Chicagoans celebrate summer and every other season. This year for Fourth of July they created a stacked American flag cake. Sorry, it was only available for the holiday, but it gives you a good idea of what they can do.  The cake consisted of 6 layers of vibrantly-colored red, white and blue cake and a thick layer of Bake°’s signature Vanilla Bean Buttercream sandwiched between each layer. Happily, they do stuff like this all year around.  This  picture ought to  get your tastebuds riled up.


Celebrate The Sandwich – pick from these 14 Chicago restaurants

August is National Sandwich Month. And who among us doesn’t love the glorious carb-loaded deliciousness of a serious sandwich? Good time to indulge your bread-and-filling  sensors in some new and unique ways at the following new and tried-and-true Chicago restaurants:
Big Jones5347 N. Clark St. An Andersonville destination, Big Jones’ historically-inspired sandwiches are as delicious as they sound. The Carolina Shrimp Burger features Key West pink shrimp ground and seasoned high, topped with cayenne mayonnaise, chow-chow, butter lettuce and a side of creamy grits. The famous Fat Jones Burger brings together Slagel Farm beef griddled with onions and served on a soft egg bun with oyster remoulade, crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato, with a side of ham fat fries. This southern comfort spot is not to be missed for celebrating sandwiches.
Bonci applies its pizza expertise to sandwiches

Bonci Pizza161 N. Sangamon St. Beginning mid-August, esteemed Rome-based Chef Gabriele Bonci brings Chicagoans his very first American location of Bonci Pizzeria in the West Loop, offering artisanal, seasonally-inspired pizzas, salads and of course – sandwiches! Guests find mouthwatering selections crafted with house made bread for National Sandwich Month including: Meatball with Mozzarella Cheese, Ricotta and Mortadella, Eggplant or Spinach, Sheep Cheese and Spicy Salami.

Café Robey2018 W. North Ave. Situated at the high traffic intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen in the trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, Café Robey promises one of the most mouthwatering fried chicken sandwiches in the city. Featuring an oh-so-juicy chicken thigh breaded and fried, house made tangy pickles, mayo, and Tabasco, it’s no wonder this sandwich has been Instagrammed regularly since the restaurant opened in December.
Cupital makes fab subs

Cupitol455 E. Illinois St. Chicago  or 812 Grove St. Evanston. Cupitol has the sandwich game covered. The all-day eatery offers a variety of mouthwatering handhelds on house-made bread at both locations. Try the Roast Beef sandwich, with spiced horseradish and au jus on a French baguette, the Falafel Burger with paprika yogurt and cabbage relish on a sesame brioche bun, or the Shroomed Patty Melt with prime beef, wild mushrooms, Wisconsin sharp cheddar and onion compote on rye.

The Fifty/502047 W. Division St. The Fifty/50’s all-star sandwich, The Four Courser, piles on slow-smoked, hand-pulled pork shoulder tossed in Gouda Béchamel, fried jalapeños, sweet potato chips, a mac ’n’ cheese waffle and smokey BBQ sauce on a pretzel bun. This sandwich masterpiece can be paired with the diner’s choice of waffle, sweet potato or French fries – the perfect complement sure to satisfy every sandwich quest.
Filini Bar and Restaurant221 N. Columbus Dr. The Double Griddle Burger is everything you’ll want in a hamburger from the moment you take your first bite. With two smashed beef patties, house made bread and butter pickles, a brioche bun and a secret fancy sauce, Filini’s burger is what summer hamburger dreams are made of. Adding to the summer fun is Filini’s dog-friendly patio for pups wanting some sandwich action too.  There’s a Canine Cuisine menu to investigate as well!
The Florentine151 W. Adams St. For an Italian twist on National Sandwich Month, guests can head over to The Florentine in The Loop to enjoy a variety of delicious, seasonal sandwiches perfect for lunchtime, whether shopping downtown, sightseeing around the city or grabbing a quick bite with colleagues during the week. Crafted by Executive Chef Zach Walrath, sandwich highlights from the menu include:
  • Soft-shell Crab: fried soft-shell, summer slaw, heirloom tomato, lemon aioli, ciabatta
  • Chicken Panini: smoked mozzarella, peperonata, basil, sourdough
  • Veggie Burger: garbanzo beans, quinoa, kale, avocado, peperonata aioli, whole wheat bun
  • Americano Burger: charred onion, house fry sauce, pickles, American cheese, sesame seed bun
  • BLT Burger: smoked bacon, bibb lettuce, tomato, onion, calabrian chili, havarti cheese, brioche
  • Tomato Brisket: tomato braised beef, red onion, provolone, horseradish, rye
Hewn features serious bread in its sandwiches

Hewn810 Dempster St. Hewn serves up the best thing since sliced bread! Evanston’s premier bakery for fresh, heritage grain bread, offers house-made, grilled to order sandwiches. Using entirely local ingredients, made-daily bread, and seasonal produce, these sandwiches showcase an array of flavors in every bite. Each sandwich is grab-and-go, and can be warmed up by the Hewn bakers for instant enjoyment, or tucked away for a tasty meal later in the day. Menu standouts include Turkey on Country with pickled red onions and turkey from local Amish farmers sandwiched between naturally fermented sourdough bread using all-organic wheat, Reuben with Butcher and Larder’s corned beef with Swiss cheese, house made sauerkraut, and house made thousand island dressing served on whole wheat or caramelized onion bread, and Elementary Grilled Cheesefeaturing white sharp cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and pickled onions served on rotating breads.

Michael Jordan’s Steak House505 N. Michigan Ave. Steakhouse lunching done right. Michael Jordan’s Steak House features a variety of hefty sandwiches to satiate the hungriest of appetites. Try the classic Italian Beef with hot giardiniera and provolone, or the Chicken Sandwich on flatbread, with cilantro and harissa yogurt. Need steak for every meal? Dive into the Steak Sandwich with provolone, pickled onion and giardiniera aioli atop a pretzel bun. Add hand-cut, beef-fat fries and lunch is complete.
Pork and Mindy’s stacked

Pork & Mindy’s1623 N. Milwaukee Ave. Pork & Mindy’s is celebrating National Sandwich Month with the launch of new ’sangwiches’, developed by Food Network Star and Executive Chef, Jeff Mauro. Working with the Sandwich King himself, Pork & Mindy’s is redefining the local BBQ scene incorporating exciting tastes into new world-class creations at the flagship Wicker Park eatery. With handcrafted new menu items for carnivores and vegetarians, there is a ‘sangwich’ for everyone at the creative BBQ destination. Menu highlights include:

  • Pastramindy Reuben: This griddled take on a Rueben combines Pork & Mindy’s house-cured, smoked, and hand-cut pastrami with P&M Mustard sauce and spicy pickles on a marble rye roll, hitting all the important points for a crunchy, gooey, smoky and cheesy sandwich.
  • Crunchy Pork ‘Sangwich’: This ‘sangwich’ features brined, all-natural pork lion, lightly pounded and hand breaded with a craggily, crispy crust. When that crispy hot pork hits the fresh lettuce and spicy apricot habanero mayo, magic happens.
  • Buffalo Cauli: A vegetarian’s dream come true, this ‘sangwich’ is filled with crispy smoked cauliflower steak, tossed in house-made buffalo sauce to bring the heat. It’s then topped with Gorgonzola and creamy buttermilk dill ranch. This revolutionary ingredient combo will make carnivores forget they ever liked meat!
Roots does it all

Roots Handmade Pizza1924 W. Chicago Ave. and 200 W. Lawerence Ave. The mouthwatering textures of pizza meet the culinary magic of sandwiches for a delicious combination with the Foldovers at Roots Handmade Pizza. Foldovers feature the restaurant’s signature malt crust pizza dough stuffed with high quality ingredients, baked for a melty and tasty one-of-a-kind sandwich. Folderovers you can’t miss include:

  • The Fat Eddie: salami, Canadian bacon, Quad Cities mozzarella, shaved parmesan cheese, marinara sauce, French dressing, diced red onions and chopped romaine
  • The Rock Island Arsenal: specially-seasoned Italian sausage patty, two award-winning and scratch-made mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce
  • Chicken Caesar: marinated, grilled and sliced chicken breast, Quad Cities mozzarella cheese blend, shaved parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing and chopped romaine
 Seven Lions, 130 S. Michigan Ave. A sandwich that appeals to visitors and locals alike, the Michigan Avenue staple is offering a Crispy Chicken Sandwich to satisfy the highest of cravings! With the option of enjoying the sandwich slathered in spicy buffalo sauce, the crispy chicken is topped with buttermilk dressed greens and sweet pickles before being smashed between a delicious bun. Not as hungry? Share the Crispy Chicken Sliders with other sandwich lovers, available during Happy Hour.
Steadfast120 W. Monroe St. The culinary art of sandwiches goes elegant at the chic downtown escape, Steadfast. Decadent sandwiches available on its lunch menu include the Lobster Roll with east coast lobster tail, Old Bay aioli and trout roe, the Portobello Panini with tomato preserves, buffalo mozzarella, basil pistou and roasted portobello mushroom and the Grilled Chicken Torta with brined and smoked chicken breast, cranberry goat cheese, frisee and crispy shallots.
The Terrace401 N. Wabash Ave. Indulge in pure decadence with The Benjamin Burger, a Wagyu beef burger stuffed with foie gras served with tomato compote, onion jam, truffle aioli, frisee, 10-year aged cheddar, on a gold bun with fries. Guests can enjoy the complimentary accompanying Fat Elvis Milkshake to finish-swirled peanut butter and smoked vanilla milk shake, roasted banana compote, gilded peanuts, and candied bacon. For $100, it’s the perfect date-night sandwich coupled with the stunning views of the city, Lake Michigan and Chicago River. Enjoy on a Wednesday or Saturday for a truly perfect evening with the best view in town of the Navy Pier Fireworks.

Jeni’s opens a 4th unique gourmet ice cream store in Old Town

Jenis washable tasting spoons

[Update: Attended the opening and loved the flavors. Impressed with Jeni’s sense of caring for the environment – check out the metal-instead-of-plastic, reusable-instead-of-throwaway tasting spoons!]

Jenis Darkest Chocolate

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ brand new Old Town scoop shop is officially open—and they’re throwing a party to celebrate. To fully christen the fourth Chicago shop, founder Jeni Britton Bauer will be in town on Thursday, August 3rd and from 7 to 11 pm they’ll be giving away free scoops to all and swag bags to the first 50 folks who show up at 1419 N. Wells St.

Dig these totally unique flavors:  Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso, Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt (mango, blueberry and lemon), Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean, Milkiest Chocolate, Darkest Chocolate,  Salty Caramet, Pistachio and Honey, and so on. OMG. Makes your mouth water just to read the names…

Put this on your calendar for heavens sake. Or visit one of the other three locations in Chicago or get it at Mariano’s, Whole Foods, and many other retail outlets.