U of C eats free at Nando’s Peri-Peri January 17

Food served in Nando's
Food served in Nando’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

January 17 will go down in the history books as the birthday of renowned Chicagoans Michelle Obama, Dwayne Wade and, yes, Al Capone. And now a new chapter is written. For Tuesday, January 17, will be the day Nando’s PERi-PERi invites the University of Chicago to eat at Nando’s new Hyde Park restaurant, for free.

All day Tuesday, from 11am to 10pm, students, faculty and staff who present a valid University of Chicago ID can enjoy a free spicy flame-grilled 1/4 chicken, chicken sandwich, wrap, or pita.*

Nando’s will officially open its doors in Hyde Park at 1447 E. 53rd Street on Saturday, January 14. Nando’s will pay it forward that day by donating 100 percent of opening-day sales to the Kenwood Academy High School in Hyde Park, to help fund college visits for students at one of the best public schools in the city.

University of Chicago students and staff are welcome then, or again on Tuesday, when the restaurant opens for free to the Maroon community. Vita excolatur! Let your life be enriched with delicious Nando’s PERi-PERi!


“Real American” fast food vegan-style opening in Uptown


Kal’ish, 1313 W. Wilson, a short-order vegan restaurant that promises a 100% animal-free menu, opens in Chicago on January 14. That day at 1 pm you’re invited to stop by for complimentary samples of the restaurant’s hot cocoa, cookies, grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Gina & Andy Kalish, operators of the Ravenswood Event Center, are excited to be opening the restaurant in the neighborhood they’ve called home for over 20 years.

“We’ve always wanted to open a vegan restaurant that could satisfy vegans and omnivores alike,” says Gina. “Kal’ish offers indulgent plant-based alternatives to favorites found at traditional fast food restaurants.” 

Diners can expect a wide range of animal-free takes on classic Americana dishes, including gluten and nut-free options. Kal’ish makes from scratch all meat-like protein replacements, using legumes, roots, nuts, yeasts, wheat, vegetables, starches and more to find the right flavor combinations. To do so, the kitchen has become somewhat of a laboratory, testing ways to create animal-free versions that any eater would enjoy. Favorites from the menu include:

  • K Burger: a classic beefy patty, horseradish kale mayo, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion, served on a classic bun
  • Pulled Pork-N-Jack: pulled braised jackfruit, smoky sweet q sauce, purple slaw and pickles, served on a classic bun
  • Chili Cheese Fries: skin-on salted fries topped with savory house chili, cheese sauce and spicy pico de gallo
  • Farmer Brown Plate: steamed and griddled vegetables with Midwest curry on a bed of brown rice

In addition, Kal’ish also offers an all-day breakfast menu and Sunday brunch, with options including:

  • K-Eggs, Potatoes & Toast: a plant-based riff on traditional scrambled eggs with griddle potatoes and onions and a side of buttered toast
  • Clucker Crisp & French Toast: just like fried chicken & waffles, but plant-based
  • Biscuits & Sausage Gravy: southern classic fluffy biscuits with homemade vegan gravy and fennel sausage

Take out or eat in the bright, minimalistic space, designed by vegan architect Ferdinanda Marcic.



Unique Indian food and drink – Specials in Lincoln Park and Edgewater


While Indian food is considered an acquired taste by some, the good stuff is known the world over for its subtle, multi-layered flavors and aromas. And there is no shortage of very good Indian restaurants in our great city of Chicago. Check out TimeOut Chicago’s recent list of Chicago’s 10 best Indian restaurants here. And below is news about two others you may want to consider when you’re in the neighborhoods.

Hakka Bakka Kati Rolls in Lincoln Park  serves fast casual Indian food featuring natural, fresh ingredients and authentic recipes to showcase the myriad of flavors that truly represent Indian cuisine. With a menu providing a simplistic approach, Hakka Bakka is putting one of India’s most popular street food items, the Kati Roll, on the culinary map. The Kati Roll features homemade, pan-seared flatbread filled with choice of chicken, lamb, paneer, chickpea, potato or egg, and is prepared with a Tikka (tomato and yogurt based) or Hariyali (cilantro and mint based) marinade, then topped with house made chutney like spicy chili, cilantro, sweet tamarind or savory yogurt.
  • Monday, January 16 through Tuesday, February 28 (one per customer)
  • $5.99 Mini Kati Roll Combo Meal (available now) includes Masala Fries and soft drink (chicken or chickpea mini roll only, dine-in only).
  • FREE tea & coffee

  • Monday, January 9, 16, 23 & 30
  • FREE lentil soup with any purchase (one per customer, dine-in only). Hakka Bakka’s lentil soup is made in house daily from fresh and healthy ingredients. There is no oil or fat added and they use fresh mung beans boil it down for about two hours. A hearty, healthy alternative to and just as satisfying as heavy cream-based bisques.
  • Monday, January 16, National Hot & Spicy Foods Day
  • FREE veggie samosas with tamarind chutney with any purchase (one order per customer, dine-in only). Hakka Bakka’s spicy samosas are bite-sized deep fried triangles of dough stuffed with potatoes, peas, carrots, onions, and ginger. Think of it as an Indian Empanada.

And, further north, consider a unique Indian bistro Mango Pickle, located in Edgewater at 5842 North Broadway. Owner Marisa Paolillo learned how to cook Indian cuisine as a result of living and traveling in India for 9 years, and she continued to explore on her own. She worked for a time at The Table restaurant in Mumbai, India where she was exposed to the culinary world.

Marisa’s new bistro menu demonstrates her love for food and brings a spoonful of India back to Chicago. Using saffron and cardamom, Mango Pickle is serving up authentic Indian dishes with a Western twist. Based on the popularity of Chai Tea Time in India she’s created a special Chai menu. On Fridays and Saturdays starting at 4:30pm, Mango Pickle features a family recipe, Chai Masala, along with house-made syrups and infusions. The Chai Menu includes:

  • Bombay Masala Chai…$3
  • Spiced Hot Chocolate…$3

Then pick from one of these optional add-ons:

  • Saffron-cardamom…$1
  • Cocoa…$1
  • Spiced Jaggery…$1 (natural sugar that’s like a cross between spicy molasses and buttery caramel)
  • Coffee…$1
  • Bourbon…$ (according to selection)
  • Somrus Indian cream liqueur…$5