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.
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° 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.
The Patio at Café Brauer’s Dog Days of Summer event on Sunday, July 23. Bring your pooch to the Lincoln Park Zoo’s al fresco restaurant and bar, overlooking the zoo’s scenic Nature Boardwalk, for a fun brunch fit for both you and your pup. There will be goody bags for the dogs and a kiddie pool available for the pups. And Cafe Brauer is a lovely place to enjoy the view and sip a glass of wine or a cocktail with your lunch or snack.
South Water Kitchen, 225 N. Wabash. This August 3-6, 2017, tens of thousands of music fans will blanket the streets for the Lollapalooza music festival. Just steps from Grant Park and adjacent to Hotel Monaco, South Water Kitchen is catering to thirsty festival-goers by offering $5 draft craft beers to patrons wearing Lollapalooza wristbands, open to close, Thursday–Sunday. Their draft selection, regularly ranging from $8-$9, includes eight hand-selected craft brews, such as Stone Brewing’s “Tangerine Express IPA,” 3 Floyds’ “Alpha King” and more (limit 2 pp).
If you’re anywhere near Albany Park and you’re hungry, do not fail to check out T&B Grill, 3658 W. Lawrence Ave. Consider the Taco Tuesday special of any three tacos and a dessert for $13.99. Choose from these unique options, all of which are served with homemade cilantro and jalapeño tortillas.
T&B Taco with spicy shrimp, habañero aioli and garlic cilantro lime slaw;
Duck Taco made with duck leg confit and ancho pepper, guajillo aioli, pickled cabbage and carrots;
Fish Taco with grilled fish, pico de gallo, jalapeño lime aioli, black sesame seeds, pickled cabbage and ancho chile peppers;
Chorizo Taco with homemade crispy chorizo, pico de gallo, sliced avocado and chipotle aioli;
Pork Belly Taco served with pineapple habañero pico de gallo, and garnished with grilled pineapple and habañero aioli; and
Grilled Veggie Taco with black beans, sweet corn, yellow squash, zucchini and red onions served with roasted tomatillo salsa.
On Friday and Saturday T&B’s BYO Margarita Bar lets you BYOB and mix with one of their housemade drink mixes: margarita (lime), mojito (mint), blackberry basil, strawberry rosemary or fresh orange juice. $3.50 per glass or $10 per half carafe. margarita (lime), mojito (mint), blackberry basil, strawberry rosemary or fresh orange juice.
Mac and Cheese Day – 7/14: Get cheesed with Spin Dip Mac at Jake Melnick’s. Jake’s Creamy house-made mac n’ cheese is tossed with their creamy spinach artichoke dip, topped with cheddar and Swiss cheese then baked until golden. Garnished with fresh tomato, Parmesan, pita chips and Sriracha crema.
Ice Cream Day – 7/19: Treat yourself to Jake Melnick’s Hot Fudge Sundae ($6.25) after a “fish” dinner.
The Asian B.L.T.T. is the perfect summer burger featuring a hand-packed Ahi Tuna burger, topped with smoked teriyaki bacon, wasabi ranch salad and crispy wontons. The salad is on the burger so it counts, right? BTW, July is Ice Cream Month so don’t hold yourself back from celebrating all month long!
International Chicken Wing Day – 7/29: Grab a basket of the Spicy Pina Colada Wings, the perfect celebration flavor. Jake’s jumbo wings are fried until crispy, tossed in their house-made spicy pina colada sauce and garnished with toasted coconut. Served with Ranch dressing.
Oh, and just in case you don’t have enough carbs, it’s also National French Fry day on Friday, 7/14. Jake’s will be selling $5 specialty baskets this Friday, the 14th including the Breakfast and Street Fries.
Summer is a busy time for Chicago’s restaurant scene. All season long, patios and rooftops burst with happy diners and drinkers, but air-conditioned interiors beckon more seductively for some – a welcome haven from the heat and humidity and a time to enjoy good food with friends and family. Below are a few restaurant items of interest.
Lobster Festival is back at Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, 21 E. Hubbard. All during July, enjoy the decadent taste of everyone’s favorite crustacean. Special menu items for the month include: Lobster Maki. Lobster Tacos. Lobster Roll. Lobster Fettuccine. 1.5 lb Lobster Boil with potatoes, corn, and sausage.
The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is excited to announce the official launch of Andersonville First Fridays, a late-night, monthly event series beginning this Friday, July 7 from 6-10PM. In an effort to promote local shopping and dining, businesses will keep their doors open late to welcome visitors with promotions, refreshments, and special experiences on the first Friday of each month. This month’s First Friday also coincides with the grand opening of Transit Tees at 5226 N. Clark.” Chicago Reader last month voted Andersonville Chicago’s best overall neighborhood.
Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 N. Clark, is always busy updating everything they do. It now offers lots of lighter-side pasta dishes, plus vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free Italian options. Browse their new brunch options and their lunch menu that now also includes some of their dinner-time pasta classics like Chicken Parmesan and Veal Piccata, plus Italian recipes with an American twist like Pesto Perlini Mozzarella and Grilled Salmon & Herbs. And don’t forget the kids’ menu – Ziti Pasta, Cheese Flatbread, and Giant Meatball with Spaghetti. Dine in, carry out or get delivery. With many pasta entrees, they give you an extra one to take home for free! Either way you get warmly satisfying food that fills your stomach while it comforts your spirit.
Bastille Day, July 14, 2017. Troquet River North, 111 W. Huron at Clark, is offering an all-day special on Friday the 14th to celebrate. For $12 enjoy a classic croque monsieur with frites and a choice of Kronenbourg 1664 or Kir Royale.
Bistro Voltaire, 226 W. Chicago Ave., promises a free appetizer glass of champagne to all diners July 14, and also offers a mouth-watering 3-course prix fixe dinner all that week for $38. Escargots, grenouille, tartiflette, bouillabaise, anyone?
Maggiano’s, the most popular family-style Italian restaurant chain in America, is always doing good things for the community while giving you good things for your appetite. And now you can donate by enjoying brunch any weekend from 11am to 3 pm. LOVE those lemon ricotta pancakes. And how about a mile-high piece of white chocolate cannoli cake? Num.
Firecakes Donuts will operate for two months a pop-up donut counter inside Lou & Grey, the contemporary women’s apparel store at 3442 N. Southport Ave. Locals and visitors alike are finding it a place to grab a great cup of coffee and a fabulous donut. Or visit Firecakes Lincoln Park store, 2453 N. Clark St. or its Hubbard Street location, 68 W Hubbard St.
Firecakes Donuts also operates a Donut Truck in the Loop on weekday mornings and, in season, in the evenings and on weekends at various neighborhoods around Chicago. The Donut Truck also can be booked from private events and catering; please call 312-329-6500 for more information. Delivery, catering and pre-orders are available. Please place orders by 3 p.m. for next day pickup or Chicagoland delivery. Firecakes also serves a giant birthday cake donut that serves 2-3 people and an ice cream donut sandwich. Firecakes Donuts serves coffee from La Colombe Roasters. Major cards are accepted. For more information, please call the stores at 312-329-6500 (W. Hubbard St.) and 773-666-5277 (N. Clark St.)
Weber Grill Restaurant, 539 N. State St. (also Lombard, Schaumburg, Indianapolis), on Easter Sunday (April 16th) offers grownups traditional holiday favorites, plus either Mimosa ($7) or Backyard Bloody Mary (Absolut vodka, housemade bloody Mary mix served with smoked sausage & Gouda skewer and a mini backyard brew 10.5). Along with their brunch plate, kids get Easter eggs filled with candy and special treats.
Brunch “A-la-carte” Features Served Until 2:00pm – Grilled Steak & Eggs Southwest Style Skirt Steak and Eggs Any Style Guajillo Salsa, Breakfast Potatoes ($17.50); Chocolate Cherry Pretzel Bread French Toast Fresh Strawberries, Whipped Cream ($10.50); Double Smoked Bourbon Glazed Ham Benedict, hollandaise, toasted English muffin grilled asparagus, breakfast potatoes ($14); Kid’s Brunch Plate (Twelve & Under), choice of scrambled eggs or pretzel bread French toast ($6.50).
Weber’s fullDinner Menu served all day plus two specials: House Smoked Bourbon Glazed Ham, horseradish cream sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus ($16); and Wood-Roasted Leg of Lamb, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, rosemary jus ($20).
Snap Kitchen is excited to introduce three internationally inspired dishes, each boasting a unique primary health benefit. With an obsession for food innovation and believing that eating healthy should be really fun, Snap Kitchen was inspired to create three incredible new Bowls with Benefits, available in store or for delivery. The product of the collaboration between Snap Kitchen’s research and development chefs and dietitian, each bowl is based on a super-flavorful take on cauliflower rice, topped with nutrient-rich ingredients. The lineup includes a Whole30-approved bowl and vegan option.
The Tex-Mex Chicken Bowl is Snap Kitchen’s take on the classic burrito bowl, with anti-inflammatory ingredients and superfoods like turmeric and spirulina for a whole new spin. The Tex-Mex bowl contains:
Spanish cauliflower rice with a smoky flavor from smoked paprika and mega anti-inflammatory benefits from turmeric;
spirulina crema made from cashew, avocado, and spirulina that offers up healthy fats and B vitamins;
topped with fajita veggies and chicken, and homemade red salsa.
Meatball & Kimchi Stir Fry Bowl with natural probiotics and nourishing prebiotics to get your gut in check. This bowl features:
kimchi fried rice made from cauliflower rice stir fried with fresh garlic, ginger, and kimchi;
grass-fed beef meatballs made with sautéed ginger, onion, and mushrooms for a tender texture and veggie bonus;
kimchi with fermented cabbage and sea vegetables featuring naturally occurring probiotics;
plus organic edamame, stir fried veggies, and ginger sesame vinaigrette.
Packed with plant-based ingredients full of antioxidants, the Mediterranean Mezze Bowl is the most beauty-full meal at Snap Kitchen yet. This bowl features:
kale and cauliflower tabbouleh with zucchini, onion, jalapeno, and garlic;
golden turmeric chickpeas full of nutrients from turmeric, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast;
vegan tzatziki that starts with cashew crema with chopped cucumber, lemon zest, mint, and dill for a tangy addition to the bowl’s flavor lineup;
beet hummus full of nutrients like betalains with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification benefits that give your skin a healthy glow;
plus roasted red bell pepper and eggplant, and Kalamata olives.
Order ahead or get them for delivery on the new Snap Kitchen app for iOS– it’s a beautiful app with full color pics that’ll make you even hungrier.