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Chicago Makes Its Mark on Nashville

Chefs and restaurateurs are expanding their Chicago brands southward to Nashville. Although Nashville is roughly 450 miles South of Chicago, the two cities have never felt closer thanks to a recent uptick in restaurant expansions and chef movement. The draw for Chicago restaurants and bars to branch out to Nashville, essentially the closest Southern city […]

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Aug 29, 2017 04:25 AM
Weekly Planner: Happy Hour at Broken Shaker

Happy Hour at Broken Shaker New happy hours are a dime a dozen these days in Chicago, but the version taking place at the Broken Shaker may be the coolest (and most irreverent) yet. It’s called the “Happy Hipster,” and it’s a playful, nostalgia-inspired combo that features a secret recipe burger with fries and a domestic beer […]

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Aug 28, 2017 12:18 AM
The Polenta Bar Brings a Taste of Northern Italy to the West Loop

In recent years, fast-casual dining has manifested in many different ways, in part triggered like a Domino effect by companies following the Chipotle model of customized food, quick service and quality ingredients. From noodles and salads, to Middle Eastern food and poké, Chicago’s fast-casual scene has a lot to choose from, but none are quite […]

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Aug 23, 2017 06:06 PM

Brunch Bites: Takito Kitchen Starts Brunch, Waffle Day, and Blueberry BBQ Hollandaise

This week's array of brunch tidbits is about as eclectic as it gets, what with restaurants like Takito Kitchen debuting brunch service, Prairie Grass Cafe heralding National Waffle Day, and 2Sparrows serving up one of the most inventive renditions of hollandaise I've ever seen. So whether you enjoy your brunch bites with a Mexican tilt, plates brimming with waffles, or hollandaise so good you would drink it through a straw, there's something for you to eat this weekend.


Let's talk Takito Kitchen. I've been obsessed with this place since dining here a month and a half or so ago, and if there brunch is half as good as their dinner and drinks menu, then diners are in for a treat. Available Friday through Sunday from noon until 3:00 p.m., executive chef David Dworshak curates a soulful modern Mexican menu of Spanish ham and eggs, pork belly sopes, chicken pepian sopes, polenta with veggies and eggs, and more.


If you're not acutely aware that National Waffle Day is August 24, you're doing it wrong. And by "it," I mean life. Get your act together and visit Prairie Grass Cafe this weekend, where they're giving waffles the spotlight they deserve all weekend long. Classic Belgian waffles are a mainstay on the Northbrook restaurant's menu, but stop by this weekend and treat yourself to some peaches and ice cream waffles, made with peaches from Mick Klug Farm and housemade vanilla bean ice cream. There's also a caramel banana waffle studded with brûléed bananas and salted caramel sauce.


Pulled pork Benedict with blueberry BBQ hollandaise at 2Sparrows
(Pulled pork Benedict with blueberry BBQ hollandaise at 2Sparrows)


At 2Sparrows, chef Greg Ellis is all about the intricate infused butters and jazzy sauces. For a brunch-centric restaurant, he goes above and beyond the call of maple syrup duty with creations such as spinach hollandaise, foie gras butter, butter rum sauce, and whiskey whipped cream, an apt excuse to start "drinking" in the a.m. Then there's the blueberry BBQ hollandaise, likely the zaniest and most flavor-packed breakfast sauce ever to glaze a plate. As summer trickles down, it's the perfect finale to the season, celebrating blueberries and barbecue in one convenient, buttery package. Served as an accompaniment to pulled pork Benedict, you'll think it's the Fourth of July again! But it's not, so sorry.


Award-winning chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, formerly of the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, showcase the best seasonal ingredients from Midwestern farms in their casual American restaurant in Northbrook. Prairie Grass Cafe's...

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The seasonally driven breakfast, lunch and brunch resto features the contemporary American comfort fare. Charlie Trotter's alums Gregory Ellis (chef) and Steven Fladung (GM) are heading up this ambitious project...

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More modern tacos come to Wicker Park to compete with stalwarts Big Star and Antique Taco with the arrival of Takito Kitchen in March 2013. Owners Anshul Mangal and Mario...




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