Whether you’re visiting Arizona for some Cactus League Spring Training baseball or a midwestern transplant just living in the area, you’ll get to taste some real Chicago delicacies at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. During their 15-game home exhibition schedule, the Chicago Cubs will feature sausages from Hot Doug’s and Italian beef from Portillo’s at their concessions like they do at Wrigley Field.
As many ‘encased meats’ enthusiasts know, Hot Doug’s owner Doug Sohn closed his fine Avondale gourmet sausage establishment back in 2014. However, Sohn has frequently brought Hot Doug’s back in pop-ups, on top of pizzas at Piece, and at a stand in the Wrigley Field bleachers.
At Sloan Park, Hot Doug’s will rotate different selections that reflect the “favorites” from Wrigley. Up first starting Friday, will be the spicy polish and jalapeno-cheddar sausages that are named after Champ Summers and Steve Trachsel. The selections will change after every 5 games, so there will be 3 different pairings during Spring Training.
The Cubs’ newer Arizona facility has featured Italian beef in the past, but this time they have teamed up with Portillo’s because c’mon…it’s Portillo’s.
There are two Portillo’s restaurants in Arizona already, Tempe and Scottsdale, and that reflects the Chicagoan presence living in the area. Now residence and tourists can get some more of a taste of Chicago while watching Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber jack home runs out of the desert.
If you attend Spring Training this year, please share your ballpark food porn pics with us on Facebook and Twitter!
The event will feature 12 of Chicago’s best pizza places and chefs, serving slices and pizza inspired cuisine, and a keynote speech by A.W.K. himself. Saying the dude “loves partying and pizza” is an understatement.
Tickets for the pizza summit go on sale February 19th at 10 PM on the Empty Bottle website and TicketWeb, with two different sessions at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM CDT. The sessions are open to the general public and tickets are $35 a piece, covering all-you-can-eat food and 5 Old Style beer tickets over 3 HOURS.
Whether you have a hot date, reservations at a fancy sit down joint, or marathon RomComs with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, at least you have plans. Regardless of your relationship status on Facebook (or how complicated it may or may not be), at least food won’t break your heart…so to speak. Everything tastes better with a fun theme too.
As you know, we have an appreciation for both doughnuts and pizza here. You can start your day with one and end it with the other, making it great day at that. This weekend you can eat something that represents your love for food, but let’s see which one you love more.
Do-Rite Donuts in Chicago and other shops will have these available all weekend.
Just 2 days after finally digesting your awesome Super Bowl spread…
It’s National Pizza Day!
You may know already that there is quite an affinity for pizza on this website (See The Pizza Challenge List from last Spring) and that we also like to monitor how Social Media celebrates these National Food Days…aka, great excuses to eat something good.
So let’s take a look at what the good people are posting on this momentous day of deliciousness
We’ll update this post throughout the day. Feel free to share your #NationalPizzaDay posts with us on Facebook and Twitter!
By now, nearly storyline and angle for the Broncos and Panthers have been hashed out going into the Super Bowl. The Prop Bets are available to keep the non-football fan interested, which include wagers on things like how long Lady Gaga will sing the anthem, which song Coldplay will play first, and what color the Gatorade is that will be dumped on the winning coach. Even the commercials are getting leaked early (although I think that takes some of the fun out of it).
The Denver Post and The Charlotte Observer are also in on the game with their own friendly bets. If the Broncos win, the Post will receive “No. 1 IPA beer in the country” Hop, Drop and Roll (brewed in Charlotte) as well as some World Famous barbecue. If the Panthers win, the Observer will receive a broad selection of Colorado craft beer and bison steaks.
A tradition that we began here a year ago was to go beyond the teams playing the game, and compare the regions they’re from in EVERYTHING BUT FOOTBALL. Last year, New England had the edge over Seattle in our game here and eventually won the Big Game itself.
So for the fans (and newspapers) of each team, lets see how they stack up.
John Denver, Ginger Baker (drummer), Earth Wind & Fire, Flobots, The Fray, India.Arie, The Lumineers, Glenn Miller (Jazz), Neutral Milk Hotel, OneRepublic, Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Judy Collins, The String Cheese Incident, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
James Taylor, Tori Amos, George Clinton, K-Ci & JoJo, Anthony Hamilton, John Coltrane, Ben Folds, Petey Pablo, Fred Durst, The Avett Brothers and Ryan Adams.
The Edge – Carolina
This may be the toughest call, considering how subjective music is for everyone. However I’m taking quality over quantity here. Fred Durst and the EDM of Denver cancel each other out for things I’m good without. There are more pop acts in Denver, if The Fray and OneRepublic are your thing. Both regions bring the Funk with George Clinton and Earth Wind and Fire. But I’ll take the Carolina singer songwriters (Taylor, Adams and Folds) over John Denver *skypoint*.
Bonus Points too for my favorite school slow dance song ever, “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo.
Set in Colorado
South Park, Community, Diagnosis: Murder, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Nikita, Stargate SG-1, The Real World: Denver, The Man in the High Castle, Dynasty and Mork & Mindy.
Set in Carolina
East Bound and Down, Dawson’s Creek, The Famous Jett Jackson, One Tree Hill, The Andy Griffith Show.
The Edge: Denver
There isn’t too much programming set in either region. Community and East Bound and Down duke it out pretty well for comedies. I do love Andy Griffith and that whistling will be stuck in my head for the rest of the month, but 19 seasons of South Park is too many to pass on. Sorry, One Tree Hill fans.
Set in Colorado
The A-Team, About Schmidt, Aliens vs. Predators: Requieum, Beerfest, The Big Short, Blades of Glory, City Slickers, Cliffhanger, Interstellar, Misery, Phantoms, The Prestige, The Shining, Stargate, WarGames, and Dumb and Dumber
Set in Carolina
Cape Fear, Carrie, Cold Mountain, The Descent, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Kiss The Girls, Maximum Overdrive, Pitch Perfect, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Tin Cup, A Walk To Remember, and Bull Durham.
The Edge: Denver
Carolina makes a case with solid Kevin Costner sports movies. But Denver has two amazing Christopher Nolan films (Interstellar and The Prestige) the better Stephen King horror flick between The Shining and Carrie…and Dumb and Dumber.
The Edge: Carolina
It was a tough call, but I drooled the most researching all that southern comfort awesomeness.
The Edge: Carolina
Both seem perfect if you love the outdoors. I think if you love skiing/snowboarding and weed, you’ll probably lean toward Denver. The idea of mountains, beaches, and some college sports staples have me wanting to visit Carolina first. Red Rocks is a hard venue to pass up though.
In Denver (327 Craft Brewers)
In Carolina (151 Craft Brewers)
The Edge: Denver
This one is depends on your tastebuds, but I’ve always been partial to Colorado beer. Carolina seems to be on its way though.
Sports (other than football)
Colorado State Rams
Duke Blue Devils
North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina State Wolfpack
The Edge: Carolina
The two Stanley Cups won by the Colorado Avalanche are admirable, but 12 Men’s Basketball National Championships won by Duke (5), North Carolina (5), and North Carolina State (2) are a bit more impressive…
…plus the fact that state produced the greatest player in NBA history.
#DoughnutFriday started out as an office tradition I had with coworkers in the Sun-Times building over a year ago. Every week, someone else took it up themselves to impress the rest of us with their awesome doughnut spot that nobody had tried before. I would get geeked about the opportunity when it came to my turn because I LOVED sharing the doughnuts I grew up with and making new people understand why.
2016 started on a Friday and I thought this could be a fun tradition to expand upon and an opportunity to connect with doughnut lovers everywhere. Every Friday this year, I want to try a new doughnut shop and would encourage others to do the same. You can either recommend new spots for me to try (and I will) or just share a photo from the shop you’re trying yourself on either Facebook or Twitter. At the end of each month, I’ll post here about all different places I tried as well as any photos you share with me…Could be a good bit of fun.
This month’s #DoughnutFriday features are all pretty close to home for me in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, but I’ll begin making the rounds to different areas starting in February.
Please complain sometimes about not being able to order breakfast for delivery. Guess what? EggShells delivers! The semi-cramped layout of the place adds to the charm. The bagels and lunch sandwiches are delicious as well.
This was a fun new discovery in Barrington. They make their Kurtos (Hungarian Doughnuts), also known as “chimney cakes”, fresh as you order them, and fill them with your choice of peanut butter or Nutella. It’s fantastic. They also serve other pastries, sandwiches, soup, coffee and dessert drinks.
Yes, it’s primarily a chocolate shop, but the doughnuts are excellent as well. It’s also one of the few places in the area that serves cider doughnuts. If you grew up around here, you’ll feel nostalgic for the Orchards in Lake Zurich or the apple cider shop in Long Grove.
One of the best doughnut shops in the area. There’s a new location in Arlington Heights, if you so happen to live that way. Always fresh, always delicious. I’m partial to the honey dipped doughnuts, but you really can’t go wrong. Also an awesome choice for Paczki Day!
So those doughnuts I mentioned earlier that I was excited to make my coworkers believers for…these are them. That big soft gooey looking thing is called a “Big Cin” and it’s a totally different level of cinnamon roll. The long johns are top notch and there’s plenty of other options as well.
Have some doughnut photos or recommendations to share? Pass them along on either Facebook or Twitter. I’ll be looking your way next week, downtown Chicago.
It’s actually 2 weeks (January 22nd – February 4th, 2016), but who’s complaining?
For 14 days, 350+ restaurants in downtown Chicago and the suburbs participate in the annual event with great deals and prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch, then $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).
Below you can navigate the full list of participants in alphabetical order, with websites and menus included. Whatever you have a taste for, it’s probably on the list.