WBEZ | diners http://www.wbez.org/tags/diners Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The most important meal of the day http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/most-important-meal-day-107300 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/garbageplatefranks.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Garbage Plate at Franks Diner in Kenosha, Wisconsin (WBEZ/Louisa Chu(" /></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Our recent <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/chicago-diners-side-extra-crispy-stories-107167" target="_blank"><u>Curious City diner tour</u></a> focused on their stories and with arguably 151 years of history behind them, we didn&#39;t have nearly enough time to talk about the food, as least as far as I&#39;m concerned.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">And I&#39;m only talking about the specials here. It might take another century and a half to detail full menus. Take the Garbage Plate at <a href="http://franksdinerkenosha.com/" target="_blank"><u>Franks Diner in Kenosha</u></a>, Wisconsin. With five eggs, hash browns, green peppers, onions, optional jalapeños, and a choice of up to five meats (ham, bacon, sausage, SPAM, &quot;scratch-made&quot; corned beef hash, or chorizo), five cheeses (American, Cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, or mozzarella), plus toast (house baked wheat, white, rye, or cinnamon swirl), any mathmeticians want to calculate the possibilities?</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">While the origin of Franks Garbage Plate is lost to history, not so for the Jumpball at <a href="http://moons.homestead.com/"><u>Moon&#39;s Sandwich Shop</u></a> on the Near West Side of Chicago. Owner Jim Radek said he created the dish based on a somewhat similar Italian specialty, in preparation and name, but no one could pronounce it so they just called it Jumpball instead. The cooks griddle an Italian sausage patty then chop it on the flat top, before folding into three eggs, potatoes, cheese, and onions. All served with toast.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/jumpballmoonssandwich.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Jumpball at Moon's Sandwich Shop in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">One of the most misunderstood notorious breakfast dishes in Chicago has got to be the Slinger at <a href="https://plus.google.com/114677185144883756604/about?gl=us&amp;hl=en"><u>Diner Grill on Irving Park Road</u></a>. Built on a bed of hash browns, made with real potatoes, grilled onions, two cheeseburger patties and two eggs fried to order, the chili is actually housemade. Culinary historians say the dish was invented sometime in the 1970s in St. Louis, where it&#39;s found on menus with so many variations that one blog has so far <a href="http://stlslinger.blogspot.com/"><u>covered 56 Slingers</u></a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/slingerdinergrill.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The Slinger at Diner Grill in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Ironically the Deuces Wild at the late <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Ohio-House-Coffee-Shop/155051834659236?fref=ts"><u>Ohio House Coffee Shop</u></a> may have been the most restrained yet precisely prepared of all our diner breakfast specials. Two eggs, two pancakes, two bacon, two sausage &mdash; that&#39;s it and that&#39;s all she wrote.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/deuceswildohio.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Deuces Wild at Ohio House Coffee Shop in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">As I wrote previously, Executive Chef Daniel Traynor researched historic recipes including Pullman bread, plus a relish tray with pickled watermelon rind and Illinois Central salad dressing. For breakfast he serves a signature stuffed French toast, using Pullman bread. The restored Pullman cars first served local test dinners. I for one hope they do them again.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pullmandiningcar.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Dining table on Pullman Sleeping Car Company, Chicago to New Orleans (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Or test breakfast in bed cars, served all day and all night of course.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><em>Follow Louisa Chu on <a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u>@louisachu</u></a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pullmansleepingcar.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Bed on Pullman Sleeping Car Company, Chicago to New Orleans (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/most-important-meal-day-107300 Chicago diners, side of extra crispy stories http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/chicago-diners-side-extra-crispy-stories-107167 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/116574941&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://zeega.com/119065" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Diner%20Cover%20Image%20with%20click.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Take a tour of our area's oldest diners by clicking the photo. Turn up the volume, too!" /></a></p><p>The Slinger. The Jumpball. The Garbage Plate. The Deuces Wild RIP.</p><p>If you&rsquo;re a regular at Chicago-area diners, you may know that these are the names of some legendary signature specials. And if you don&rsquo;t yet, you&rsquo;re in for a treat because Curious Citizen <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/archive/question/440">Rachel Kimura asked</a> us:<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rachel%20kimura.jpg" style="float: right; height: 150px; width: 200px;" title="Our question asker Rachel Kimura enjoying some diner fare. (Courtesy Rachel Kimura)" /></p><p>&quot;Where are the area&#39;s oldest diners and what are their stories?&quot;</p><p>Rachel elaborated: &quot;I love going to diners where it is evident that the waitresses and cooks have been around forever and probably have many stories to tell. I love that diners are a place where families, blue-collar workers, elderly couples, and hung-over twenty somethings can eat together.&quot;</p><p>Me too, Rachel. When Curious City creator and producer Jennifer Brandel asked if I&rsquo;d investigate the question, I said (paraphrasing), Heck yeah.</p><p>I wrote, &ldquo;I&#39;m a lifelong fan of diners, thanks to the only grandfather I ever knew, the late, great Frank Hugh. I remember three of his diners vividly. One was an actual old railroad dining car parked just west of my great-grandfather&#39;s laundry on Grand Avenue.&rdquo;</p><p>OK, so back to Rachel&rsquo;s question(s): Old? Check. Thanks to domu&rsquo;s terrific list of <a href="http://www.domu.com/blog/vintage-chicago-restaurants-part-two">vintage Chicago restaurants</a>.</p><p>But how do we define a diner? As <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-03/which-we-call-diner-106205">I wrote previously</a>, our friends at <em>Chicagoist </em>happened to have listed their favorite diners recently. With all due respect, not all their favorites are diners &mdash; at least not in my book.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Photo%201%20vintage%20.JPG" style="height: 250px; width: 250px; float: left;" title="The waffle combo meal from Chicago's Cozy Corner Restaurant. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>After a <a href="http://instagram.com/p/XFlMGAxRm6/">Waffle Combo Meal</a> with two eggs over easy, ham, hash browns and coffee at Cozy Corner Restaurant and Pancake House in Chicago (the Kelvyn Park location, not the 1977 original Logan Square location) I came to a decision. How will we define a diner?</p><p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it">I know it when I see it.</a></p><p><strong>A detour, for the sake of comparison</strong></p><p>But first, I had to go off to Asia for work, which actually helped further define our diner parameters.</p><p>In Shanghai, I went on a futile search for the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_cuisine#.22Four_Heavenly_Kings.22">Four Heavenly Kings</a>:&nbsp;<em>dabing&nbsp;</em>(Chinese pancake), <em>youtiao</em> (Chinese fry bread), steamed sticky rice ball and soy milk. This was once the most common breakfast order on land first settled in the 5th century, in the most populous city in the world. But, I was told repeatedly, it&rsquo;s old fashioned street food that they didn&rsquo;t have. Would I like tea or caffè latte instead?</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Photo%203%20singapore%20lchu.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 225px; float: right;" title="Kaya toast with soft cooked eggs, and coffee in Singapore. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>In Singapore I made my way to the original <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-04/thick-and-thin-historic-kaya-toast-singapore-106603">1919 location of Killiney Kopitiam</a>, the oldest coffee shop in the Southeast Asian city-state-island country. Their specialty is a thick crust version of the national breakfast: kaya toast with soft cooked eggs, and coffee.</p><p>So after a global diner race against a ticking clock, I further refined our diner parameters: They would be diners on an endangered species list. And perhaps they could represent us on the <a href="http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/?pg=00003">UNESCO intangible cultural heritage</a> list. Some are more &ldquo;endangered&rdquo; than others, and one is, in fact, extinct.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Pullman%20Brandel.jpg" style="height: 234px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="Chef Daniel Traynor sits aboard a refurbished Pullman car before setting off to New Orleans. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p><strong>1920s to 1950s <a href="http://www.travelpullman.com/">Pullman Rail Journeys</a></strong></p><p>But before we tell some of the stories of the area&rsquo;s oldest diners, we need to visit the origin story. Luckily history had pulled into the station. At Chicago&rsquo;s Amtrak yard we visited some of the original Pullman train cars, which date between the &lsquo;20s and &lsquo;50s. There, we spoke with executive chef Daniel Traynor and head steward Jason Makor as they prepared to depart for New Orleans. George Pullman established his eponymous company in 1862. Traynor has researched <a href="http://www.semgonline.com/coach/coupe/coupe_se01.pdf">Pullman culinary history</a> and explained that every line had a signature French toast. Pullman bread, the dense, crumbed white bread still baked in a lidded metal pan, was invented to fit in tight train galleys. Makor to this day recreates the meticulous table settings; in particular, he uses doilies for every compartmentalized dish, as Pullman himself dictated until his death in 1897. Traynor explained that dining cars once connected farmers, local food producers, diners, and chefs. These dining cars also contributed to a long-term trend; the cars were self-contained, meaning they could operate as free-standing restaurants. So when dining cars went out of commission, some became the diners we know today.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/franks%20for%20web.jpg" style="height: 234px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="The expanded Franks Diner in Kenosha. Built in the 1920s to look like a train car, but never intended for the rails. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /><strong>1926 <a href="http://franksdinerkenosha.com/">Franks Diner</a> in Kenosha, Wisconsin</strong></p><p>Husband and wife owners Julie Rittmiller and Kevin Ervin clarified a common misconception about Franks: It is not, in fact, a repurposed railroad diner car. In 1926 Greek immigrant Anthony Franks bought the brand new restaurant from Jerry O&#39;Mahony Inc., &quot;Lunch Car Builders,&quot; in Bayonne, N.J. It was shipped on rail flat car (hence its design), and it was filled with dishware and flatware, too. Julie showed us the original bread box which will be refurbished and displayed. She said the diner is haunted by an unknown female ghost who &mdash; late one night &mdash; blew open a storeroom door. This, it turned out, was helpful, mostly because Julie&rsquo;s hands happened to be full at the time. Franks special: the Garbage Plate.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Moon%27s%20Brandel.jpg" style="height: 234px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="The vintage wrap-around counter inside Moon's Sandwich Shop on the West Side. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /><strong>1933 <a href="http://moons.homestead.com/">Moon&rsquo;s Sandwich Shop</a>, Chicago</strong></p><p>Let&rsquo;s address the elephant in the room. Moon&rsquo;s opened in 1933 and was named for its former moonshiner owners. In its current building since 1947, you may notice most everyone in the room &mdash; in front of the counter, as well as behind it &mdash; is African-American. Except perhaps for a few longtime regulars and owner Jim Radek, who&rsquo;s a cross between Bruce Willis and Al Pacino. Radek, a former regular due to his work as a neighborhood police officer, told us the harrowing tale of one rough day. Nearly two dozen locals chased a guy into Moon&rsquo;s, or rather to its threshold. Radek told them they couldn&rsquo;t continue the pursuit because Moon&rsquo;s was a sanctuary. Like church. And so it was and remains to this day. Moon&rsquo;s special: the Jumpball.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Diner%20Grill%20web%20brandel.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="A quiet morning at the Diner Grill on Chicago's North Side. The building used to be an operational train car. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /><strong>1937 <a href="https://plus.google.com/114677185144883756604/about?gl=us&amp;hl=en">Diner Grill</a>, Chicago</strong></p><p>Open 24 hours a day since 1937 (&ldquo;March 15 8AM,&rdquo; to be precise, according to the original framed black and white photo behind the counter). Managers Ricardo Hernandez (days) and Kenny Coster (nights) have been working the grill for 12 and 11 years, respectively. The restaurant is an old trolley car and sits at the end of its former trolley line. The busiest hours are between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Ricardo once worked the night shift himself and says he doesn&rsquo;t know how Kenny still does it. Kenny says he&rsquo;s had to talk would-be pole dancers down during their night of revelry. While passing out is not encouraged, they do let diners sleep it off, presumably if they can stay perched on the stools. Diner Grill&rsquo;s special: the Slinger.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" chicago.="" class="image-original_image" close="" deuces="" diner="" downtown="" from="" house="" in="" louisa="" now="" ohio="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ohio%20House%20Chu.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 350px; float: left;" the="" title="The signature " wbez="" /><strong>1960 <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Ohio-House-Coffee-Shop/155051834659236?fref=ts">Ohio House Coffee Shop</a>, Chicago</strong></p><p>While the coffee shop dated back 53 years, owner Cathy Roquemore was there about 30. Cathy served the last Deuces Wild on Sunday, April 28, 2013. After more than three decades behind the counter, she was given 30 days to vacate. Cathy started out as an employee &mdash; the only employee, actually. The former owner, a drinking buddy of her husband&rsquo;s, came to her house and said, &ldquo;Cathy, I need you!&rdquo; She bought the place herself when her husband died. She said she was going to take a two-week break then decide what to do next. Regulars can find Cathy, former waitress Kim Jurgensen, and each other on their Facebook page, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Ohio-House-Coffee-Shop/155051834659236?fref=ts">Save the Ohio House Coffee Shop</a>. Ohio House Coffee Shop special: Deuces Wild RIP.</p><p>A big thanks to Chicago&rsquo;s most notable diner owners and managers who also took the time to chat:</p><ul><li>1923 <a href="http://www.loumitchellsrestaurant.com/">Lou Mitchell</a>&rsquo;s manager Heleen Thanas</li><li>1938 <a href="http://palacegrillonmadison.com/">Palace Grill</a> owner <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/kitchen-close-ups/palace-grill-skid-row-diner-chicago-fixture-103836">George Lemperis</a></li><li>1939 <a href="http://www.whitepalacegrill.com/">White Palace Grill</a> owner George Liakopoulos</li><li>1947 <a href="http://thesilverpalmrestaurant.com/History.html">Silver Palm</a> owner David Gevercer</li></ul><p>When I started investigating Rachel&rsquo;s diner question, I&rsquo;d written, &ldquo;I will be carrying my own personal bottle of real maple syrup, and my own thermally insulated whipped cream.&rdquo;</p><p>I didn&rsquo;t. Because that wouldn&rsquo;t have been nice. And one of the rules at diners: Be nice or leave. Pass me the pancake syrup, because I&rsquo;d like to stay and hear some more stories.</p><p><em>Follow Louisa Chu <a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu">@louisachu.</a></em></p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the company that&nbsp;Anthony Franks bought his restaurant from. The company&#39;s name is&nbsp;Jerry O&#39;Mahony Inc., &quot;Lunch Car Builders,&quot; of Bayonne, N.J.</em></p></p> Tue, 14 May 2013 18:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/chicago-diners-side-extra-crispy-stories-107167 That which we call a diner http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-03/which-we-call-diner-106205 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://instagram.com/p/XFlMGAxRm6/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/dinercozywaffle.JPG" style="width: 620px;" title="Waffle Combo Meal with two eggs over easy, ham, added hash browns and coffee at Cozy Corner Restaurant and Pancake House in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">What defines a diner? Breakfast all day? Late night burgers and shakes? Counter service with sassy waitresses and grillmen wearing white paper hats?</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">I&#39;m investigating diners for Curious City, the question precisely &quot;<a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/archive/question/440"><u>Where are the area&#39;s oldest diners and what are their stories?</u></a>&quot; &mdash; asked by Rachel Kimura.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">But hold up, what is a diner? Our friends at <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2013/02/27/chicagoists_favorite_diners.php"><u><em>Chicagoist</em>&nbsp;listed their favorite diners</u></a> recently, and while Diner Grill fits the classic bill, why do <u><a href="http://daleysrestaurant.com/">Daley&#39;s Restaurant</a></u> and even <u><a href="http://cozycornerrestaurant.net/">Cozy Corner</a>&nbsp;</u>do&nbsp;too? What separates the diners from the restaurants, coffeeshops, and grills?</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">We&#39;d love to hear what you think, in the comments below or <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/archive/question/440"><u>over at Curious City</u></a>. (BTW did you hear <u><a href="https://soundcloud.com/curiouscity/the-sound-of-our-hearts">Ira Glass say recently, &quot;I love Curious City.&quot;</a>?</u></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">In the meantime, I&#39;m on the case. Above you see my go-to diner order when available. I have my own Ron Swanson rules when it comes to diner food. I order waffles over pancakes because I can make pancakes at home. I order ham over bacon because only I can make bacon the way I like it, baked to crispy edges and chewy center. Eggs over easy and hash browns, runny yolks broken over hash browns, then seasoned judiciously with ketchup and Tabasco.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">When Curious City hits the road in search of the area&#39;s oldest diners and their stories, I will be carrying my own personal bottle of real maple syrup, and my own thermally insulated whipped cream.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">But coffee, I just drink their coffee, cream and sugar,&nbsp;however good or bad it might be. Curious, I know.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u><em>Follow Louisa Chu on Twitter.</em></u></a></div></p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-03/which-we-call-diner-106205 RIP food trucks: top 5 trends for 2013, plus one wish http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-01/rip-food-trucks-top-5-trends-2013-plus-one-wish-104644 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8328370989/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/foodtrucksice3.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Ice3, aka ice-cubed, food truck with family and ice pops at Fischman food truck night in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p><strong>RIP Chicago food trucks</strong></p><p>How many food trucks have been licensed to cook on board in Chicago? Answer: zero. My colleague <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-food-trucks-cooking-20130102,0,2704292.story">Monica Eng reports</a> 109 truck owners have applied for the new Mobile Food Preparer license, but none have been approved, since the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/go-northwest-young-food-truck-jefferson-park-next-wicker-park-bucktown-%E2%80%94-or">city passed the ordinance</a> back in July. While the <a href="http://www.ij.org/chicagofoodtrucks">Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit</a>,&nbsp;and produced a <a href="http://youtu.be/C4gNfcxiBiY"><em>Game of Thrones</em> inspired video</a> on behalf of food truck owners in November, this could be the end of so-called chef-driven food trucks in Chicago as we&#39;ve barely known them.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8337254321/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/friedchickenhoneybutter.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Honey Butter fried chicken and kale salad at WBEZ Sound Opinions End of Summer BBQ 2012 in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>World War KFC</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In a nerd nod to the upcoming film&nbsp;<a href="http://www.worldwarzmovie.com/"><em>World War Z,</em></a>&nbsp;based on the book&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307346617?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=lklchu-20&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;creativeASIN=0307346617">World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War</a></em>, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/eat-mor-hot-dogz-101237">Chick-fil-A story</a>&nbsp;will rise again &mdash; but there&#39;s hope! In a world where factory farmed, fast food, fried chicken is the norm, there are not one, but two local, sustainable fried chicken restaurants opening in Chicago this year:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.honeybutter.com/">Honey Butter Fried Chicken</a>, from Sunday Dinner Club chefs/owners&nbsp;Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp, and&nbsp;<a href="http://leghornchicken.com/">Leghorn by chef Jared Van Camp</a>, with his &quot;socially conscious chicken sandwiches&quot; and aggressive manifesto. Winner, winner, fried chicken lunch and dinner, indeed.</div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8337271981/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/yushotofugcm.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Yusho robata tofu at Green City Market Chef's BBQ 2012 in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><strong>FREE food!</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;">As in gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian, but far from free.&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.nextrestaurant.com/website/faq" style="text-align: center;">Next restaurant</a><span style="text-align: center;">&#39;s 2013 menus include &quot;Vegan&quot;;&nbsp;</span><a href="http://senzachicago.com/" style="text-align: center;">Senza</a><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;was one of the most quietly celebrated&nbsp;modernist openings of 2012 and happens to be gluten-free; the venerable&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.veggiediner.com/" style="text-align: center;">Chicago Diner&nbsp;</a><span style="text-align: center;">took over the Logan Square Kitchen space for its second location; and&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/RosesWheatFreeBakery/posts/486051291438221" style="text-align: center;">Rose&#39;s Wheat Free Bakery &amp; Cafe in Evanston was saved from closing on Christmas Eve</a><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;by Marcus Lemonis, who&#39;s appeared on the reality show&nbsp;</span><em style="text-align: center;">Secret Millionaire</em><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;and CEO of Camping World, which reports &quot;revenues exceeding $1.7 billion annually&quot;.&nbsp;This is not your hippie mom and dad&#39;s co-op health food.</span></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8329684700/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/oxtailsoupbutcherlarder.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Oxtail soup at The Butcher &amp; Larder in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>This IS your grandfather&#39;s diner food</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">When restaurant kingpin Brendan Sodikoff announced he was opening a&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/restaurants-bars/15957866/brendan-sodikoff-opening-dillmans-a-jewish-deli-probably">Jewish deli to be called Dillman&#39;s</a>, leapfrogging his BBQ and ramen shops, he instantly created a trend, or rather continued refining the trend of classic comfort foods with better ingredients and technique. As I mentioned on&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/louisa-chu-and-lauren-viera">WBEZ&#39;s Afternoon Shift with Rick Kogan</a>, also look for simpler drinks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/26/167615838/the-rebirth-of-rye-whiskey-and-nostalgia-for-the-good-stuff">like whiskey neat</a>, like your grandfather used to drink.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8338592652/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/salmonsitkafestival.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Roasted wild sockeye salmon with carrot coriander sauce by Emmer &amp; Rye chef/owner Seth Caswell at the Sitka Seafood Festival in Sitka, Alaska (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Frankenfish</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-13/pink-slime-really-bad-97262">Pink slime</a>&nbsp;was so last year. This will be the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/why-fdas-frankenfish-salmon-report-fundamentally-flawed">year of Frankenfish</a>.&nbsp;You may have missed this story, buried on the Friday before Christmas weekend, but the FDA has finally opened the floodgates for&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AquAdvantage_salmon">AquAdvantage salmon</a>, genetically modified to grow twice as fast. By the way, it&#39;s the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/kinder-surprise-2500-contraband-chocolate-egg-104292">FDA that bans Kinder Surprise</a>&nbsp;chocolate eggs in this country.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>My top wish for 2013: Mission BEZ Food</strong></div><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/eat-mor-hot-dogz-101237">Vienna Beef has a cafeteria</a> open to the public. The <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/currywurst-yes-there-ketchup-hot-dog-and-curry-too-104155">Christkindlmarket has souvenir boot mugs</a>. Imagine a WBEZ cafeteria at Navy Pier, open to the public, with drinks or soup served in WBEZ souvenir mugs and good local food, with a charitable donation from each purchase, like <a href="http://www.missionchinesefood.com/">Mission Chinese Food</a>.</p><p>It&#39;s a new year. One can wish.</p></p> Wed, 02 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-01/rip-food-trucks-top-5-trends-2013-plus-one-wish-104644