WBEZ | restaurant http://www.wbez.org/tags/restaurant Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Breakfast Bump: McDonald's U.S. Sales Jump 5.7 Percent http://www.wbez.org/news/breakfast-bump-mcdonalds-us-sales-jump-57-percent-114594 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_880525879168.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>NEW YORK (AP) &mdash; McDonald&#39;s says offering breakfast around the clock helped jolt its sales.</p><p>Sales at the world&#39;s biggest hamburger chain rose 5.7 percent in the U.S. for the final three months of 2015, boosted by unseasonably warm weather and the launch of an all-day breakfast menu in October.</p><p>That marked the second straight quarter of domestic growth as McDonald&#39;s fights to win back customers, and the best showing since early 2012. Globally, sales rose 5 percent at established locations.</p><p>McDonald&#39;s, which has more than 36,000 locations around the world, is working to turnaround its business under CEO Steve Easterbrook, who will mark one year on the job in March. The Oak Brook,&nbsp;Illinois, company has conceded that it failed to keep up with changing tastes, and that order speed and accuracy suffered as its menu grew more expansive.</p><p>Despite the encouraging finish to the year, McDonald&#39;s has a long way to go. For all of 2015, U.S. customer visits fell 3 percent at established McDonald&#39;s locations. That followed a 4.1 percent drop the previous year. Guest counts declined globally as well during the period.</p><p>In a call with analysts, Easterbrook cautioned that the company wanted to see another quarter or two of positive results before shifting gears from turnaround mode to a focus on growth.</p><p>The launch of all-day breakfast has been one of the company&#39;s most high-profile maneuvers under Easterbrook. The decision to make select items like the Egg McMuffin available around the clock generated a surge of national media coverage. Fans of McDonald&#39;s breakfast had long complained of being unable satisfy their cravings later in the day.</p><p>As the initial fanfare settles down, Easterbrook said McDonald&#39;s would keep momentum going by focusing on areas like improving order accuracy and a recently launched mobile app. In early January, McDonald&#39;s also introduced a &quot;McPick 2 for $2&quot; menu intended to draw bargain hunters.</p><p>The quarterly performance may also have gotten a boost from a culling of underperforming stores. McDonald&#39;s finished the year with 14,259 stores in the U.S., a decline of 91 stores from the previous year.</p><p>It was the first time McDonald&#39;s ended the year with fewer U.S. restaurants since at least 1970, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory filings.</p><p>Sales for the &quot;International Lead&quot; unit, which includes the United Kingdom and Canada, rose 4.2 percent during the fourth quarter. In the high-growth markets unit, which includes Russia and China, sales climbed 3 percent.</p><p>For the three months ended Dec. 31, McDonald&#39;s Corp. earned $1.21 billion, or $1.31 per share. That beat Wall Street expectations for $1.23 per share, according to FactSet.</p><p>Total revenue was $6.34 billion, also topping the $6.24 billion analysts expected.</p><p>For the year, total revenue fell 7 percent to $25.4 billion, hit by unfavorable currency exchange translations. Profit fell 5 percent to $4.53 billion.</p><p>Shares of McDonald&#39;s were up 1 percent at $119.45.</p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 12:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/breakfast-bump-mcdonalds-us-sales-jump-57-percent-114594 Do kids belong out late in adult restaurants? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/do-kids-belong-out-late-adult-restaurants-110053 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kideatingflickreyeliam.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A man and a wife and their kid walk into a restaurant bar. The host looks at them and says &lsquo;we&rsquo;re not seating couples with children at this time.&rsquo; So the sad family packs up and finds some place else to eat.</p><p>This was the decidedly unfunny scenario faced by two Chicago area parents recently when they tried to eat at one of their favorite restaurants. They asked that we leave out their names because they&rsquo;d like dine there again--when they find a babysitter, of course.</p><p>Many thought that&rsquo;s what the parents of the, now notorious, <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2014%2F01%2F14%2Falinea-baby-controversy_n_4597643.html&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHaDxp6rRcCH8vlSewdC4R_RD01ig">Alinea baby</a> should have done earlier this year, when their child&rsquo;s dining room crying was heard around the world---thanks to a perplexed tweet by chef Grant Achatz on the matter.</p><p>Still, for many parents, including former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, the issue is not so cut and dried.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it depends on the kid,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If you are a parent who goes out with your child and your kid starts fussing, you take the child out. That&rsquo;s all there is to it. It&#39;s that easy. But I would be deeply offended if I took my child to a restaurant and I was told no you can&rsquo;t come in.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s Hopleaf Bar owner Michael Roper has enforced a no-kids rule at his establishment for nearly a decade. He believes the city needs places where grown-ups can enjoy grown-up drinks--for example, his wide selection of craft beers that happen to pair beautifully with his menu of sausages, seafood and smoked meat.<br />.<br />&ldquo;We are a bar. We call ourselves the Hopleaf Bar,&rdquo; Roper recently said on WBEZ. &ldquo;There are places that are bar-like but they are more like restaurants. It&rsquo;s not as if there&rsquo;s no place else to go with your kid. There are a lot of places and many of those places the kids actually prefer.&rdquo;</p><p>But does he ever get grief from customers over the rule?</p><p>&ldquo;We get some pushback but it&rsquo;s surprising,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We actually get mostly support, even from parents with children. They like to have a place to go. Sometimes people need to have an adult space.&rdquo;<br /><br />Mei-Ling Hopgood is a Chicago area mom who raised her oldest child in Buenos Aires. In her book &ldquo;How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm&rdquo; Hopgood details her initial shock at what seemed like crazy hours for kids to be in restaurants in Argentina.&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;It would be 11 or 12 o&rsquo;clock and they&rsquo;d be running around the pizzeria or the grill,&rdquo; she recently said on WBEZ&rsquo;s Worldview. &ldquo;It was an extension of the cultures from which they came--Spain and Italy where people just eat later and the idea that you would not eat dinner with your child is really unthinkable in many ways.&rdquo;</p><p>Those kinds of careening children may be exactly what some restaurants are trying to avoid with the no-kid rules says a former server Cindy who called into WBEZ&rsquo;s Worldview saying, &ldquo;They would run circles around my legs when I would have hot trays of food.&rdquo;</p><p>Dining veteran Reichl says that she can see both sides of the issue and that there may be a simple solution.&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;In an ideal world, restaurants would have an area for children and all the people would bring their children and the children would go off and there would be someone to watch them and the kids would have a great time together,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Because, really, a five-year-old doesn&rsquo;t want to listen to your boring conversation.&rdquo;</p><p>So Chuck E Cheese meets Alinea? Who knows? It just might work.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/do-kids-belong-out-late-adult-restaurants-110053 5 ways Big Star shows why Chicago is America's 'best food city' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-05/5-ways-big-star-shows-why-chicago-americas-best-food-city-107126 <p><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/big_star_xmas_trees.jpg" style="height: 290px;" title="Photo of the Big Star Christmas Tree selection during the winter time. (BigStarChicago.com)" /></div><p dir="ltr">This week, the Munchies Awards named Chicago the country&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/chicago-best-food-city-th_n_3247468.html">best food city</a>, citing local hot spots like Black Dog Gelato in Wicker Park, Intelligentsia Coffee in Lakeview and Streeterville&rsquo;s Bar Toma as some of Chicago&rsquo;s best food attractions. However, no restaurant better emblematizes Chicago foodie culture like the visionary Big Star, the hub of Wicker Park&rsquo;s cuisine scene. Big Star is a love letter to Chicago, a testament to our city&rsquo;s endless capacity for invention. When it comes to food, we are second to none.</p><p dir="ltr">There are an endless number of reasons you should be a Big Star regular&mdash;or a self-described &quot;fan girl&quot; like myself. Here&rsquo;s five.</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>1. Big Star makes great food accessible.</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">Big Star is located in the heart of Wicker Park, a latte&rsquo;s throw from the neighborhood&rsquo;s popular Wormhole Cafe and the shops that line Milwaukee Avenue. They say that business is about location, but dining at Big Star turns geography into a mindset. Although The Girl and the Goat (tucked away in the West Loop) might get the haute cuisine cred, Big Star succeeds by bringing quality to the masses. Nothing is over $10, and it&rsquo;s the rare establishment that can bring together college students, poor artists and the neighborhood&rsquo;s influx of young professionals.</p><p dir="ltr">Big Star feels like a part of the community. There&rsquo;s no better testament to that than Big Star&rsquo;s drive-thru, which caused many to scratch their heads when it opened a few years ago. However, this is exactly what I love about Big Star: They blend the affordability of fast food and the experience of a great night out with friends at the neighborhood&rsquo;s hottest restaurant. It&rsquo;s the best of both worlds: mobile cuisine for a society of multi-taskers. It&rsquo;s also incredibly helpful on days where you don&rsquo;t feel like battling the crowds for a seat.</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>2. They think outside the taco.</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">From a name inspired by California honky-tonks to a website that looks more like a Tumblr page than the home base of Chicago&rsquo;s finest dining, Big Star is a restaurant bursting with creativity. At Big Star, style meets substance in a way that brings joy and wit to the table. Their menu lists every entree in a different font, giving every dish its own distinct personality.</p><p dir="ltr">Although the restaurant is known for its Taco de Panza and Taco Al Pastor, the Walking Taco is a fan favorite. The chefs transform a simple bean and corn chip dish by serving it in a Fritos bag, a take on the Frito Pie that&rsquo;s charmingly tongue in cheek. The price? A whole $2.</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>3. Did I mention everything is delicious?</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">With most restaurants I frequent, I know what dishes I like and which are the lemons of the bunch. But with Big Star, you can&rsquo;t go wrong. The menu is petite and deceptively simple, allowing the chefs to focus on getting each dish exactly right. Although customers gravitate toward certain options, I&rsquo;ve never been disappointed with taking a risk on the potato-based Taco de Papas con Rajas or Tostada de Nopales, with a chief ingredient of cactus. I never thought something so prickly could be so tasty. (Watch out, Sonic the Hedgehog. I&rsquo;m onto you.)</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>4. The service is bonkers good.</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">In addition to being universally attractive&mdash;always a dining plus&mdash;the staff at Big Star are helpful and attentive without being pushy. The last time I visited, I grabbed a spot at the bar, my preferred dining arrangement. (I like to be on a first-name basis with those liquoring me up.) I made the mistake of ordering the Sonoran Hot Dog, a delicious (and giant) take on the Chicago staple that turned out too spicy for my tender taste buds.</p><p dir="ltr">After attempting to power through, I crapped out a quarter of the way in, confessing to my server that I couldn&rsquo;t finish. I wasn&rsquo;t strong enough. Three glasses of water later, he comped the hot dog and helped me find something more favorable to someone who orders Indian food &quot;negative spicy.&quot; As the hot dog is one of his favorites, he suggested I order the jalapeno on the side next time. Duly noted.</p><p dir="ltr">Also, for a place as perpetually slammed at Big Star is, the service is so fast it&rsquo;s practically rocket-fueled. Maybe they all eat the hot dogs before work to give them that jalapeno power.</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>5. Big Star offers an experience you take with you.</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">Many establishments pride themselves on being hidden treasures, and if you journey to Violet Hour, that&rsquo;s part of the shtick. It&rsquo;s the speakeasy mentality: that greatness should be hard to find. However, Big Star is great because it feels so open. Don&rsquo;t let the long lines fool you. The interior of Big Star is expansive enough to seat the cast of <em>Downton Abbey</em>, giving guests an ambience that feels warm and inviting. Instead of a dim space where you barely see your food, Big Star lets the light in.</p><p dir="ltr">Big Star fosters its convivial ambience with a structure recalling the great diners of the 1950&rsquo;s, and there&rsquo;s no better seat in Chicago than Big Star&rsquo;s patio in the middle of summer. Like a French bistro, the patio blends seamlessly with the sidewalk traffic, and it&rsquo;s not uncommon to see passersby running into friends and family enjoying a meal. At Big Star, it&rsquo;s the more, the merrier; if they can&rsquo;t accommodate more, you can take the experience to go and find a spot at a park.</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s almost summer. The three months of paradise Chicagoans wait for. Why else would we put up with the winters? There&rsquo;s no place in the world like Chicago in the summertime, so get out and enjoy it however you can. If your enjoyment includes tacos, even better.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Nico Lang covers LGBTQ issues in Chicago...and sometimes tacos. You can find Nico on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 10 May 2013 11:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-05/5-ways-big-star-shows-why-chicago-americas-best-food-city-107126 And now, the end is here: Charlie Trotter Way http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-08/and-now-end-here-charlie-trotter-way-102093 <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/trotterstreetsign.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>Thursday, Charlie Trotter (the chef) stood under the newly <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZ/status/241217667594334208">unveiled</a> street sign bearing his name, a few steps west of Charlie Trotter&#39;s (the restaurant), closing tonight after 25 years of international acclaim, to answer a few questions from journalists, including yours truly.</p><p>Too bad my little interview seemed to go south almost as soon as it had started.</p><p>&quot;Any other trick questions?&quot; asked Trotter. I&#39;d been asking him about his current school plans, since he first <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/9725535-417/charlie-trotter-to-close-his-world-famous-chicago-restaurant.html">told</a>&nbsp;the <em>Sun-Times&#39; </em>Janet Fuller&nbsp;that he was planning to study philosophy and political theory for a master&#39;s degree. But he&#39;d also said that Trotter&#39;s To Go, his take-out shop, would remain open; it&#39;s since <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/business/13572319-420/trotter-to-go-closes-as-famous-chef-heads-for-hiatus.html">closed</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>So a lot can happen in nine months.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F58234696&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ff7700" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</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/trottersignunveil.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Dona-Lee Trotter begins to unveil Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Trotter did say he&#39;d be studying &quot;φιλοσοφία (philosophia)&quot; &mdash; and yes, in Greek. As for where, &quot;It&#39;s down to Northwestern or the University of Chicago,&quot; he said. And what specifically? &quot;The Greeks versus the Germans,&quot; said Trotter &mdash; and then he countered with the &quot;trick question&quot; thing.</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/trottersignunveiling.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Dona-Lee Trotter unveiling Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign continues (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">I have to admit that he rattled me, but that should hardly have been a surprise, given his mythically <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2012-01-03/video-charlie-trotter-talks-borrowing-chickens-cafe-ba-ba-reeba-being-vot">mean</a> reputation: Mark Caro&#39;s <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-28/entertainment/chi-charlie-trotter-chicago-chef-part-1-20120827_1_charlie-trotter-graham-elliot-gt-fish-oyster">three</a> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-charlie-trotter-chicago-chef-part-2-20120828,0,6520049,full.column">part</a> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-charlie-trotter-chicago-chef-part-3-20120829,0,7765235,full.column">series</a> in the <em>Tribune&nbsp;</em>includes accounts of Trotter making chefs, including a young <a href="https://twitter.com/grahamelliot">Graham Elliot Bowles</a>, cry.</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/trottersignunveiled.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Dona-Lee Trotter unveils Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign to applause (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A couple of years ago I got a rare peek at the other Charlie Trotter. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-06-03/conversation-chef-ken-hom-interviewed-louisa-chu">Ken Hom</a>&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;the Chicago-raised, Chinese-American chef sought out by a young Chuck Trotter in California for Chinese cooking lessons &mdash;&nbsp;had invited me to dinner at the restaurant. Trotter and his wife, Rochelle, had been hosting a charity dinner in their home, but made it back near the end of the night to sit down together for a few more glasses of legendary wine &mdash; and the stories they unlocked. I don&#39;t remember much about the dishes, and as Caro&#39;s series revealed, there really are no signature Trotter dishes, with courses changing constantly. At the street sign unveiling, Rochelle Trotter said the guest who&#39;d dined with them the most had had over 400 meals with them, and not a single course repeated ever.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Trotter said after he takes the autumn to close up shop, he plans to take a three-year hiatus to&nbsp;travel (to Buenos Aires, Portugal and Scotland), and earn his master&#39;s. He&#39;d said he plans to open another restaurant, but who really knows? Whatever he does, now is not the end; whatever comes next will be his way.</div></div></div><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trottercharlierochelle.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Charlie and Rochelle Trotter hold newly unveiled Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p></p> Fri, 31 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-08/and-now-end-here-charlie-trotter-way-102093 Five Indiana men face charges after Tinley Park restaurant attack http://www.wbez.org/news/five-indiana-men-face-charges-after-tinley-park-restaurant-attack-99390 <p><p>Police charged five Indiana men on Monday after they allegedly attacked a group of patrons at a Tinley Park restaurant this past Saturday.</p><p>A spokesperson from the Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney&rsquo;s office said the five will face felony charges of mob action, criminal damage to property, and aggravated battery.</p><p>Spokeswoman Sally Daley said the following five are charged and will appear in bond court this afternoon: John Tucker, 26 of Martinsville, IN; Cody Sutherlin, 23 of Bloomington, IN; Dylan Sutherlin, 20 of Gosport, IN; Jason Sutherlin, 33 of Gosport, IN; and Alex Stuck, 22 of Bloomington, IN.</p><p>The charges stem from what Tinley Park police are calling an &ldquo;altercation&rdquo; that occurred at the Ashford House Restaurant around noon on May 19<sup>th</sup>, according to a press release from the Tinley Park Police Department.</p><p>David Thamm, a manager at the restaurant&rsquo;s adjoined grocery store, said approximately eighteen men filed into the restaurant and began flipping tables and attacking a specific group of people.</p><p>&ldquo;They were in and out within a minute really, so it happened really fast,&rdquo; Thamm said. &ldquo;They all had hammers or bats or some kind of weapon they could use.&rdquo;</p><p>According to the statement, 10 people were injured, and three of those injured were taken to local hospitals.</p><p>The release also stated the offenders left in three vehicles. Shortly after, police caught up with one of those cars and arrested its five passengers. &nbsp;</p><p>Police said the attack was not a random act.</p><p>An anti-racist organization took <a href="http://antiracistaction.org/">credit </a>for coordinating the attack on in a statement on its website. &ldquo;Anti-Racist Action&rdquo; accused the restaurant patrons of meeting for a &ldquo;White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet.&rdquo; The website stated &ldquo;anti-fascists&rdquo; entered the restaurant and physically attacked the patrons to disrupt the meeting.</p><p>&ldquo;These anti-fascists are committed to shutting down and attacking any racist, nationalist, or fascist organizers or individuals that they encounter.&rdquo;</p><p>Commander Steve Vaccaro said in an email Tinley Park police would not confirm or deny the affiliations of the alleged attackers or victims as of yet.</p><p>A statement issued by Tinley Park police on Monday afternoon reported the group at the restaurant identified itself as belonging to the Illinois European Heritage Association. Police are still investigating the relationship between those arrested and the victims.</p><p>Two members of the group attacked in the restaurant were also arrested, according to the statement. Steven Speers, 33 of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was arrested on a warrant for possession of child pornography from Dallas County, Texas. Francis John Gilroy, 65 of West Palm Beach, Florida, was charged with unlawful possesion of weapons by a felon.</p><p>The statement says no evidence at this point shows the incident is connected to the NATO summit in any way.</p><p>According to the Cook County Circuit Court clerk&#39;s office, bond was set at $175,000 for four of the five alleged attackers. Bond was set at $250,000 for Jason Sutherlin.</p><p>The next court date was set for June 12th.</p></p> Mon, 21 May 2012 12:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/five-indiana-men-face-charges-after-tinley-park-restaurant-attack-99390 Video: Charlie Trotter talks borrowing chickens from Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, being voted 'meanest' in Chicago and more http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2012-01-03/video-charlie-trotter-talks-borrowing-chickens-cafe-ba-ba-reeba-being-vot <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-03/charlie trotter.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I don't know that I've enjoyed an interview more than the one I did with Charlie Trotter.</p><p>I booked him for the show . . . nervously. Don't get me wrong; I was ectastic to have Trotter as a guest. But I'd heard he doesn't suffer fools gladly — and, knowing my knowledge of fine dining is, well, limited, I worried I'd quickly become one of those fools.&nbsp;</p><p>But Trotter was funny and entertaining and generous, and the interview is one I always point to when people ask me about <em>The Interview Show</em>. With Trotter's announcement that he's closing his signature restaurant, here's the interview.&nbsp;I hope some of the stories he tells in it are new to you.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>PART ONE</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/16IjUY5FJ_w" width="560"></iframe></p><p>PART TWO</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/aVnwnr52j00" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The next&nbsp;<em>Interview Show</em>&nbsp;is this Friday, Jan. 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guests include novelist John Green (<em>Looking for Alaska</em>,&nbsp;<em>The Fault in Our Stars</em>), Fake Shore Drive founder and editor Andrew Barber, actor Marc Grapey (<em>Race</em>&nbsp;at the Goodman), jazz-DJ group Seeking Wonderland and Gaztro-Wagon. More info&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/85551/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></p> Tue, 03 Jan 2012 15:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2012-01-03/video-charlie-trotter-talks-borrowing-chickens-cafe-ba-ba-reeba-being-vot Curtis Duffy leaves Avenues to start own restaurant, stops by 'The Interview Show' (not necessarily in that order) http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-14/curtis-duffy-leaves-avenues-start-own-restaurant-stops-interview-show-not <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-14/Avenues restaurant_Flickr_Sifu Renka.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chefs are the best people to interview. Some are larger than life, some are a little <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY_Yf4zz-yo">nutty</a>, all are passionate about what they do. And the best combine culinary vision and entrepreneurial drive, with often a little showmanship thrown in.</p><p>Talking to Curtis Duffy, who was at Avenues (and led the restaurant to two Michelin stars) for the past few years, all of those elements were clear. He's also a great guy and a gracious host.</p><p>Anyhow, Curtis has just announced he's opening his own restaurant in 2012 in the West Loop — or if that doesn't work out secretly cooking for people in an undiscovered corner of <a href="http://www.alhambrapalacerestaurant.com/">Alhambra Palace.</a></p><p>Bottom line: This gives us a non-Mayan reason to look forward to 2012.</p><p>Watch the interview below.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZmB64DEjkpA" width="560"></iframe></p><p>OK, off to post this in Facebook and, um, then post it to the exact same people on Google+.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-14/curtis-duffy-leaves-avenues-start-own-restaurant-stops-interview-show-not Video: Parrotheads flock to Margaritaville opening on Navy Pier http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-06-20/jimmy-buffetts-margaritaville-bar-and-grill-opens-navy-pier-88074 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-21/2358933085_91cb74328e.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/25363962?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" frameborder="0" height="281" width="500"></iframe></p><p>Breaking news! The biggest event since the opening of Harry Caray's Tavern has hit the "pier".</p><p>Parrotheads flocked to Chicago’s Navy Pier to celebrate the grand opening of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Bar and Grill. Devoted fans of Buffett will now have a place in the City of Chicago to enjoy the relaxing lifestyle that Buffett espouses in his tropical-themed tunes.</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 18:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-06-20/jimmy-buffetts-margaritaville-bar-and-grill-opens-navy-pier-88074 iPads now being used as menus http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/ipads-now-being-used-menus <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//iPad.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>An upscale downtown Chicago steakhouse is just one eatery across the country putting menus on iPads.</p><p>Chicago Cut steakhouse has invested in 40 iPads at about $700 each to showcase its wine menu. Since Apple debuted the iPad last spring the device is now in use as a menu at upscale restaurants, hamburger eateries and quick-service chains like Au Bon Pain. Restaurateurs say that's just the beginning.</p><p>Chicago Cut partnered with a technology firm to create a custom app that looks like a virtual wine cellar. Au Bon Pain uses iPads at six of its 220 locations, with plans to expand.</p><p>The tablets are arriving on the travel circuit, too. There are more than 200 iPads loaded with menus at gates in New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Celebrity Cruises has 75 iPads loaded with restaurant menus aboard one of its ships.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 03 Jan 2011 21:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/ipads-now-being-used-menus