Posts for November 19, 2012

False Alarm?: Hostess and Union Back at the Bargaining Table

Friday's news of the potential closure and sale of the Hostess company and its iconic snack-cake brands sent the internet spinning with nostalgia, laments, stories of Twinkie hoarding, gloating by healthy food advocates, etc. Well, it turns out there's still a chance the company will be saved, and maybe they were just showing they weren't afraid to sell it all off in the face of major financial problems and a stubborn union. As the Times' Dealbook site is reporting, a federal judge has pushed Hostess and the bakers union back into mediation this week, and the two sides have agreed to meet one last time on Tuesday to try to come to a deal to avoid 18,000 layoffs and a complete closure of the company. If they can't reach an agreement, Hostess will again seek approval of their close-out plan beginning Wednesday, which includes the sale of the Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dong brands, and the closure of multiple plants. [NYT, Earlier]

North Shore Stalwart Dengeo's Coming to Uptown

Not the Uptown location, we're pretty sure.

Normally, a Greek hamburgers-gyros-chicken place coming to Chicago would be well short of news. One, because we have a million of them already, and two, because they're usually nothing special— frozen burger patties, premade gyros cones, baked ribs, the kind of family dining meal that does in a pinch but rarely stands out or inspires love. That said, north shore stalwart Dengeo's may follow the model but it ranks near the top for generally solid execution of the standard menu, so we're a little more interested to learn that it will be opening its first city location (the other two are in Skokie and Buffalo Grove). Surprisingly, it will be in Uptown, which is a long ways in more ways than one from the suburbs; Dengeo's will take over and completely remodel a former cheap steak joint location at Wilson and Broadway. No date is set yet for opening. [Uptown Update]

Bourdain Does Chicago Tonight in "The Layover" Season Premiere

Bourdain at Johnnie's in Elmwood Park for a beef.Photo: courtesy Travel Channel

Remember Anthony Bourdain's visit this summer? The one that led to a hot dog place being kicked out of the show, only it really wasn't, and a packed house at The Hideout, which had left by the time Bourdain finally got there? Well, tonight the episode they shot then will be the opener for the second and final season of Bourdain's The Layover, though it remains unclear if either of those places actually made the final cut. In any case, we know that Girl & the Goat did, because they put out a clip of that, and there are other clues in this slideshow. We also know he didn't eat deep dish pizza because, despite a successful visit to Burt's last time (for No Reservations), he thinks it's lousy: “Irony being, in a town where everything is great, they’re most famous for something that sucks.” But the biggest irony, in light of his feud with Travel Channel over a Cadillac endorsement? Guess what car he drives around town. Anyway, see it for yourself tonight at 8 p.m.; the Girl & the Goat promo is below.

Read more »

Watch Fake Guy Fieri Respond to the Times Takedown Review

It didn't actually air over over the weekend, but Saturday Night Live blocked out and rehearsed a "Weekend Update" segment with cast member Bobby Moynihan adopting his best Guy Fieri schtick. Fake Fieri, like the real one, is a little incensed and ultimately hurt by the incredibly bad New York Times review, and the one-liner defenses he manages to crack range from "My food is best served through a cloud of weed smoke" to "If you come in expecting Le Cirque, then you're a Le Jerk." Click on through, and feel his pain.

He'll hit you with a faceful of Donkey Sauce. »

Brooklyn's Jive Turkey Pops Up in Chicago

Turkey has been on the rise in the African-American community as a healthier alternative to barbecued pork and fried chicken. We have several local turkey-based restaurants and even chains like Quench around the south and west sides, but probably the one that's gotten the most attention nationwide is Brooklyn's Jive Turkey. And now you can check out Jive Turkey in Chicago— they've got a pop-up store at 1979 West 111th Street in the Morgan Park neighborhood for Thanksgiving and into December. They'll offer 15 different flavors of deep-fried turkeys, plus holiday hams and more, and they'll even be open from 9 to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving (in case you suffer a turkey calamity worthy of a Jean Shepherd story and need a replacement quick). For more information, go here.

Slideshow: Inside the Ultimate Event of 2012, the Midnight Ramen at EL Ideas

What would be the perfect Chicago foodie event of 2012? Well, let's think about it. It would need to be at a hip place with very limited capacity, like EL Ideas... it would need to be about a retro-trendy authentic food people get passionate about, like ramen... and it would need to draw all kinds of with-it, a-go-go people you know and see on the food scene. Well, alas, it didn't draw the Landan Twins, but otherwise, the Midnight Ramen event Saturday night following the Chicago Food Film Festival fits the profile to a T. Staged by Kitchit Chicago, a new organization specializing in chef-driven events, it brought legendary Japanese ramen-maker Keizo Shimamoto to Chicago to show off his craft. Our man Huge Galdones was there, and even we wondered if he could get a slideshow out of a bowl of soup, but seriously, the next best thing to being there is the way Huge captures the feel of a rockin' ramen event. Check it out.

Last Table, Donkey and Stick Dinner Tonight; Win Dinner For Two By Helping Pick the Winner

Brian Beverly fights fire in episode #2.

Tonight's the last of six try-out pop-up dinners for the six chefs competing for the job of head chef at Table Donkey and Stick— and if you want to check it out, watch the Facebook page for last minute openings. And with the last dinner by chef Brian Flach comes decision time— and you can be part of it. Along with the final video about the last two dinners on Wednesday, we'll have a form in which you can vote for your choice of the six chefs, and one voter will win dinner for two. How can you choose the chef if you haven't tasted the dinners, only seen the videos? Well, an important part of choosing a chef is knowing how his food appeals to potential diners, so impressions from the outside are a factor just as how it tastes and how he works in the kitchen are. So watch the first two videos below to see how the menus from the first four chefs looked, then watch Wednesday's video and cast your vote— and maybe you'll win the chance to see what the food is going to be like for real. The first two videos, and Brian Flach's menu for tonight, are below.

Read more »

Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages


NY Mag