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Category: Chicago (Page 1 of 4)

New Take-Out Deli Opens Today at Manny’s Cafeteria of Chicago

Manny’s Cafeteria & Deli of Chicago, on Jefferson since 1964, today unveiled the completion of their new take-out deli counter as they expanded into space formerly occupied by two adjoining businesses. That counter area (which lacks seating), unlike the cafeteria,  will be open on Sundays. They’ll be offering La Colombe coffee, baked goods made by Patti Raskin, and a greatly expanded selection of smoked fish. In the cafeteria proper, they’ve refinished all the surfaces, added ice cream for shakes, expanded their beer offerings, and replaced the old ticketing system with standard, end-of-the-cafeteria-line credit card payments. This is the first significant renovation of Manny’s since 1965.

America’s 32 or 33 Best Pizzerias

Thrillist does this once a year — compiles their rundown of America’s top pizzerias — and they’ve just released their fourth edition. The biggest news has to the absence of Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana of New Haven, CT. They did include Sally’s Apizza, Pepe’s down-the-block and up-for-sale rival, on their list, where they note that Pepe’s was dropped because of their continued expansion and resulting inconsistency. Sally’s the only pizzeria in New Haven to make the cut? And only two from the entire state of Connecticut (the best pizza state in the U.S.)? Continue reading

Giordano’s Pie-Off

The Andersonville (Chicago) location of Giordano’s is staging their first ever Pie-Off this coming Tuesday, June 7th, from 6 until 8 p.m. Here’s what’s happening: four big-time Chicago food bloggers have been invited to design a signature pizza. All four pizzas will be served at the Andersonville Giordano’s from 6 until 7:15 p.m. — the pizza tasting, open to the public, is complimentary (they’ll try to cash in on your bar bill). Then the public and some invited food media types will vote on their favorites, which will be announced between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m. Continue reading

Free Food for Everyone Yesterday at Chicago’s Wiener’s Circle

The story goes like this: there was a paperwork mix-up between the Chicago hot dog stand Wiener’s Circle and the Illinois Department of Revenue. The owners, who purchased the restaurant late last year, say it involves paperwork from the previous owners. The result? The Department of Revenue said The Wiener’s Circle Certificate of Registration was revoked and, therefore, they could not open for the day (yesterday) or, to be more precise, they could not open for business. Continue reading

Lou Malnati’s Brings Real Deep Dish Pizza to Phoenix Today

When? Today. The time? 4 p.m. What? Lou Malnati brings real deep-dish Chicago pizza to Phoenix, AZ. You’ll find them in Uptown Plaza, near the Shake Shack, at 100 East Camelback Road. These pies are deep, which means they take a while to cook. Malnati’s doesn’t take reservations but you can place your order with the host when you arrive to get a head start on the process. This will be the first Malnati’s location beyond Illinois’ borders, and it is not a franchise operation. Five members of their management team have made the permanent move to Arizona to see this project succeed. Take a look a the video below to see the construction of a sausage deep dish.

Alton Says Al’s Good, Johnnie’s Great

Gotta give Alton Brown credit — for a man born in L.A. and raised in Georgia to come to Chicago, do an Italian beef taste-off, and publicly proclaim a winner (albeit after he left the town, although presumably he would like to return one day) — well, it takes some nerve. His social media tally came up with two finalists: the local mini-chain Al’s, and Johnnie’s of Elmwood Park. Alton sat blindfolded before the two sandwiches and went back and forth with hearty bites from each. Continue reading

Burt Katz, Giant of Chicago Pizza World, Dead at 78

Burt Katz, one of the key players of the Chicago pizza scene for decades, passed away Saturday at the age of 78. He specialized in Chicago’s famed deep-dish pizza, which he preferred to call pan pizza. His pies were not quite as deep as a standard Chicago pizza, and they also featured a personal trademark that has become a local favorite: his caramelized crust, in which the outer rim of the pie is crusted over with almost-blackened chewy and crisp cheese. Continue reading

10 Best American Food Cities?

Let the debate begin! Tom Sietsema, food writer for The Washington Post, did some extensive dining across America, with the goal of determining the nation’s top ten eating cities. Some results? The top three cities are all on the Pacific coast! Houston beats Philadelphia, and both beat Chicago and New York! We’re glad to see the recognition for Charleston, SC and New Orleans, two truly fabulous and unique food cities. Gotta hand it to Mr. Sietsema, agree or disagree, it took a lot of research and a passion for eating (and big brass ones) to produce such a list. There is a ton of great info here for future travelers, and a lot of appetizing reading. See for yourself.

Fast Food with Soul

Fast food doesn’t have to mean dollar menu drive-thru burgers and drab buckets of chicken. Many American cities have their own local fast food traditions, where the eats are just as inexpensive and greasy as at any national chain, and you are served by local high school kids within a minute or two of ordering. The big differences? The restaurants are locally based (even if it’s a small chain) and the grub actually tastes great. CNN looks at four of these local fast food gems, where you’ll find chicken wings, cheeseburgers and pie wedges, Italian beef, and Cuban sandwiches. Have a look!

Jeff Magill’s 34 Year Run as Billy Goat Bartender Ending Soon

“I want to sleep when I’m tired and eat when I’m hungry.” Those are the words of Jeff Magill as he explains why he is bringing his 34 year Billy Goat Tavern bartending career to a close at the age of 65. Can’t think of any better reasons to retire! Mr. Magill, referred to as “The Last Gentlemen Bartender” in a lovely piece in Chicago Magazine at the beginning of the year, will be missed by his many loyal patrons. Future plans? Winter golf in Dallas, writing about his time at the Goat (yes, please!), maybe even a little more tending bar at some point. Whatever you choose to do, best of luck, Jeff Magill.

Best Chicago Deep Dish? Pequod’s, Says Grant Achatz

Grant Achatz, he of the three Michelin stars at his Chicago culinary temple Alinea, was asked about his favorite Chicago restaurants. When the subject turned to deep dish pizza, Mr. Achatz admitted that he no longer enjoys the “doughy” stuff, preferring to go thin crust these days. Nonetheless, he proclaimed Pequod’s the best of the lot: that crispy crust has won him over. For the uninitiated, what Pequod’s does is sprinkle lots of cheese around the edge before baking, resulting in a crisp and chewy, blackened rim of cheese and crust. Some folks call it burnt but Pequod’s many fans know better!

Gino’s East Dallas Debut on Thursday

The first Dallas area branch of the Chicago deep dish pizza chain Gino’s East arrived earlier this year in Arlington. This Thursday, November 19th, will see the opening of the first Gino’s East in Dallas proper, at 10310 Lombardy Lane. This will be the seventh Texas Gino’s East. Other branches can be found near Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. Like the other Texas Gino’s, we expect this one will be serving their unique BBQ Brisket Za filled with BBQ brisket, caramelized onions, and roasted peppers.

Giordano’s Arrives in Minneapolis Later This Month

National expansion continues apace: Giordano’s brings its deep-dish Chicago pizza to Minneapolis on July 15th. The restaurant will be located at 2700 Hennepin Avenue South. Look for Giordano’s soon at a city near you!

Chicago Beer Withdrawn from Trump Purchased by Gino’s East to Benefit Latino Center

5 Rabbit Cerveceria, the first Latin microbrewery in the U.S., located in a Chicago suburb, brewed an exclusive beer for Rebar, a Trump Hotel Chicago bar. That is, until Donald Trump opened his mouth. 5 Rabbit severed their ties to Rebar, which left them with a load of kegs of Rebar beer. In swooped Gino’s East, who will purchase those kegs, sell the beer at Gino’s East restaurants, and donate the proceeds from sale of the beer to Chicago’s International Latino Cultural Center. No word yet on whether Gino’s will continue to use the founder’s new name for the beer, Chinga tu Pelo. Silver linings and karma in action!

Giordano’s Bringing Chicago Pizza to Denver

One of Chicago’s big deep-dish pizza specialists, Giordano’s, is planning to enter the Denver, Colorado market with a company-owned restaurant by summer of next year. A location has not yet been chosen but downtown is a likely landing spot. That first Denver restaurant will be followed by additional franchised stores. How’d they choose Denver? They judge suitability by the volume of mail-ordered frozen pizzas that get sent there! Read more here.

Giordano’s Navy Pier Opening This Week

Giordano’s, Chicago deep-dish pizza specialist, is opening their latest branch in Chicago this Thursday, May 21st, at the entrance to the Navy Pier, in the site formerly occupied by Capi’s Italian Kitchen. The Giordano’s opening, which will be their 51st restaurant, is part of a big makeover project at the Navy Pier that will include future restaurant openings.

Vienna Beef Factory Store, Chicago IL


When we think of Chicago hot dogs we think of Vienna Beef, the Chicago company that produces the snapping-good garlicky franks used all over the city. Wouldn’t it be something if you could actually visit the factory and get a Chicago dog right there? Well, it turns out you can! Continue reading

Valois, Chicago IL


“See Your Food.” That’s Valois’ motto, and a curious one at that until you realize that it’s a cafeteria, where you have the opportunity to see your food before you order it. And as in all cafeterias, you have to fight back the urge to pile your tray with more food than you can eat. Continue reading

11 American Pizza Styles

Almost anyone who eats pizza knows the difference between reheated frozen pies and the freshly baked pizzas that emerge from the oven of their favorite local pizzeria. They might be aware of something called “New York pizza” that’s supposed to be something special, and maybe Chicago deep-dish pizza. Can you name 11 styles of pizza? If you’re reading this you might well be able to rattle off many more than 11! For those who do not yet consider themselves regional pizza masters, here’s a rundown of 11 important American takes on pizza, from The Daily Meal.

Seinfeld and Harvey and Manny’s

One of our current favorite shows showed up at one of our favorite Chicago delis Monday, as Jerry Seinfeld shot an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee at Manny’s with guest Steve Harvey. They dined on corned beef, pastrami, and potato pancakes, and arrived in a ’57 Bel Air (interesting cars are a key feature of the web series). No word yet on when the episode will show up on Crackle and online.

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