So here’s what’s been happening…
Leave it to Chicago to have a subtle cult following behind a Swedish liqueur that tastes like “burnt carpet.” The cringingly bitter spirit is, in fact, only available in Chicago and the ‘burbs, and everyone in the city, from chefs to mixologists to distillers, has finagled a way to incorporate the spirit into actually palatable dishes and drinks. Malört is a “thing” — it’s a test of one’s devotion both to drinking and to culinary innovation. Show off your chops tonight at Scofflaw from 6 to 9 p.m., where they’ll be serving a cocktail made with Chicago-based Letherbee Gin’s new Malört-infused Letherbee Vernal Gin, as well as Malört-poached shrimp, asparagus tips, asparagus-lime posset and shaved pecan with micro greens.
Globally focused, sustainability-driven South Side charter school Academy for Global Citizenship got a lot more than nutella paninis at their recent Chefs’ Playground event. Assembled by Tony Mantuano, the star chefs involved managed to raise over $1 million for the school. The theme was childhood food favorites, which was reinterpreted by the chefs to include menu items like oyster sliders or Korean pancakes with goat cheese. The fare was surely killer, but the real fulfillment was the money raised for the kids. Check out a photo slideshow of the event at the link above.
The Domino’s in Brazil has come up with an ad campaign we actually wish would spread stateside: they figured out a way to infuse DVDs with thermal links that emit the aroma of pizza when activated by heat. Unsuspecting video rental store-goers pick up the DVDs — randomly seeded on shelves by Domino’s — which then heat up when they spin in the player and fill the air with the aroma of fresh pizza upon ejection. The idea is that movie marathon-ers will say, “Hey, I should order a Domino’s pizza before starting my next movie.” Interesting. Now, if only video rental stores weren’t all but obsolete here in the States…
Soon, unabashed pork fanatics will have a new place to shamelessly pig out on bacon in Chicago. David Burke’s new mini-sandwich spot called Burke’s Bacon Bar will open soon, and will feature a walk-up window, a standing counter and delivery (no seats!). Get excited for a menu that will feature “eight bacon-centric sandwiches” that fall somewhere between a slider and a full sandwich, including a Mexican BLZT on a tortilla with spicy Mexican bacon, a Spam sandwich, and a Peking duck sandwich. There will also be desserts, including “inventive flavors” of frozen yogurt and soft serve from the walkup window. The “old-school butcher shop meets farmhouse” space will also offer “bacon everything” for retail. The target opening date is early July.
As if knowing she had to make it to work for her shift as a McDonald’s drive-thru employee wasn’t bad enough, Virginia Maiden also woke up to discover her car had been stolen on Tuesday morning. Somehow she made it to work, though, and was floored to see her stolen Toyota pull up to the drive-thru window that same day. Maiden called the cops and thief Katherine York was promptly arrested, after cops also discovered the piles of stolen clothes in the car. In another head-scratching case of fast-food-related criminal activity, former Brooklyn Papa John’s deliveryman Ramon Rodriguez was arrested Wednesday for selling cocaine hidden in pizza boxes. Hopefully America’s fast food favorites don’t make a habit of becoming the frontline of drug and auto-theft crime.
Chicago is officially home to one of America’s top twelve craft beer bars, according to Tom Acitelli who recently published the book, The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution. Acitelli gave Eater National his list of the hottest new beer bars in celebration of American Craft Beer Week, and Chicago’s own Old Town Pour House makes the list at number six — not too shabby. It’s no surprise, as the two-level bar has been a full house more or less constantly since its opening in March. The bar is worth a night out not only for its 90 taps spanning the beer universe (step aside, WOB) but also for its 24 flat-screen TVs, as well. Check out the full list at the link above!