So here’s what’s been happening…
Those sticking around Evanston for the summer are in for a treat. Michelin rated, River North restaurant Farmhouse is planning an early June opening on Church Street next to the Orrington Hotel, in the space Futami Sushi once inhabited. The “farm-to-tavern” restaurant’s seasonal menu is a spectacular sampling of locally sourced ingredients that are transformed into unique Midwestern-chic dishes like beer-battered Wisconsin cheese curds and Indiana duck breast schnitzel. If that’s not enough, 36 craft beers are on tap to round out the hearty offerings. If you’re interested in a job, get in touch with owners TJ Callahan and Ferdia Doherty — they’re accepting applications for all positions.
Eater Chicago has compiled a painstakingly researched list of the best dining options at Midway and O’Hare. Avoid a rumbling stomach as you squeeze into your cozy economy class seat by taking a last-minute look at these lists before before you head out of town for the summer. There’s something for any craving, from “Quick Snacks” to a “Leisurely Meal,” all organized by terminal and concourse. Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera tops the list of O’Hare’s Seven Standouts, while Midway boasts Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen in Concourse A as its star offering.
Forget GrubHub: soon you might be able to just print out a pizza whenever you’re so inclined. NASA has granted $125,000 to mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor to build a 3D printer prototype with the aim of automating food creation for astronauts on lengthy space journeys. The printer, which will use basic “building blocks” of food in replaceable powder cartridges that last 30 years, will also cut down on waste — which the inventor hopes will help solve food shortages worldwide. After proving himself by printing chocolate, Contractor will attempt to print a pizza by first printing a layer of dough (which is cooked in the process) and then mixing tomato powder with water and oil to print pizza sauce, finally followed by a “protein layer.” A printed pizza sounds much more appetizing than those final papers you’ll have to get to soon.
The awkwardly acronymed National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show happened last weekend at Chicago’s sprawling McCormick Place convention center, but unless you’re an industry insider you probably didn’t get a chance to attend. While professional foodies mingled and tried to draw as little attention as possible to their third visit at the free cheese curds sample stand, Nation’s Restaurant News gathered some hard data on food trends. What’s the next big thing? According to NRN’s analysis of the trade show floor, hot items include “healthy kids’ food,” “tropical flavors,” “water” (yes, water) and “iced tea.” For more info on the huge industry event, click the link above.
Twenty-nine New Jersey bars and restaurants, including 13 TGI Fridays, were revealed to be substituting cheap booze or worse in alcoholic beverages in a ruse to boost profits. A state investigation called Operation Swill raided 63 establishments to collect 150 samples of alcohol, 30 of which were mislabeled. One bar even sold a mixture of rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring as scotch; another filled premium liquor bottles with dirty water. The establishments must turn in records to help state authorities determine how many customers were overcharged and by how much, as well as inform the state as to who was working on the days the samples were collected. The restaurants could face liquor license suspensions and possible revocations if there are enough violations.
The next step forward in the search for a cancer cure starts with what’s on your breakfast plate. Cancer-fighting antibodies found in grapefruit cells can be used to effectively treat cancer patients, according to University of Louisville’s professor of microbiology and immunology Huang-Ge Zhang. His study developed “grapefruit derived nanovectors” (GNV’s) by extracting lipids from the breakfast staple’s nanoparticles, and found that they present a less harmful vehicle for delivery of cancer-fighting antibodies. The study, published in Nature Communications on May 21, showed no toxicity effects with the use of all-natural grapefruit nanoparticles in a trial treatment for colon cancer.