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You won’t find 2 Asian Brothers off of Argyle Street-a mecca for delicious and authentic Vietnamese restaurants around the red line train stop. Instead, you’ll find it a few miles west in the North Park neighborhood. The family-owned, fast-casual café often serves the students and staff of the North Park University neighbor across the street but for those looking for a tasty spot way off the beaten path of Argyle Street, 2 Asian Brothers is worth the trip.  

We were lucky enough to dine in just as 2 Asian Brothers had rolled out their new Jalapeño Rangoons ($4.68 for 4pcs). The crispy, fried wontons are stuffed with a mouth-watering house made jalapeño cream cheese. Though the wonton breading-to-cream cheese-stuffing ratio was a little too high for our liking, these addictive rangoons were by far our favorite starter as they left us wanting more.  

Jalapeño Rangoons

The same can be said for the Egg Rolls ($3.30 for 2pcs). The deep-fried rolls are made in the traditional Vietnamese style with ground pork and wrapped with rice paper. We recommend getting more than one order as these will disappear quickly into some very satisfied stomachs!  

Vietnamese Egg Rolls

Otherwise known as a Vietnamese soft taco, the Baos ($5.50) are another item that you’ll want a little more of. Two steamed, flat buns are stuffed with your choice of chicken or BBQ pork, daikon and carrot, topped with a scarce amount of hoisin sauce. The BBQ pork was a bit dry but luckily, there are bottles of hoisin (and sriracha) stocked on a condiment counter to keep at your table during your meal.   

BBQ Pork Baos

The Banh Mi is a Vietnamese street food staple and 2 Asian Brothers delivers on it. With over ten options to choose from, diners can order anything from a Classic Banh Mi ($6.60) made on a perfectly soft yet crunchy, freshly-baked French baguette served with mayo, pate, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, pickled Spanish onions, cilantro and your choice of meat; to the house-recommended Lemongrass Chicken with shredded, lemongrass-seasoned chicken and all of the aforementioned ingredients. This is by far one of the most filling items on the menu but the easiest to enjoy on-the-go! 

Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi

Another Vietnamese staple is Pho, primarily consisting of a beef or chicken broth and loaded with rice noodles, herbs and meat. Though hearty and soothing, the beef broth-based soup here unfortunately misses the mark on authentic flavor. During our visit, we slurped on a large portion of steaming hot broth packed with meatballs, fatty slices of beef, onions, noodles and several aromatics. However, the broth itself took on too much of the meatball flavor and came off more as a beefy stock instead of a natural broth. Our advice? Avoid the meatball options.  

Beef and Meatball Pho

The restaurant’s Signature Wings ($10.18 for 8pcs) are a spicy delight. Their chicken wings are marinated with Asian herbs and spices overnight and then fried with a house batter. The wings are served with the option for soup or the Brothers’ Signature Fried Rice that is cooked with minimal frying oil and no MSG. (The rice can also be ordered as an individual, larger portion for $8.80.) Other wing options include the Fire Wings, their version of buffalo wings with Asian hot sauces and seasonings ($9.08); Tangy Sesame and Sweet Butter Garlic (both $10.18).  

Lastly the Street Noodle Bowl ($8.80) is a large portion of oil and blandness. The dish unfortunately lacks the necessary vegetables to give it more texture and flavor. If you want carbs, stick with the Signature Fried Rice.  

Wash your meal down with refreshing beverages like smoothies and boba teas that are available for a create-your-own experience. Choose from a variety of fruits, teas and boba to craft the ultimate palate cleanser.   

2 Asian Brothers is located at 3222 W Foster Avenue. The fast-casual spot is open 10AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays. You can also order online for pick up or delivery or over the phone at (773) 681-0268.  

Signature Wings
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Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood, four pounds each annually to be exact, and National Shrimp Day gives us a chance to celebrate this beloved seafood. Observed annually on May 10, Chicago’s favorite shrimp house is offering a great deal to guests all weekend. From Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12, 2019 guests who buy 1 pound of shrimp can get a 1/2 pound free. The offer is good on any shrimp variety – original, lightly breaded, popcorn, coconut or peel n eat.

The offer is good at all 3 restaurant locations for dine in or carry out:

  • 2120 Canal Street, Chiago, IL 60616
  • 3242 87th Street, Chicago, IL 60652
  • 9916 W Roosevelt Rd, Westchester, IL 60154

Heads up! Guests cannot mix and match shrimp as part of the deal. To get the deal, guests must be members of Lawrence's rewards program which is free and quick to join at the register.

Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp (Canal St.)

Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp has operated since 1950 when founder Lawrence Schweig opened a tiny store front at the exact location of where the Canal Street restaurant sits today. A first generation

American, Lawrence and his entire family played a role in growing the business. It is family owned and operated to this day. From the beginning the fishery earned a reputation for quality and value. Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp now has 3 locations, operates a food truck and owns and operates Johnson’s Door County Fish & Shrimp located in Lombard.

Visit chicagoshrimp.com for more information or connect with Lawrence's on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

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The dining concept at Texas de Brazil is not unlike those of fellow Brazilian steakhouses in the city. An unlimited soup and salad bar awaits diners for an optional first course in the main dining room followed by rounds of tender cuts of various meats. Gaucho waiters halt in their tracks to expertly carve the numerous meat offerings upon eagle-eyeing the green side of your dining card. (The green side sends a non-verbal signal begging for more meat to come your way while the red side pleads for them to keep moving while you sink into a meat coma). If you’ve been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, you know the drill and if you haven’t, the most important thing to be prepared for is the amount of food you will consume.  

The space at the Streeterville location is a bit unorthodox with a few twists and turns down some hallways. If you are not seated in the main dining area with the salad bar, you will be making a small trek to get your first of many plates of food. Beware of the fast-walking waiters and gauchos coming around the corners and take care not to walk straight into the kitchen when heading back. Artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and various vegetables break up the expansive salad bar that includes everything from build-your-own-salad options to a delightful potato salad. It doesn’t hurt to load up on some healthy greens before diving in to succulent meats the rest of the evening. Be sure to pick up a little bowl of chimichurri sauce for dipping your protein in later too! Addictive cheesy bread rolls are constantly refreshed at your table as well and become even more delicious when dipped into the restaurant’s decadent lobster bisque. The soup’s buttery, smooth texture and soothing flavor will warm your belly and your soul as we get through these last days of a cool and dreary spring.   

As easy as it is to indulge in the seemingly endless salad bar options, it is important to pace yourself and leave plenty of room for the imminent meat sweats. It doesn’t take long to get lost in the flurry of churrascos wafting by the table and forget which cuts you have or haven’t tried yet; especially when there are 15 options between beef, pork, lamb and chicken to try. The selections can come bacon-wrapped or parmesan-crusted but the best of them are lightly seasoned and flawlessly flame-grilled. Diners can specifically choose the doneness of their red meat cuts threaded through the super-sized skewers and watch as the gauchos carve off a sliver of melt-in-your-mouth beef or lamb. Like most churrascarias, the specialty cut here is the Picanha, Brazil’s most prized cut of meat. You’ll likely find this passing by the tables in two forms: regular or garlic-seasoned. The white meats and Brazilian sausage unload from the skewers in two-bite-sized portions while a heaping plate of garlic mashed potatoes and palate-cleansing, sweet fried bananas arrive on the side of everything, in case you need more food.  

Then, if you still have room for any more, the dessert tray full of cakes, pies and other tasty treats is never far away.  

South American wine dominates the wine and spirits list sharing the red carpet with another Brazilian staple: cachaça. The sugarcane hard liquor (similar to rum), can be found in the restaurant’s signature drink (and Brazil’s national cocktail), Caipirinha but also makes an appearance in many of Texas de Brazil’s inventive cocktail offerings.  

Although the dining concept is very similar, the rodizio-style hospitality at Texas de Brazil is what makes the international chain stand out among the Brazilian steakhouse competition in the city. From the gracious waiters to the energetic gauchos, the high standards of service, knowledge and care of the guest experience is apparent and appreciated throughout.  

Dinner is more affordable than competitor’s rates around the city at just $49.99 per person (including the salad bar). Lunch on Friday afternoons is a steal at $26.99 with a slightly reduced menu. Reservations are recommended for dinner any day of the week and can be made on the website or by calling 312-595-0913. 

Texas de Brazil is located in Streeterville at 210 E Upper Illinois St in Chicago. Two other Chicagoland locations are in Schaumburg at Woodfield Mall and the newly opened location in the Orland Square Mall. The downtown Chicago hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 5-10PM; Friday 11AM–2PM and 5–10:30PM; Saturday 4–10:30PM and Sunday 4–9PM. Happy Hour is 4:30-6PM Monday through Friday featuring $3 Domestic Beers, $5 Glasses of TdB Private Label Wine, $5 Caipirinhas and Well-Cocktails and $7 Martinis. 

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Whether it be the local gathering place in a small, rural town or a bustling city, the American diner has defined classic comfort food for many years. At 3 Squares Diner in Uptown, Chef Ian Voakes (formerly of Jam), has embraced the traditionally classic aspects of American diner cuisine while working to elevate and modernize his menu through technique and responsible sourcing. The Art Deco aesthetics play in nicely, maintaining the memorable magic of a classic diner and paying respect to the one that resided in the Lawrence House space in the 1920s.  

3 Squares Interior Photo Courtesy of Lauren Groberski

Akin to your typical diner, breakfast is served all day with favorites like the French Toast ($7/$13) a buttermilk custard brioche topped with strawberry jam and lemon shortbread; or Voakes’ recommended, gluten-free Omelet ($12) packed with sobrasada, aguachile verde, queso fresco, cilantro, and hominy. The CTA Red Line-themed breakfast sandwiches appear to be the most unique and underrated menu items with choices like the vegetarian Argyle ($11)-miso marinated mushrooms, cabbage, black pepper aioli, pickled carrots, fried garlic, sunnyside egg between a brioche bun and served with potatoes; or the Wilson ($11) made with egg whites, hot pimento cheese, bread & butter pickle and arugula on a biscuit, also served with potatoes.  

After 11AM, the lunch/dinner menu is officially served, featuring a variety of American comfort foods in addition to pleasantly surprising elevated dishes, offering something for every craving. On the lighter (and healthier) side of things, the Chef’s Salad ($11) is a great way to start off the meal. A field of greens is dressed with a not-too-sweet apple cider vinaigrette and accompanied by cucumber, tomato, red onion, fennel and croutons.  

Chef's Salad

The crowd-pleasing favorite is the Chicken Sandwich ($14) which you can order hot-fried (a must) or grilled. The hot-fried chicken breast is tempered by sliced Roma tomato, a handful of arugula and a generous slathering of buttermilk blue cheese dressing cradled by a brioche bun. The fries served on the side don't particularly stand out but like any fried potato variant, they are easy to scarf down.   

Hot-Fried Chicken Sandwich

There are two burger options on the menu, one an all-beef patty ($13), the other taking the earth-friendly, Beyond Burger ($15) route. Both have toppings that make it hard to choose but luckily you can have the best of both worlds. We ordered the Beyond Burger patty with the regular burger’s toppings that include a spoonful (not enough!) of balsamic braised onions, a slice of American cheese, a delicious mess of remoulade and bread & butter pickles between a thick brioche bun. However, if you want to stick with the Veggie Burger option, you’ll get an array of equally delectable toppings with jalapeno aioli, pickled red onion, cheddar mornay and bibb lettuce also on a brioche bun. 

Beyond Burger

At the time of our visit, The Cuban sandwich (layers of roast pork loin, applewood bacon, Dijon onion jam, black beans, pickles, fennel and arugula) was available on the menu but later we were sad to learn that it had been replaced by the Fried Bologna sandwich ($13). The fried mortadella is slathered with olive tapenade and mustard aioli, topped with alpine cheddar on ciabatta bread. If the Cuban ever returns to the diner’s menu, we highly recommend it as it was our second favorite dish of the evening!  

Cuban Sandwich

Whether you are coming in for a full meal or just a quick bite, you can’t leave until you’ve had a taste of 3 Squares’ handspun shakes. Especially with the weather slowly warming up, these heavenly treats will be perfect to cool off with. The Chocolate Peanut Butter ($7) is made with the smoothest malted chocolate perfectly complemented by the ribbon of creamy peanut butter mixed in. Other can’t-go-wrong options include the Cherry Chocolate Chip, Cookies & Cream, Banana Split and Malted Chocolate. Plus, if you’re really feeling it, all these shakes can be made with your favorite booze.  

Additionally, the early bird gets the Oatmeal Ice Cream Sandwich ($5), Voakes’ take on a childhood favorite: oatmeal cream pie. The nostalgic snack is made with creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between house made oatmeal cookies. It is perfect for one, but can also be shared a la Lady and the Tramp. They do not recommend trying to cut it unless you'd like to lick the ice cream off the plate! The Oatmeal Ice Cream Sandwich has been selling out daily and will only be available as a menu special now through the summer months!  

Oatmeal Ice Cream Sandwich

3 Squares Diner is located on the ground level of the Lawrence House Flats building at 1020 W Lawrence Ave in Uptown. The diner is open from 9AM to 3PM Monday and Sunday; 9AM to 9PM Tuesday through Thursday; and 9AM to 11PM Friday and Saturday. They also offer late night eats at Aragon Ballroom on Friday and Saturday show nights.   

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Local restaurateurs, Franco Francese and his brother Vito, have something big cooking up just north of the city in Glenview. After years of searching and months of renovations, the Francese brothers have found a home for their second endeavor, Coarse Italian, set to open later this Spring.  

Located at the Glenview Park Golf Club at 800 Shermer Road, Coarse Italian (a name that plays on the term golf “course”), will offer golfers and community members alike a taste of the Francese’s Italian roots. We recently caught up with Franco, a Glenview resident, on another busy day preparing for Coarse’s grand opening. 

“We looked for places to expand the restaurant for 3-4 years and entertained a number of different locations but none fit our criteria,” Franco said. “Then conversations with the golf club started in September of last year and we took over to begin kitchen renovations in February.” 

Similar to the Francese’s La Grange Park restaurant, Mattone, Coarse will feature dishes made with fresh, Italian ingredients but ones that are both golfer and community friendly. Lead by Executive Chef and former Marine, Luis Osorio, Coarse Italian’s culinary team will serve lunch and dinner all year-round, with breakfast service during the golf season. Unique to Coarse’s menu however, will be Italian small plates.  

“The restaurant will introduce some of my new favorites like the Crispy Polenta Cake (fried polenta, arugula, olive tapenade, sun dried tomato and olive oil) and the Italian PBJ (crostini with seasoned mascarpone cheese topped with fig jam) to the small plates menu,” Franco told us.  

Crispy Fried Polenta (Photo Courtesy of Coarse Italian)

In addition to the sneak preview of the small plates, Coarse has released their in-season breakfast offerings that include: 

  • Continental Breakfast ($12)-assorted muffins and bagels with cream cheese; oatmeal or granola; yogurt; and fresh fruit 

  • Standard Breakfast ($19)-includes continental breakfast items; choice of scrambled eggs or chef’s seasonal frittata; choice of pancakes or French toast; choice of bacon or sausage; and includes breakfast potato O’Brien  

  • Chef’s Preferred Breakfast ($26)-includes continental breakfast items; choice of jarred egg, eggs benedict or scrambled eggs; bacon and sausage; choice of pancakes or French toast; includes breakfast potato O’Brien 

While the lunch and dinner menus are still being finalized, Francese’s veteran restaurant background promises a wholesome and authentic Italian dining experience.  

At 1,000 square-feet, Coarse Italian, will seat 120 indoors and 80 outdoors. With western exposure, dinner guests will be able to watch the sun set while sipping on any number of beverages from the full-service bar. Diners can also look forward to public outdoor events happening all Summer-long featuring Coarse’s food and drinks in addition to live music.   

“We look forward to the challenge of the golf course location being off the beaten path,” Francese said. “It will allow us to get creative and reach out to the community via social media and public events.” 

Another challenge for Francese will be splitting his time between the two suburban restaurants once Coarse gets its feet wet in Glenview. Considering the restaurant has taken on all food and beverage responsibility for the golf club, the hard work has only just begun.  

The restaurant is currently open for private events and banquets leading up to their Spring opening. For more information about special events at Coarse, including their menu offerings, please visit https://coarseitalian.com/. Golfers can also enjoy Coarse’s player-friendly menu with offerings like hot dogs, burgers and chicken sandwiches. 

Be sure to stay tuned for more updates on Coarse including details on their upcoming grand opening!   

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The food coming out of the kitchen at Café Robey could rival any of the dishes from the best restaurants in the city. Here, American comfort food is given the love and attention it deserves with every bite leading diners on an emotional, nostalgic journey. The menu honors the cuisine from every nook and cranny of our butter and salt –loving country while paying respect to those home cooks that made American cuisine the caloric experience that it is.  

Much like other restaurants in town, the menu changes seasonally with the produce that is locally and regionally available. The winter menu was on its last legs for the year during our visit to the Robey Hotel’s first-floor restaurant but if we had it our way, it would be available all year round.  

From the East and West coasts, the oysters are a lovely but expensive start to your dinner. Order a half-dozen ($19) or a dozen ($36) of these bivalves and be sure to use up all of the pickled red onion mignonette it comes with. Or try them with a spritz of lemon and a dash of hot sauce from the cutest bottle of Tabasco for a spicy slurp!  

Dozen Oysters ($36)

If oysters aren’t your thing, then you must order the Fries ($6). To say they are addictive would be an understatement. Dressed with shredded parmesan and finely chopped chives and served with a garlic aioli, these fries are so delicious we won’t judge if you order another bowl to share.  

Fries ($6)

The Fried Perch ($17) transports guests up north to a Fish Fry Friday night at a Wisconsin supper club. A generous helping of cornbread-battered fillets tower over a moat of dill gribiche-a French-inspired, mayo and egg-based sauce. The batter prevents the fish from being overly salty while the gribiche acts as Café Robey’s unorthodox take on tartar sauce that will make you want to lick your plate clean!  

Fried Perch ($17)

Growing up in the Midwest, the likelihood of beef stroganoff being served at the dinner table is probably very high. That is why we loved the Homemade Pasta ($17) tossed with short rib and mushrooms. The aroma, flavor and texture set the dish up for a trip down memory lane. The pasta itself is a thick egg noodle that wraps around the perfectly tender beef and mushrooms as if they were a Christmas present.  

Homemade Pasta ($17)

The city has many places that claim to have the best fried chicken but we haven’t found anything quite like what is coming from Café Robey. Possibly the most memorable dish on the menu, the Fried Chicken ($15 for 2 pcs and $23 for 4 pcs) could contend with any Southerner’s best recipe. The mouthwatering salt and pepper-seasoned skin is gently fried, soft and rip-able but durable enough to protect the impeccably cooked meat inside. Obligatory slices of cornbread and dill pickle add a pop of color and sweetness in the cast-iron skillet the chicken is served in, joined by a bowl of slightly overly-dressed coleslaw.  

4-Piece Fried Chicken ($23)

The other star of the meat show is the delightfully gastronomic, Wagyu Hamburger ($16), topped with tomato, fennel, arugula, aioli and a sunny-side up egg between a soft bun. For as delicate as the bun is, it still maintains its integrity amidst the beautiful, rich mess that is this burger. It’s juicy and a little sloppy but that’s what all great burgers should be.  

Wagyu Hamburger ($16)

Dessert was the most underwhelming of the courses but still as American as their Caramel Apple Pie Tartlet with Oatmeal Ice Cream! However, if looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can take the cocktail menu route. The winter menu features many sweet but light sips (all $13) that pair well with the carb-heavy food menu. We recommend the Sage Advice with tequila, bancha green tea syrup, lime, green chartreuse, and sage; La Dame Blanche with lavender-infused aquavit, crème de mure, orange shrub and lime; Oaxacan on Broken Glass with Banhez Mezcal, house lime cordial and Ancho Reyes Verde Chile Liqueur; and the Blondes Have More Fun with rum, passionfruit puree, vanilla syrup and tabasco.  

Café Robey is located at 1616 North Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park and is open for brunch 7am to 2pm (Saturday & Sunday until 3pm) and Dinner 5pm to 10pm (Friday & Saturday until 11pm). 

Caramel Apple Pie Tartlet with a scoop of Oatmeal Ice Cream
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The food and beverage menus at Daisies change so frequently, guests barely have time to blink. The produce that is in-season runs its course, eventually clearing the way for the next season’s gems. One visit you’ll indulge in a bright and late-summer Black Truffle Ricotta Ravioli decorated with corn, cilantro and cheddar; on the next, it’s replaced by a dreamy ravioli blanketed by brussels sprouts shavings, bits of bacon and slices of sweet red grapes ($25). The only solution is to habitually dine at this small-seat, Logan Square restaurant to be sure you never miss a dish.  

The menu during our recent visit to Daisies featured the remnants of winter’s best veggies with teases of spring flavors layered in amongst the pasta-heavy offerings. Guests are encouraged to order multiple dishes to share and dishes are typically portioned to accommodate the party size. Therefore, there is never too much or too little food on the table at a time.  

Black Truffle Ricotta Ravioli

If ordering any starters, don’t pass on the Fried Mushrooms and Cheese Curds ($12) an appetizer that would make any Wisconsinite proud. Though the presentation isn’t the most beautiful, the light breading on the shrooms and curds is packed with tons of unexpected umami flavor. We didn’t even need to dip them into the puddle of accompanying Buttermilk Tarragon Sauce, they are incredible on their own.   

The wintery Parsnips ($12) also shine on the starters menu particularly because of the mouth-watering subtlety of the fried duck cracklin’ hidden amongst the vegetables. Calabrian Chiles give the dish a sweet kick while pine nuts deliver the perfect amount of crunch.  

Fried Mushrooms and Cheese Curds

Aside from the aforementioned ravioli, for an unconventional entrée, we recommend the Manti ($20). This dumpling-like pasta is stuffed with pureed winter squash, pureed until soupy. The smoked red onion scattered on top is what really makes this dish, allowing a sweet but sharp contrast to the salty parmesan and neonata (baby anchovies) that it shares the bowl with.  

One of the rotating proteins currently on special is the Lamb ($29). Sourced from the southern coast of France where the animal’s diet partially consists of seaweed, the meat itself comes off saltier than normal. The “salty” leg and shoulder cuts of meat lay atop a generous scoop of polenta and is dressed with parmesan, slices of radish, pickled onions and rhubarb.  

Seasonal Manti

As for dessert, Daisies did not have their heavenly-sounding Rhubarb Crostata ($12) with ricotta and black walnut syrup, available during our visit. However, after a little dessert roulette, we wound up with a light and satisfying Raspberry Oat Square ($1) served with a scoop of their must-have Whiskey Ice Cream ($2).  

The cocktails (all $11) get the sustainable, in-season treatment as well. Some version of the Cucumber Drink is always available and currently features local Koval Vodka, tequila, lime, cucumber and soda water. The HIGHLY recommended Pretty Rad is a mix of smoky mezcal, cocchi americano, celery root liquer, verjus and adorned with a radish. 

Daisies is located at in Logan Square at 2523 N MILWAUKEE AVE and is open Wednesday and Thursday 5-11PM, Friday and Saturday 5-10PM and Sunday for brunch 10AM-2PM and dinner 5-10PM. The restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday.  

Raspberry Oat Bar with Whiskey Ice Cream
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As Chicagoans and well, human beings, we don’t need an excuse to drink beer or eat chocolate. So, we asked Master Chocolatier Elliott Callahan at Chicago-based, Fannie May, why these two unlikely pairings could actually be really great together: 

“Food is one of humanity’s foundations. Beer is equally as interesting as chocolate. Why not explore them together? You’re right, we don’t need any excuses. Beer and chocolate share a lot in common. They both are special foods that come to us from the dawn of civilization, and we have spent thousands of years perfecting the processes that produce them. If you happen to be passionate about them, enjoy them together.” 

Callahan has been dedicated to the world of confectionary chocolate for 25 years, initially starting out as a pastry chef until Fannie May recruited him in 2011. With his culinary background, Callahan has earned his title of Master Chocolatier, getting to “explore chocolate on a level that most pastry chefs don’t get a chance to.” From the origin of the cocoa bean to the particle distribution of the chocolate itself, the job of a Fannie May Master Chocolatier is to create a delicious fusion of science and art. Now, he wants to pair his chocolatey confections with beer and thinks you should too!  

Normally, we are likely to find chocolate more naturally paired with wine. When shopping for and paring wine, common characteristics from the fruit, its acidity and tannins all come in to play as we look for contrasting or building blocks of flavor. However, Callahan believes there is much to be learned and fun to be had discovering which beer goes best with which chocolate confection. 

Below are a few of his recommended beer and Fannie May chocolate pairings.  

  • Match Dark Beer (like a Guinness) + Fannie May Pixies or Sea Salt Caramels 

  • White Beer + White Chocolate (Trinidads or Easter Exclusive, Easter Crew) 

  • Belgian-Style Fruit Beers (like a Raspberry Lambic) + Fannie May Raspberry Creams 

  • IPAs + Fannie May Lemon Creams 

Ultimately though, it really depends on what kind of beer and chocolate you prefer. 

“The point of pairing food and beverage is about exploring the synergies that naturally exist between certain organoleptic (sensory) experiences. A great pairing reveals certain flavor notes that we don’t normally detect without the pairing. It’s a method for exploring food. Sometimes a bad pairing is just as revealing as a good one! Have fun with it and learn,” he added.  

With the hopes of a beer and chocolate pairing trend potentially on the rise, Callahan didn’t say no to Fannie May hosting future tasting events at locations in and around the city. For now, start your own trend. Whether you are hosting a Cubs Opening Day Cookout or Game of Thrones Premier Watch Party, be sure to pick up a box (or two) of your favorite Fannie May chocolates when you go for your favorite beer.  

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Let's recap another hungry month in Chicago with these mouthwatering pics on Instagram. Want to catch the feed in real time? Follow us on Instagram, and be sure to tag your food pics #ChicagoFoodMag. Here's what we're seeing: 

5) Who doesn't dig a seafood tower? Oysters, scallops, lobster, king crab - oh my! Clutch Bar in River North lets you pick your favorites or dig deep into the entire ocean.


4) Up next is JoJo's Milk Bar, also in River North. JoJo's is all about the desserts and it looks like folks on Instagram are into their milkshakes big time. This beauty was themed for Chicago's favorite holiday, St. Patrick's Day. Lucky you!


3) One of Chicago's newest dining destinations, Machine: Engineered Dining & Drink, opened its doors last month in Wicker Park; offering all sorts of inventive cocktails and with a decor to match. Not only that, but they recently debuted a brunch menu stacked with goodies like the Pancakes with Blueberry Compote and Lemon Curd. We can see why the IG likes were flying fast and furious.


2) More pancakes coming your way! It was a popular month for the ol' flapjack in Chicago and the team at Wildberry Pancakes have reason to be proud. The Oreo S'mores Pancakes are Instagram darlings and we can see why: Oreo's, white chocolate and marshmallow. Thumbs up all around.


1) And finally, it's March's most popular pic! Honey Butter Fried Chicken hits the specialty sandwich concept hard and during March they brought back one of their all-time favorites - the Fried Chicken Reuben is a monster; featuring housemade kraut, dressing, pimento cheese onions and their signature fried chicken strips. Did you get to try it? Let us know. What a sandwich!

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This Sunday night, let Walton Street Kitchen + Bar (912 N State St) do the cooking! The Gold Coast restaurant recently launched their Sunday Night Fried Chicken dinner special ($28) allowing guests to have a delicious, family-style comfort meal to top off the weekend before diving into another work week.  

Fair warning, you will need your strongest chomping teeth to chow down on Walton’s Fried Chicken. While the breast and thigh meat is cooked to perfection, the breading is fried to an almost too crunchy crisp. The recipe for the breading is rather plain and is reminiscent of a hometown fried chicken joint. While there is nothing unique about the Sunday night-only special, the three pieces of chicken are still very satisfying. The platter comes with a side of underwhelming jalapeno cornbread that tastes more like jalapeno than corn; obligatory coleslaw and not enough of their addictive, house made Alabama White BBQ dipping sauce. The slightly spicy sauce is the perfect complement to your forkfuls of chicken. 

One order of the Fried Chicken is enough for one but can be shared by two with room for recommended add-ons like the Seasonal Flatbread ($15) or Sweet and Sour Rock Shrimp ($17) while still leaving a craving for one of their delicious desserts (their 7-layer cake is rich but highly recommended!). 

Walton Street Kitchen + Bar serves dinner on Sundays from 4pm to 9pm. The early bird gets the fried chicken though so head in early on Sundays before it sells out! 

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