Spoon Winter 2019 Magazine

Page 1

Winter 2019

The Drink Issue


Boozy & Booze-less Bar Crawls pg. 16

pg. 18

Beyond the Brew

Ca fé

pg. 28


S at ! YY

more pg. 1 Next 0 L



hH Café o




Hungry? Make these buttery pancakes. pg. 30



10 NEXT LEVEL LATTES Chicago coffee shops taking latte art to a new extreme.

APPETIZER 12 CRAZY FOR CAIPIRINHAS Mix Brazil’s traditional cocktail in your own kitchen.

FLIGHT 16 LOCAL LIBATIONS The ultimate bar crawl without ever leaving Evanston.

ENTRÉE 25 THE NEVER-ENDING POP-UP MOVEMENT Limited-time-only restaurants are an everlasting trend.

DESSERT 29 MY STRANGE ADDICTION The science behind one writer’s caffeine addiction.

Raise a glass for a toast to the return of quarterly editions of Spoon’s print magazine! We took a couple years off to try out an annual magazine that gave a holistic, year-in-review look into the food industry on a local scale. We never wanted to sacrifice the quality of recipes and stories that we shared with you. Over the past two years, we’ve learned to master from start to finish the process of building out content and producing it on a faster timeline, so we can bring you that same level of excellence more often. There’s so much we want to share with you and we’re excited to kick off our quarterly issues with our Winter 2019 edition: The Drink Issue. So often as foodies we focus on the meals. But now, we’re letting the drinks be the star of the show. Our writers reimagined the potential for drinks as more than just a complement to a meal. In Starter, you’ll read about lattes as vehicles for artistic expression. In Appetizer, you’ll taste Brazil’s traditional cocktail. If that doesn’t immediately spark your travel bug, you’ll certainly want to hop on the “L” and try some of Chicago’s best mocktails after reading our Flight section. In Entrées, one writer took a deeper dive into drinks and uncovered an entire cultural movement behind all that time we spend in coffee shops. But we’re not suggesting living on a liquid diet, so not to worry if you’re looking for a little something else. There’s plenty here for you in this issue. For something a little heartier – and heartwarming – save room for Dessert and read a love letter to Bennison’s Bakery and an ode to a writer’s grandmother and her butter-slathered pancake recipe. To many more delicious dishes, drinks, and editions of Spoon. Cheers! Ariel Coonin, Print Director

WANT $50 TO A DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT? Follow us, tag us in a photo of your fave restaurant in @DowntownEvanston & use #evanstoneats & #DowntownEvanston by april 12! Get social with us @downtownevanston

Follow on Instagram








y cherr


ilks ate m l o c o ch


a vanill


WRITERS Ella DeBode, Aine Dougherty, Annie Gao, Giovana Gelhoren, Mia Hirsch, Tessa Kauppila, Joanna Kim, Grace Luxton, Zoe Malin, Courtney McClelland, Olivia Olson, Samantha Milstein, Alex Schwartz, Gabby Cano



orange ju

honey la vender le

DESIGNERS Justine Banbury, Katie Brussel, SooMin Lee, Grace Luxton, Madeleine Ward


PHOTOGRAPHERS Zoe Dockser, Aine Dougherty, Nami Hoffman, Ashley Lee, Lauren Lee, Anna Weeks, AD SALES Amanda Brown, Eden Hirschfield, Shea Randall, Jack Wetzel


n juic

melo water

Spoon Magazine is an extension of Spoon University, an online campus food community founded by Northwestern alumni Sarah Adler and Mackenzie Barth. nu.spoonuniversity.com 2019








After years of mom’s cooking, school lunches and dining halls, it’s finally time to face impending adulthood and start cooking for yourself. While this task can be daunting, there are a few tools that can help make every meal easy and delicious. Here are some kitchen must-haves for tackling everything from cooking and baking to storage.


ALUMINUM FOIL Great for storing leftover slices of pizza or taking a sandwich on the go.

ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR Good for thickening sauces or useful to have on hand if a baking temptation strikes.

CHOCOLATE CHIPS Maybe nonessential for chocolate haters, but for everyone else, good to keep stocked for adding to pancakes, muffins, cookies, topping ice cream sundaes or melting down to make chocolate dipped treats.

SALT & PEPPER The most fundamental seasonings.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL Thought to be beneficial for your skin and hair, EVOO is a cabinet staple to cook with, drizzle on, or dip in.

EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING This fan-favorite sesame seed-based blend can elevate every meal, from eggs to grilled chicken.

GARLIC POWDER An instant boost of flavor with every meal.






Smaller than a chef’s knife, a paring knife is best used to cut hard vegetables, like carrots, or slice and mince smaller items, like garlic.

A must for baking treats. Trust me, baking without measuring cups is not easy.

For when you can’t finish the whole bottle in one night.



Good for mixing, stirring, storing leftovers and measuring ingredients.

Easy to forget, but hard to open cans without.






This smaller pan is best used for heating up smaller bowls of soup, reheating leftovers, or, as the name suggests, making sauces.

Good for steaming vegetables as well as cooking large batches of things like pasta. Hack: If you wait too long before rinsing and find food stuck to the side, put in some dish detergent and water and let it simmer on the stove. This will help loosen the food and make it easier to wash off when done.

CHEF’S KNIFE Used for the majority of kitchen activities involving slicing and dicing.

BOTTOM SHELF A must-have for flipping, spreading and mixing. Fair warning: rubber spatulas can get melted if you’re cooking over heat, so it might be worthwhile to invest in a different material, such as nylon, which won’t scratch non-stick pans.

COLANDER Not only necessary for pasta, but also for washing lettuce and other fruits and vegetables before preparing.

A necessity for stirring pasta or mixing brownie batter.


Useful for cooking things like eggs without worrying about them getting stuck to the bottom of the pan.





Some tips for the best college town meals from some of the best Chicago foodies. By Courtney McClelland We all have our go-to late night spots. From the trusty Burger King to Insomnia Cookies, Evanston is a mecca for those 12:30 a.m. munchies — even if it is just a milkshake from Fran’s. But now it’s time to hear from local Chicago food celebs about their go-to late night spots when they were in college. Sweet, savory, or both, these foodies didn’t mess around when it came to their cravings.

ERIN BYRNE, 312 FOOD HOAGIE HAVEN 242 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ Erin Byrne, a marketing consultant sometimes known by her food Instagram @312Food, is a graduate of Princeton University, Class of ’08. In her time in the New Jersey suburb, she found a love for food, but one place in particular comes to mind. “My favorite late-night spot was a place called Hoagie Haven,” she says. “I almost always got The Heart Stop (appropriately named) — a cheesesteak topped with fried eggs, bacon, mayo, and hot sauce. LOL. My husband’s favorite was the Phat Lady — a cheesesteak with mozzarella sticks and fries on the sandwich. It’s a lot. Hoagie Haven has a hidden gem feel, but it’s super popular with every student and has been for decades. We go back to Reunions every year and always go at least twice — waiting in a giant line of alumni that goes out the door and down the street.”

LINDA FRIEND, BIG FAT COOKIE, OWNER CAMILLA GRILL 626 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA Linda Friend is the owner of Big Fat Cookie, Chicago’s favorite monster-sized cookie masterpieces, and a graduate of Tulane University, Class of ’86. She made sure to take advantage of the food culture in NOLA. “I had so many favorite meals — eating was our favorite pastime, truly (still is),” she says. “My all time favorite college meal… a cheeseburger, caramelized onions, fries and nutty waffle and chocolate freeze from Camilla Grill. It was basically a pecan waffle slathered in maple syrup with a side of chocolate milk shake! OOOMMMGG!!! We would go there late night and for lunch. Those were the days… and we would wash it all down with iced coffee from PJ’s on Maple Street. It was the very first time I had ever tasted iced coffee (and it’s my go to recipe now). It will change your life!”

JORDAN HELMS, FROSTED AND FRIED VELVET TACO 110 N. State St, Chicago, IL Jordan Helms, better known to foodies by her popular food Instagram @FrostedandFried, graduated from Loyola University of Chicago just last year. “I attended Loyola and was a finance major, so I spent the majority of my time at our downtown campus right by Water Tower. My favorite college meal would probably be Velvet Taco,” she says. “It was walking distance from the business school and great for good tacos and food Instagrams. We would also go sometimes after going out in River North or on Division since it’s open until 5 a.m. The buffalo chicken, rotisserie chicken and grilled flank steak tacos are my favorite. Their queso and tots are also super good! I would say it’s super popular too, because the line can get kind of long at night and it’s definitely a favorite of Loyola students who know about it.”

MORTY SHAPIRO, NORTHWESTERN PRESIDENT HARTIGAN’S ICE CREAM 2909 Central St, Evanston, IL Our very own University President, Morty Schapiro attended Hofstra University and University of Pennsylvania for his degrees, but his favorite meal is something a little more local. “Nothing memorable from that distant past,” he says. “But my favorite ʻmeal’ today is birthday cake ice cream on a waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles from Hartigan’s. Try it!”





FUN [AND DELICIOUS] WAYS TO USE CHEAP ALCOHOL Because you deserve to have both. By Annie Gao College proves to be a pain sometimes (or most of the time, who am I kidding). Between cramming for exams, participating in extracurriculars and trying to salvage a social life, there isn’t much time on the side for students to make money. That’s where cheap liquor comes in. Why spend $35 on a bottle of Grey Goose when you could simply dish out $15 for a bottle of Svedka? Yes, cheap liquor gets the job done, but it doesn’t always taste the best. The taste, reminiscent of rubbing alcohol, is hard to swallow even with a chaser. So, instead of dreading the next time you have to choke down a shot of Skol, here are some boozy recipes that will help lessen the blow to your taste buds.



Not only do jello shots pack a serious punch, but these tiny guys are a Friday night favorite that everyone loves. To perfect your party-throwing skills, try using cheap vodka and create your own jello shots. The cringe-worthy taste of Smirnoff will be masked by the fruity taste of the jello. Simply pour gelatin (3 oz packet) into 1 cup of boiling water until fully dissolved. Then, mix in some flavored vodka of your choice (roughly ½ cup) and ½ cup of cold water. Pour the mixture into mini plastic containers and throw in the fridge overnight.

VODKA GUMMY BEARS Much like the fruity flavors of jello, gummy bears will mask the burning, gritty taste of cheap alcohol. Score. These little sugary bears are easy to eat, and they’ll liven up any party. Most importantly, you won’t even taste the vodka! Pour your vodka into a bowl of gummy bears, so that all the gummies are covered. Leave the vodka-gummy concoction to soak for roughly 24 hours. Then drain excess vodka from the bowl, and serve your bears to your party guests. If they appear to be too soggy, pop the gummies into the fridge for a few hours and then serve.


Summer is not the same without some watermelon. Barbeques, pool parties, and summer outings all have one thing in common — watermelon. This juicy, refreshing fruit can be paired with some cheap alcohol to create the perfect party snack, vodka-infused watermelon slices. Not only will this treat deliver a boozy fix, but you’ll get your antioxidants and vitamins as well! To make this summer snack, rest the watermelon on its side and cut a hole on the top that is big enough to fit the neck of the vodka bottle. Carefully insert the bottle of vodka into the hole and let the entire bottle drain into the melon. Let the watermelon sit for approximately 12-14 hours before cutting and serving.


Similar to the snow cones you’d consume as a child, this slushie is both nostalgic and, more importantly, boozy. Think of it as a grown-up Slurpee. In a blender, mix frozen strawberries, some cheap vodka, ice, triple sec and a splash of lime if desired. Feel free to experiment with different fruit and syrup combinations. Serve chilled, preferably by the pool. The strawberries in this drink will disguise the harsh taste of the vodka. You can also add in as much sugar or flavored syrup to further mask the taste. This fruity beverage is a solid option if you want to enjoy something refreshing and (somewhat) healthy. Drinking shouldn’t require you to break the bank, especially when you’re a broke college student. These recipes have you covered, so the next time you head to D&D’s, stray away from the Ciroc and head toward the Skol. A little jello or some gummy bears will mask the cringe-worthy taste of cheap liquor and make for a lively Friday night. Save those extra dollars for a midnight-run to Burger King (RIP Cheesie’s).




Next Level Lattes Not your average joe. By Tessa Kauppila

Is your regular caffeine fix becoming a snooze? Does the local barista have your order memorized? Give yourself, and your barista, a break. Place that old cup of joe on the backburner, jump on the “L” and try these striking concoctions around Chicago instead.

Mushroom Elixir Latte

Limitless Coffee Tea, Fulton Market + River North

Hear me out. ʻShrooms in a latte may sound gross, but once you look past the concept, you’re met with a sweet, mellow taste. Unmatched by any classic Starbucks order, the adaptogenic mushrooms provide antioxidants and neuroregenerative properties, as well as foster the body’s health needs, according to traditional folk medicine.

Café oh HEYYY! Sol Café, Rogers Park

With a long ingredient list including drip coffee, chocolate, orange, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne, it is surprising that the palate isn’t immediately overwhelmed upon first sip of this coffee. Rather, the orange notes are in the limelight, with the edge of cayenne and subtle sweetness of chocolate hitting the tongue soon after. As an added bonus, the café boasts a hip vibe and a diverse menu, perfect for camping out and cracking down on a paper or chatting with friends.

Honey Cinnamon Latte Backlot Coffee, Evanston

Albeit more tame than other choices on this coffee quest, Backlot’s Honey Cinnamon Latte has a melody of flavors deserving acknowledgment grander than any simple vanilla syrup and steamed milk combination. Graham cracker-like aromas please the nose in a nostalgic summer camp fashion, and the pairing of honey and cinnamon is pleasantly underrated.





La Bodega, River North

Just ordering a plain latte here will brew up something special. Over the rich, full deep roast, a fluffy foam is ornately decorated with a variety of designs. Their Instagram showcases their latte art, including portraits of Justin Bieber and Post Malone, accompanied by seasonal creations.

Charcoal Latte

Werewolf Coffee, Lincoln Park

The artistic atmosphere of this coffee shop, where the barista counter is a refurbished bread truck and vinyl records are the preferred source of audio, is matched by the mini mug masterpieces. Lips are painted black with every sampling of this activated charcoal concoction. Not as dramatic in taste as its celestial semblance may predict, the house-made honey-lavender syrup lends to a smooth, relaxed blend that’s hard to put down.

Sweetbeet Latte

Werewolf Coffee, Lincoln Park

Werewolf Coffee’s lattes are so aesthetically appealing, we had to recommend two. Dusted in edible glitter and garnished with dried rose buds and petals, this pink drink embodies girlhood dreams at first glance. Sugar and spice and everything nice takes on new meaning once you sip past the surface, where the syrup of beet powder, pink peppercorns, honey and vanilla bean makes for an earthy quality.

Military Latte

Sawada Coffee, West Loop

Two shots of espresso, three pumps of homemade vanilla and a scoop of cocoa powder amp up a classic matcha in brilliant whirls and swirls. The sharpness of the cocoa contrasts nicely with the the vegetal taste of the matcha in this house favorite. Owner Hiroshi Sawada, latte art expert and distinguished barista, is the one to thank.





#SpoonTip Though the most common caipirinha is made with lime, you can replace the limes with any fruit or combination of fruits you’d like. My personal favorite is made with crushed strawberries.

CRAZY FOR CAIPIRINHAS A taste of Brazil in your dorm room. By Giovana Gelhoren From the south to the north of Brazil, there’s one drink that every single city has in common: the caipirinha. This Brazilian classic is made from four main ingredients: limes, sugar, ice and cachaça — the most popular distilled alcohol in Brazil, made from fermented sugarcane juice. So whether you’re sick of the vodka and chaser combos or just want to try something new, whip up this tasty and simple drink. Play some samba or funk in the background for an instant vacation to Brazil and enjoy!

Caipirinha EASY | 5 MINS | SERVES 1

2 2 2 2

limes tsp sugar ounces cachaça ice cubes

1. Rinse and cut the limes into slices. 2. Add the sugar to the limes and crush them together. 3. Pour the cachaça into a cocktail shaker. 4. Add the ice and the lime mixture to the shaker and shake well. 5. Pour the drink into a glass. 6. Garnish with a slice of lime on the rim of the cup.





HARD SELTZER, EASY RECIPE Your very own twist on a new essential. By Samantha Milstein Move over beer and wine spritzers — flavored hard seltzers are all the rage right now. Looking for a way to refresh and rejuvenate with a light, bubbly beverage on a warm spring day? We’ve got you covered. Spiked and subtly sweet, this hard seltzer is the perfect addition to your next night in or out. Plus it couldn’t be easier to put together. Save a trip to the store for the canned version and make this one from scratch in your own home.


handful of raspberries 1/2 tsp lime juice 8 ounces seltzer 21/2 tbsp raspberry flavored vodka 1/2 tsp simple syrup thyme for garnish (optional)

1. Place raspberries and lime juice into the bottom of a glass and mash with fork. Add ice if desired. 2. Pour in seltzer and vodka and stir. 3. Add simple syrup and mix until all ingredients are combined. 4. Add thyme to garnish the top of the beverage.





SIP, SLURP, GULP, REPEAT How to liquid fuel yourself throughout the day. By Mia Hirsch Forget boring breakfast bars. All you need to satisfy your breakfast craving is the whizzing, whirring sound of a smoothie blender. And I’ll let you in on an even sweeter secret: the days of Instagrammable acai bowls are over. A colorful, protein-packed smoothie is the new go-to for breakfast, pre-workout, post-workout, dessert and everything in between. Even we have to admit, sometimes, life is just easier without a spoon.

DIRECTIONS 1. Locate a blender, or be prepared to mash, whip and stir for a long time. 2. Pile in the ingredients (liquid last!) and blend.


1 cup strawberries 1/2 cup blueberries 4-6 cubes frozen mango 1/2 cup frozen pineapple 4-5 pitted dates 1 tbsp (1 scoop) vanilla protein powder 4-5 ice cubes 1 cup coconut milk

#SpoonTip e to make th Feel free ith w n w your o smoothies k il m rite your favo tive. a rn e lt a




PRE-WORKOUT 1/2 cup blueberries 1 cup strawberries 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt 2 tbsp peanut butter 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar 1 tbsp (1 scoop) vanilla protein powder 1 cup almond milk


1 cup spinach 4-6 cubes frozen mango 2 tbsp almond butter 1 tsp flax seeds 2 tbsp (2 scoops) vanilla protein powder 1 cup almond milk


1 ripe banana 2 tsp cocoa powder 2 tbsp peanut butter 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp cacao nibs 4-5 pitted dates 1 tbsp (1 scoop) chocolate protein powder 1 cup almond milk





LOCAL LIBATIONS Evanston is finally escaping its sober roots — here’s how to take advantage. By Aine Dougherty

In case you didnʼt know, our beloved college town just so happens to be the birthplace of the Womenʼs Christian Temperance Union back in the late 1800s, thanks to Frances Willard, the namesake of one of Northwesternʼs very dorms. Her sobering influence reigned for around a century, with the goal of “protecting students from the dangers of alcohol consumption,” but, thankfully, weʼre no longer a dry town. In fact, over the past decade, several local breweries and distilleries have cropped up and started to make their own beer and liquor from scratch, forming a boozy community right here in Evanston.

Pinky Sweater, Sketchbook Brewing Co.’s red rice pilsner.

Frances would roll in her grave if she saw the debauchery of todayʼs college students, but I like to think that perhaps sheʼd appreciate these classier options to drink, outside of skeevy frat parties and hit-or-miss bars. We know a bottle of Svedka or a case of Bud Light will do the trick, but if you ever find yourself looking to expand your palate, weʼve rounded up some of the hidden, hyperlocal spots serving up their very own unique spirits and brews. Support small Evanston businesses and take some pride in taking your shots, for godʼs sake.


A selection of gins and whiskeys from FEW Distillery.

918 Chicago Ave.

Evanston’s first and only “grain-to-glass” distillery opened in 2011 after almost a century of strict laws restricting the manufacturing of alcohol. Although FEW’s name might bear a resemblance to our sober sister Frances E. Willard’s initials, the company says it’s merely coincidence, and that the name is open for interpretation: Some other options include “First Evanston Whiskey” and “Made By the Few, for the Many.” FEW currently sells its spirits in 35 states and 40 countries, and has plans for future growth. For just $10, you can spend an afternoon in the tasting room by the Main Street Purple Line station, learning all about the distilling process and sipping on FEW’s artisanal gins and whiskeys. The space, hidden in an alleyway and housed in a former auto repair shop, isn’t huge, but there’s a lot to learn, especially for college students who have yet to understand that alcohol can taste like a lot more than just regret. In FEW’s smooth American Gin, you’ll taste notes of juniper, lavender and vanilla, while the Breakfast Gin is distilled with Earl Grey tea. The FEW team is constantly experimenting with new ideas, once throwing an entire deep dish pizza into the still. If only we could have tasted how that turned out… Check out the distillery’s intimate Thursday night cocktail events, where you can try concoctions like the $9 Bourbon Mule, made with ginger beer, fresh lime and FEW Bourbon Whiskey, of course.





This tiny taproom and microbrewery on Chicago Ave. may be small, but it’s packed with creativity. Some of the more inventive brews in Evanston come from Sketchbook, whose sleek, minimalistic cans you might have seen on shelves at Whole Foods or EV1. The four-year-old brewery currently distributes all over Illinois, and it’s planning on expanding into the retail space next door to open up even more The barrel-aged La room for thirsty groups. Craft beer newbies will feel Sorpresa Might Meets right at home thanks to the welcoming staff, who Right Imperial Stout from are just as willing to serve you their Pinky Sweater, Temperance Beer Co. a red rice pilsner akin to (but better than) Bud Light, as they are to offer you something you’ve never tasted before, like Honeybird, their unique pale ale brewed with honey and basil. New and exciting beers are released regularly, and Sketchbook also partners with other Evanston businesses to host a variety of events, 2000 Dempster St. including a “Women in Beer” talk featuring co-founder Amy Wilkinson and a Girl Scout cookie beer flight pairing. In true community fashion, the brewery also has That’s right — yet another brewery named after small-batch kombucha from nearby Kombucha Brava on tap, for those abstaining Evanston’s rich, dry history. Temperance Beer Co., from booze – Frances would be proud. Play board games while you sip in the which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, is cozy, cool space, or order in food from local restaurants. Pours are relatively cheap a bit farther away from campus, but a quick Uber (especially with the 10 percent Wildcard discount!), and four-packs of their many or the 250 Pace bus can take you there in no interesting beers range from just $10 to $14, making Sketchbook the perfect place to time. Complete with communal tables, an electric kick off (or continue) your craft beer obsession. fireplace and a sweet soundtrack, the brewery has good vibes as well as good beer. In addition to tours every Saturday afternoon, Temperance hosts events ranging from food pop-ups and 1615 Oak Ave. trivia to yoga classes, if you want to counteract the calories with some low-key exercise. Plus, it Smylie Bros. Brewing Co. has it all. Wood paneling. Twinkly lights. Giant metal donates all the profits from its yoga classes to fermenters peeking out from the window behind the bar, providing an intriguing a different non-profit each month. Sit and snack glimpse into the brewery space. The brewpub’s wide selection of beers brewed on the on the small menu (cheese flights and other bar premises, plus its extensive menu (top-notch BBQ and pizza galore), makes it an ideal snacks!) as you taste the brews, or BYOF (Bring spot for a date or a hearty meal with visiting family. Just keep in mind its prices lean Your Own Food) — Temperance makes it easy more towards the “special occasion” end of the spectrum. Stop by for a $10 tour and to order in from local Evanston restaurants like tasting, or go for dinner. We recommend the brisket sandwich ($16) or the salty, sweet Lulu’s and Taco Diablo. In the warmer months, the soppressata and honey pizza ($15), accompanied by a flight of six 5 oz. pours so outdoor patio is as hoppin’ as the beer. Speaking you can taste all that Smylie Bros. has to offer. Like dark beers? Try their Dunkelsauer, of, try a unique variation of the Birdsong saison, a German-style beer with notes brewed with cucumber and aged in Koval gin of raspberry and chocolate. But barrels — it tastes more like a refreshing cocktail wait, there’s more: According than a beer. Or, sip on any of the seasonal to the brewpub’s website, cans, like the powerful barrel-aged Might Meets on Tuesday Infusedays, the Right Imperial Stouts, released annually. We head brewers let loose and recommend this year’s La Sorpresa, brewed with experiment to create onecocoa, three different types of chiles, cinnamon, of-a-kind infused beers — for vanilla and espresso. Bartender and taproom example, a Berliner Weisse with manager Ben recommended pouring it over ice Haribo raspberry gummies. cream for a boozy float, and we haven’t been Smylie Bros.’ killer combo of able to stop thinking about it since. craft beer and comfort food is not one to be missed.



A mural outside of Smylie Bros. on Oak Avenue.






The ultimate guide to having fun while sober. Here are six of the best booze-less beverages that you can find in the Windy City. By Joanna Kim Everyone (+21, of course) loves a solid bar crawl. It’s a chance to socialize, explore the local area and try different cocktails or beers. Chicago is no amateur when it comes to alcohol. Whether you head down to Wrigleyville or trek to the West Loop, the city offers an impressive bar scene. What happens if you want all the fun without the booze? If you’re looking for a sober bar crawl, look no further. Here’s your chance to explore the Windy City, without the hangover.

Cindy’s Balenciaga The adventure begins here around noon. Naturally, the first stop is one of the trendiest bars in the city (and for good reason). Cindy’s is located on the top floor of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, and it offers a stunning view of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan and everything in between. This spot is known for its fancy brunch and dinner menus, but Cindy’s also offers mind-blowing non-alcoholic drinks. My recommendation? The Balenciaga mocktail, which features verjus blanc, black lime, mint and sparkling water. Not only is it tasty, but it’s also extremely Instagram-worthy. Grab your mocktail and head out to the terrace for a view of Chicago.

BomboBar S’mores Hotter Chocolate After snapping some pics of your mocktail at Cindy’s, take the Green Line west to Morgan. Here, you’ll reach the wildly popular spot, BomboBar. Although BomboBar doesn’t have the traditional bar atmosphere, it still exudes a feeling of intimacy. Attached to Bar Siena, this dessert haven is a walk-up window that features a narrow enclosed area with several seating options. Especially in the winter, nothing beats a cup of hot chocolate from here. The S’mores Hotter Chocolate features rich, creamy hot cocoa, topped with thick marshmallow-like whipped cream, graham cracker, cookie dough, marshmallow whoopie piece, a mini donut and caramel syrup. Chase it with a piping hot donut for the ultimate sweet tooth fix.

Purple Llama Oolong Kombucha or Hippy Speedball Burn off all that sugar from BomboBar by heading to the third nonalcoholic destination: Purple Llama. The trek to this coffee bar requires more walking. Take the Blue Line to Damen and walk 13 minutes until you hit this trendy Wicker Park spot. Known for its vintage vinyl records and coffee, Purple Llama also offers kombucha on tap. Like beer, kombucha tastes fresher and more bubbly when it’s on tap. Purple Llama cycles through multiple flavors of drafted kombucha during the year. Try the Oolong kombucha from Nessalla Company, which has a classic tart flavor from the fermentation. The blueberry kombucha is another must-try on the menu. With an initial fruity taste, this beverage features a sharp herbal bite toward the end. If you’re not a fan of kombucha, try its signature espresso, Hippy Speedball, for a midday pick-me-up. These refreshing (and healthy) drinks will rejuvenate you for the second half of this sober bar crawl.





...WITHOUT THE BOOZE City Press Juice & Bottle Green Gimlet or The Belini

The next stop on the list is undoubtedly the healthiest of the bunch: City Press Juice & Bottle. Just a 12-minute walk from Purple Llama, City Press offers organic green, root and citrus juices in aesthetic glass bottles that you can take on the go. The bar’s Green Gimlet contains organic collards, romaine, dandelion, celery and lemon. This drink tastes like you just finished a yoga session with Miranda Kerr, followed by a salad from Sweetgreen. In other words, it tastes extremely healthy. The bitter flavor from dandelion and celery, mixed with the acidity of the lemon can be off-putting at first, but it quickly becomes addictive. If you’re still skeptical about it, try the Belini — a citrus juice with grapefruit, pear and lavender — that’s a little lighter on the palate.

Ispento 606 Ispento Latte or Cardamom Rose Latte A short seven-minute walk from City Press is the lively coffee bar, Ipsento 606. This bar will be packed with people, wine and lattes. Yes, you read that right: This coffee bar serves both alcohol and coffee. If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, try the signature lattes. The Ipsento latte, which features coconut cream and cayenne pepper, offers a unique twist on the classic beverage. Another fan favorite is the Cardamom rose latte, and this floral drink is as pretty as it sounds.

Easthill Tea Co. Big Red Robe or Oriental Beauty The last stop of the bar crawl is Easthill Tea Co.. Although this tea bar is just across the street from Ipsento, you’ll feel like you traveled across the globe to East Asia. From its Japanese tea sets to the Asian-inspired seating area, this place reflects East Asian culture. The bar offers 20 varieties of tea, as well as lattes, but the Big Red Robe and Oriental Beauty Oolong teas take the prize. Big Red Robe, which comes from Wuyi Mountain in China, tastes similar to barley tea with its toasty flavor, while Oriental Beauty tea (which comes from Hsinchu, Taiwan) has a sweet aftertaste. Relax with your cup of tea for a calming finish to this Chicago adventure.





When meal swipes run out, food competition shows have got your back. By Ella DeBode


Pate a Choux. Dampfnudel. Proving Dough. These are just a few of the technical baking words that I acquired throughout the hours I spent watching various food competition shows (“Great British Bake Off,” I’m referring to you). However, as I recently slumped in my bed and angrily groaned to my roommate because — spoiler alert — Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood picked Nancy as the season’s winner instead of Richard on “Great British Bake Off,” I question why I (and college students in general) love food competition shows so much. The average college student doesn’t cook regularly, and maybe doesn’t have access to much than a scary-looking dorm microwave. So, why is it that so many of us spend hours binging episodes of our favorite food competition shows? Is it because watching chefs complete challenges down to the second reminds us of the thrill we feel when starting a paper just hours before it’s due? Or, is it because seeing such artistic and mouthwatering plates of food distracts us from the reality of our sad dining hall meals? While those factors might play a part in this cult-like following of food competition shows, it’s not necessarily a passion for cooking that causes students to invest their time. Rather, it’s because the elements in these



programs are consistent with other reality television shows. Food competition shows have all the drama and tears of “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” except they’re about something that we all love: food. With cutthroat competition, interpersonal drama, criticism from judges and culinary masterpieces, it’s no surprise why these shows draw such an audience among college students. Something about that neon red countdown clock on “MasterChef“ makes it feel like “The Hunger Games,” but in a non-violent way that fosters healthy competition. Freshman Arianna Ponce doesn’t enjoy cooking herself, but she loves “MasterChef” because of the sport of it all. Although the competition in each episode is captivatingly fierce, it’s entirely predictable in a way that draws viewers in. We all know that despite a chef panicking over starting his tart all over again because the gelatin failed to properly set, he will still finish plating an Instagram-worthy submission in time. This time crunch is not only suspenseful, but it’s also relatable to college students. College students, especially at Northwestern University, are all too familiar with that last-minute scramble to finish an assignment.


The competition also makes the television shows seem interactive. So much so that when a competitor’s submission is subpar, viewers may call out the mistakes of the chef as if they are in the competition for first place themselves. On the other hand, the more friendly competition in shows like the “Great British Bake Off” provides students with an escape from their stressors with wholesome pastries and plates. The television shows also equip students, especially foodies, with the proper terminology to critique plates. For instance, I (an untrained baker) who once put both orange juice and milk in the same cake, use my newfound knowledge of professional baking criticisms used by TV judges to evaluate legitimate restaurants now.

The creativity of the competitors also acts as an inspiration for students to view the limitations of the dining hall as a creative challenge, maybe even as their very own episode of Guy Fieri’s “Grocery Games.” And, watching the cooking process on these shows may also fill the void of home-cooked meals, a missing touch in many students’ lives. Food competition television shows provide college students with a beautiful, tasty escape from that three-page single-spaced essay or problem set that’s coming up. They also are quite relatable to our own lives filled with competition, evolving relationships, critical teaching assistants and, of course, non-Insta-worthy dining hall meals.

There’s also the emotional investment factor. Avid food competition watchers can often tell you their favorite contestant’s occupation, how many dogs they have, what they would do with the prize money and more. This personal interest may come from a place of mutual understanding of stress. Not to say that the average student understands exactly what it feels like to compete for thousands of dollars in the kitchen. But, the pressure of midterms can be comparable. Freshman Maggie Galloway explains that she and her roommate often compare their struggles to “Great British Bake Off” competitor Dorret Conway’s mousse collapse disaster, to put worries in perspective. This common struggle of due dates, deadline crunches and overly critical judges, acts as a common point between the two. With the fast-paced challenges and surprise ingredients found on these programs, the judges are a necessary constant in our food competitionobsessed lives. In a sense, judges like Gordon Ramsey, Mary Berry or Bobby Flay play the same role as a student’s teaching assistants or professors. They’re both experts in their fields and can be quite critical. Not to say that Northwestern professors are anything like Gordon Ramsey, who spits out rice if it isn’t cooked perfectly. But as Galloway points out, sometimes the delivery of criticisms from both professors and food competition judges can be somewhat unwarranted. However, criticisms about food are more fanciful than grammatical corrections on a paper, which not only makes them much more fun but also fascinating for students to watch. My jaw automatically drops when Paul Hollywood picks up a loaf of bread, taps its bottom and can tell whether it’s raw on the inside or not. Don’t get me wrong, instant mac n’ cheese with the perfect water-to-cheese powder ratio can be stunning, but it’s nothing compared to the cupcake displays on “Cupcake Wars.” Freshman Jenna Howard-Delman views these cooking shows as an art that “inspires [her] to cook.” “It’s cool to watch people start with scraps and make something beautiful,” Ponce says. As a typical college student’s meal comes from a subpar dining hall or frozen dinner boxes from Trader Joe’s, these cooking shows provide hope to students that they too can one day whip up a perfectly cooked salmon in less than 20 minutes.




BEYOND THE BREW Behind the scenes of what makes Chicagoland’s coffee shop culture as strong as a cup of dark roast. By Zoe Malin If you’ve ever scored a coveted window seat in Evanston’s Unicorn Café, you know the vibrant scene. Customers from all walks of life enter the brick building with a laptop or book in hand. Baristas shout, “Medium drip on the bar!” as the espresso machine pulls shots by the minute. Keyboard clicks are heard over friendly chatter, while the smell of fresh grilled cheese sandwiches fills the air. “This is not just a business,” says Cassandra Majewski, a staff member at the Unicorn. “It’s an energetic environment. There is just something special about this place.”


Connoisseurs know coffee shop are not just places to get a cup of joe; like the Unicorn, they’re multidimensional. At times, they provide customers with study spaces and offices, or they may act as a relaxing retreat. Coffee shops are welcoming to all who step foot in them and are highly valued in their communities. “Coffee shop culture is strong,” says John Kim, co-owner of Backlot Coffee, especially in the Chicagoland area. He believes coffee shops each have their own identities, which are expressed in part by those who frequent them.

So, I set out to understand what defines the unique coffee shop culture in Evanston and its surrounding communities. I spent hours with shop owners and among customers, sipping cappuccinos and tasting bite-sized scones. By fully immersing myself in a handful of Chicagoland coffee shops, I discovered why customers admire them for more than just their great brews.




Coffee shops as community gathering places Kim says the space at Backlot is often “full and energetic.” Whether eight people sit together at the shop’s long tables or someone opts to enjoy tea alone, customers are always among their neighbors. “Our view of a coffee shop is that it’s a community within a community,” Kim says. When building Backlot, Kim aimed to “create a beautiful space that people want to spend time in.” He wanted customers to “define how they use the space” and “claim it as their own.” Kim says he sees his idea come to life every day when toddlers run up and down the shop, when teenagers sip lemonade in the summers, and when adults stop in for a muffin before work. Likewise, Adam Paronto, owner of Reprise Coffee Roasters in Winnetka, loves seeing the different ways customers use his shop. He has even noticed groups of customers who gather at Reprise at the same time and on the same day every week. One unique group is the Pen Club, a smattering of passionate people who gather and test different types of ink. “Everybody that comes in here seems to know each other,” Paronto says. “Reprise is a place for people to commune in what is already a tight-knit community.” One of the biggest debates surrounding how coffee shops create a community atmosphere is about whether or not they should offer Wi-Fi. Kim said this was a topic he heard a lot of about in 2017 when The New York Times published an article about coffee shops in New York City eliminating Wi-Fi to encourage more face-toface interaction. But like Kim and the team at Backlot, Nate Furstenau, marketing and sales director of Dollop Coffee Co., says the company decided against cutting the cord at its Evanston- and Chicago-based cafés. “You can always visit Dollop and hang out and talk in real life, or come to work, or you can come use AIM,” Furstenau jokes. “We see our shops as community-building spaces, and much of our community today is formulated and maintained online.”

Coffee shops as platforms for owners to share what they’re passionate about While the driving force behind some coffee shops is to be a community gathering place, others are inspired by a specific goal or mission. Take Reprise Coffee Roasters and Patisserie Coralie, for example. With its original location in Winnetka and a new café scheduled to open in Evanston on April 1, Reprise has never wavered on its commitment to “complete sustainability from start to finish,” Paronto says. “Our company is owned in-part by a coffee roaster, a coffee grower, and a person in the café who is serving the coffee,” says Hunter Owen, owner of Reprise’s new Evanston location. “This is unique, and something I haven’t seen other cafés accomplish before.” Paronto’s business partner, Ben Weiner, owns Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, a company that connects Nicaraguan coffee producers with coffee roasters around the world. The company also produces coffee on its own farm in Nicaragua — Finca Idealista — which Reprise sells and roasts in its cafés. Reprise is closely connected to the agricultural side of the coffee it serves. Paronto says he always wanted his business model to reflect this. Founding Reprise with these values in mind distinguishes it from others in the surrounding North Shore suburbs, and is one of the reasons Paronto believes his customers embrace the café as “more than a coffee shop.” Another local spot, Patisserie Coralie, came to life through a similar goal: the desire to bring authentic Parisian café culture to Illinois. Fiona Lazar, director of operations at Patisserie Coralie, says owner Pascal Berthoumieux noticed the demand for freshbaked French pastries in his community when he moved to Chicago from France in 1999. The café became Berthoumieux’s way to fill that void. From multicolored macarons to Patisserie Coralie’s own coffee blend, the café’s Parisian culture resonates with customers in its three Evanston locations and draws them back time and time again.“Customers say they feel transported to Paris when they walk in the café,” Lazar says. “It’s all because of the owner’s commitment to create this distinct culture, in addition to how independent, locally owned coffee shops like Patisserie Coralie have a way of gathering a community.”




Coffee shops as a support network for small, local businesses One of the most prominent trends I saw at the Chicagoland coffee shops I visited was that each supported other local businesses. Some sold cookies from Sugar and Spice, a specialty baked goods manufacturer in Evanston, and others covered their walls with artwork by local artists. In a variety of ways, the coffee shops all showcased goods made in its surrounding community. Jean Kroll, owner of Sugar and Spice, says her company has been in business for 20 years and has always provided local coffee shops and cafés like Backlot and the Unicorn with baked goods. Kroll says working with coffee shops gives her “invaluable feedback” about her sweet treats. She thinks coffee shop owners have an “immediate understanding of what customers need.” “It’s great to know the small business people in the community,” says Kroll. “We’re supporting the coffee shops and they’re supporting us. We’re also both supporting jobs in the community, and that’s how it should be.” At Backlot, Kim decided to sell Sugar and Spice’s scones — as well as food from Evanston’s Blind Faith Café and Curt’s Café — because he believes in “highlighting what our neighbors are great at.” “If you can keep the money in the city, it benefits everybody,” he says. This line of thinking is very common and even embraced at coffee shops with a handful of locations. Dollop Coffee Co. has 13 locations in Illinois yet is still committed to involving local businesses in its operation. Furstenau says the coffee shop partners directly with Evanston’s Hoosier Mama Pie, “serving their truly amazing pie in many locations,” as well as with Spirit Tea, a Chicago-based tea company that also counts Reprise among its partners. “We love working with local people,” Paronto says. “We’ve become friends with other local business owners and we promote what one another does. Isn’t that what it’s all about?”

Coffee shops as facilitators of personal connection If you spend time at the Unicorn Café, it doesn’t take long to notice that Majewski knows every customer’s name. She greets them with a smile and chats with them between steaming milk and taking the next order. “Working here, I’ve learned how much you can impact someone by just asking them how they are,” Majewski says. “By personally connecting with someone, you are making them feel seen or heard that day.” Majewski says in addition to the interactions she has with those who frequent the café, she is “lucky to be so close” with her coworkers and the owner of the Unicorn Café, Jessica Donnelly. She said everyone on the Unicorn Café’s staff supports, cares about, and leans on each other. Because of this, Majewski recommends customers “get to know people in front of and behind the counter.” She says it’s sure to add valuable layers of personal connection to one’s coffee shop experience. Before I left my visit with each of the coffee shops, I asked the same question: “If you could tell customers one thing, what would it be?” I received a variety of answers to this question, ranging from Furstenau’s assurance that “it’s okay to put cream in your coffee,” to Paronto’s advice that customers should value their barista’s expertise. But one answer was repeated every single time. “Become a regular,” Kim says, perfectly articulating the common sentiment. “Acknowledge who is behind the counter, look each other in the eye and say, ‘I do recognize you.’ The more that happens within a community, the better a community becomes.”





The Never-Ending Pop-Up Movement Move over, food trucks. In the age of Instagram, millennials and foodies alike come together to rejoice in the growing trend of pop-ups. By Gabby Cano My Uber driver questioned as he glanced over his shoulder toward me. To be fair, I wasn’t even sure. We pulled up to a small brick building, located on a fairly deserted street in River West. Large windows that wrapped around the front of the venue allowed me to peer in, and I thankfully saw the man I was scheduled to meet, Chef Jason Reynolds of LionHeart. Sporting a floppy black beanie and a loose-fit cardigan, Reynolds was not exactly what I had pictured for a fine dining chef. But then again, LionHeart is anything but the typical Chicago restaurant. It’s a pop-up. “Are you sure this is it?”

I examined the romantic-yet-industrial atmosphere deriving from the set-up in an old warehouse that featured brassy silverware and cool blue hues while

plopping myself down in a seat. Reynolds, who was behind the bar, carefully measured the ingredients for his canelés, a fragile French pastry that features a soft custard center and a caramelized crust. Yum. After spending approximately 10 years in real estate, the California native decided it was time for a change and started working in the food industry, interning at Michelin star restaurants. LionHeart, Reynolds’ very own creation, is exclusive as short-term pop-ups come: It seats a mere 10 people, and for a steep $95 per seat, diners indulge in a 10-course meal that lasts approximately two to three hours. “It’s like cooking Thanksgiving dinner two to three times a week, and I love it because I am able to create a high quality menu as I work to develop my voice as a chef in this industry,” Reynolds says.

In several months of serving dishes like French canelés and raviolo (a hearty pasta dumpling with a savory filling), LionHeart experienced some serious success. Reynolds’ bold flavors and the exclusiveness of his spot represents a bigger picture: These temporary pop-up eateries are all the rage right now, especially within the Chicago food scene. In the National Restaurant Association’s 2018 “What’s Hot Culinary Survey,” pop-up restaurants were the sixth most popular restaurant trend (and for good reason). But before 2009, there were few pop-ups people knew about. According to Google Trends, it was not until 2014 when pop-ups skyrocketed significantly.




The Origin of the Pop-Up Referred to as ‘supper clubs’ in the 1960s, the concept of a short-term eatery is nothing new. Recently, however, pop-up restaurants are seeing a resurgence. According to GQ, these restaurants started to rise in popularity around a decade ago, post-recession. For chefs and business owners, opening a permanent restaurant proves risky and shockingly expensive. Pop-ups act as a solution for those who want to test out a concept without spending the money to open a permanent business. “Pop-ups are a more intellectual way of cooking. Opening a permanent space is highly expensive, and why spend that money on a concept that people might not

like?” Reynolds says. “There’s a quality of flexibility in pop-ups that you can’t find in a typical business model.” Nowadays, a pop-up describes just about everything from a fine-dining experience like LionHeart to a themed dinner at an apartment. Eateries are popping up (pun intended) in unusual spots, parking lots, empty warehouses or in the kitchen of a private home. In 2016, Chicago-based marketing agency PopUp Republic valued the pop-up industry at an impressive $50 billion.

So, what do all of these places have in common? They’re all temporary. Here one month and gone the next, pop-ups are a foodie’s paradise. These restaurants are quickly becoming an alternative to the traditional dining experience. “The experience is individualistic and more intimate in these types of places. It allows people to see more of a show, one that they can’t get at a classic restaurant where you sit and enjoy your food but you don’t get to see how it’s made or interact with the chef,” Reynolds says.

The Appeal of Temporary Pop-ups appeal to both chefs and consumers for many reasons. Chefs and business owners use these temporary shops to pursue creative freedom and experiment with ideas. Consumers, on the other hand, are captivated by the Insta-worthy menu items and unique setups. “For the most part though, I think temporary spots are super appealing to millennials because our generation likes to try new things or be on top of the latest food fad. And pop-ups provide a cool, innovative way of trying that,” Northwestern University student Olivia Belt says. Belt believes that pop-ups offer food industry professionals the chance to test a market and experiment with concepts. According to her, Chicago is the perfect city for the trendy nature of these places. “From a consumer perspective, a pop-up can either be super memorable or really forgettable. Having stamina power



is important, or else consumers will easily forget about it,” Belt says. A PopUp Republic poll found that 61 percent of shoppers listed seasonal products as the main reason to shop at a pop-up. It also discovered that consumers are drawn to pop-ups because they offer unique services and/or products (39 percent), localized assortments (36 percent), convenience (33 percent) and a fun experience (30 percent). It is evident that there is a market for these pop-ups, and the short-term investment costs and the creative freedom appeal to professionals. According to Chef Stephen Bieniek, the cost to run a pop-up is a few thousand dollars. This, he says, pales in comparison to the costs it takes to open a full-time restaurant. “Chefs don’t need to invest in a brick and mortar spot and maintain an actual restaurant space,” Bieniek says.


TV Sitcoms Meet Pop-Ups In today’s world, it’s not what people eat, it’s how they eat it. A large appeal of the pop-up industry is the vastly different experiences offered to consumers. Chef Bieniek, delivers a one-of-a-kind dining experience for guests by hosting themed dinners based off beloved American television shows. His latest themed dinner is based off the beloved show Seinfeld. Previously, Bieniek worked at several Chicago food spots before venturing into the world of pop-ups.

Get in the Kitchen allows for Bienek to host approximately 34 to 36 guests for a three hour dinner featuring a four course meal designed around the featured show. For $79 per ticket, the dinner also includes games, trivia related to the theme and prizes. According to Bieniek, Seinfeld contained an abundance of food references that made creating a menu extremely easy. Friends, however, proved slightly challenging for the Chicagoland chef.

The idea for this pop-up began with birthday dinners that Bieniek would throw for his family. The birthday celebrations had a theme to them, usually relating to a television show. In March 2018, Bieniek took this concept and designed a Golden Girls themed dinner, hosted at Get in the Kitchen. The Chicago area venue hosts a variety of cooking classes and culinary events. It was the perfect fit, according to Bieniek. “Pop-ups alleviate a lot of the typical startup costs associated with opening a permanent restaurant. But, there’s an assumption that you could open a pop-up anywhere and people don’t realize that you need to find a space to accomodate what you’re doing. It also needs to have enough space for your food and your product,” Bieniek says.

Dinner guests vary, based on the featured show. “You have guests who are attorneys, architects, or whoever, but the one common bond is their love for a specific television show. They have a common link, regardless of their backgrounds, and that’s what makes the dinners that I do so successful and popular,” Bieniek says. Bieniek credits the growing success of his pop-up to the the intimacy and creativity. “A lot of people like the idea of interacting with the chef. While there are a ton of traditional restaurants in Chicago, pop-ups like mine offer a fairly new, interactive experience that is relatively cheap. You don’t have to pay $200 to eat a nice meal, instead you can spend $80 for a couple less courses but a similar experience and quality of food.”

How Does Chicago Do Pop-Ups? It’s pretty evident that Chicago’s food scene is already one of the best in the game. Popups only enhance the Windy City with their interesting menus and diverse themes. Honey Butter Fried Chicken chefs and owners Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp decided to venture into these short-lived spaces with chef Becca Grothe of Sunday Dinner Club. The result? A high successful pop-up, TriBecca’s Cubano. Honey Butter Fried Chicken is a household name throughout Chicago, and the new pop-up was based on a singular sandwich: Grothe’s version of a Cubano. And for good reason. With roasted pork, cured ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and chipotle mayo on ciabatta, Grothe wasn’t messing around. TriBecca’s Cubano quickly made a name for itself in its host venue, Revival Food Hall (located in the Loop).

This venue is home to some seriously delicious vendors, however, Revival Food Hall dedicates one of its stalls to a temporary vendor (aka a pop-up spot). For three months in the spring of 2018, TriBecca’s Cubano graced Chicagoans with its bold flavors and unique menu. “While we love the idea of a permanent location for TriBecca’s because it has potential for deeper roots, it needs to have legs to stand on first. Doing a pop-up allowed us to introduce the brand to customers, and it’s a really creative, effective marketing tool. It’s a good idea to test things out, and it’s fun to have things be temporary,” Cikowski said. The future of TriBecca’s Cubano is unclear for now, but according to Grothe, the end goal is to open a permanent place to serve her special sandwich. Like TriBecca’s

Cubano, pop-ups are popping up (literally speaking) throughout the Windy City. Lincoln Park’s Replay opened a It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia themed temporary bar last year, and Ironside Bar & Galley in River North recently opened a Sex and the City themed pop-up “Cosmo Carrie’s” that runs until March 20. Let’s not forget, BAITA at Eataly is a pop-up inspired by the Italian Alps that features heavenly pasta dishes and warming wines. One thing is obvious: Pop-ups will continue to rise in popularity. The trend of temporary is here to stay. “I don’t think pop-ups are going anywhere. The evolution of these guys will be most interesting. It allows people to build buzz before opening an actual restaurant, and it’s a cool way to be present. It’s temporary and exclusive,” Cikowski said.




Dear Bennison’s, I don’t know how to thank you for all you’ve done for me these past four years.

As a naïve freshman, you felt like my little secret whenever I stopped by for a fluffy powdered donut and a coffee on my way to my offcampus job, until I realized Evanston is a lot bigger than just the walk between the Arch and Andy’s. You were there for me when I needed a custom cake for my best friend’s birthday, or a box of adorable assorted cookies that I presented with pride to my coworkers on the last day of my internship to show how thankful I was for them. Other bakeries in Evanston can’t compare. They don’t have your depth and range, your relative closeness. Imagine only knowing Starbucks’s soggy “Glazed Old-Fashioned” donuts for the rest of your life… It’s a sad thought. Luckily, you’re the whole package. You’ve got fat paczkis for Fat Tuesday. Freshly baked, crusty baguettes. Brightly colored sugar cookies decorated with Hillary’s face that offered me a taste of comfort after the 2016 election. Your creativity never fails to surprise me. And I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re just so cheap. I know I can count on you when I need a sweet treat but my bank account’s at the end of its rope. You never even judge me when I pull out my debit card to pay for my two dollar donut because I never carry cash. You’ve never let me down. I’ll miss seeing your brightly lit, red marquee sign calling to me like a lighthouse in a storm as I trek down Davis Street in the snow. I’ll especially miss breathing in that sweet, sweet smell of fried dough that keeps me coming back to you, again and again. I don’t want to have to cheat on you. I wish I could take you with me when I graduate and move to who knows where. But until then, let’s make the most of the time we have left. I’ll have your biggest red velvet cupcake and a hot chocolate, please.

With love,

Aine Dougherty



My Strange Addiction A writer explores the science behind her caffeine addiction. By Grace Luxton

Over the years, I’ve watched my mom cut myriad foods out of her diet to detox, gain energy or lose weight. In 2014, when gluten was the alleged culprit, we rid the house of pasta and bread in pursuit of clear skin and less inflammation. Then sugar became the devil, so sweets were nixed. Some changes stuck, some didn’t. But no matter what fare came and went, one stayed constant: coffee. From waking up to the sounds of grinding coffee beans before school, to conversing over a fancy espresso drink, to testing the clock to get to first period without sacrificing a Dunkin’ run, I grew to love the ritual of coffee. Quickly, ritual turned habitual. By junior year of high school, I had become physically dependent on caffeine. When I forgot to drink it (which I rarely did), I endured headaches and felt uncharacteristically irritable. Before long late-night drumline practices, I took migraine medicine to give myself an extra caffeine boost. Fast forward to junior year of college. One standard eight ounce cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams of caffeine. Current guidelines suggest capping consumption at 400 milligrams. On an average day, I consume about 700 milligrams. I began to wonder how caffeine might affect my body and brain. I don’t experience the same jitters and sleeplessness that others feel — does that mean I’m immune to the effects, or could caffeine be affecting my body in a more insidious way? After a lot of internet digging, I consulted a nutrition expert. She ran a blood test and immediately took note of my cortisol levels. Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, is what spikes when your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. On a smaller scale, cortisol gently rises to wake you up in morning and falls to let you rest at night. At 1 p.m., when my blood was tested, my cortisol was low enough to be ready for a night’s rest — even though I had already had a cup of coffee or two. Caffeine affects the central nervous system, so it can artificially alter your adrenal cortex — the part of your brain that produces cortisol, among other hormones — and produce this response. As I regularly altered my adrenal function with caffeine, I essentially recalibrated my brain to my abnormally high coffee intake. Basically, my tolerance for caffeine had become so high that my brain required it to function normally. But tolerance didn’t fully answer my question. After all, if caffeine tolerance built up the same way for everyone, then everyone who drinks coffee daily would incrementally make their way up to my consumption level. When I confess to friends how much caffeine I consume (mostly through coffee, but also tea and dark chocolate), they are shocked. My mom, on the other hand, doesn’t bat an eye. Instead, she recounts days when even ten cups of coffee and a triple-shot espresso barely fazed her. What if the answer was in our genes? It could be. According to scientific literature, variants on two genes play a role in how your body breaks down caffeine. Variations in these genes dictate how much caffeine-metabolizing enzyme is produced, and therefore the speed at which your body can metabolize and dispose of it. With this in mind, my mom took a 23andMe DNA test. The test predicted that she was likely to drink more caffeine based on her genetic disposition and strikingly high metabolic rate. This trait is heritable, so, needless to say, the apple likely doesn’t fall far from the tree. Every news cycle holds a different destiny for my favorite bitter beverage: some studies assert that it’s deadly, some suggest it will make you live longer. Will I ever nix the habit altogether? Probably not. Should I stop drinking my fourth cold brew late at night and still falling asleep before midnight like some sick magic trick? Definitely. Yes. For me, morning coffee will always be a treasured ritual. I associate the beverage with the warmth of my mother’s company, even when I’m alone. And unlike bread or sugar or milk or meat, which cycle in and out of the kitchen as health trends evolve, coffee will always be part of my home.




AUNT JEMIMA, GRANDMA JOAN A college student attempts to recreate a legendary family recipe using only memories... and an obscene amount of butter. By Alex Schwartz

Joan DesCombes was a kitchen designer. She won awards for her high-end arrangements of ceramic backsplashes, $20,000 ranges, and German-imported cabinets that closed so smoothly you couldn’t slam them shut no matter how hard you tried. She stocked the drawers in her showroom with Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma and furnished her office with Frank Lloyd Wright chairs. Walking through a space she designed made you feel like you had a lot of money, a famous last name, or at the very least good posture.



Dessert In her own kitchen, she swore by Julia Child and Irma Rombauer. She’d whip up Swiss chocolate fondue, impossibly tender boeuf bourguignon, and lamb chops that tasted divine even though you couldn’t recall her ever seasoning them. She had real granite countertops, and she’d make sure to point that out to you, along with her Miele dishwasher and Subzero-Wolf refrigerator. She was my Grandma, and even among all that cutlery and china, she still made her signature pancakes with Aunt Jemima’s Original mix. These weren’t just any pancakes: she called them Grandma’s Fluffy Pancakes. Crispy on the outside, unimaginably light and tender on the inside, their edges branded with rings of charred butter that taste a thousand times better than they look, I’d dream about them whenever I’d spend the night at Grandma’s. The only problem? Aunt Jemima’s recipe doesn’t hold a candle to Grandma Joan’s ever-so-slightly-altered one, and no one in my family has the latter written down. Grandma died 2 years ago after a long battle with cancer before she could see me graduate from high school. As much as I hate to say it, leaving home behind for college made it easy to leave her memory, too. So I’ve been piecing together what I remember of our lazy weekend mornings standing in front of her Viking gas range, trying to call her back to help me make breakfast.

Grandma’s Fluffy Pancakes

I wish I had a big, heavy, glass mixing bowl that wouldn’t spill or move when I whisk. But in quintessential college student fashion, the best I can come up with is a slightly rusted pot. Like a Depression-era Ina Garten (call me the “Bare-bones Contessa”), I prepare to throw the ingredients in and mix them together like the box of Aunt Jemima tells me to, scolding myself as I imagine how differently Grandma would’ve done it.

1 cup of Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix ¾ cup of milk (real milk is best, but nut milks work too — just remember, grandma wouldn’t approve) ¼ cup of Vegetable Oil 1 egg 1 full stick of butter... no joke maple syrup

For some last-minute advice, I call my mom, who remembers a few key components of the recipe: lots of butter, lumpy batter, and high heat. So I ignite my unreliable gas stove and place a pan on top. It’s like she’s standing behind me, giving me harsh but loving critiques. You pay almost $900 a month to live here — couldn’t they give you an Electrolux range? And a good pan is expensive, but you could buy one now and keep it until you die! I gently incorporate milk, oil, an egg, and mix until it’s lumpy but still viscous. Mix for shorter than you think you need to. Bits of unincorporated flour make them fluffy. I scoop out some batter with a red Solo cup — You spend money on alcohol but not a ladle? — coat the pan with a heart-stopping hunk of cultured French butter that would make even Paula Deen shudder — Your mother is scared of real butter now. Nobody said breakfast had to be healthy! — and pour in a perfectly sized pre-pancake. Wait until you see bubbles. I flip it over (splattering ensues) and am delighted to see that signature burnt ring. My favorite part. It tastes like candy. I lather more butter onto the cooked side and drop some pieces along the edges to make them extra crispy. It’s supposed to smell burnt. Don’t worry! I open a window (I’m alarming my roommates), place my spatula on the pancake — Don’t even think about it. If you want it to be fluffy, don’t press down. — and resist the temptation. Not bad. Practice makes perfect!

1. Follow Aunt Jemima’s directions for measuring the ingredients: add the mix, milk, oil, and egg to a large bowl and begin whisking. 2. Then, grandma takes over: combine the ingredients until the batter is wet but thick — there should be a good amount of lumps the size of your pink nail (which are just clumps of dry mix that haven’t been incorporated yet). This is key to making them fluffy! 3. Put a large skillet on medium-high heat and add basically an entire tablespoon of butter. Swirl it around a little but don’t spread it around the entire pan. 4. Once the batter starts bubbling, ladle a palmsized amount of batter into it. 5. Wait about a minute — butter should bubble around the edges of the pancake. Basically you’re trying to fry it... don’t be afraid. 6. Check the underside of the pancake, making sure that it’s golden brown with a charred ring around the edge. The uncooked side shouldn’t be runny. 7. Lift the pancake off the pan with a spatula and swirl more butter below it before flipping the pancake. 8. The second side cooking should only take about 30 seconds, and it should also have a charred ring around it. Transfer to a plate. 9. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy!

And just like that, one of Grandma’s Fluffy Pancakes sits on a plate in my crappy college kitchen, made with my crappy college stove and my crappy college spatula. I drizzle some syrup on it and cut off a piece. It definitely isn’t as spot on as I thought it would be, but I’m not deterred. There’s always next Sunday — You know, I really am so proud of you. — maybe then she’ll stay for longer.




Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.