The Spirits of Southern Delaware

By  Terri Marshall

Southern Delaware is a popular beach destination in the summer, but spend a little time exploring off the beach and you will discover the true spirit – and spirits – that call Delaware home.

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Sampling the Spirits of Ireland

By Terri Marshall

People travel to Ireland for many reasons. Some go to unearth their heritage, to experience a glimpse of Irish history or to celebrate the spirit of the Irish people.  Others just go to sample the spirits from the land that brought us Jameson and Guinness.

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Dirty Franks: Mixing Art & Liquid Culture

By Terri Marshall

There is no sign outside.  There is no way to know what the place is about.  There is no way to know about its colorful history or the colorful characters inside.  But if you find it, you will love it.  Opening just after Prohibition ended, Dirty Franks has been a Philadelphia staple for over 79 years.

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The Beer Can House: Recycling at its Best

“They say every man should leave something to be remembered by.  At least I accomplished that goal.”  – John Martin Milkovisch

By Terri Marshall

Are you a beer drinker?  I don’t mean just an occasional beer drinker, but one with a regular beer consumption schedule!  Well if you are, I am sure you have accumulated your share of beer cans over the years.  We all know beer cans are recyclable, but one Houston, Texas resident took recycling to a whole new level.  You might say he was “green” before green was fashionable!

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In New York: Skip the pubs and clubs and head to the Trailer Park

By Terri Marshall

Looking for drinks in New York City?  Skip the pubs and clubs and head straight to the Trailer Park!  Yes, I said the Trailer Park.  Advertised on its website as “The Place to Meet your Next Ex”, the Trailer Park Lounge & Grill located in historic Chelsea at  271 West 23rd Street brings all things tacky to the big city.  It’s not hard to find, just look for the toilet out front – the one doubling as a planter and ashtray of course.  Head inside through the screened door  (slamming it as you enter) and you will find yourself right smack dab in the middle of  trailer park culture.

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The Food Truck Phenomenon

By Jen Rock

I call it the “food truck phenomenon” and most of Southern California might agree. Foodies and families alike have fallen in love with gourmet food trucks. From South Bay to the west end of the San Fernando Valley, these mobile restaurants have taken over curbsides just about everywhere they can. Some communities are more receptive to this food trend than others. Granada Hills, which is a small pocket located in the west San Fernando Valley, has extended its community hand to local food trucks.

Every Wednesday and Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., the gourmet food trucks line up along Chatsworth Street to feed gourmet street food to the masses. It all started with Mary Turner, who runs a street cleaning business in the area. In July of last year, Turner and her husband lost their jobs and went on unemployment. It was during that summer that they saw the food truck frenzy as an opportunity to make money. They started their own street cleaning business and went to the Chamber of Commerce in Granada Hills. They proposed that the chamber allow food trucks to operate along Chatsworth, as long as each truck paid a street cleaning fee of $30. Turner and her husband’s business, D & M Cleaning Services, would then clean up the streets after the food trucks left. “When the trucks come in, everybody comes out. The parents, the kids, the animals, it’s really a fun time. It’s a great to see all the neighbors and people in the community come out and enjoy a meal,” says Turner.

Since September 2011, it has been a street event every Wednesday and Friday. Foodies rejoice in all that these food trucks have to offer because there are options for almost any palate. Filipino, sushi, barbeque, American, German, French, Mexican and even Hawaiian cuisine are just some of the choices residents have along Chatsworth Street. “A lot of families live in the area and foodies alike. The town is really good to the trucks. Anytime where you put a bunch of trucks together hopefully a lot of people come out and this is a great example of that,” says Dave Miller, owner of Trailer Park Truck. Trailer Park Truck serves up some tasty American cuisine with burgers, mac and cheese, bacon melts, and chicken salad to name a few. Pineapple Express serves up some tasty Hawaiian medleys and experienced business in Granada Hills for the first time on Friday. “We’ve been checking this spot out for a while. Our commissary is not too far from here and it seems to draw up a lot of crowds,” says Jeffery Mora, owner of Pineapple Express.

Of course some of the cons that come with food truck events are the complaints from brick and mortar businesses in the area. Some business owners on Chatsworth Street have said that the trucks take up all the parking for customers, create dangerous situations for pedestrians crossing the street, and cause extra congestion and trash. However, it looks like the food truck phenomenon is here to stay for now. Check out Roaminghunger.com to find a food truck near you. There’s bound to be one to satisfy your palate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check, Mate

Sailing and Chess: Basics of the Chicago Match Race Cup

By Jamie DeGraaf

“When I say ‘sailing,’ the first image that comes to most people’s minds is most likely a pristine wooden yacht with a blue blazed captain manning the woodwind,” says Tod Reynolds, director of Chicago Match Race Center. “That could not be further from what is taking place at Navy Pier this week.”

A life-long lover of all things sailing, Reynolds is in full glory as the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) hosts the Chicago Match Cup, the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Race Tour. The event has drawn 12 of the world’s top-ranked skippers and their teams to compete for their share of the $100,000 in prize money and points earned towards the Tour’s overall World Championship, which features $1.75 million in prize money, the largest booty offered in the world of sailing. Kicked off on July 10, the event continues at the end of Navy Pier through Saturday, July 15 and is open to spectators.

“These boats are sleek racing machines that the teams push to their limits maneuvering within inches of their opponents as they seek to gain an edge,” says Reynolds. He explains match racing strategy by saying, “It turns sailboat racing into a game of chess where you control your boat using the physics of the wind and water to out maneuver and outsmart your opponent.”

Reynolds inherited his passion for sailing from his father, an Olympic runner-up in the sailing trials. At 7-years-old, Reynolds entered his local junior sailing program in his New Jersey hometown. “It was an activity I immediately took to learning from not only my instructors in the local program, but my dad, grandfather, and older cousins,” he remembers. “It was a true family activity.” Reynolds sailed throughout high school, joined the Northwestern University team in college, and competed across the Midwest, making it to nationals his senior year, after which he began match racing at CMRC.

2011 found Reynolds elected as the new director of CMRC and, every day since then, he has felt  there has been something new and exciting to contribute to the development of the Cup. For example, in reference to organizing the Chicago Match Race Cup, Reynolds says, “My role is to create a signature Chicago event that utilizes what I consider the city’s greatest asset: Lake Michigan, which showcases the city globally, is entertaining to spectators locally, and provides value to event sponsors.”

Since opening in 2009, CRMC has established an international reputation for high quality match racing; therefore, being asked to host a new stop for the Alpari World Match Race Tour seemed to be a natural, logical choice.  CRMC is confident and prepared to run the entire event, both on and off the water. “The tour brings with it the top teams in the world, an international media team, and some fantastic sponsors,” says Reynolds, “but I have to thank the staff and volunteers at the Chicago Match Race Center as they are the ones who made this event a reality.”

Reynolds invites the entire Chicago community to join CRMC at Navy Pier this weekend for the first of what he expects to become an annual must-see Chicago summertime event. “The concept of match racing is simple: beat your opponent off the line,” says Reynolds. “However, the path to execution is one of thrills, spills, collisions, and emotion.” He promises you won’t be bored.

Celebrating Four Years of Freshii

By Patty Jae

City-dwelling is riddled with long commutes and greasy fast-food restaurants. But health food lifestyle restaurant Freshii aims to provide the masses with an alternative to fast unhealthy food. Celebrating its fourth year in the second city, Freshii will be hosting their anniversary, June 11-15.

To express gratitude for years of continued patronage, Freshii will have special deals on their menu items during their anniversary week. For those stopping by any of their six Chicago locations before 11 a.m., select breakfast items including the (delicious sounding) Spinach and Goat Cheese Wrap will be buy-one-get one, and after 2 p.m. that deals applies to their frozen yogurt. For lunch, the health-conscious food shop will feature $5 lunch specials, featuring a different menu item each day.

The fresh food provider will also be spotlighting some of their local vendors with samplings including: Skinny Pop Popcorn and Mark Bar. Additionally, Freshii will be donating $1 of every Nestle’s Resource bottled water purchased at either of their six participating locations to Imerman Angels- a non-profit dedicated to providing support for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers throughout their journey.

Founder Matthew Corrin, previously the Marketing Manager for acclaimed fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, launched Freshii in Toronto in 2005. The inspiration came from a lack of conveniently fast, yet guilt-free food options.

“Freshii operates in an emerging industry we call ‘health-casual.’ It has all the elements of fast casual…with an added focus on health and wellness. We wanted to give people nutritious food with plenty of options so they can design a meal that fits their individual tastes and busy, urban lifestyles,” revealed Corrin.

At Freshii you’ll find a range of healthy meals, such as, their Warrior Chicken Rice Bowl, Spicy Lemongrass Soup and Bangkok Burrito- all containing aspects of their health food framework of fiber loaded, slow-burning carbohydrates, and lean proteins. Freshii also has a “Mission Green” initiative which focuses on light packaging, reducing energy consumptions and limiting fatty processed foods.

David Grossman, a Freshii’s franchisor, has notable experience working with unique restaurant chains. He has opened 120 Subways in Chicago, and is becoming a reputable name in the restaurant industry. “I traveled the country looking for the next big thing and looked at many different conceptsFreshii had, by far, the most potential. I knew with the right location, the best team and local food sourcing, we could make it a huge success,” Grossman said.

Freshii has over 50 locations worldwide with their Chicago market being the leader in sales and volume.

For a list of locations, visit Freshii.com.

Nookies Edgewater

Approachable comfort food without the pretense.  That’s what Nookies Edgewater (1100 W. Bryn Mawr, 773.516.4188) diner is all about, according to owner Michael Mitsoglou. The newest location in Edgewater has modernized this concept, responding to customers’ evolving tastes but remaining true to its diner-style roots. So what does a “modern-diner” look like? We say a spacious, comfortable setting with an affordable, large-scale menu full of updated classics and seasonal creations served any time of the day. We say Nookie. The new chef-driven menu offers selections for a more refined palate, including juicy roasts, braises, and barbecues and seasonal choices like roast acorn squash with ancho lentils, steamed kale, goat cheese and house-smoked almonds. The restaurant’s atmosphere is an upgrade on the traditional dinner, with earthy colors, floor to ceiling windows, a liquor, juice and espresso bar and a patio in the works for spring. “Though we have a new face, we welcome our customers whether they are in their Sunday best or in sweat pants!” said Mitsoglou.

 


Highball Lounge

Highball Lounge (738 N. Clark, 312.397.1961) is a throwback in a glass. The retro lounge, located in the River North neighborhood, wants to remind Chicagoans of the days of yore, when architecture was sleek, booths were low, and glasses were tall. Their extensive cocktail list reveres the classic highball in addition to old school favorites like Moscow Mules, French 75s and Scotch & Sodas. Owner Perry Fotopoulos of the Tasting Room crafted the drink menu with top-notch ingredients from fresh squeezed juices to obscure mixers like dandelion and burdock soda, ensuring each cocktail is blended with unique perfection. Fotopoulos says “We wanted to create a place where couples, singles, or groups of friends can enjoy a good drink and the simple art of conversation set to a background of cool, upbeat melodies.” With the Playboy Club-esque décor, easy listening ambiance and distinctive spirits, we say: Cheers.