Category Archives: Food

Cob Connection Growing Food, Changing Lives

ChicagoStorytelling’s Lora Swarts and Yanyue Liu wrote this story and produced this audio slideshow about Cob Connection, a Chicago urban farming program, for the hyperlocal site Gapers Block.


Chicago’s Late-Night Restaurants Bring the Flavor

Photo of Pick Me Up Cafe's Drunken Chicken Appetizer 

Pick Me Up Cafe’s Drunken Chicken Appetizer

Audio Slideshow: Visit three Chicago late-night diners.

By Allison Barinholtz and Katie Fraser

Peter Poulos has a simple formula for the success of his business, Margie’s Candies.

“When you go to Gene and Gorgetti’s for a big steak dinner and you spend all that money on dinner, you don’t have a desire for dessert,” said Poulos, owner of Margie’s Candies. “So you get out and drive around with your lady and you come here an hour later, that’s the time to have dessert.

“What better thing can you do than share a banana split with your boyfriend and feed each other with one spoon?”

Margie’s Candies sits on the corner of Western and Armitage avenues in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Opened in 1921, it has stayed in the Poulos family for almost 90 years and has stayed the same since, except for the slight change in hours of operation.

“I changed the hours to 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. just to make my life easier,” said Poulos, 74, owner of Margie’s. The original hours: 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.

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Flirty Cupcakes Puts Desserts on Wheels in Chicago

Logo courtesy Flirty Cupcakes

Audio Slideshow: A look at a day downtown with the Flirty cupcakes truck.

By Vi Nguyen, Nimrah Pervez and Beth Kotz

Cakes are cumbersome. Cupcakes, on the other hand, are compact confectionary treats- the perfect baked good for any glutton on-the-go. The Flirty Cupcake truck, a mobile mini bakery, roams city streets seeking to satisfy the sweet teeth of busy Chicagoans.

Tiffany Kurtz, owner and founder of the Flirty Cupcakes, attributes her novel idea not to big city trends, but to enjoyable moments from her childhood. Kurtz began the venture with her husband, Chris Sewell.

“I remember being so excited when I heard the ice cream truck coming,” she said, “then I saw this beat up old truck sitting on the street, and it all just came together. While I wouldn’t chase after ice cream now, I would chase after cupcakes.”

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Felony Franks Gives Ex-Cons Second Chance

Felony Franks Photo

Felony Franks has outdoor seating that is closely monitored by Manager Jerry Tassos to avoid littering. (Photo by Charlotte Eriksen)

By Ashley Kohler and Charlotte Eriksen

The stench of Marlboro Red cigarettes waves through the air, plastic bottles and paper food cartons scatter the grassy floor beneath the picnic tables. The hot sun beams over the oddly quaint hot dog business.

Felony Franks, located at 229 S. Western Avenue, serves its trademark “misdemeanor wiener” and other jail-themed menu items through a bulletproof revolving glass window. The jail food gimmick is catchy, but the hot dog hut story is real. Felony Franks owner, Jim Andrews, 64, strictly employs his hot dog joint with ex-cons.

Andrews has received negative criticism from neighbors since his opening in July 2009, including Alderman Bob Fioretti, who publicly denounced the business and would not approve a curb cut for a drive-thru or sign permit.

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The Globe Pub Brings Soccer World to Chicago

By Cassandra Bowman, Andrew Fleury and Jillian Wolande

Roaring fans sit at the front while cheering on the Blackhawks as they sip their Carlsberg beer surrounded by the sound of five other televisions playing a soccer game from half way across the world. This is a typical scenario at The Globe Pub, a soccer bar located at 1934 W. Irving Park Road.

The Globe Pub can have people that live two blocks away and someone who lives 1,000 miles away sitting at its bar.

The Globe Pub regulars are both American and from various countries, according to Aubrey Miller, The Globe Pub manager.

“You can see the whole crowd speaking different languages,” Patrick Stanton said, a Globe Pub employee.

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Chicago Has Late-Night Food Options Aplenty

Late Night Thai Photo

Alan Julamoke, owner of Late Night Thai, stands behind the counter of one of his Belmont-area restaurants. (Photo by Audrey Leon)

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of stories about what happens in Chicago overnight.

By Audrey Leon

“You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,” is a familiar phrase heard by many Chicago club patrons around closing time. Late night restaurants are an attractive choice for many when the only goal in mind is to keep the night alive.

Late Night Thai, Roscoe Village

For those whose palates crave something more exotic, Late Night Thai at 1650 W. Belmont Ave. in Roscoe Village serves up noodles, fried rice and curries every Tuesday through Sunday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The restaurant, located near the Pony Inn bar, is sparsely decorated, but well lit. One man takes orders while one man cooks the food in a side kitchen. Late Night Thai is a cash-only establishment, but customers can utilize the restaurant’s in-house ATM.

Owner Alan Julamoke greets customers with a warm smile from behind the counter of his cozy late night establishment. When customers are rude, however, Julamoke said he does not hesitate to return the attitude.

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Baristas Keep Hospital Workers Wired, Awake

Mike Chikko Photo

Mike Chikko serves up coffee at the Starbucks located at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. (Photo by Kristin Rencher)

By Kristin Rencher

Mike Chikko, 25, lays his paper out across the table with his coffee held steady in his right hand. He glances over Chicago Tribune headlines, subtly dragging in the bold aroma of his Starbucks white chocolate mocha before taking a sip.

Like many other hard-working people, he relaxes during his lunch break, except his is at 2 a.m.

Starbucks baristas at Northwestern Memorial Hospital work around the clock, and the midnight shift staff say many exciting stories unfold during the overnight shift.

“It was completely different switching from day shift to night shift,” Nathan Papa, 25, another barista working the overnight shift. “In the morning, at the beginning of the workday, it’s so crowded that chatting with the customers was never an option. But during the midnight shift, it’s the complete opposite.”

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