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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



DINING Food-truck social, Ina Mae's Sno-Balls, JoJo's brunch
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 2602 times since Tue Jun 4, 2019
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—The Pilsen Food Truck Social will take place June 8-9 at 1200-1300 W. 18th St., 12-10 p.m. A few of the food trucks present will include The Happy Lobster, 5411 Empanadas, Whadda Jerk and Churro Factory. Attendees who purchase the $20 sampler ticket can stroll around and try six sample-sized portions. ( A percentage of proceeds from Pilsen Food Truck Social will benefit local non-profits. ) See .

—Ina Mae Tavern, 1415 N. Wood St., is now serving 11 specialty Sno-Balls in addition to eight classic New Orleans staple flavors. Specialty flavors include Bywater Boho ( fresh pineapple, cilantro, lime ) and Zulu Ball ( coconut milk with blueberry ) as well as crazy "stuffed" concoctions like Ultimate Peach Cobbler ( Fresh peach combined with sugar, spice and butter stuffed and topped with soft serve, flambeed peaches, whipped cream, cookie crumble and caramel drizzle ) and Sassy Strawberry ( Strawberry Sno-Ball stuffed and topped with soft serve, chocolate dip, caramel drizzle, whipped cream and chocolate-covered strawberry ).

—JoJo's Milk Bar, 23 W. Hubbard St., has started serving brunch. Signature dishes include the Noah's Ark, which features challah filled with a tomato-sauce egg bake ( with two eggs ), then paired with two slices of bacon and sausage links; the Chicken & Waffle…Fries, with fried chicken atop waffle fries and drizzled with sweet and spicy honey; gourmet Pop Tarts; and the Wonder Bowl, with Greek yogurt, housemade granola, fruit, honey and bee pollen. See .

—Olive Oils from Spain and the European Union showcased Spanish olive oil at a special pintxos party held May 30 at Black Bull. Chefs Marcos Campos and James Beard nominee Seamus Mullen joined forces for a culinary demonstration. In addition to the culinary demonstrations and tastings, the event also included an educational speech by Teresa Perez, GM of Olive Oils from Spain. The evening also included guided olive-oil tastings led by expert oleologist Alfonso Fernandez; guests sampled several olive-oil varieties.

—The founders of LGBT sports bar Crew Bar and Grill have a new project in the works that expands on the now-shuttered venue's inclusive legacy, Eater Chicago noted. Next year, business partners Steve Milford and Brian Wells are planning to open Cochran's Tavern, a "diverse sports tavern," at 6341 N. Broadway. Loyola University Chicago, which would be nearby, has agreed to help with capital improvements—but the partners will first need to fund the project and will be reimbursed once the venue opens.

—"Flight of Hope" will take place at Tapster, 2027 W. North Ave., on Tuesday, June 4, 6-9 p.m. The event ( advertised as "beers for a good cause" ) will support the services of Hispanic social-service agency Casa Central. Special guests will include Illinois Comptroller and recent Chicago mayoral candidate Susana Mendoza; and Chicago news reportere Diana Gutierrez. Tickets are $65 each; visit .

—Boutique hotel FieldHouse Jones, 312 W. Chestnut St., and the coffee shop located within, DropShot Coffee & Snack Bar, have teamed with 5411 Empanadas to offer its entire empanada menu through DropShot. To kick off the collaboration, FieldHouse Jones and DropShot are hosting a patio party Thursday, June 6, 5-7 p.m., with the 5411 Empanada Food Truck on site, live music, Argentinian-inspired cocktail specials, and $5 draft beers and $5 glasses of wine.

—Just Salad is celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community this Pride Month. Through June 30, Just Salad is bringing back a Pride-themed salad and, in the name of inclusivity for all LGBTQIA+ identities, it has been renamed from the Big Gay Garden Salad to the Just Proud Salad. One dollar from each salad sold will go to LGBTQIA+ organizations around the country; locally, it will be the Center on Halsted. See

—There will be a specialty Father's Day menu at The Claridge Hotel's Juniper Spirits & Oysters, 1244 N. Dearborn Pkwy., on June 15-16, featuring a choice of filet, BLT or lobster slider paired with a flight of gin or beer. See .

—The 21st Annual Ribfest Chicago will now take place Father's Day weekend, June 14-16. A few of the event's vendors will include City Barbeque, El Campeon, Wrigley BBQ, Porkchop, Famous Dave's and Blowin' Smoque BBQ. Tickets are $10-$50 ( VIP ) each; visit .

—Tied House, 3157 N. Southport Ave., will host a drag-queen brunch Saturday, June 15. Guests can reserve tables between 12-1:30 p.m., and catch performances from Chicago personalities Chamilla Foxx and Bambi Banks-Coulee. Regular brunch service will feature a $6 rose special, with performances every 15 minutes. See .

—The 4th Annual Trans Community Ice Cream Social will take place Wed., June 19, on the rooftop of Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event is free, and on RSVP is required. See .

—Taureaux Tavern, 155 W. Van Buren St., will host summer Dog Yoga ( "doga" ) once per month in its outdoor courtyard beginning Saturday, June 22, at 10 a.m. Dog owners are encouraged to bring their furry friends along for a 45-minute guided yoga class, all while enjoying complimentary mimosas and a doggy brunch buffet. Guests can stay after the class and fuel up on brunch favorites like avocado toast, yogurt parfait, and lox and bagel, and much more on Taureaux's dog-friendly pergola or outdoor patio. Yoga mats and dogs are not provided. Future doga classes will take place on Saturday, July 20, and Saturday, Aug. 17. Tickets can be purchased at

—For Pride Month, Big Gay Ice Cream is teaming with pastry chef Leigh Omilinsky—this time from her new home, Cold Storage, 1000 W. Fulton Market, on June 24-30. There will be Pride Pops ( rainbow sherbet popsicles served with a shot of tequila ), but those who can't make it to Cold Storage that week can enjoy a dairy-free Pride Sundae all month long. A portion of the proceeds from these offerings will be donated to Chicago's Howard Brown Health.

—Windy City Smokeout will be held July 12-14 at a new location right outside of Chicago's United Center. Hosted by Bub City and Joe's Bar, the event is the first official outdoor music festival to take place at the West Loop arena's 250,000-square-foot parking lot along Madison Street. Some of the country acts slated to perform are Old Dominion, Jessie James Decker, Parker McCollum, LANCO and Muscadine Bloodline.

—The 13th annual Veggie Fest will be in Lisle's Danada South Park on Aug. 10-11. Just a few of the recent additions to the international food court include four styles of vegan omelets, buffalo cauliflower wings ( served with vegan ranch dip ), a Buddha bowl with quinoa and a twist on avocado toast. See .

—Jeong, 1460 W. Chicago Ave., has a menu that draws inspiration from traditional Korean ingredients from Chef Dave Park's childhood with his grandparents in Korea. However, one of his desserts borrows something from his childhood that is a little less traditional ( and Japanese ): Hi-Chew. Park crafts a sweet stock using Hi-Chews, and incorporates that into making a pillowy mochi, served with a sorbet made with cloudy Korean rice wine Makgeolli as well as grapefruit segments for some added acidity. The whole dessert is topped with a delicate meringue made using omija or "five-flavor" berries that have five distinct tastes ( sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty ).

—Half Acre Beer Co., 2050 W. Balmoral Ave., unveiled its newly renovated and expanded beer garden and bocce court at its Balmoral brewery to kick off the Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer. The outdoor bar has 12 taps serving a variety of beer, from the recently released Bodem IPA to Tuna Session IPA. See .

Send items to, or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 or on Instagram at azygous333.

This article shared 2602 times since Tue Jun 4, 2019
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