Last month, a banner unfurled in the windows of a beloved storefront on 57th Street, bearing an announcement that would be a disappointment to some and a relief to others: after a year under new, and failing, management, Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe was shuttering for good.
The best beer-and-shot pairings along the 62 bus route
After four years of selling their brews at liquor stores, bars, and, of course, Maria’s, Marz Community Brewing opened their long-awaited taproom last February. A year before that, Lo Rez opened its doors for business in Pilsen. Moody Tongue, also of Pilsen, launched the year before that. In fact, all of the South Side breweries sampled here opened within the last five years. In short, there’s something of a craft beer renaissance happening south of Roosevelt—from professionals in wood-and-steel-converted-factory taprooms, to homebrewers in their garages and kitchens. For the third time, a group of Weekly editors—from amateur ale drinkers to aspiring aficionados—sat down at our Experimental Station office to try just a few of the beers that the South Side has to offer. After compiling our comments (some snarky, some sincere) and tallying up our numeric score (absolutely nonscientific and completely subjective), we present to you the 2018 South Side Beer Review.
Little Village wasn’t known for its Japanese cuisine… until now. While there’s still a dearth of Asian food options in the area, the opening of Sora Temakeria four months ago has put this neighborhood on the map for any sushi-lovers sojourning to the best spots in the city. But Sora Temakeria isn’t your run-of-the-mill sashimi establishment; its menu is Japanese in inspiration, but with a Brazilian bent. In the Baja—available in both sushi burrito and bowl forms—crab salad and jalapeño come together in a fantastic fusion of these geographically distal but surprisingly complementary cuisines and cultures.
Cafeteria Yesenia feels like your grandmother’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. This Back of the Yards restaurant, on the corner of Ashland and 43rd, is a South Side staple for Cuban cuisine.
After much anticipation, A Slice of Bronzeville opened two months ago. The restaurant stands at the corner of 47th & King Drive, across from the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Peach’s Restaurant. Its scarce décor, dim lighting, and exposed pipes are reminiscent of “locals-only” coffee shops, but the ever-present smell of tomato sauce and cheese make it clear that we are certainly in a pizzeria.
James Bishop was running one day in Washington Park. After jogging a quarter mile around the park, he became extremely hot. A light bulb went off, and that’s when he came up with the name Quarter Mile Sauce Runnin’… “Hot” for the uniquely flavored hot sauce that his family has become known for.
By now, many of us are aware of the increasing conversation around “food deserts” in Chicago and across the country. Food deserts are typically defined as low-income areas in which a significant portion of residents live a mile or more from grocery stores and supermarkets. In Chicago, the majority of food deserts are in predominantly African-American neighborhoods lacking accessibility to fresh food options, with much easier access to fast food, liquor, and convenience stores. While a great deal of the momentum that has emerged around the issue has focused on increasing food accessibility, many of these proposed solutions—including the proposal to increase grocery stores in the city—actually operate within the status quo and fail to make structural change.
At 11:30pm last Wednesday, a group of fifteen people was standing on a street in West Town, watching for the arrival of a truck. They were members of Chicago Animal Save, an animal anti-cruelty group, and they were holding a monthly vigil to protest the animal cruelty that goes ignored in slaughterhouses. Each member was ready to stand until the truck came, which might not happen until four in the morning. The truck would be bringing chickens for slaughter.
Instead of being rural and vast, these farms are a couple-acre lots enclosed by major streets and railway lines. Instead of shipping produce long distances, these farms serve their local, South Side communities. Instead of owning the land, these farmers tend to it with their community in mind. Instead of using a top-down structure of organization, these farms are cooperative, owned equally by the farmers themselves and the City of Chicago. These are cooperative farms, the new crop of urban agriculture on the South Side.