Food | Food Issue 2019 | McKinley Park

Classic Cakes, New Space

McKinley Park's Kristoffer's Cakes

Asia Babiuk

Looking for a place to order a custom cake for your best friend’s birthday or your grandparents’ anniversary? Well-known and well-loved for their fluffy tres leches cakes, which come in a variety of flavors, Kristoffer’s Cakes should top your list. For those unfamiliar, tres leches is a type of sponge cake made without butter, which results in a cake that’s full of holes and dry enough to be soaked in three types of milk (evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream) to give it texture.

Brighton Park | Food | Food Issue 2019

Something New In Front of the Sun

Brighton Park's Frente al Sol

Adam Przybyl

I got a sense of the kind of effect Frente al Sol could have on a customer when I walked in for the first time and a woman by the counter turned to me, completely unprompted, and said, “The food here is amazing.” A few minutes later, again spontaneously, she told me to have a great day as she left before I could get her name. Wondering if the food here had that impact on everyone, I ordered, on the co-owner’s recommendation, a tilapia taco ($3.15) and four chicken enchiladas in an avocado-poblano sauce ($12.59). Frente al Sol bills itself as a Mexican fusion restaurant, so even though the menu had a lot of familiar Mexican restaurant fare, I wanted to try the dishes that came with a twist.

Bridgeport | Food | Food Issue 2019

Spicy Chicken for the Soul

Bridgeport's Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken

Davon Clark

Graffiti adorns Bridgeport’s newest (and only) fried chicken restaurant, but don’t worry—it’s open. Situated just south of Archer and Halsted, the colorful storefront of Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken is hard to miss. The interior follows a similar design, with spray-paint motifs and illustrations of cartoon chickens and ambiguous creatures (are they rabbits or dogs?) dressed like chickens.

Food | Food Issue 2019 | Hyde Park

I Won’t Be Back

Three newish Hyde Park restaurants fail to meet basic expectations

Lizzie Smith

I enjoy food. The second I finish the last bite of my breakfast I’m contemplating what I’m going to have for lunch. I have a liberal palate with no dietary restrictions, and I appreciate most flavor profiles. I can chow down with glee at a she-she poo-poo-laa white linen tablecloth reservations-only restaurant, or get my grub on just fine at the hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon, as long as the food and the vibe are good. There are few deal-breakers for me when it comes to a meal, so if I tell you there is a place where I’ve eaten but I won’t be back, you may want to listen. Draw your own conclusions, of course, but here are some of mine.

Chinatown | Food | Food Issue 2019

Underground Dives at the Richland Food Court

The big dreams at work in Chinatown’s unassuming basement food court

Tammy Xu

In 2011, when Jinxi Liu saw the Richland Center Food Court for the first time, it didn’t look like a welcoming place for new beginnings. Located in the basement of the Richland Center in Chinatown, the hall had been open less than a year and still looked mostly empty, with only a couple food vendors attending to their stalls. But to Liu, who had moved to the United States from the Chinese coastal province of Guangdong three years earlier, it nonetheless seemed like a promising place to start a restaurant of his own. In June of that year, with money he had borrowed from relatives and saved from working in various kitchens, he opened Yummy Yummy Noodles, the food court’s newest stall specializing in noodle dishes.

Food | Food Issue 2019 | Politics

What is the Future of Food Policy in Chicago?

Chicago’s food justice organizations weigh in

Ellen Hao

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot campaigned on a promise to “Bring in the Light,” positioning herself as a progressive candidate who would uplift all Chicagoans. Prior to the runoff, the Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) asked both candidates where they stood on food justice issues that impact Chicago’s communities. In response to the eight detailed questions in the CFPAC questionnaire, Lightfoot simply responded “yes.”

Agriculture | Food

Healing and Funding Chicago’s Food System

Black and brown farmers collectives earn recognition through a newly launched grassroots funding model

Siena Fite

A line grew out the door of B’Gabs Goodies on a Friday evening in late October, as around seventy-five people filed into the intimate Hyde Park eatery for the the second iteration of a grassroots funding event called Food Fun(d)ing Friday. As I waited in line with my friend, we overheard the chatter of friends who hadn’t seen each other in years, and who had encouraged each other to come together to this event.