Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bakers Square's 4 Square Breakfast

I'm one of those people that could eat breakfast any time of day and when I visit Baker's Square, it's not unusual for me to order some veggie crepes for lunch or an omelet for dinner. So, on my most recent visit, when I was bringing a friend out to lunch to celebrate his 79th birthday and I spotted the 4 Square Breakfast for $7.79, it was a done deal. I knew I was getting breakfast. The trick was narrowing it down to four items out of the 30 offered.

Among the choices are eggs cooked to your liking, omelets, bacon, sausage, turkey sausage, hash browns, country potatoes, cottage cheese, oatmeal, granola, fruit, French toast, pancakes and cornbread. I opted for the biscuits and gravy, hash browns, bacon and strawberry crepes. You can opt for an additional item for just $1.10 - up to 7 items total.

There are also additional "supreme" choices - things like a caramel pecan roll or a half ham steak that can be substituted for $1.10 or added for $1.30. Pretty much any breakfast item you can think of falls somewhere on that list. It's a sweet deal and those crepes were pretty sweet, too. I'm loving these options that can be enjoyed no matter what time of day. For the full 4 Square Breakfast menu, click here.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Weber Grill and Omaha Steaks teaming up for free grilling class in Orland Park on Saturday

We use our grill TONS in the summer months. The oven has only been used once or twice since the beginning of summer and the stove top just once a week or so. Our kitchen is in our back yard this time of year. Most of our meals get prepared on the patio and while I'd like to take credit for a lot of those great grilled meals, it's often my husband who is behind the spatula. One thing he is constantly looking to perfect is his steak grilling technique. He loves a nice pink center with a nice char outside and while they are always good, he is always trying to up his game and prepare a perfect steak. So, when I mentioned to him that there was a free grilling class going on outside the Omaha Steaks in Schaumburg earlier this month, he was excited to get in on the class and get some tips from the experts. 

We had seen a huge Weber trailer set up at the Naperville Ribfest over 4 of July weekend, and sure enough, it was the same one that parked outside of Omaha Steaks in the Streets of Woodfield in Chicago for this outdoor grilling lesson.

Each participant got their own Omaha Steak to grill on one of their cool compact and easily portable grills - that come in an assortment of awesome shades - and in the end they were able to taste it and see how they did.

My husband appreciated the small group setting (classes are limited to 20), so it was a fun, comfortable social event, but intimate enough to easily ask questions.

He came back quite excited and with some boxes of Omaha Steaks in hand that he had purchased at the store and was eager to put what he'd learned to use. One thing that surprised him was the high temperature used and he learned that he'd been doing that wrong. He was also surprised at how good a steak can be with a minimal amount of seasoning.

He has since prepared Omaha Steaks filet mignon on the grill and he did a great job of putting those lessons to work. The steaks were phenomenal!  

The class was open to anyone, but required advanced reservations. If you're a beginner wishing to learns some grilling basics or a frequent griller looking to perfect your techniques, this is a class that will provide some guidance from those who know their stuff.

Another class is being offered this weekend in the Chicago area. At the Omaha Steaks location in Orland Park, the Weber Grill Tour will be conducting three classes. You can stop by the Omaha Steaks store to register for this free steak grilling class. The store is located at store located at the Orland Park Crossing, 14215 La Grange Road, Suite 126 in Orland Park, IL.

Class times will be:

11 a.m. - noon
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Class size is limited to 20 participants.

Happy Hot Dog Day! Celebrate at Meatheads!

Happy Hot Day Day! Probably any Chicagoan would agree that our Chicago Dogs are the top dog, but the next best thing has got to be the New England Style dog from Meatheads. And since it's National Hot Dog Day, it's the perfect time to give it a try. Today they are offering $1.50 New England Style Dogs and if you post a pic of your masterpiece, you might win a big prize. Post your picture or video of your dog today with hashtag #MHDOG to enter.

Traveler Beer Company events celebrate National Refreshment Day

So, besides today being National Hot Dog Day, it's also National Refreshment Day and Traveler Beer Company has some Chicago area events happening today to help you get your brew on! 

Illustive Traveler is their flagship beverage, an American craft wheat ale made with grapefruit. Traveler beers are made with real fruit and real fruit juices and two other flavors highlight some popular flavors, including Curious Traveler, made with real lemon and lime, and Jack-O Traveler, made with real pumpkin.

National Refreshment Day – July 23, 2015
10:00PM - 11:30PM
CHICAGO IL 60613-2431
The Traveler team will be at Brownstone in Chicago for National Refreshment Day! Stop in for a refreshing shandy and try your hand at our Bucket Plunge game to win great prizes!

CHICAGO IL 60603-3301
Join us at The Gage for National Refreshment Day! Our refreshing Illusive Traveler will be on draft all day long so stop in for a pint and beat the summer heat with The Traveler Beer Co.!

Brass Tap – Orland Park
14225 95th Avenue, Ste. 400
Orland Park IL 60462
July 23rd is National Refreshment Day and we’re celebrating at Brass Tap in Orland Park, IL! Stop by for a refreshing Traveler shandy and cool off in the hot summer sun.

7:00PM - 9:00PM
We’re celebrating National Refreshment Day with our Illusive Traveler and a “Keep the Pint” night at Pints in Elmhurst, Illinois on July 23rd! To top it off, there will also be $5 Illusive Traveler pints for the entire month of July.

8:00PM - 10:00PM
What’s the best thing to do on the Nation’s hottest day of the year, you ask? The answer is simple…Enjoy a Curious Traveler Lemon Shandy draft beer! Celebrate with us on National Refreshment Day, July 23, from 8-10 pm with Curious Traveler drafts for $4, a retro cooler giveaway, and other awesome prizes! Quench your thirst today!

Have a jumbo pretzel dog at Ben's for National Hot Dog Day!

It's National Hot Dog Day and there are lots of ways to recognize this foodie holiday. One place you might not have on your radar is Ben's Soft Pretzels where you can get a jumbo dog wrapped in their soft, buttery pretzel dough. If you haven't tried Ben's, you need to. I first tried them at the Chesterton European Market where the line would stretch through the park as they churned out these huge hot treats. If there's a Ben's near you, make a lunch or dinners stop today to show some hot dog love! :)

To find a Ben’s Soft Pretzel near you, visit

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About Ben’s Soft Pretzels
Ben's Soft Pretzels is a leader in the soft pretzel market, offering preservative-free pretzels baked fresh on-site daily in our bakeries.

Ben's Soft Pretzels was founded in early 2008 in America’s heartland, by using a beloved Amish/Dutch recipe. There are currently 33 Ben’s Soft Pretzels locations throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida with plans to add 50 new bakeries in 2015. The majority of the 50 new locations will be located inside Wal-mart and Meijer stores. In addition to their franchised stores, Ben’s Soft Pretzels also has several corporate-owned stores throughout the Midwest, including locations at the prestigious University of Notre Dame. For more information, visit

Battle of the Burger event tonight, get $5 off coupon code

There's no shortage of yummy food events to attend this summer, but this one is particularly delicious. Join RedEye for this cool burger battle to be held this evening at the Chicago History Museum.

The "Battle of the Burger" event is presented by Amstel Light at 6:30 and features Food Network Star Jeff Mauro of "The Kitchen" and "The Sandwich King." I've interviewed him in the past - what a cool, genuine guy who is so passionate about food and about this great city. He'll be hosting, sampling and chatting with attendees.

So, on to the food. There are some great restaurants confirmed, which include:
  • Bad Apple
  • Chef’s Burger Bistro
  • Claddagh Irish Pub
  • Davanti Enoteca
  • Good Stuff Eatery
  • Leadbelly
  • Lotties Pub
  • Rockit Burger Bar
  • Rt 12 Bar & Grill
  • Shelby Campbell’s Tavern & Grill
  • Standard Bar & Grill
  • Temple Bar (Beef & Barley)
  • The Assembly American Bar & Café
  • The Range Grill & Tap
  • Whisk
Tickets start at $40. Use this special promotional code for $5 off: REDEYE5A.

And if you attend, be sure to use the hashtag #BurgerBattle

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Brook Burke and Hillshire Farm at Navy Pier tomorrow

The “Summer Love It” sampling bus tour is kicking off in Chicago and will be serving samples of sandwiches made with Hillshire Farm Naturals, a premium line of lunchmeat on Thursday, July 23. The bus will be at Navy Pier from 10AM to 7PM, with Brooke on site from 11:30AM-1:00PM. Throughout the tour, Hillshire Farm will be making numerous stops at farmer’s markets, food festivals and state fairs across the country.

Friday, July 17, 2015

From the inbox: Buona Beef grand opening in St. Charles on August 4

A yummy press release straight from the inbox:

Tuesday, August 4th - First 100 Guests Will Win Free Beef for a Year 

ST. CHARLES, IL (AUGUST 4, 2015) - Buona is excited to announce its expansion to St. Charles, Illinois. The 15th location of the family-owned business will officially open on Tuesday, August 4th at 2425 W. Main Street. The grand opening will feature a full day of giveaways, freebies and of course, plenty of Chicago's original Italian beef! 

To kick things off on opening day, the first 100 guests in line will automatically win free beef for a year at Buona! Other festivities include a prize wheel with Buona swag and gift cards, complimentary coffee for those who endure the long line, and more. 

The Buona restaurant group began in 1981, and has since become a Chicagoland favorite. Buona collaborated with Hague Architecture on the design of the new St. Charles location, introducing a fresh new prototype for the Buona restaurants. The sleek exterior features exposed red brick in traditional Chicago style, and the interior features a more modern look with an exposed industrial ceiling. Join three generations of the Buonavolanto family as they celebrate the 15th Buona location! 

About Buona Restaurants
The first Buona restaurant began serving Chicago's original Italian beef in Berwyn, IL in 1981. Founded by Buonavolanto patriarch Joe Buonavolanto, Sr., the chain has expanded to fourteen locations while remaining family-owned and furthering a legacy that is equal parts family values, innovation, and adaptation. The family is defining the next-generation beef stand as a place that is the perfect blend of old-school indulgence in Chicago classics and next generation menu choices - made with a focus on fresh, scratch-made food. While the menu has expanded, the original beef recipe has not been compromised - for the three generations of Buonavolantos who are active in the company, comprise and quality are never uttered in the same breath. Buona was listed in Steve Dolinsky's Top 15 Italian Beefs in Chicagoland, and offers other Chicago classics such as the Pepper & Egg sandwich. For more information, visit Buona online at, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Olive Garden's Breadstick Nation food truck rolling into Chicago this week

Olive Garden’s Breadstick Nation food truck will arrive in Chicago tomorrow and they'll be handing out free samples of the much-anticipated and newly released Signature Breadstick sandwiches. 

Stop by to visit the truck and try out the brand new Italian Meatball Breadstick Sandwich and the Chicken Parmigiana Breadstick Sandwich, along with freshly baked breadsticks. Trucks will be open until the times specified or while supplies last, weather permitting.

Chicago is one of the final stops on Breadstick Nation’s 20-city food truck tour taking place this summer. Here's where you will find them on their Chicago tour:

Thursday, July 16
10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Daley Plaza Farmers Market

Friday, July 17
2:30 to 7:30 p.m.
US Cellular Field

Saturday, July 18
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Southport Art Festival

Sunday, July 19
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Southport Art Festival

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sunday tickets still available for Chicago Gourmet 2015

If you could only go to one foodie event for the whole year, this would be the one you would not want to miss. It's a two day celebration of the best of the best of this wonderful food city.

Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet is an assortment of the most fabulous cuisine and drink with the most sought after chefs and professionals in the Chicago food community in one of the most beautiful outdoor spots in the city. 

Unfortunately, Saturday tickets and weekend tickets are sold out, but good news! Sunday only tickets are still available - but probably won't be for long. There's also a small supply of travel packages still available (which includes weekend passes.) Details below:

Sunday tickets are still available but expected to go quickly with scheduled appearances by chef powerhouses like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Art Smith, Lorena Garcia, Gale Gand and Sara Moulton. Esteemed Chicago chef Abraham Conlon of the award-winning Fat Rice will also participate on Sunday, as will Sarah Grueneberg, Top Chef Season 9 finalist and co-owner of Monteverde (opening this fall). They join a phenomenal lineup of chefs, master sommeliers, winemakers, brew masters and distillers who will impart their enthusiasm and knowledge through a day filled with tastings, cooking demonstrations, interactive seminars, book signings and more.

Sunday tickets are available for $170 per person; Grand Cru tickets for Sunday are available for an additional $199 per person. Weekend Foodie and Gourmand Travel Packages for Two are available starting at $1275. Prices exclude taxes and fees. Tickets may be purchased online.

Also On Sale: Chicago Gourmet recently announced the addition of Punch Kings, Pigs n’ Tiki, which will be presented in partnership with the masterminds behind COCHON 555 on Saturday, September 26 from 8-11 p.m. Rise & Shine Gourmet, a family-friendly wellness and brunch affair, will take place at the new Maggie Daley Park on Sunday, September 27 from 8-11 a.m. Tickets for both events are available now at

Coming Soon: An exclusive Lunch with Chef Emeril Lagasse is being finalized for Friday, September 25 and will benefit the Charlie Trotter’s Culinary Education Foundation. Tickets will be announced soon. Passes to the wildly popular Hamburger Hop and Late Night Gourmet go on sale early August.


Now in its eighth year, Chicago Gourmet, the nation’s premier culinary experience aimed at promoting Chicago’s world-class culinary community, takes place September 25-27, 2015. It was created by the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) and the Anton Family Foundation to celebrate and honor both Chicago’s culinary achievements and the creative vision of the chefs, Master Sommeliers, and wine-, spirit- and beer-makers who participate. It also spotlights Chicago as an international culinary destination via its unparalleled epicurean talent. For more information, please visit www.chicagogourmet.organd follow on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Millennium Park – Chicago, IL


Friday, September 25
Saturday, September 26
Sunday, September 27


To purchase tickets and for more information, visit