Friday, April 29, 2016

Main Event runs "Come to Eat, Stay to Play Free" promotion: $25 FUNcard giveaway



Main Event Entertainment, based in Dallas is the fastest-growing bowling-anchored entertainment center in America and they're currently running a promotion called "Come to Eat, Stay to Play FREE." The limited time offer runs through May 20 and along with the promotion, they're introducing a new culinary menu that features 50 chef-inspired handcrafted items.

All day, every day, guests receive a free $10 FUNcard, valid for game play, with every entree purchased from a select menu. Some of the dishes you'll find on the limited-time menu are Skillet Mac & Cheese, loaded with smoked chicken and applewood-smoked bacon layered with melted cheeses, Grilled Salmon, lightly drizzled with olive oil over a bed of roasted red peppers, artichokes, mushrooms and onions and Chimichurri Steak, char-grilled and served with au gratin potatoes. 


In addition to the limited time only offer, Main Event’s extensive new chef-inspired menu features unique twists on family favorites like Chicken & Waffles with candied pecans and green onions served with chipotle maple syrup; shareable items like BBQ Brisket Street Tacos; fresh, made-to-order salads with premium ingredients, like the Classic Cobb salad featuring grilled chicken, applewood-smoked bacon, blue cheese crumbles, avocado, egg and tomatoes; “handhelds” including sandwiches, sliders and burgers with fresh ingredients and innovative flavors; and specialty pizzas with hand-chopped ingredients, fresh tomato and herb sauce and 100 percent real cheeses.

A full bar serves innovative cocktails that include the Main Event Breeze, Long Island Mango Peach Tea, Tennessee Honey Smash and specialty margaritas, plus domestic, local and craft beers on tap and premium wines.

Our friends at Main Event are offering a $25 bonus FUNcard to one of our followers. They currently have one   Chicago area location in Warrenville, with a second scheduled to open later this year in Hoffman Estates. To enter, do two of the following:

Leave a comment on this blog post and let us know what menu item you'd most like to try.
Share this blog post on one of your social media channels. 
Like Chicago Foodie Sisters on Facebook.
Like and Comment on the post about this giveaway on Facebook.
Tweet about the giveaway.
Follow Chicago Foodie Sisters on Instagram.

Please also send a direct message on the Chicago Foodie Sisters page with your email and phone number so that we can reach you if you are a winner. Your information will not be shared with any third parties. 

The contest ends on Monday, May 2nd at 11:59 p.m. CST.







For additional details, center locations and hours, visit www.mainevent.com.

About Main Event Entertainment
Founded in 1998, Dallas-based Main Event Entertainment is a rapidly growing subsidiary of Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) of Australia, with 25 U.S. entertainment centers ranging from 48,000-75,000 square feet. Main Event is the pioneer in bowling-anchored entertainment and offers state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, high ropes adventure courses, billiards, and 100+ interactive and virtual video games, plus new chef-inspired dining and a premium full bar. Main Event is also a popular venue for private events such as birthday parties, social gatherings and corporate meetings, offering private rooms equipped with the latest A/V technology and full-service catering. Corporations, individuals and families consistently rank the centers “Best Place to Bowl” and “Best Party Place.” More information is available at mainevent.com.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Qdoba Catering: $100 gift card giveaway

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. And wouldn't you be the coolest person in the office if you provided Qdoba Catering to celebrate? Well, Chicago Foodie Sisters, along with our friends at Qdoba, would like to help you do just that!

Putting together a last-minute party is easy with Qdoba Catering! Cinco de Mayo is a time to celebrate, and Qdoba knows how to kick off the celebration in style. 


The fast casual Mexican restaurant brand will do all of the heavy lifting so you won’t have to worry about a thing. With a full burrito bar, their famous 3-cheese queso and flavor-packed guac (at no extra charge!), guests will leave happy.




So put on that sombrero, fire up the mariachi band and enter to win a $100 Qdoba catering gift card to use on some great Mexican fare for your fiesta!

How to enter:

Do two of the following.

-Leave a comment on this blog post letting us know what your favorite Mexican dish is.
-Follow Chicago Foodie Sisters on Facebook.
-Follow Chicago Foodie Sisters on Instagram.
-Tweet the following:
"Go to ChicagoFoodieSisters.com for chance to win $100 catering gift card from #Qdoba. #CincodeMayo #ChicagoFoodieSisters" Ends May 1.
-Share this blog post on your Facebook page. 

Also, send a direct message on the Chicago Foodie Sisters Facebook page with your email address and phone number so we can notify you should you be the winner. Email addresses and phone numbers will not be shared with any other party. Contest ends May 1 at 7 a.m. Winner will be notified and have 12 hours to respond at which time another winner will be selected if you have not responded.

Qdoba has five locations in Chicago and three more in Northwest Indiana (Highland, Merrillville and Valparaiso.)


And just for fun, here's a little Cinco de Mayo quiz! 



1.       Q: What day is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?

2.       Q: What are the true origins of Cinco De Mayo?

3.       Q: Approximately how many avocados are consumed on Cinco De Mayo?

4.       Q: TRUE or FALSEThe Margarita has always been a part of the Cinco De Mayo tradition, dating all the way back to the origin of the holiday.

5.       QApproximately how many tortilla manufactures are there in the United States – 360, 501, or 720?

6.       Q: TRUE or FALSEMore people drink on Cinco De Mayo than they do on St. Patrick’s Day.

7.       Q: Is Cinco De Mayo more widely celebrated in the United States or Mexico?

8.       Q: Does Cinco De Mayo celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day?

9.       Q: The traditional triangle shape tortilla chip was created in 1920, 1930, or 1940?


Answers: 1) May 5. 2) The holiday celebrates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The victory was unexpected, as the Mexican army won the battle despite being smaller and ill-equipped. 3) According to a report by the California Avocado Commission, up to 81 million avocados are consumed on Cinco de Mayo, thanks to the rise in demand for guacamole. 4) FALSE. Although the Margarita is thought to be the traditional Cinco de Mayo libation, it was invented many years after annual Cinco de Mayo celebrations began. 5) 360. 6) TRUE. In fact, more alcohol is consumed on Cinco De Mayo than the Super Bowl (No. 10) and St. Patrick’s Day (No. 11) 7) United States 8) No. Cinco De Mayo is often confused with Mexican Independence Day. It actually celebrates Mexico’s unexpected victory against the French in 1862. 9) 1940.

***The $100 gift card has been provided by Qdoba. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

PRE Grass Fed Beef

With a lot of my purchases I prefer to buy local. But sometimes finding a good quality product makes locality less important. Being from Chicago and eating most of my meals in the Midwest, I'm convinced we raise and produce fantastic beef in our neck of the woods. However, when I sampled PRE at the Good Food Festival, I was really, really impressed. It was cooked to medium and so tender and flavorful. At first I was a bit turned off by what seemed like excessive packing, but it is nice to have steaks individually wrapped to prepare the exact amount you'd like. It's also sealed in a way that allows for easy freezing. 

PRE can be found at a couple Treasure Island and Mariano's locations the city along with Hyde Park Produce. Lucky for me, living in the south suburbs it can also be found at Mariano's Frankfort location. Learn more at pre-brands.com.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

From the inbox: Station Market & Bar to host Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

We're heading into Baconfest weekend and you can get started with this event tomorrow at Station Market & Bar.


In honor of Baconfest this weekend, Staytion Market & Bar, 1 W. Wacker Drive, will host the all-day-long celebration, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, tomorrow, April 29, kicking off at 11am. The celebration will feature all things bacon, including complimentary Bacon Maple Bacon Shake Shooters, and a specially curated Bacon Washed Old Fashioned- made with Old Forester Whiskey ($10 each). Entry to the event is complimentary, with additional food and beverage available for purchase.

Located in the heart of Downtown Chicago on one of the city’s most iconic corners, Staytion Market & Bar provides a trendy and distinguished nightlife scene. Featuring an energetic and intriguing atmosphere, Staytion’s eclectic menu features unique street food with a Chicago flair, specialty handcrafted cocktails and local hops. Staytion invites discoverers to connect and socialize while taking in the distinctive elements of the space, including designs inspired by CTA bus windows from the early 1950s, serving as the entrance into the Chef’s display kitchen. The innovative atmosphere and exceptional service provides a place for guests to unwind and capture a taste of local products.

Sassy Salad

Time to share another fabulous salad. I never know what to call them when I add them to the blog. This has a lot of green but also juicy tomatoes and crumbled feta. A sassy departure from your iceberg and tomato version.

6 - 8 ounces of red and green leaf lettuce
grape tomatoes
micro radish
whole wheat croutons
feta cheese


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Strawberry Arugula Salad

I cannot tell you how much I love this salad. A perfect blend of sweet and bitter, salty and crunchy. Here's what's in it:

6 - 8 ounces of arugula
6 - 8 strawberries, quartered
Handful of candied pecans
handful of dried cranberries
1/2 of an English cucumber, sliced

I purchased a jar of maple vinaigrette at Casey's Gourmet Market in Naperville that is fantastic on this salad!



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Enter to win free Benihana meals for a year

I love contests like this where you're not simply filling out an entry form, but coming up with something creative. Come up with a name for the new menu item at Benihana and the winner gets a $100 gift card every month for a year. So, get those creative juices flowing and get your submission in. Contest ends April 30.

Benihana Launches Month-Long Contest to Name New Menu Item
Winner receives free Benihana meals for one year

AVENTURA, Fla., April 4, 2016 – Benihana Inc., the nation’s leading operator of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, is engaging guests in a creative competition that allows them to name a new addition to the menu.
The new menu item features filet mignon and chicken breast, accompanied by Benihana Onion Soup, Benihana Salad, hibachi shrimp appetizer, hibachi vegetables, homemade dipping sauces, steamed rice, Japanese hot green tea and a dessert of ice cream or sherbet. The item is an upgrade to the popular Rocky’s Choice offering featuring hibachi steak. 
“Rocky’s Choice is one of the most popular items on our menu and guests would frequently upgrade the steak to filet mignon,” said Benihana CEO Steve Shlemon. “Because of its popularity for so long, we decided to make the filet mignon and chicken entree a permanent dish on our menu and we’re excited to see what names our guests submit.” 
Participants may upload their submission to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using #cravethename or by visiting benihanacravethename.com from April 1 through April 30. The winning entrant will receive $100 in Benihana gift cards every month for one year and see their winning entry featured on the Benihana menu. In addition, the program will award five finalists one $50 gift card each.  
For more information, visit http://www.benihanacravethename.com/.

From the Inbox: New to Park Ridge, Holt's to offer al fresco dining

The summer season will soon be upon us and as the temperature rises it's time for patio seasoning at eateries in and around the city. Here's a new spot to add to your list of inviting al fresco dining spots.

New Park Ridge Restaurant Promises Impressive Patio for Spring

Spring has sprung in Chicago, which means patio season is official upon us!  New Park Ridge restaurant, Holt’s is excited to announce their soon-to-open sidewalk café.  Located in the heart of downtown, Holt’s is a brand new eatery that brings a little city sophistication to the beautiful suburb of Park Ridge.

Their street-adjacent patio is sure to make Holt’s a seasonal hot spot, where groups of friends can catch up over dinner or enjoy a leisurely beer in the sun.  Strands of Edison bulbs will hang from above, giving the space a soft beautiful light at night while turquoise chairs, lush greenery and flower boxes will bring a vibrant pop of color to the space.

The 28-seat patio will feature two picnic-style tables with beer troughs as well as numerous regular tables.  Floor-to-ceiling windows on one side of the restaurant will open up onto the patio, allowing patrons inside to enjoy the beautiful weather too.

Understanding the unpredictability of Chicago weather, heaters will be on hand to make sure guests can enjoy the outdoor space (even if we get hit with a 50-degree day in the middle of May.)

Holt’s menu of contemporary American dishes and elevated bar food is complimented by a large beer, wine and cocktails list.  Guests can indulge in one of Holt’s utterly original pizzas or they can opt to create their own from a list of premium ingredients.  A slew of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers round out the menu.  Highlights from the current roster of offerings, which will change seasonally include:
  • Meatball & Ricotta Pizza Homemade Beef & Pork Meatballs / Whipped Ricotta Cheese / Tomato Sauce
  • Salmon BLT Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon / Plank Bacon / Lettuce / Tomato / Citrus Dill Mayo / Whole Grain Toast
  • Red & Golden Beet Salad Arugula / Goat Cheese / Candied Walnuts / Balsamic Vinaigrette
Almost all of Holt’s menu items (including their delicious pizzas) can be made gluten free.

Holt’s is located at 43 S. Prospect Ave. in Park Ridge, IL.  For more information, high resolution images or to speak with owner Matt Ranalli or managing partners Brad Doyle and Grant Blaszynski, please contact Samantha Crafton Public Relations directly.

Holt’s is open Monday – Thursday from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Friday from 11:00 am – 1:00 am, Saturday from 10:00 am – 1:00 am and Sunday from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  

From the Inbox: Ben's offers free pretzels for National Pretzel Day

It's National Pretzel Day! Get over to a Ben's Soft Pretzels for a free pretzel with a minimum $1 donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Read on for all the details:

Ben’s Soft Pretzels Raises Funds for Fallen Veterans on National Pretzel Day 
Amish-inspired Pretzel Bakery Gives Away Free Pretzels on April 26 in Exchange for Donations

GOSHEN, Ind. (April 2016) – To celebrate National Pretzel Day on April 26, Ben’s Soft Pretzels, an Amish-inspired soft pretzel franchise offering preservative free pretzels baked fresh on-site daily, will give away free pretzels with a minimum $1 donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The free pretzel promotion will be available at participating locations. 

Ben’s Soft Pretzels will donate 100 percent of the collected donations from April 26 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a non-profit organization that provides support to United States military personnel and their families. In 2015 alone, Ben’s Soft Pretzels raised more than $30,000 to support the organization. 

“We look forward to National Pretzel Day all year long. Ben’s Soft Pretzels is dedicated to providing a life-changing pretzel eating experience and we can’t wait to celebrate the product we love with the world,” said Scott Jones, CEO and co-founder of Ben’s Soft Pretzels. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the yummy goodness that is pretzels other than giving back to a worthy cause. Every dollar that we can raise for Intrepid Fallen Heroes is a pretzel well spent and this year we hope to raise more than ever before.” 

With the minimum one dollar donation, visitors will receive a Jumbo Soft Pretzel to celebrate National Pretzel Day and support those who have served their country. Ben’s Soft Pretzels also gave away free pretzels to those who have served in the Armed Forces on Veteran’s Day to show its support for the men and women who fearlessly defend our country.  

There are currently 60 Ben's Soft Pretzels bakery locations throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida. Ben's Soft Pretzels master lease and license agreement with retail giants, Wal-Mart and Meijer, allow for franchise partners to open bakeries in high-traffic areas. Looking ahead, more than 20 new Ben's Soft Pretzels locations are in development for 2016. 

For more information on Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, visit www.fallenheroesfund.org and to find your nearest Ben’s Soft Pretzels location, visit www.benspretzels.com

About Ben’s Soft Pretzels 
Ben’s Soft Pretzels is the nation’s fastest growing soft pretzel franchise with 60 locations in five states offering Amish-inspired pretzels baked on-site daily. Founded in 2008 by local business man Brian Krider, pretzel fanatic Scott Jones, and Amish baker Ben Miller, Ben’s Soft Pretzels is a quick-serve franchise opportunity that offers a simple business model with prime real estate locations and a cost-effective distribution system. For more information about the franchise opportunity, please visit www.benspretzelsfranchising.com.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nice sandwich and burger selections at Bohemian Joe's

I made a return this past weekend to Bohemian Joe's, this casual and cool spot that opened earlier this year not far from home. It was moving into a building once occupied by Popolano's, a local favorite serving up Italian specialties. There were some big shoes to fill, but they've filled them well with a completely different space, look and menu. I love that the name comes from a relative who lived in town a century ago and who owned a hotel/bar/restaurant called Bohemian Joe's.

I've had a number of items on the menu and one I've been eyeing and wanting to try is the Avotacos ($10) - three fried avocado tacos in wheat shells topped with fresh tomato and bell pepper salsa and cilantro and served with green goddess dressing. It was better than good. Like I-want-to-marry-it good. It came with a side and I opted for the for a small side salad. My son ordered a cheddar burger ($9) and for his side he opted for the mugamac ($2 extra) that is a popular item of mac and cheese that comes topped with bread crumbs and bacon served in a mug. There's also an entree version with pulled pork and house made honey BBQ sauce ($11.)

Other burgers include the BBQ Burger, a Portobello burger and the Bleus Burger. The portobello is a vegetarian sandwich with a giant portobello in place of meat and the Blues Burger is one that I tried and really liked. It's topped with bacon and bleu cheese crumbles on a potato flour bun.

The sandwich section of the menu also includes a pulled pork, a beef manhattan, a mediterranean wrap, a fish sandwich, the barnyard chicken sandwich, a reuben and the Joe Mama, which is an ode to Popolano's and closely resembles the Mamamlano sandwich which was a popular menu item at the former restaurant. It's piled with sliced top round roast beef and mozzarella on a garlic French roll.

There's plenty more on the menu, so stop in and check them out.


I also love that there's a nice selection of craft beers, both on draft and bottled. What I find really cool about the beer menu is that the beers are separated in categories such as "Fruity and Spicy," "Crisp and Bright" and "Hoppy." It's nice to have that guide as you're deciding what to order. I always find myself lost when there's a list of unfamiliar beers, questioning the server about which one is a Belgian-style, which one is a stout and what the level of hoppiness is. This takes out the guesswork.

BOHEMIAN JOE'S
17940 Torrence Ave.
Lansing, IL 
(708) 872-4700
www.bojoes.com





Pear, Goat Cheese & Greens Salad

My love of salads grows day by day. I love how each one is a blank canvas - where I start with something green and build from there. This is a fantastic salad I threw together recently:

1/2 cup of spinach
1/4 - 1/2 cup additional greens (mine included butter and green leaf lettuce)
1/2 of a pear, thinly sliced
Handful of cherry heirloom tomatoes
candied pecans
micro radish
goat cheese crumbles
whole wheat croutons

A light raspberry vinaigrette makes for a perfect topping.


Miku Sushi

Last month my sister-in-law and I visited Miku Sushi in Lincoln Square. We went for the ramen as they were running a special for National Noodle Month, but we stayed for the sushi. :) Couldn't go to a place with "Sushi" in the name and bypass it all together. Both of us are sushi fans and were eager to try some of the maki.

We started off with some warm green tea and miso soup - which was very welcome after we were ducking in from a cold downpour and followed up with some ramen and then some fantastic rock shrimp, which had a slightly spicy and tangy sauce served over greens. It was fantastic. So, that was a lot of food and we should have stopped there. But...well, they have sushi.





The maki was so beautifully and artfully presented that you honestly felt guilty eating it. I was way to pretty to eat. But we did. And we weren't sorry.

We went with a lunch special where you can get two for $10 or three for $14 and the miso soup is included. Options for the lunch special were:

Asparagus Maki Spicy Shrimp Maki 
Avocado MakiSpicy Salmon Maki
California MakiSpicy Tuna Maki
Ebi Tempura MakiSpicy Yellowtail Maki
Kappa MakiTuna Maki
Negi-HamachiTuna Avocado Maki
Philly MakiUnagi Maki
Salmon MakiVeggie Tempura Maki
Salmon Avocado MakiMini Ocean Sundae
Spicy Octopus MakiMini Veggie Godzilla
The Ebi Tempura and Mini Veggie Godzilla were my faves. 


Miku Sushi hasn't been around long. It occupies the space that was once Tank Sushi. I totally recommend it for anyone who loves ramen or sushi.

Miku Sushi
4514 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago
773-654-1277
mikuchicago.com

***I did receive a complimentary meal for the purpose of a review. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Marion Street Market reopens

Marion Street Market in suburban Oak Park has been around since 2004, but they reopened recently after a remodel with a new space is lovely and menu offerings that are impressive. The Chicago Foodie Sisters were invited to come in to see the new look and to get a little introduction to some of the items that will be included in the upcoming summer menu.


Not only did we get to try out some of the summer menu items, but they were also paired with wines, which is always a magnificent bonus. :)

First, we tried Baby Carrot Frites. Wow. Carrots have never tasted so good. The light tempura-like batter gave a nice buttery crunch and the green goddess dipping sauce added a cool and refreshing finish. It was paired with a crisp, slightly sweet and fruity Can Fixes Blanc Seleccio, 2014. I could have eaten nothing but these and went home happy. But, there was more to come.








 Up next was a roasted half chicken with confit fingerling potatoes grilled asparagus and citrus jus paired with Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc, 2015. I loved this white wine accompanying this rich dish that could not have been more perfect - juicy, succulent and very moist meat inside a crunchy crust served with melt-in-your-mouth potatoes and grilled asparagus. The meal just keep getting better and better.

Next up was another entree - beef tenderloin medallions with herbed fondue, picked ramps, french bread, lyonnaise potatoes. Yes, it was as good as it sounds and it looks. Served with this dish was a red wine - Palama Arcangelo Negramaro, 2013 from Puglia Italy.




We simply couldn't leave without trying a dessert off the regular menu, which currently has four options, including a cheese & cookie flight, which sounded intriguing. I am all about flights where I get to sample a variety.

Other desserts were apple cake, blood orange tart and the snickers bar, which I gravitated toward because, well - I'm a chocoholic. I made a fantastic choice. The brandy cherry syrup was amazing.



We didn't have time to peruse the market items, but I did snap a couple pics. You'll find a number of gourmet items on the shelves and a large selection of wines along with a cheese counter.

The summer menu isn't being introduced quite yet, but there's an amazing line-up of upscale dishes on the new everyday menu. The meat sections includes braised beef, Slovakian sausage, short ribs and lamb sliders as well as dry aged and wet aged steaks. Under seafood, you'll find a Rushing Waters Trout with goat cheese, polenta cake, rock shrimp and hazelnut pesto cream. There are also scallops, sea bass, grilled octopus, mussels and whitefish. Pierogi, gnocchi and beet carpaccio are among the vegetarian offerings. Chicken and duck dishes round out the entrees.

My heart went pitter patter when I also noticed that you can select a cheese flight off the menu. A CHEESE FLIGHT! I will absolutely have to get back for that.

This is such a cool place. In the heart of the historic downtown area and close to the train. The vibe is casual but with elevated offerings. A place to hang out on your own for a leisurely bite or to pick up a gift or a place for a nice, relaxing night out with good food and good wine.

Find out more at marionstreetmarket.com.

Oh, and one other thing worth a mention - the restrooms. Totally environmentally friendly in every possible way. They really did it right on the remodel.







Marion Street Market
100 S. Marion Street
Oak Park, IL
708-725-7201
www.marionstreetmarket

***Disclosure: A meal was provided for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own.