Archive for November, 2008

D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

If you’re looking for something different to do this holiday season and want a break from Chicago’s hustle and bustle, then you might want to travel to Northwest Indiana.  I recently visited Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond Indiana, and was pleasantly surprised to see a first class venue.  I dined at their steak and seafood restaurant, Jack Binions, which offers select cuts of prime rib, steaks, veal and seafood.  My Kobe beef steak was tantalizing along with a few appetizers and a couple of desserts.  The restaurant overlooks Lake Michigan and attracts a lot of casino goers from Indiana and Chicago.  The casino also has a few other dining options, including the Village Square Buffet, housing Italian, Mexican, American, Asian and Seafood cuisine.uha_steak_house_2_300x22511

Horseshoe Casino has 350,000 square-feet of gaming space and 97 tables with games such as Black Jack, Poker, Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat and many more.  The casino features approximately 3200 slot machines including the High-Limit Slot Room.  There are a few exclusive private lounges for special guests and high rollers.  The Horseshoe’s gaming room rivals any casino on the Las Vegas strip.

The Venue, the casino’s 90,000 square foot entertainment facility, hosts events and concerts.  Famous musicians and comedians are showcased weekly.  Past performers have included Seal, Liza Minelli, and Bette Midler.   Upcoming events will feature Gladys Knight, Jeff Foxworthy and Cedric the Entertainer.  The Venue also hosted the World Series of Poker this past October.

The Hammond Horseshoe Casino is about 30-minutes from downtown Chicago via I-90/94 and the Chicago Skyway.  For more information log onto www.hammondhorseshoe.com or call 866-711-SHOE (7463).

To check out the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

All ye faithful early Christmas adopters — the ones who have been playing holiday songs for the past 30 days — can now open the seasonal floodgates. It’s officially December, so feel free to hark the heralds to your heart’s content.

With the ailing economy, ’tis might be a season where you choose to spend silent (cheaper) nights with that special someone away in a manger, but I suggest you jingle bell rock your way out the door and partake in some of the many festive holiday events going on this week. Otherwise, it might not begin to feel like Christmas.

Log on to nbcchicago.com to see the events for this week.

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street-team-14Damaris Rivera Woodbury, NBC5 Chicago Street Team

Recently, I’ve been attending and blogging about Old Town’s Afrofolk concert series. I had to attend one more. This past Wednesday night, I was seduced by Bossa Nova, a form of Brazilian music invented approximately fifty years ago which in Portuguese means “New Trend.” Chicago has always embraced this type of music, as evidenced during Millennium Park’s annual “Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz” series, which ran earlier this summer.

I don’t speak Portuguese, but I felt the music, the emotion, the passion, just the same. There were slow and sensuous songs. There were songs that were fast, upbeat and colorful. It felt like cool, latin jazz and I was the “Girl From Ipanema” sitting in a small, dark club.

What a great lead in to a relaxing, Thanksgiving holiday. Old Town concludes the Wednesday night concert series in mid-December. If you are just learning about this and can’t make it in December because of the busy holiday season, keep in mind that Old Town has many concerts planned for 2009!

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Jim Grillo, NBC5 Street Team




Tea has been a long tradition at the Drake Hotel, Chicago, though not always in the fashion that it is today. The Palm Court began serving Tea during the holiday season of 1982 and dignitaries the likes of the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, Hilary Clinton have sipped and supped here since. In 1958, Queen Elizabeth enjoyed tea at the Drake. This was a historical moment not only for the Drake, but also for Chicago. In the 1970’s, the Palm Court served tea to her majesty the Empress of Japan. The uniqueness of the beauty of the room centers around a gorgeous limestone fountain with a giant urn as its center motif dating 275 years old, this French bronze place was introduced in the room by designer David Williams. Most importantly, the ambiance of this afternoon affair is greatly enhanced by the live harp music performed 365 days a year by our musicians dressed in classical evening gown attire. The Palm Court is available for special occasions and private functions.

Drake Hotel Chicago Palm Court Afternoon Tea

Drake Hotel Chicago Palm Court Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea
Afternoon Tea takes place daily in our traditional Tea Lobby featuring live harp music performed 365 days a year . There are several seatings per day from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, each last approximately an hour and a half and reservations are recommended.

Evening Cocktails
Elegant, cozy bar taking the best of wines and champagnes by the glass. Palm Court is a pre-dinner meeting place, or it could be a meeting place for drinks after work. Food will also be offered at the Palm Court, with a menu comprising of soups, salads, sandwiches and sweet selections. Also, a large selection of imported beers, spirits and cocktails made with premium mixers.

Afternoon Tea
Open Daily – 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Live Harpist
Monday through Friday – 2:00pm to 4:30pm
Saturday and Sunday – 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Cocktail Service
Sunday through Thursday – 11:00am to 11:00pm
Friday & Saturday – 11:00am to 1:00am

is featured during tea time.
Harpist Performance Schedule:
Weekdays – 2:00pm to 4:30pm;
weekends – 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

Walk down to The Drake for a little spin in front of the gorgeous fountain. Or just relax on the big, comfy couches with a nice cocktail, and watch the dancers like the rest of us! Live entertainment is provided every Friday & Saturday nights. Food will also be offered daily from 5.30p.m. to 10p.m. at the Palm Court, with a menu comprising of soups, salads, sandwiches and sweet selections

Get in the spirit of the holidays at the Palm Court in Chicago’s Drake Hotel.  For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

Ho Ho Ho,


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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team

What’s the difference between gelato and ice cream? Gelato is just Italian for ice cream, right? Wrong. Unlike ice cream, gelato is made from milk and is churned slower to help reduce air content. This results in a dense, creamy, indulgent dessert that is lower in calories. Nestled among a group of boutique shops in Forest Park, Paciugo is the perfect place to set down those shopping bags and indulge in a creamy taste of heaven.

Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank By demolishing their bitter rival, the University of Illinois, on Saturday the Wildcats earned a No. 20 ranking — their highest of the season — in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ poll. The Cats concluded the regular season by becoming just the fifth team in school history to win nine games in a season. Should they win their bowl game (destination announced on Dec. 7th), it will be their first postseason victory since 1949; and the ten win season would join the 1995 Rose Bowl team as the only squads in program history ever to do so. With no real individual statistical standouts, on offense at least, it speaks volumes about Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald’s stressing of defense and playing collectively. Two team statistics certainly catch your eye however; NU’s current 127.7 rushing yards allowed per game is the best single-season average in school history and the Cats were first in the Big Ten (10th nationally) in sacks. They were also 24th out of 117 teams nationwide in scoring defense. A big reason for that is defensive end Corey Wootton, whose 9 sacks and 15 tackles for loss helped him earn a first-team All-Big Ten coaches selection.wootton

“Corey has always been a tremendously talented member of our program, and this honor is well deserved,” head coach (and former two-time National defensive player of the year) Pat Fitzgerald said. “He came to camp this year with the right attitude and he has done a great job in his preparation all season long. He may be our only first-team All-Big Ten guy this year, but I think we have a first-team All-Big Ten football team.” At last week’s press conference Fitz also added, “I have not seen Corey take one play off in practice or in games this year, his efforts on top of his technique and fundamentals have been outstanding.” First year NU defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz has also done a tremendous job developing Corey.

Possibly validating Fitzgerald’s All-Big Ten team claim, eight additional players were named honorable mention selections: John Gill, Keegan Kennedy, Sherrick McManis (who also finished among national leaders in pass breakups), Eric Peterman, Brad Phillips, Brendan Smith (who combined with Phillips to give the Cats outstanding play at the safety position this year), Tyrell Sutton and Amado Villarreal. The Wildcats final 2008 contest will be a Bowl game to be determined, with the Outback, Alamo or Insight looking the most likely.

For more Chicago Sports Analysis and discussion.

For my Washington Times.com blog “Chicago Blue State.”

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Reggie Brown, NBC5 Street Team This time of year in Chicago is always a bit daunting. The days are cold and grey, quickly turning to night and people are desperately searching for an escape to a sunny destination. DJ Papa G is a man on a mission to bring the warmth and essence of the islands to Chicago, uniting people through the power and positivity of reggae music. I had a chance to catch up with G at his new Sunday night residency at Sonotheque.l_7956c46b16eeed32695b11a45e558d741

Born in Ecuador  in 1974, Papa G moved to the US in 1976 at the age of 2 and was raised on the north side of Chicago. Growing up in a city with such a soulful depth of music, G was surrounded by blues, jazz and a myriad of other genres that ultimately led him to discover his love of reggae music.

It wasn’t until 1997 while working at UCSB’s campus station KCSB 91.9 FM that G decided that he would begin to share his reggae collection with the world. After an overwhelming reception from listeners, G’s following began to flourish. A few years later in 1999, G moved back to his hometown Chicago and since has been tirelessly steadfast on his duty to “Awaken the sleeping giant of reggae here”. Being no stranger to the Chicago nightlife scene, G possesses an impressive resume performing at over 30 of Chicago’s clubs and bars including The Wild hare, Exedus II, Subterranean, Funky Buddha and a slew of others, G is known as one of the premier reggae DJs in Chicago.  G has shared the stage, mixing with some of reggae’s best known artists: Junior Reid, Morgan Heritage, Beenie Man, and Third World to name a few.

l_0e4a9cc2e9494e7fb8982fcce76f64871Being a huge fan of reggae music, it’s hard to find a place where the DJ isn’t just throwing together a mix of music under the genre of reggae but actually creating an energy and vibe that even pulls wallflowers to the dance floor. Papa G’s mastery of signal flow, mixing and blending music is truly a testament to his love and dedication to reggae, his personal philosophy and lifestyle based on Rastafarian beliefs.

Whether you’re looking for that in town island escape or just simply want to immerse yourself in the essence of Jamaica, head over to Sonotheque for Reggae Sundays with Papa G.

With free cover and drinks specials like $3 Red Stripe bottles and $5 for a Red Stripe with a shot of Sailor Jerry Rum, Sonotheque is adding to the good love vibe.

Sonotheque 1444 W Chicago Ave.

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The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

You know when you’ve been waiting for the new CD from one of your favorite bands, and then you get it and it’s everything you hoped for, and you play it over and over and over until you can hear it even when your stereo and your computer and your iPod are turned off? That’s how I feel about the new Janus CD.

I have listened to these 10 songs so many times that I should, by all rights, be so sick of it that I’ll never want to hear it again. Instead, every time I get to the end of “Red Right Return” I feel like I’m saying goodbye to a lover as he heads across the country for a month. I know I’ll see him again, and I know when it will be, but there’s a feeling of longing and impatience and a sense of emptiness.

Yes, it’s that good.

Janus sounds like no one and like many. In passages I hear the Cure, Metallica, Breaking Benjamin, Nine Inch Nails, and others from all spectra of the alternative genre. They seem to have plucked the best of these influences and folded them into their own unique sound.

They reach what musicians strive to achieve. Certain notes and passages elicit physical and emotional reactions. I’m touched on a visceral level. My pulse quickens and my heart yearns.

This is a very, very personal reaction and I almost hesitated being so open, but I couldn’t listen to what I perceive to be honest and authentic music and then be anything but.

The CD release show is at Reggie’s (2109 S Wabash, 312-949-0120) on Wednesday. I recommend grabbing this opportunity to see them at a small venue – it’s unlikely they’ll be in rooms this small for long.

Janus – Eyesore

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Desiree, NBC5 Street Team
This holiday season, the Annoyance Theater (4830 N. Broadway) in Uptown presents the written play and comedy show Frostbite. Running every Saturday night at 10pm from November 22 – December 27, the Grimm-esque fairytale, directed by Mark Vannier, represents a cross between Frankenstein and Frosty. A scientist creates a snowman to fill the void of his passed wife, but the snowman escapes and goes on a zombie-like brain-eating spree. Along the way, we learn the origin of various holiday customs.

Perhaps if you lived in any other city, I would recommend sticking to your routine of Christmas-inspired ballets. But, you live in Chicago, where, for entertainment’s sake, men paint themselves blue, women paint themselves green, and improv comedians request a random word from the audience—to which you reply, ‘pickle’— and an entire show ensues. This holiday season, consider the alternatives to Christmas celebrations like the Nutcracker.showposter2

Chicago has a long history with improv and sketch comedy. Many of the mainstays of the comic world started their careers in the Second City (like the original cast of Saturday Night Live and Emmy Award-winning Tina Fey). In addition to offering stand-out shows with fun adult humor, the Annoyance offers comedy, acting and writing classes for the aspiring performer. Founded by Mick Napier in 1989 (author of Improvise. Scene From the Inside Out), their famous Coed Prison Sluts is the “longest running musical in the history of Chicago.”

Come show your holiday spirit at Frostbite on Saturday! Tickets are $15 at the door or online at annoyanceproductions.com or look for the event on Facebook.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank The St. Louis-bred social philosopher Nelly once told us, “Can’t nobody stop the juice, so baby tell me what’s the use” in his 2002 hit “Hot in Here.” This maxim was true for opposing defenses all season as Illinois quarterback Juice Williams broke the school record for single season total offense with 3,892 combined passing and rushing yards. On his way to breaking the record of Tony Eason –the New England Patriots starting QB in Super Bowl XX- Juice broke single game total offense records for both Memorial Stadium and Michigan Stadium, the latter of which is especially impressive given the rich history of Michigan Wolverines football.juice2willimas1

Unfortunately, the rest of the Fighting Illini didn’t have juice like Williams did on the field. After 2007’s Rose Bowl Champaign campaign, most people in Illini Nation expected a similar encore in 2008. Instead, Illinois finished just 5-7 after getting walloped by #20 Northwestern 27-10 on Saturday. This “earned” them the dubious distinction of being the first team to go from Rose Bowl one year to no bowl the next since (well, Illinois again in) 1984. However that team was sanctioned by the NCAA and allowed no bowl appearance. The last team to legitimately go from Roses to thorns was over 40 years ago. Soon after Juice watched the fans of his rival team storm Ryan Field in celebration, I asked him if expectations were too high in Champaign and if that led to collapse: “I don’t think the pressure really got to us, I think it’s more a matter of not coming out every Saturday and performing like we know we can. We can’t have morale victories out there. We can’t have games where we say we should have won that game, that’s not enough. We’re at the point where we can win games, we just got to go out there and do it.”

Had Illinois won and later secured a bowl berth, it would have been the first time since 1992 that the program procured consecutive bowl game seasons. Juice talked about the pain and disappointment of coming up just short. “It’s like you expect something on Christmas and then you wake up and it’s not there: It’s the type of feeling you have when you realize there’s really nothing more you can do about it…We worked so hard to come out and be successful and to be one game short of being bowl eligible is a feeling that is going to eat at you.”

For more Chicago Sports Analysis and discussion.

For my Washington Times.com blog “Chicago Blue State.”

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Watch the weekly “Word On The Street” segment on 24/7 Chicago: Secrets of the City,” at 12:30 a.m. Saturday nights.

This week’s “Word” segment was shot at Between Boutique Cafe and Lounge, which is creating a buzz these days, mostly because of their executive chef, Radika “Rad” Desai. Chef Rad is competing on Season 5 of “Top Chef: New York,” and the visibility is bringing newfound attention to this Wicker Park eatery.

Click here to read the entire article on nbcchicago.com.

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candace-small2Candace Jordan, NBC Chicago Street Team

Welcome back friends! If you haven’t been to Graham Elliot’s “bistronomic” restaurant, you are missing the boat on food and fun! Upon entering, the tone is set with a simmering pot of apple cider that immediately tells you this is no ordinary restaurant.

The creativity from Chef Bowles is astounding. Foie gras popsicles that literally pop in your mouth, gently smoked salmon, baked potato bisque, spicy buffalo chicken, maple glazed scallops and crisp pork belly marinated in root beer doesn’t even scratch the surface of this artful menu.

Rhonda, Chef Graham Elliot, and Me

Rhonda Sanderson, Chef Graham Elliot and me

It is located in the River North Gallery district at 217 W. Huron. (312) 624-9975 www.grahamelliot.com. Graham was a Navy brat which would explain his interest in myriad cuisines and cooking styles. He is the youngest 4 star chef in America, 3 times James Beard award nominee and winner of the Best New Chef award from Food and Wine Magazine in 2004. All of the waitstaff are tremendously knowledgeable and friendly especially Jeffrey Neu. I see lots more awards and kudos on his horizon! I hope to see you at Graham Elliot soon—it’s one of my new favorite places.


Pat Benkowski and Salerno's owner, Victoria Lia

Pat Benkowski and Salerno's owner, Victoria Lia

Recently, I was craving some authentic Italian food and my husband suggested a place we’d driven by many times but never thought to stop. Salerno’s Restaurant is located at 1201 W. Grand Avenue (312)666-3444. It was a step back in time to a kinder, gentler era and just what we all need in these economic times. The place is family owned and operated and when you’re there, you feel like part of the family too. Every other Thursday, Pat Benkowski is the host of Trivia Night starting at 8 PM. Everyone who is interested can participate for only $5 per table. You give your team a name and off you go. Pat comes up with very interesting questions and fun things to do. On Saturday, December 27th, join him as he hosts the Benkowski Trivia Title Match starting at 7:30! This event is $21. per person and includes pizzas, chicken a la Salerno, salad and dessert. There will be live entertainment and a Name that Tune contest too! Innocent fun for hard times AND the winning team receives $300!!!

Don’t miss the One of a Kind Show beginning on Thursday, December 4th thru Sunday, December 7th at the Merchandise Mart. More than 500 talented artist, artisans and designers will be displaying unique gifts from every category. Start your holiday shopping now and support these talented people! Visit http://www.oneofakindshow.com and click on Artist Locator/Image Gallery and see some of their unique offerings. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students and children under 12 are admitted free.

Sherill Bodine

Sherill Bodine

Local romance novelist, Sherrill Bodine, will be celebrating the release of her new book “Talk of the Town” on Monday, December 1st at Martini Park (151 W. Erie) from 7- 9 PM. This is Sherrill’s first book under her own name but her 16th book for Grand Central Publishing, formerly Warner Books. It has been chosen by Cosmopolitan Magazine as February’s “Hot Read.” Congratulations Sherrill! We hear we may recognize some of the “fictional” characters from around town!

Thanks to Jon Wool for interviewing me this morning on his fantastic blog radio show, The Finesse Cuisine Hour! This show is live and may be heard on Thursday mornings from 11 AM- 12PM Central Time. It’s produced by http://www.Sohobiztube.com. My segment came after Flashpoint’s Howard Tullman and he is one tough act to follow! Congratulations to Jon on a terrific show and thanks to Howard for all of the good works you do for so many!

“Talk” to you again soon!

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Tom Kolovos, NBC Chicago Street Team

How can you argue with the designers of a label who make “clothes that guys think girls look cute in and clothes girls think guys look cute in?” You don’t.

You just buy the clothes and into their design philosophy. And buy you do, because despite the rough retail environment, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the design duo behind the label Rag and Bone, are about to open their second freestanding store in New York City in six months.

Click here to read the entire article and watch an interview with the designers on nbcchicago.com.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team
You might want to get some rest tonight because Saturday is the first Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival and there’s more going on at this event than a whole county full of barn dances and a whole summer’s worth of street fests combined.

First there’s the music. Sixteen bands will perform on two stages in the historic Congress Theater. In between evening sets, Giving Tree Band will play in the balcony of the main stage (I can’t get the image of the grumpy old men from the Muppets out of my head). A marching band — yes, a marching band — will parade up and down the theater. As if that weren’t enough, everyone with a musical note in your body is invited to jump into the continuous picking circle and open jam session.

Read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Itika Oldwine, NBC Chicago Street Team

Shaun Rajah is the Assistant Manager at the Palm Court at The Drake Hotel. He is one of the most charming and ridiculously resourceful people in the Chicago hotel business, and I know this because I make it my duty to get to know my hotel peeps. Shaun always keeps me updated on what’s going on at the fabulous Drake, and this time he outdid himself by inviting me to their Fur Ball hosted by PAWS Chicago.

Now, I’m a non-pet owner, but as I made my rounds at the Fur Ball I was definitely in awe at the commitment the two legged attendees had to their various pets. And by commitment, I’m talking about Nano, the chihuahua who was dressed in a tuxedo and top hat, or Chloe another chihuahua who wore a diamond choker that could have arguably been snatched from the window of neighboring Bulgari. Of course I have to mention Charlie. He’s a mut with an affinity for velvet jackets with pink fringe. I could go on, but there’s more to talk about.

A red carpet was laid out so our proud and elegantly dressed dog owners could pose for the paparazzi with their fabulous pooches. Also, upstairs there was a doggy spa where pets were dropped of to relax, nap and play amongst themselves. Inside the ballroom guests mingled amongst water bowls strategically placed throughout the room, and there were little tins with doggy biscuits on each table.

The Fur Ball is PAWS Chicago’s biggest event of the year and raises on average about half a million dollars for the animals. And after experiencing it for myself I’ve decided that every dog owner in Chicago should get dolled up and and bring their well groomed furry friend to next year’s Fur Ball (date TBD)…stat!

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Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

My one man crusade to bring a level of “legitimate cool” to the suburbs continues….

“Cool Nights/ Hot Jazz” imports the smooth as silk sounds of Llae f to the Western burbs for a set tonight in Lombard. The trio of Bassist Junious Paul, keyboardist William Kurk and saxophonist Kevin Nabors mix jazz, soul and experimental music to create a concoction of sound that keeps audiences coming back for more. The moment they step out of the Chicago city limits, they instantly become the best band you’ll hear in the burbs this year. The event starts at 7 PM at the Embassy Suites Lombard 707 E. Butterfield (Across From Yorktown Mall) and is sponsored by Building Health From Within, Warm Spirit, K-Fleye Designs, Aroma Chef, and Authenticity the Game. Even the event MC is imported from the city. Poet/songstress Paulette “Passion” Stinson of the popular Chicago poetry troupe Earcandy wil be the event host. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to avoid traffic come early and enjoy dinner at one of the many great restaurants that blanket the area around the hotel (my choice, Adobo Grill…yes they actually have cool city restaurants in the suburbs!) …Glenn

Check out the Music of Junious Paul

Find out more about Cool Nights/Hot Jazz

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

At a time when Chicago resident and President-Elect Barack Obama speaks of bringing a much-needed playoff system to college football, two teams from the Land of Lincoln will square off Saturday with major bowl implications on both sides.

Illinois needs a win to become bowl-eligible and give itself an opportunity for a second straight post season appearance. It would also break a 16 year drought of consecutive bowl seasons.

Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago may be the third largest city in the United States, and it may be the focus of the world after the Presidential election, but it is still a Midwestern city. This weekend get in touch with what makes Chicago feel like a home town instead of just a big metropolis.

Step outside the suburbs and you’re surrounded by farmland. Or, step into the Cultural Center this weekend for the FamilyFarmed Expo. Meet local farmers, learn from cooking demos & seminars, and shop for local food and gifts. You can also shop local at the D.I.Y. Trunk Show. Chicago artisans display their works at the Pulaski Park Field House. And don’t worry: no geese with aprons allowed. Then head up Milwaukee Avenue and enjoy the first festival to celebrate two of America’s great music genres. We’ve been building up to it for weeks now, and the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival is finally here.

Chicago does have that small town feel at times, but it is still a big city. See the bright lights at the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. There’s a parade, live music, and fireworks. This festival heralds the holidays, as does the Goodman Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol. If you go tomorrow, make reservations for a 3-course dinner for $35 with any of the participating restaurants in the Appetite Stimulus Plan.

With Jimmy Alexander, owner of Powerhouse

With Jimmy Alexander, owner of Powerhouse

I’d like to offer a special thanks to Powerhouse for hosting the very first Chef’s Table last night on their one-year anniversary, and thanks to every one who joined us. Some pictures have been posted already on Flickr (thanks to Mike Tipler for taking them!), and I’ll be posting some video from the event tomorrow. Our next Chef’s Table is December 17 at D.O.C. Wine Bar. Be sure to register ASAP since the last one sold out so quickly!

Have a great weekend!


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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

The stretch of Randolph Street in the West Loop is lined with restaurants that are frequented by foodies from all over the city and beyond. Also known as the Market District, the area has become a destination for nightlife activity, as many new lounges and clubs have popped up on the scene over the past few years.

The new kid on the block is Veerasway (844 W. Randolph St), a modern and fresh Indian cuisine inspired restaurant that brings Indian food to modern America with a sleek and simple design. 

Click here to read the full story and see video on www.nbcchicago.com.

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Ashley Lobo, NBC Chicago Street Team

On American Idol, one of Simon Cowell favorite lines is “Did you really believe you could become the American Idol? Well, then, you’re deaf.” Whether they can sing or they sound likes nails on a chalk board, “talent” shows never fail to entertain.

Well, you don’t need to wait for next season of American Idol to get in on the fun. Head over to Mahoney’s Pub & Grille (551 North Ogden Avenue) to witness and vote for your favorite contestant in the “Road to Fame” contest.

Click here to read the full story and see the video on www.nbcchicago.com.

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Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

Whoever said rock’n’roll can’t be classy? If ever there was a doubt, it’s about to be silenced for a third straight year when Chicago rock band State and Madison bring their annual “Fall Formal” to the Beat Kitchen. It has come be to be known as a rock’n’roll prom: “The city’s best indie bands and their fans all dressed in their finest for a full-blown rock show”.

Laura Meehan

Photo Credit: Laura Meehan

The home-town act will headline the event on Saturday, November 29 alongside the Urbanites, The Noise FM, The Frantic and will be hosted by DJ Risky Bizness who will spin before the performances and in-between sets.

The performance will showcase State and Madison’s recently released LP Become The Not Found.

Doors open at 5:30PM and is all ages. Tickets are on-sale now at Beatkitchen.com, Ticketweb.com and through the Beat Kitchen box office.

For a previous review on the band, click here.

For more info:




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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Twilight is such a highly anticipated movie that literally mobs of excited fans are attending all the promotional stops prior to the movie (especially when the incredibly handsome Robert Pattinson is involved). I’m halfway through the book by Stephenie Meyer right now and definitely understand what draws the fans. Her story is very intriguing. I am absolutely glued to the book. And from what I’m hearing from those who attended the preview earlier this week, the movie is very true to the book. And the ladies all agree that Robert Pattinson is yummy.  The movie officially opens here this weekend.

I spoke to actor Peter Facinelli this week. He plays the very handsome Dr. Carlisle Cullen, one of thepeterfacinelli vampires in Twilight. He was incredibly modest not only about his good looks (c’mon!) but also about assuming that the movie would be hugely successful garnering a guaranteed sequel. He spilled to me that he was a vegetarian until he filmed this movie. Apparently, playing a vampire made him crave red meat!

You can listen to our conversation by clicking HERE.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

“Trunk Show” usually means viewing designer clothes that cost more than a  subcompact. This Saturday’s D.I.Y. Trunk Show features items that are similarly one-of-a-kind, but whose prices are more inline with normal people budgets.

Now in its sixth year, this craft show in the historic Pulaski Park Field House brings together Chicago artisans in a public market. Crafters display and sell wares ranging from soap to jewelry. It’s a perfect place to take care of all of your holiday shopping. Not only will you meet the artist who created each piece, but you’ll know it will be unique.

For those of you leery of craft shows, don’t worry. In their “About” page, they decry the flea-market image of crafters:

“…you should realize that we’re not the venue for handpainted ceramic angels, snowman poop, wooden geese on a stick for putting in your yard, etc. If you think of yourself as “K”ountry, and if you spell craft with a “K”, this probably isn’t the right venue for your goods.”

They’re also not into precious gems and pawn-worthy metals. This is simply a market of creative works by people who believe that something made by hand is personal and powerful.

DIY Trunk Show
November 22, 10am to 5pm
Pulaski Park Field House
1419 W Blackhawk
Transportation: Blue Line; Ashland, Division, or Milwaukee Bus

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