Archive for August, 2009

rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team


The origin of the clambake was not  the 1967 Elvis movie bearing the same namesake. In fact, it all started when the resourceful Pilgrims picked up the technique from Native Americans steaming soft-shell crabs on the rocks – kinda like an early day Food Network.

Roll down your pant legs and put away the bucket and shovel. An urban clambake is as close as Fulton’s on the River, no manual labor required. From 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Tuesday September 1st,  Fulton’s veranda will be transformed into an authentic clambake atmosphere, complete with an all you can eat clam-bake and two Hoegaarden beers for just 22 bucks. NBC-Fultons

Menu items like Baked Stoneneck Clams with brown butter bread crumbs, roasted garlic, fresh parsley, horseradish hollandaise, Sweet New Queens corn on the cob and Jalapeño-Wisconsin white cheddar corn bread with honey butter will be served on family-style picnic tables where guests can sip and nosh while taking in the Chicago river views.

In addition, Fulton’s will offer tasty drink specials for throughout the night for all you sailors out there.  Look for $4 beers, $6 cocktails and $8 glasses of wine. With lively music, great food and killer views, Fulton’s clambake is the perfect way to wrap up another unforgettable Chicago summer!

Don’t clam up! This is the LAST bake of the summer.

Visit http://www.fultonsontheriver.com for more info.

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)

The Midwest continues to represent in a major way on the music tip this Summer! Here are a couple of new releases that recently dropped that you will definitely need in your collection:

In late 2007, Chicago’s own HotStylz dropped a hilarious and creative hip-hop anthem called “Lookin’ Boy” which was based on “The Dozens”, a hood tradition of good natured trash talking and two or more competitors trading witty insults. This song featured Atlanta rapper, Yung Joc, who also signed HotStylz to his Swagg Team Entertainment label and became an instant classic. Virtually, nothing was heard from the trio for almost two years…until now.Hotstylz-ADD-Front

Thanks to Swagg Team/Jive Records and UIC Radio’s own DJ Moondawg, Hotstylz’ Raydio G, Krayzee, and Meatball are back with a funny, yet innovative major mixtape release, “A.D.D. : The Mixtape”. In this day and age of rappers talking about money, cars, and clothes, Hotstylz brings a great deal of comic relief, realism, creativity, and originality to the game. On “A.D.D.” they pick-up right where “Lookin’ Boy” left off with catchy hooks and infectious club beats. Standout tracks include “Michael Phelps”, the “laugh out loud” “Auntie Booty”, “Go Dutch” and “Thik & Fye” which features fellow Chi-town MC, Twista. Of course, Hotstylz’ true comedic talents shine on the hilarious skits. Check out the “Dead Beat Dad” skit and you will probably have tears in your eyes from laughing so hard. You can download this mixtape for free at DJ Moondawg’s website at www.djmoondawg.com

Shadowkat Nightson came to bring the pain…and it’s called “The Hurt Game”. This impressive collaborative effort brings together some of the Midwest’s best with a majority of them hailing from the Indianapolis area. “Nightsons Presents: The Hurt Game” presents a hard-hitting, unflinching soundscape that also has a very organic feel to it with a diverse collection of MCs rockin’ over beats provided by the Nightsons camp.


Shadowkat and his fellow Plugg City family, Chi-town’s own Rhymefest let you know what time it is right off the top with the sickening title track where “they ain’t playin’ no word games”. They keep the energy going with the pulsating “Breath Control” which features alpha.live and it’s pretty much a straight listen from start to finish from there. Check out “Money Bags”, “Full Blown”, and the head bobbing “Cold Case”. Don’t let this one pass you by! “Nightsons Presents: The Hurt Game” is now available at iTunes and Amazon.com. For more info or a preview of the album you can also go to www.nightsons.com

Last but not least, the anticipated debut release from Chi-town MC and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music affiliate, Really Doe “First Impressions”, dropped via Cartel Records. Ever since the MC showcased his unique rhyme flow on “We Major” on West’s multi-platinum “Late Registration” album alongside the legendary Nas, hip-hop heads have wanted to hear more and Really Doe delivers on his first effort.reallydoecoverWEB

“First Impressions” has a lot of soulful hip-hop on it courtesy of producer Griffin Guess. “Sew It Up”, “RPS (Rock, Paper, Scissors)”, and one of my personal favorites, the unapologetic “My City” are indicative of that. Another single to check for on “Impressions” is the first single, “Mesmerized” which features vocalist Danny Klein and has a slightly similar sound to Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar”. Other standouts to peep are “Follow Me”, “Million Dollar” and Mr. West even shows up on “Plastic”. Really Doe has been grinding for a while on the hip-hop scene and it’s good to see the hard work finally paying off. Hit up iTunes or Best Buy and cop this one for the iPod. He makes a good “first impression”…really doe.

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Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team

By definition a “Trattoria” is an informal restaurant or tavern serving simple Italian dishes. “Bella” is the Italian work for beauty, combine the two and you get a lovely Italian restaurant named Trattoria Isabella. Located in the city’s Fulton river district, the restaurant features a gorgeous outdoor patio that includes its own bar.

 Since simple and straight forward dishes are featured, a great place to start is with the wonderful sausage and peppers. Sweet Roma sausage rests in a pool of lemon and garlic, and then surrounded by a colorful array of sweet peppers. While many salad choices are available, by far the stand out is the Caprese. This traditional Italian salad features thick cut tomatoes, whole leaves of basil, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and is nothing short of delicious!

 IsabellasaladWhen diving into the main course, remember that heavy sauces are not always needed. A lovely such option is the Chicken Vesuvio. Two large breast of chicken swimming in a rosemary and white wine sauce, topped with peas, and surrounded by oven baked Vesuvio potatoes. For those who must have red sauce, the tender veal parmesan is covered in tangy marinara and topped with melted mozzarella.Isabellavesuvio

 Ending a meal without dessert should be, and is a sin. Gelato lovers should definitely choose the creamy and flavorful Pistachio gelato. While the house made tiramisu is bursting with espresso and has a near velvety texture.

 Couples on a date will enjoy the intimate setting, the soft sounds of Sinatra, and well executed dishes. Those couples should also plan some extra time for their meal. The service is quite relaxed and a meal may take more than a couple of hours. Prices are fairly reasonable and dinner for two should run around $80 with wine and tip.

Location: 217 N. Jefferson

Check out all of Hungry Z’s Reviews at www.hungryz.com



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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

Until Chicago’s Blackhawks and Bulls get their respective seasons going again, there’s a void right now for local fans yearning to see some live professional action. As usual, the Cubs are way out of playoff contention and their ticket prices remain ridiculously high. The Sox, with just slightly more reasonable entrance fees, are eliminated too. (Don’t let those AL Central standings fool you, that division features 5 teams which could honestly struggle to win a AAA league. Even if the Sox actually learn how to field the ball, and “win” their division, the AL East Champions would crush them into a million little pieces come the playoffs anyway.) Yes, we all love our Bears and their flashy new QB, but you pretty much have to be a Federal bailout recipient to afford a halfway decent seat at one of their games.

Explore the Chicago Fire, out fair city’s MLS offering and your problem is solved. Start by reading the “Newbie’s Guide to the 2009 Chicago Fire,” and you’ll learn everything you need to know. The blog’s author is to soccer knowledge what the Fox network is to trashy reality television. As the guide states:Fire_Blanco_Soccer_ILBK101

“Midfield seats are $50- compare that to $350 (face value) for 50-yard line seats for Bears- and if you take advantage of section8chicago.com’s $15 ticket deals, you can go to a whole summer’s worth of Fire games for less than the cost of a single bleacher ticket to Wrigley. Yes, a Cubs bleacher ticket gives you a front row view to the Unintentional Comedy Extravaganza {and psychiatric disorder case study, I might add} that is Milton Bradley…”

…but instead of finishing his thoughts I’ll switch to a lighter topic. Section 8 is one of the biggest parties you’ll find. They hit the pubs before the game (match) together and commute on the same bus to beautiful Toyota Park and back. Once there, they wave enormous flags, sing, chant, stand, cheer and make merry better than the rowdiest of college basketball student sections. It’s like what you see in Europe- minus the hooliganism, broken bottles over the head, and rioting.
Seriously, this summer (or whatever you call it, calendar says summer even though the thermometer says October) you should see that Fire games rock, and right now the Toyota Park experience is more fun than watching two overpaid, underachieving baseball teams meaninglessly play out the string. There’s tailgating, bean bags, totally boss Mexican food and their coach Denis Hamlett even says fun things like “we pissed points away” (at least he did on this night, a 1-0 loss to hated rival D.C. United) at their post game press conferences. Oh, and did I mention that the Fire are within striking distance of the best record in their league? They do this thing called winning games too. For tickets, click here

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times, Walter Football.com and The Sports Bank

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

Okay, people think the biggest perk of working in radio is free concert tickets.  Or meeting celebrities.  Nope…it’s the free food, and lots of it!  Seriously.  Especially in a town that has so many incredible restaurants.  And of all the stations I’ve worked at, I’ve never seen so much complimentary grub as at WTMX.  It seems every restaurant in Chicago wants to feed Eric and Kathy – which makes perfect sense since their huge ratings dwarf the competition.  And lucky for me, Eric and Kathy are kind enough to share with the rest of the staff so I rarely even need to pack a lunch.

Yesterday I walked into work to find an amazing buffet of gyro’s from Kronos in Swany’s production studio.  He wisely moved the food to the kitchen so nobody made a mess near his equipment.  As soon as the food hit the table in the kitchen “the vultures” (myself included) descended up the chow.  Delicious lamb, incredible tzatziki (creamy cucumber sauce), onions, tomatoes, pita bread and even foil wrappers for each sandwich made.

Hungry?  Here’s the best part.  These tasty gyros are free for you, too!  Mark you calendar for Tuesday, September 1…it’s the premier of “Kronos Free Gyros Day”.  Yep.  You get a free lunch.  Head to www.kronosfreegyros.com to download and print a free coupon.  Yum!

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Shreyas Shah, NBC Chicago Street Team

If you’re looking for some nightlife tonight that’s a little more dirty, ill-mannered, and risque than the usual fare, then check out Good for Party’s Disco/Sex Launch Party tonight at The Funky Buddha Lounge (728 W. Grand Ave.). DJs Sol Son, Josh Deep of Deeper Soul Recordings, and Larry Miller are going to play the most salacious underground disco sounds from the ’70s and early ’80s, and the girls of Chicago’s hush-hush erotic consortium Secret Skin will be there to showcase their titillating dance moves. It’s free to get in before midnight, so RSVP asap if you want to check it out.

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Marcus Riley, NBC Chicago Street Team

The people behind most new bars and restaurants will do whatever they can to build excitement about their new venture.

Which is why it’s so curious that we haven’t heard many details about a new bar in Old Town, until we learned that they’ve been purposely trying to keep it under the radar — which of course, only managed to increase the buzz even more.

Well, the intrigue is over. The new spot is called Old Town Social, and it will have its “soft opening” on Saturday.

Get the deets at NBCChicago.com.

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