Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Chicago is an amazing city for many shows to shine. Whether it is a pre-Broadway production, post-Broadway tour or a one night only concert – this city has many wonderful options to choose from.

With Guy Laliberté, Founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel: A New Twist on Vaudeville is previewing at the Chicago Theatre until January 3, 2010 before it embarks on a new journey to Broadway in early February. The show has mixed reviews. It’s heavy on comedy and choreography, blending slapstick with tap and hip-hop dance forms. The show’s plot revolves around a producer named Schmelky who is trying to put together a variety show. This production is very different than other Cirque du Soleil shows. There aren’t as many aerialists, contortionists, etc. Come in with an open mind.

Another show that’s set to appear on Broadway is The Addams Family Musical, currently playing at the Ford Center/Oriental Theatre until January 10, 2010. Veteran actors Nathan Lane (Gomez) and Bebe Neuwirth (Morticia) star in this unique musical. The Addams Family musical takes place as Wednesday Addams is older and the show’s two hot topics were love and sex. Lane was amazing portraying Gomez and Neuwirth did a decent job as Morticia.

With Zachary James who plays Lurch and Kevin Chamberlin who plays Uncle Fester in The Addams Family Musical

In an interview, The Addams Family musical actors Zachary James (Lurch) and Kevin Chamberlin (Uncle Fester) noted the show has been cut down 30-minutes from the original time. It will be interesting to see what the show is like once it graces the Broadway stage.

The New Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein, just wrapped up their tour in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre last night. The production began on Broadway where 484 shows were performed. The musical features Desperate Housewives guest actor, Roger Bart, as Dr. Frankenstein. The actors in Young Frankenstein were brilliant and notable songs included “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, “Transylvania Mania” and “He Vas My Boyfriend”.

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

With Kleetus, Guy Fieri's friend and sous chef

The Guy Fieri Road Show stopped for an evening of fun at the Rosemont Theatre. Fieri is known for hosting Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. He says the show “is food, rock n’ roll and everything they won’t let me do on TV!”

The opener for Fieri was Australian native and World Champion Flair Bartender, Hayden “Woody” Wood. Wood was dancing, clapping and twirling bottles during his presentation. He made apple spice martinis, pear margaritas and eggnog.

Once Fieri took the stage, he got the audience dancing to good ol’ rock music. A DJ was supplying all the tunes while Fieri shared his cooking stories, Thanksgiving turkey mishaps and answering questions from the crowd. Fieri also had a karaoke contest and pulled members of the audience up on stage to sing for prizes.

Coming soon to Chicago theatres near you are the following shows: In The Heights (which opens tomorrow), The 101 Dalmations Musical, Mama Mia!, Annie, Dreamgirls, Billy Elliot The Musical and more!

For ticket information, visit www.Ticketmaster.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team

Whole Foods is still accepting applications for the “Deserving Dinners” Sweepstakes’ Christmas dinner. There’s still time to nominate your deserving family in any of the Midwest’s 32 Whole Foods locations or online. Follow the link for more details. Good luck and happy holidays!

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Hungry Z, NBCChicago Street Team

Karma is the cosmic principle according to which someone is rewarded or punished according to that person’s deeds. It can also be a distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling. So when you step inside Karma, you instantly get greeted by an elegant almost Zen like atmosphere. The dining room is separated by a tranquil pond complete with a gentle waterfall and cool salt cone replicas.

Now that we’ve established good karma in the dining room, let’s see if we are rewarded or punished with the menu. Start your good vibes with a couple of solid appetizers. Crisp chicken spring rolls are loaded with chunks of chicken and served with honey mustard. A must try are the Shiitake mushroom pot stickers, which are meaty, tasty, pockets of deliciousness.karmapotstickers

Hold on! What’s the rush? It’s not time for the entrées yet, not when the star of the meal is on next. The Vietnamese coconut shrimp soup is a dish worth the trip to Mundelein alone! This velvety soup has large pieces of shrimp swimming in a slightly sweet /spicy broth that is meant to be experienced and not merely consumed. Would it be wrong to lick the bowl?

For some, nothing gives them more pleasure than biting into a tender juicy steak. And while simple is often enough, sometimes a little pizzazz is in order. The macadamia and blue cheese crusted filet is for the person who loves the tenderness of a filet, but wants a more robust flavor. Creamy and sharp blue cheese is complimented by the crunch of the toasted macadamias, to help turn this mellow piece of meat into a sassy rock star! If something more traditional is up your alley, then opt for the orange peel chicken. Large strips of tempura chicken are covered in a yuzu orange glaze that helps this dish go beyond your average orange chicken.karmasteak

A meal feels incomplete without dessert and this is the last leg of your dining experience. For chocoholics, the chocolate Moelleux cake is a rich soufflé accented with minted cream and a red currant coulis. The fresh ginger crème Brule offers sweet ginger custard and of course some fresh berries.

Dinner for two with wine should run right around $100, which is actually reasonable for an upscale dinner and a pinch of good karma. Overall, Karma offers a harmonious blend of tranquil atmosphere, creative dishes, and fair prices. It appears the cosmos are listening.


510 E. Route 83

Mundelein, IL

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Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team

When the Whole Foods Mecca in the Midwest opened in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in May—it’s the third largest store in the world after Kensington, England and Austin, Texas— even Mayor Daley was outside with a speech to pull the community together. And inside, the “Chicago Eats” section celebrated Windy City staples: Taylor Street Italian, Pilsen Taqueria, Wicker Park Subs and more. This holiday season the Whole Foods community is reaching out to us again, along with market locations across the Midwest, to host “Deserving Dinners.”Holiday09_turkey-in-pan

The sweepstakes, which includes thirty-two participating stores from Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Toronto, Missouri, Nebraska, and Indiana, invites people to nominate deserving families from their community to receive a complimentary holiday dinner for four. Two rounds of entries will allow people to nominate their chosen family for Thanksgiving or for Christmas, featuring a holiday feast with all the fixings: 10-12 pound turkey, harvest salad, maple-roasted autumn squash soup, country mashed potatoes, traditional herb stuffing, green beans with roasted shallots and fresh herbs, roasted cinnamon dusted butternut squash, fresh cranberry sage compote, turkey gravy and traditional dinner rolls. Yum!DSC00710

How do you nominate a deserving family? While entry forms with the rules and regulations are available at in-store kiosks in all Midwest Whole Foods Market locations, you can easily logon to your local store’s website at wholefoodsmarket.com (all entries will be made online anyway; no paper entry forms). But you better hurry if you want to get an entry in for the upcoming holiday. The Thanksgiving sweepstakes is accepting entries until November 13, with Whole Foods announcing the winners from Nov. 16-19. The Christmas sweepstakes will accept entries from Dec. 1-11, with Whole Foods announcing the winners from Dec. 14-18.

Sorry competition junkies; you cannot nominate yourselves. But, perhaps your nominee will win and invite you over for leftovers!

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New Orleans is a city full of vibrant music, bold parties, and spiced up cuisine. So it’s no surprise that Pappadeaux is a big, bold, and loud restaurant eager to usher in some fun. Even on a typical Tuesday in October, Pappadeaux was drawing big crowds. Who says you can’t have fun on a Tuesday?

There are times when you dine out purely for the food and other times you go for an experience. The experience side is done right! Right off the bat, the hostess is knowledgeable and eagerly gives you a brief tour of the fresh seafood available that evening. Décor is geared for fun as well, with tall ceilings and monstrous chandeliers in the shape of compasses. pappagumbo


So now that you’re feeling bold and ready to have fun, all that’s left is that party in your mouth! Dishes are boldly seasoned and one could never mistake them as bland, but might some find them over seasoned? The appetizer trio is the first item sampled and it consists of shrimp and crawfish fondue, calamari, and fried alligator. The calamari was a bit chewy, the deep fried alligator could have passed for chicken fingers, but the true oddball was the fondue. Shrimp and crawfish swam in a soupy bath that had cheese melted on top similar to french onion soup.


Speaking of a soup type dish, next up was the gumbo. The flavorful broth was joined by spicy andouille sausage, shrimp, crawfish, and rice. A good gumbo has layers of flavor that work together, while the broth was flavorful, the ingredients didn’t work harmoniously. This gumbo felt as if it was thrown together and not created, as if each ingredient was cooked separately and then put together at the last minute without a chance for the flavors to marry.pappashrimp


First entrée was the Stuffed Shrimp Montage. Large oven baked shrimp are stuffed with crab cake and a parmesan cream sauce. There is no shortage of flavor here! If you’re looking to taste the shrimp, then there is too much flavor. Over seasoned and over sauced, these jumbo shrimp get lost in the flavor shuffle. The parmesan topped lobster is luckily restrained from the over seasoning. The salty characteristics of the parmesan actually work quite well with the very fresh lobster.


A smile is brought to my face when I see the dessert tray. Sweet potato pecan pie was a nice twist to the often too sweet dessert, while toasted pecans added a delicious crunch. Key lime pie is a personal favorite dessert, although this version is very sweet with only a hint of tartness, true key lime should be the opposite.pappapecan


Entrée prices range from the mid teens to upper forties, so diners have plenty of options. So what does all this add up to? A fun, loud, and bold restaurant that may please the everyday masses, but will leave true foodies with a little too much spice in their mouth.



798 W. Algonquin Rd

Arlington Heights, IL

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DWD signNBC5meby April Lawson

They say green is the new black, but what the devil is a Nutrition Stylist? Debra Ward is a River North designer with a unique holistic approach to style. Her company DWD doesn’t just design clothing, but also bodies from the inside out. While some designers ensconce their clients in layers of diaphanous fabrics, DWD believes as within so without -viewing the person as a complete being. After 25 years in the business, Ward has evolved from her role as Wardrobe Consultant to Nutritional Stylist and now offers Nutritional Coaching in addition to chic urban style.

“We provide a nutritional plan based on fashion desires so you get an ideal body to go with the style. You get Little Black Dress meals, and DWD InsideWrapped Sweater Jabari Glynnissoups to maintain that body. It’s smart, sexy and healthy.” Says Debra.

You get the complete package:  whole mind, whole food and whole body. DWD is Located at 501 N. Wells near Illinois.

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

There’s something funny going on in River North on Tuesday, October 20th. Sarah Vargo of Maven and Fred Farris of Key Management have teamed up with The Joynt to host Stand Up Against Cancer which benefits local charity Imerman Angels. The party and the awareness are going down at 650 N. Dearborn (@ Erie) and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate all the good things that are happening under Johnny Imerman’s inspiration!

The show starts at 6:30 and features a laundry list of talented comedians along with headliner Kira Soltanovich, from Girls Behaving Badly and The Phony Phone Booth on The Jay Leno Show. Have you seen this bit? It’s hilarious! What WON’T people do for a free picture?!?! You can find the clips here or check it out in this week’s edition of The SAUCE, hosted by Yours Truly, below. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door with limited seating.


**Hugs and Kisses from JenChicago.com!

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