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August 2009 Archives

Watch and listen for free Jay-Z tickets

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What's better than last weekend's world-o'-Lil Wayne hip-hop concert? How about a free Jay-Z show?

Next Tuesday, Sept. 8, Beyonce's better half will headline a free concert at 8 p.m. at Chicago's House of Blues.

The tickets are free, which means there's a big commercial promotion with it, of course, courtesy of Samsung and AT&T (you can try out their new JACK cell phone at the show). Here are the two ways to land the free tickets: (1) A certain number of tickets are made available each day leading up to the show on this Samsung site — which also shows the other free concerts around the country, and boy did we get the best act. (2) Listen to WPWX for ticket giveaways.

Free gyros on Tuesday

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Your Tuesday lunch dilemma has been solved -- September 1 is Kronos Free Gyros day. Fill out this coupon, print it and present it at any of 44 locations in the city and suburbs (the list of participants is here) for a complimentary pita sandwich bursting with meat, veggies and tzatziki.

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Traci drew the line at Tito.

Michael Jackson Birthday Tribute
Friday at Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club
While everyone else has been busy honoring the King of Pop's death, Kit Kat takes a night to celebrate his birth and life. The evening will feature Kit Kat's "Diva" Traci Ross, performing as both Michael and Janet Jackson, along with special appearances by Michael's "friends" Liza Minnelli and Liz Taylor. Kit Kat's "Black & White" martinis are $5, and the first 50 guests will receive a limited edition Kit Kat/MJ sparkled glove.

Wanna take your MJ love to another level? Check out the Michael Jackson tribute show at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino (7 p.m. Saturday ; $20), or Purgatory Pizza/Park Ave.'s tribute party with the Carlton Bradley Dance Crew (9 p.m. Saturday; free entry if in MJ costume).

Songwriters: How does Chicago inspire you?

The Chicago Public Library invites you to answer that question for its latest contest, Sound Off, which promotes the institution's huge collection of free music (including CDs, DVDs, MP3s and sheet music). Submit your original, Chi-inspired song by September 27. A judging panel including Jessica Hopper (author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking) and Chris Force (Alarm magazine editor) will review the top submissions and select one Grand Prize winner, who will receive a free studio package courtesy of Steve Albini's Electrical Audio and a headlining spot at the Sound Off concert in October in Pritzker Park. The People's Choice winner, selected by online voters from September 28-October 3, will open the concert.

For all the rules, visit the website. Note: "My Kind of Town" is already taken.

What we know: This Friday, August 28, from 8-11 p.m., there will be a party going down at the Waterfront Cafe to celebrate the release of Paramanu Pentaquark #2, a journal full of plays, essays, poems, prose, cartoons and more. For $10, you'll get food (hot dog, fries and drink) and a copy of the new issue. There'll be a pre-party with optional swimming at Thorndale Beach, and a post-party at Sovereign Liquors featuring $2 PBR and $2.50 Old Style.

What we think we know:
Paramanu Pentaquark is a "Gothic funk" journal, which has something to do with postmodernism, if we understand the movement's manifesto at all. Whatever it is, we love this sentence: "Gothic Funk is a movement and a frame of mind, but it’s also a whole way of experiencing life, in which you don’t have to be hyper-aware, and hyper-confirming of your situation and the things that are happening around you." Take that, Twitter!

What we don't know:
Where to begin?

RSVP at gothicfunk.org.

Last week, Chicago’s greenest and most eco-curious citizens came together for the Green Carpet Gala at District Bar. With regular gatherings like Green Drinks and events at Uncommon Ground, Chicago is no stranger to environmental networking. But this landmark event also served as a preview of and fundraiser for Carbon Day (September 15), a day set aside to raise awareness about easy, simple ways to reduce environmental impact in everyday life.

Gala guests sipped organic Rain vodka, munched on ratatouille skewers, networked with other like-minded individuals and shopped wares from local eco companies I Pledge Eco apparel and Koru Street accessories. Most notably, there were two screenings of the yet-to-be-released "No Impact Man" documentary and a funky electric and solar vehicle to check out. You can expect all this and more at next month's Carbon Day Festival in Lincoln Park.

We're just 10 days away from the start of the 2009 Chicago Jazz Festival, but we know that some of you can't wait even that long. For the diehards, there's the annual Jazz Club Tour, going down on September 2 at clubs all around town.

For $30 ($25 in advance), you'll gain entrance to 14 of the city's most popular venues from 6 p.m.-midnight, with the help of the Chicago Trolley Co. This year's slate includes heavy hitters like the Green Mill and the Jazz Showcase along with smaller spots like Uncommon Ground and M Lounge. The full list of clubs and performers is after the jump; if you're sold already, buy tickets on the website.

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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: E.leaven Food Company
Watch your back, Panera and Corner Bakery.

Off the Beaten Path: Brendan’s Too
Northwest Side dive bar is reincarnated.

Weekly Treat: One-two punch at Long Room
Get $1 PBRs and $2 Jim Beam shots tonight in North Center.

Man We're Crazy About: Pita Grill
Grab a kabob or gyros on the go in Old Town.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

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The next Bulls star? Or just your lunch companion?

Dwyane Wade is coming to Chicago....to eat steak.

While the Miami Heat star guard may not be joining his hometown Bulls just yet, you'll have a chance to talk him into the idea during the latest installment of Lunch with a Legend at Morton's Wacker Drive location on Wednesday, September 9. For $50, you'll get a three course meal including a salad (Caesar or Morton's house salad), entree (single cut filet with mashed potatoes, chicken Christopher with mashed potatoes or salmon filet with garlic green beans) and chocolate mousse for dessert. Nonalcoholic drinks are also included, and Waddle and Silvy will be broadcasting live on ESPN 1000 beginning at noon. The lunch starts at 11 a.m.; reserve your spot by calling (312) 201-0464.


Extra Pearl Jam tickets on sale for tonight

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Both Pearl Jam shows in Chicago this week were sold out — until today.

Additional tickets for tonight’s concert at the United Center were released this morning and are on are sale now.

Tickets can be purchased through the United Center box office, this Ticketmaster page, all Ticketmaster ticket centers or call (800) 745-3000.

3 Things We Love About ... Saturday

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There’s still plenty of summer left and plenty of activies to enjoy this weekend:

The Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan, condenses things down into 2-1/2 hours in its 3 p.m. performance of “The Arabian Nights.” Tickets: $52-$56. Info: (312) 337-0665 or www.lookingglasstheatre.org.

Blues musician Taj Mahal opens for Bonnie Raitt at Ravinia, Lake Cook and Green Bay roads, Highland Park. Tickets: $32-$80. Info: (847) 266-5100 or www.ravinia.org.

“The Fighting Temptations” screens at 8:30 tonight at the DuSable Museum in Washington Park, 740 E. 56th Pl. It’s free.


HEY! YOU GOT THREE BETTER ONES?
Tell us your three favorite things about Saturday!

Join local celebrity chefs Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven) Stephanie Izard (The Drunken Goat) and Tony Priolo (Piccolo Sogno) and many other area culinary artist for the 2009 Meals on Wheels Chicago Celebrity Chef Ball, held on Oct. 16 at Macy’s (111 N. State St.).

For $250, you can join The Chef's Table, a VIP dining portion of the event, featuring a seated, interactive dining experience with live cooking by celebrity chefs and wine pairings, followed by access to the chef tasting party. If you’re not into dropping that kind of dough (even for a good cause), $100 gets you a spot at the chef tasting party, which includes tastings, premium cocktails, wine and beer, casino gaming, an interactive photo booth, and both live and DJ entertainment.

Proceeds for the event go to Meals on Wheels, which helps provide food for elderly and disabled Chicagoans. For more info and to buy tickets, check out the group’s Web site or call (312) 744-2120.

Hey, kids, want some classes you can actually look forward to this fall? Here's an idea: Sign up for some performing-arts training at Studio BE, the new Lakeview facility offering instruction for kids ages 6-18. The fall schedule sounds a lot more exciting than your average AP course load, with options like body building for actors, improvisation and tap/ballet. Classes begin September 8 and run for eight weeks. Registration is open now<(a href="http://www.studio-be.org">www.studio-be.org, (773) 248-5900); rates run from $89/class until September 1, so get your parents to shell out soon.

While you're checking out the school, make plans to see a show by Studio-BE's resident company, pH Productions (pHrenzy PG might be the way to go for you young'uns). Who knows, if you keep up with those classes, you could be on stage with these hilarious improv-ers one day. Either way, it'll be better than whatever family activity your mom could dream up.

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"Love" is the name of Art Smith's food game. (photo via www.chefartsmith.net)

If you fell in love with Art Smith on "Top Chef Masters" (how could you not?), here's how to find your way into his heart: support his charity.

Common Threads
, which seeks to educate children on the importance of nutrition and physical well-being, and to foster an appreciation of cultural diversity through cooking, is having its first-ever World Cookout on Thursday, September 17 at Fulton's on the River (6:30-9:30 p.m.). Several Chicago-area chefs will come together for this fundraiser, including Stephanie Izard (The Drunken Goat), Bill Kim (Urban Belly), Rodelio Abilgot (Sunda), Gale Gand (TRU), Giuseppe Tentori (Boka), Toni Roberts (C-House) and others.

Tickets are $75 apiece, or $150 for a VIP package including a pre-party at 5:30 p.m. (with Bacardi Dragon Berry cocktails, beer and wine plus food from Cafe Spiaggia's Sarah Grueneberg) and an after-party at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap (with beer, wine and BBQ food). Get 'em here.


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The next two weeks are a very good time to have a badass mustache.

This Saturday, Lakeview party joint Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort hosts “Fatty’s Fan Favorite Party,” honoring its fan favorite cover band, ’Stache.

The band will play starting at 8, and mustache homages will include fake mustaches given out at the door, 100 bucks for the person with the best real ‘stache and Cubs tickets for the best fake ‘stache. The bar will also serve $4 Dos Equis bottles (normally $5) and 32-ounce “Bone Fish” fishbowls (rum, OJ, cranberry juice, grenadine) will be $6.

But the ‘stache party is just getting started. Join the Young Irish Fellowship Club on August 29 for “The ‘Stache Bash” pub crawl in Wicker Park. Participants are encouraged to grow out their finest cookie dusters and party for a good cause (namely the Maeve McNicholas Memorial Foundation to fight pediatric brain tumors, the Matthew Lee Bailey Foundation, the Michael J. Murphy Music Scholarship Fund and Raising Awareness, which supports MS awareness).

The crawl costs $20 and kicks off at Pint at 12:30 p.m., followed by Wicker Park Tavern (2-3 p.m.), Northside (3:15-4:15), Cans (4:30-5:30) and Lottie’s Pub (until 8 p.m.). There will be specials at each bar, and you gotta imagine anyone who can grow out a halfway decent handlebar deserves a free drink or three.

For more info, go here.

Had a tough week already? Here are three ways to take the edge off in the next couple of days. Don't say we've never done anything for you:

Wednesday
Duchamp launches its creatively named Wednesdays at Duchamp series with an event featuring free Heineken Light from 5-8 p.m. From 7-10 p.m., you'll also be able to try some summer coctkails featuring Veev and St. Germaine ($5), sample small and large plates from the French-influenced menu and enjoy a DJ spinning downtempo beats on the patio.

Thursday
Bistro 110 continues its Tour de France wine-tasting series with an Alsace tasting from 6-8 p.m. For $25, you'll get pours of several French wines (including Cremant d'Alsace and Domaine Martin Schaetzel Cuvee Reserves), plus snacks like braised pork, bacon and sauerkraut choucroute; tart flambe; baked pretzels; and frog legs in white wine sauce.

Join the Svedka vodka "Mile-High Club" party from 6-9 p.m. at C-View, the rooftop lounge on the 29th floor of the Affinia Chicago hotel. Flight attendants will serve a number of special Svedka cocktails at the outdoor bar, including the Future Ex, with fresh raspberries and lemons, and the Fembot Fatale, with cranberry juice, fresh strawberries and basil leaves ($10 each). Complimentary hors d'oeuvres like mini yellowtail fish tacos and grilled oysters will be served. RSVP to Chris@expagency.com.


If all you've tried at River North's Tizi Melloul are the $3 martinis and small plates on Mondays, well we can't blame you. That's an awesome deal. But if you've been curious about the rest of the menu at this Middle Eastern spot, next Wednesday, August 26, is a good time to try it out. For $60 a person, the restaurant is hosting a five-course meal paired with S.O.B. (Sustainable. Organic. Biodynamic.) wine.

Check out the menu after the jump, and call (312) 670-4338 to make a reservation (the dinner starts at 7 p.m.). Oh yeah, there's live belly dancing, too.


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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Mary’s Rec Room
Andersonville microbrewery adds to the Mary’s empire.

Off the Beaten Path: Bobo’s Hot Dogs
A throwback hot dog stand on the Northwest side featuring fresh-cut French fries.

Weekly Treat: Make it a Bud Night at McGinny’s Tap
Bud and Bud Light bottles are just two bucks on Tuesdays at this Old Town hangout.

Man We're Crazy About: Mio Bento Japanese Restaurant
Stop in for a quick sushi bite at this North Center cafe.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

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No, not a box in a pig...(photo via Worth1000.com)

So your fantasy football draft is coming up next week, and you think you're ready. You've done all the research on sleeper picks and injury risks. You've got your cheat sheet printed out, checked your wi-fi connection more than once, and stocked the fridge with beer. All set, right? Um, no. If you're going to have upwards of 10 football enthusiasts in your house for three solid hours, you'd better have some food on hand.

Enter Wicker Park's Smoke Daddy, whose new "Pig in a Box" promotion will please pigskin fans with -- you guessed it -- pork. Make that lots of pork. For $48, you'll get four sections of baby back ribs, eight spare ribs, six rib tips, one pound of pork, six buns and two pints of side items (sweet potato fries, smoked pit beans, mac 'n' cheese, etc.). We'd recommend at least two orders for a full league gathering -- we'd also recommend ordering a day in advance. Actually, that's what they require to prepare such a meaty feast. And it'll be worth it, trust us. Just make sure you're not so distracted by BBQ that you end up drafting a kicker in the third round.

Juice Williams is great, but he's not the only reason to head downstate this fall. The Pygmalion Music Festival hits Champaign-Urbana (the home of Parasol Records, Polyvinyl Records and REO Speedwagon, among others) for the fifth year September 16-19, and it's got an expanded lineup this year, with 15 venues hosting over 100 performers, including Iron & Wine, RJD2, Lucero, Low and The Books. You know what 15 venues means, don't you? No porta-potties.

Now that we've got you interested, check out the full schedule after the jump. Since we know how much you love to support local acts, we've starred the Chicago acts for you. Festival passes start at $60.

Remember when your brother or sister had a birthday party, and your parents gave you a little gift so that you wouldn't feel left out and throw a tantrum? Think of The Pony's one-year anniversary bash as its attempt to avoid the tears and include you in the celebration.

After all, it's not like you did anything to deserve all the treats on offer this weekend - like $4 Coronas and $5 Stoli cocktails tonight at 9 p.m., and complimentary Miller Lite and Coors Light (plus passed appetizers) from 8-10 p.m. (and $4 SoCo lime shots and 16-ounce Silver Bullets all night long) on Saturday. So don't you dare stamp your feet and whine when the bartender takes a little too long to look in your direction.


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Bicycle Film Festival
Through Sunday in various venues, $10 per screening, $25 for a festival pass
Bike, movie and art enthusiasts come together for this five-day show throughout the city. Some of the highlights (full schedule here) include Thursday's Joyride Art Show (6 p.m. at the MCA Warehouse), Friday's Fun Bike Shorts (9 p.m. at Columbia College) and Saturday's afterparty at the Empty Bottle with DJs Matt ROAN and E-Six (9 p.m., free with movie admission).

It would be a major understatement to say that last year's inaugural Chicago Gourmet (the upscale answer to Taste of Chicago in Millennium Park) was a disappointment. The main gripe? Too much wine, too little food. The 2009 installment (September 26-27) should address those issues, and the long list of participating restaurants is a good start, as are demonstrations from the likes of Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill and Topolobampo), Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate) and Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia). Check out the full roster (via GrubStreet) after the jump, and buy tickets ($120-$175) on the official website.

Want to sample the food without all the fuss of a festival? Consider participating in the dine-around; many participating restaurants will be offering special prix-fixe menus from August 24-September 27. Even better, if you eat at five of the spots, you'll secure a free ticket to Chicago Gourmet.

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It's gonna be hard to improve on nature's artwork, but you gotta try.

You say tomato, we say...yes, please.

If you're as tomato-crazy this time of year as we are, you've probably already heard about Chicago Tomato Fest. No? Here's the deal. Throughout the next month or so, various restaurants around the city will be hosting events and/or creating special dishes to celebrate the in-season, vine-ripened treat. Kicking things off is the BLT Bonanza (August 17-September 20), during which several participating chefs will be putting their spin on the classic sandwich. Now you can be part of the action along with David DiGregorio (Osteria Via Stato), Phillip Foss (Lockwood), Mark Mendez (Carnivale), Dirk Flanigan (The Gage) and others, as Tomato Fest is hosting a poster contest for the promotion. Submit your design by Friday, August 14, and you could be seeing your work posted in some of the finest restaurants in town. If you lose? Well, we know where you can get a good sandwich to ease your pain.

Looking for other ways to enjoy your tomatoes? Centerstage offers some tips and treats that are ripe for the picking.

Cocktails and Planned Parenthood don't usually go together, unless it's in a particularly tasteless joke.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois has aimed to change that this summer with its Friday at Four Sexy Summer Cocktail Series at local bars. The final installment of the event goes down at LuxBar this Friday from 4-7 p.m.; for $25, you'll enjoy hosted wine, beer and appetizers, as well as additional drink and app specials. Proceeds will go to support access to affordable sexual health care. Buy your tickets here, and leave the jokes at home.


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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Jam
Ukrainian Village gets a boutique brunch spot with burgers to boot.

Off the Beaten Path: Carbon
Get grilled burritos at this bright spot beneath the Dan Ryan.

Weekly Treat: Fiesta Time at Union Park
South Loop spot has $2 for 2 tacos and $2 sangria on Tuesday nights.

Man We're Crazy About: Joy Yee Noodles Plus
The mother of all noodle shops narrows its focus.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

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Cocktails will take the place of seedlings at the Green Carpet Gala.

If you were at Lollapalooza this past weekend, you probably saw a lot of people aggressively filling plastic bags full of cans, cups and bottles for recycling. You may have thought to yourself, "Wow, people really care about the environment!" Hate to break it to you, but those people were really only doing it for the chance to win a new Honda Insight.

If you're looking for a true sign of commitment to eco-issues, though, we've found one. We think. On September 15, Illinois will celebrate its first-ever Carbon Day. Individuals, organizations, schools and communities will be encouraged to help reduce our state's carbon footprint by planting trees and organizing educational programs. There will even be a festival in Lincoln Park to commemorate the occasion.

You can get a sneak peek of all that will be happening on that day, as well as rub shoulders with Chicago's "green elite" on Thursday, August 20, when the Green Carpet Gala goes down at District Bar from 7 p.m.-2 a.m.. The event will feature complimentary Rain organic vodka cocktails, passed appetizers (including organic ratatouille skewers!) plus the opportunity to view and interact with the latest green technology -- alternative energy vehicles, sustainable clothing, green artwork and more. State Representative Karen May will be among the many guests on hand to discuss eco-efforts in Illinois.

Presale tickets are available for $15 here, but Centerstage is giving away two pairs of tickets for free! Email before this Friday, August 14 at 3 p.m. to be entered into the drawing (make sure to put "Green Carpet Gala" in the subject line, and your full name in the body). You don't even have to pick up a single muddy beer can.

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There are a whole lot of A-words we'd use to describe the annual Air & Water Show, which returns August 15 and 16: Amazing. Awe-inspiring. Action-packed. Annoying.

Whoops. Yeah, at the risk of offending the diehards, we had to say it. With the ridiculous crowds (we're talking millions of people) and typical mugginess, the legendary event can be as frustrating as it is entertaining. Which is why the Oak Street Beachstro's Air & Water Show packages are worth a look. The venerable lakeside spot offers two options for those who want to watch the show in relative comfort.

The first is a $65 beach barbecue buffet including all-you-can-eat lunch (burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, side salads, roasted sweet corn) from noon-2 p.m. and guaranteed seating with unobstructed views (see the picture above) for the entire show (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Really want to live it up? The VIP patio party ($165) includes a private table and service for the entire show (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), featuring a gourmet menu (your choice of a grilled salmon sandwich, beef tenderloin panini or Beachstro Cobb salad with shrimp cocktail, black bean and corn salsa, dessert and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages). Neither package includes an open bar, but there will be a cash bar on the premises which will include the rare selection of Negra Modelo on tap. Also of note: air-conditioned restrooms.

Intrigued? You've gotta reserve your spot in advance, which you can do by calling (312) 915-4100

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Displaced Kentuckians, take note: Your home state's drink will be on full display at sola on Tuesday. Not only will you get Maker's Mark cocktails throughout the Maker's Mark Bourbon dinner (including the Luxury Manhattan with Licor 43, sweet vermouth, bitters and branded cherries), but the liquor will also feature prominently in most of the menu items. We're talking Berkshire pork baby-back ribs with Maker's-pineapple glaze; celery root gnocchi with oxtail and Maker's Mark brown butter; and pecan cake with house-made buttermilk ice cream and Maker's Mark caramel sauce.

The 6:30 p.m. dinner costs $70 (plus tax and tip); make a reservation at (773) 327-3868.

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The coveted Golden Tater Award. (via tatertottrot.com)

To some, tater tots recall days of lunch in the school cafeteria. To others, they're the world's most perfect food. We're guessing the creators of this Saturday's Tater Tot Trot are in the latter group. The third annual event (theme: "Let Fried Tots Shine") will include visits to four tot purveyors along the Southport corridor -- including 2008 Golden Tater Award winner Newport Bar & Grill. If you think you're an expert on crispy potato goodness, well, you shouldn't be anywhere else. The schedule:

4 p.m.: Schoolyard Tavern
5 p.m.: Southport Lanes
6 p.m.: Justin's
7 p.m.: Newport Bar & Grill

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If you want this many toppings, it'll cost ya. (Photo via thelovingspoonful.net)

And you thought the yogurt-shop craze was over. Lines are sure to forming outside the new Lakeview location of Red Mango on Saturday, August 8, if only for the free samples. The shop will be giving away a free small original yogurt (it's probiotic!) with one topping to each customer who stops by between 4 and 7 p.m. We can't think of a more delicious way to spend 100 calories.

Inspired by the upcoming Lollapalooza lineup, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap is celebrating by offering a Lolla-inspired menu – full of pork. Head to the popular Streeterville hangout this weekend (and all this month) to try items such as the Kaiser BBQ Chiefs (pulled pork sandwiches served on a Kaiser roll, inspired by Kaiser Chiefs), Kings of ‘Lina (Carolina pork sandwiches, inspired by Kings of Leon), Jane’s Addictive Nachos (BBQ pork nachos, inspired by Jane’s Addiction) and Snoop Skins (pulled pork filled potato skins topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions, inspired by Snoop Dogg). Other dishes include: Neko Case-adillas, Silversun Sloppy Sliders and Ben Harper and the Relentless Ribs.

Show ‘em a wristband or ticket from the show this weekend and get a $5 gift card. And they’ll be playing Lolla artists all weekend for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have tix.

More on Lolla weekend: See these bands | Local acts | Pre- and post-parties

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You're gonna live forever. You're gonna learn how to fly (high).

Well, you might, if you get selected as the winner in the FAME National Talent Search. The local qualifying round -- the last in a nationwide competition -- takes place at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee on August 22 and 23.

The first 400 qualifying acts to register between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday will be eligible to audition (you've gotta pay park admission to register, and you have to be at least 14), and the top 10 will move on to Sunday's semi-finals show. One winner will advance to the national finals at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California to compete against six others for the ultimate prize: $5,000 cash, a photo spread in OK! Magazine, a five day/four night trip to Hollywood, a meeting with a top talent agent and studio executive and an appearance on the "Fame" DVD.

If you're ready to start practicing your routine, here are some guidelines. You'll have 45 seconds to either sing one song a capella, perform a dance routine to a segment of the song "Fame" or "Out Here On My Own," or perform any other activity that shows talent in the performing arts. Which could be pretty much anything, if you think about it. Check out all the official rules at generationfame.com.

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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Mod Pizza
It’s all about the crust at this West Loop pizza place.

Off the Beaten Path: Four Moon Tavern
Pretty patio and German ales in Roscoe Village.

Weekly Treat: Dollar Drafts at McKellin’s
Homey Rogers Park hangout has domestic pints for just a buck on Tuesdays.

Man We're Crazy About: Bijan’s Bistro
River North neighborhood spot is always there for you.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

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Where are you going for brunch this weekend?

It's the age-old question, and now there's one more potential answer: C-View. The rooftop lounge's limited-edition brunch menu (dubbed High Noon) kicked off last weekend with a variety of sub-$8 small plates including shrimp & chorizo kebabs, grilled oysters, pork ribs and summer corn hummus.

But the real selling point, in our opinion, is the trio of artisanal bloody marys. (Seriously, look at the above picture.) Choose from the Serenity ($10) with celery and lemon; Eternal Bliss ($12) with Colby cheese and cornichon; and Nirvana ($15) with a skewer of grilled shrimp, chorizo and tomato. Other drinks will be available, as well as a killer view of the Chicago skyline.

The menu will only be available from noon-4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of summer, so you'd better get over there. Otherwise, come fall, you could be asking yourself why you went anywhere else.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2009 is the previous archive.

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