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Where to eat goat before the Cubs head to the playoffs

Where to eat goat before the Cubs head to the playoffs

Not to jinx it, but things are looking pretty good for the Cubs as they head into the postseason. The team has been on an absolute tear in the second half, and they've got Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year candidates on their hands. Plus, there's that whole Back to the Future II thing going in their favor. But none of that will matter when "The Curse of the Billy Goat" rears its ugly head and some sort of wacky, heartbreaking event occurs to ruin it all once again. This is why, a few weeks ago, the guys from Taco in a Bag enlisted their professional eater friends to polish off an entire goat in the hopes of breaking the infamous curse. Their efforts have already done better than whoever slung a goat carcass over the Harry Caray statue the last time the Cubs made the playoffs, so maybe if the entire city chips in and chows down, we could make the dreams of a century's worth of baseball fans come true. Here's where to start in the quest for dominance over goat kind. You can't really talk about goat dishes in Chicago without mentioning Stephanie Izard. Girl and the Goat has an entire section of the menu devoted to goat, and right now boasts dishes like goat liver mousse, goat empanadas and confit goat belly. If you can't wait until dinner, grab some goat chili cheese fries or a sloppy goat for lunch from Little Goat Diner down the road. Outside the U.S., goat is popular in many cuisines. The Ecuadorian side of the menu at La Sierra has a couple of option

These Chicago-based meal delivery services will make your life easier and healthier

These Chicago-based meal delivery services will make your life easier and healthier

Chicago is full of hard-working, food-obsessed people, and sometimes those two traits don't exactly add up to a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, meal delivery services have been popping up all over the place lately, offering Chicagoans a way to enjoy freshly prepared, healthy meals at home or on the go. Using one of these services takes all the hard parts out of the equation and keeps you away from your go-to burger place for at least a few days longer. Radish: This app-based service offers nine different dishes daily (some side dishes, some main courses). From the app, customers can choose their desired combo and have their meal hot and in their hands in 20 minutes or less for around $10 to $15 a plate. A big bonus for those watching their intake is that you get a summary of the protein, carbs, fat and calories as you add dishes to your plate. Downsides are they only do dinner, and so far just serve Lincoln Park, River North, Gold Coast, West Loop and Old Town. Madison and Rayne: This service is one of Chicago's answers to national companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Customers can browse a weekly list of recipes, which usually run from $15 to $20 a portion with free delivery within the city. Orders come in a box with all the ingredients to make their chosen dishes as well as detailed instructions on preparation. This service is perfect for food lovers who like to be more hands-on with their meals and also makes cooking for a dinner party really easy and impressive. Cooked:

The geek's summer guide to Chicago

The geek's summer guide to Chicago

For most of Chicago's residents, summer means heading out to the lake, taking in a ballgame or day drinking on a patio. In fact, the warm weather can be so tempting that it even lures out those who usually spend their time indoors with their noses buried deep inside a comic book. That's right, summer in Chicago is a geek's paradise, forcing hordes of pale-faced city dwellers out into the world looking for something to do. This guide is by no means definitive, but it should be a good start for those looking to indulge their nerdy side before (as Ned Stark warns us) winter comes. Grab some geeky grub Buzz was so big for Geek Bar that it opened up a "beta" location while its final home is finalized. The small space in the heart of Wicker Park is unassuming and not very pretty, but with Game of Thrones–themed cocktails (when they say there's pig's blood in your drink, they aren't kidding) or Ninja Turtle pizzas, no geek will be left unsatisfied. They also host tons of events, like a blood-thirsty trivia night, movie showings and Steampunk tea parties. Opening the first week of June next to the AMC movie theater on Illinois Street, For the Win (or FTW for short), is the newest venture from Lucky Strike Entertainment, joining the existing bowling alley in the same complex. Early word is that it will be a less douchey version of Dave & Buster's—sort of its sophisticated older sibling. FTW will serve gastropub-esque food and craft beers while hosting state-of-the-art video gaming and

11 Chicago-based Etsy sellers you should know

11 Chicago-based Etsy sellers you should know

Etsy, the hub of all things artisanal and handmade, recently launched their "Etsy Local" feature, meaning that not only can you impress your fashionable friend with a new ring made out of an antiqued spoon, but also support a local artist in the process. The Etsy Local function allows you to browse through online shops by location and shows you where you can find these artists in the flesh around town at local craft shows. One can easily get sucked into a black hole of craftiness. In the interest of giving you a jumping off point, here are 11 Chicago-based artists on Etsy right now, what they sell, and where to find them. Up in the Air Somewhere   <img id="905689ea-6641-dbdf-8ff3-88e724dc2432" data-caption="" data-credit="" data-width-class="50" type="image/jpeg" total="35870" loaded="35870" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102358585/image.jpg" align="middle" class="photo lazy inline"> Put your tax return to good use by sprucing up your living quarters with some stunningly chic ceramic and paper mache objects from this shop. Their creations are more for display than utilitarian uses, but the clean colors and pops of metallic sparkle can make anyone's living room look like a page out of an interior design magazine.  Circa Ceramics Find at: Lama HQ April 26th   <img id="d68af99b-dd9f-f8fd-67ae-654437be0380" data-caption="" data-credit="" data-width-class="50" type="image/jpeg" total="39095" loaded="39095" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102358583/

7 inspiring spots for aspiring writers in Chicago

7 inspiring spots for aspiring writers in Chicago

New York's got legions of brooding playwrights, and LA's got gaggles of manic screenwriters, but Chicago's got everything from budding novelists to street poets to future sitcom writers wandering its sidewalks. Take a look inside any coffee shop in any neighborhood and you can bet at least one of those people with their head bent over a laptop keyboard is working on their masterpiece. If you're one of these aspiring wordsmiths, we say ditch the Starbucks and check out these seven spots sure to get your creative juices flowing: The Art Institute of Chicago So you're working on an epic time-traveling drama about an 18th century Persian king, a priest from 13th century Germany and Joan of Arc? Cool story, bro. Instead of Wikipedia-ing every tiny thing to get the history nerds off your back, immerse yourself in the art of the time period and country of your choosing at the Art Institute. Bonus: Sitting on the steps outside the museum makes for some of the best people-watching in the city. Museum of Science and Industry Alternatively, if you're working on your next sci-fi trilogy, wander around the "Fast Forward" exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry to find out what the future of science actually has in store for us (hint: it has sweatshirts that can hug you, food you can print and furniture you can play music on, none of which has ever appeared in any Terminator movie). The Garden of the Phoenix Just behind the Museum of Science and Industry is the beautiful Phoenix

Interview: The Second City's Chelsea Devantez

Interview: The Second City's Chelsea Devantez

With icons of the comedy world pouring out of its doors, The Second City has stood the test of time as a powerhouse of hilarity, inspiring a decent population of 20-somethings to move to Chicago in pursuit of its comedy dreams. Staying relevant and edgy, the venue's current Mainstage show, Panic on Cloud 9, features sketches on topics like terrorism, xenophobia, parental relations and Batman preaching gun rights. Recently, I checked in with Chelsea Devantez, a member of the show's cast, to talk about the show and how to make a living out of being a funny lady. Were there certain topics the cast were eager to tackle with Panic on Cloud 9?As a cast we wanted to tackle the show with patience and harness the power of silence among the silly. For me, I was on a bit of a tear to get scenes onstage that had a really strong female perspective and material where the women had a lot of interaction with each other—passing the sketch comedy Bechdel test, if you will. I also wanted to get more personal; there is a song in the show that Daniel Strauss and I wrote together from completely different perspectives, but the final product is very personal to both of us. The Second City has pumped out a lot of successful female comedians, like Tina Fey and Cecily Strong. Does Second City make it easier to be a female performer in a very male dominated business?Second City is incredibly supportive of your voice, no matter who you are. The director of our last show, Ryan Bernier, and the producer A

Suburban chef creates a haunting half-ton chocolate sculpture for Valentine's Day

Suburban chef creates a haunting half-ton chocolate sculpture for Valentine's Day

Chef Alain Roby of west suburban Geneva's All Chocolate Kitchen has created something special for Valentine's Day this year, a 948-pound life-sized sculpture of Eros, the Greek god of love, made completely out of white chocolate. Chef Roby is no stranger to chocolate challenges; in past years he's set world records by carving things like life sized recreations of Neil Armstrong and former Blackhawks player Eddie Olczyk as well as a 23-foot tall enchanted chocolate tree and the world's longest candy cane. Recently, Chef Roby took a few minutes to sit down and chat about Eros, his most complicated sculpture yet, which took a week to design and day to sculpt and will be featured in an upcoming Food Network special on extreme chocolate creations.   Your works are so intricate and detailed. Have you ever thought about making your sculptures out of more permanent stuff?While my wife encourages me to start sculpting out of other material, chocolate is my thing. It’s what I do. Are your sculptures meant to be eaten?My sculptures are works of art. Very few people ask to eat them. Most of our guests enjoy seeing the craftsmanship and effort that went into the making of the sculptures and truly appreciate it. I would say one percent of guests ask to eat or touch it, and only out of curiosity to see if it’s really chocolate. Is there anything or anyone else you’ve been itching to create out of chocolate?I would like to create a life-size, chocolate mother and baby elephant pair, made ou

6 places to get monkey bread right now

6 places to get monkey bread right now

Monkey bread is one of those comfort foods people just go bananas for when the temperatures drop below shorts-wearing weather, not just because its usually served warm, but because it's pure ooey-gooey awesomeness that encourages you to play with your food as you pull individual bits off and pop them into your mouth. Monkey bread can be found on brunch and dessert menus or even as savory appetizers all over town. Here are a few of my finger licking favorites. The Bristol Monkey Bread with Dill Butter and Sea Salt This is probably one of the most well known monkey breads in Chicago. The little balls of buttery, crispy dough are served in tiny cast iron pots with a side of melted dill butter, which they've also been brushed with before baking.  GT Fish & Oyster Everything Monkey Bread with Buttermilk Cream Though the monkey bread at GT Fish & Oyster used to be sweet, it is now a sort of hybrid of the Bristol's monkey bread and an everything bagel. The morsels of bread have been topped with seeds and spices and have just enough chew to bring to mind their inspiration, but are also soft enough to make them eternally snackable. They also come with a side of dill scented buttermilk cream. Iron skillet monkey bread at Revival Social ClubJessica Berson for bunnyandbrandy.com             Revival Social Club Iron Skillet Monkey Bread with Bourbon Caramel Drizzle Before noon, this monkey bread presents itself properly on the breakfast menu, served in a cast iron skillet and drizzled w

Upstairs and downstairs: 8 steps to living like Downton Abbey

Upstairs and downstairs: 8 steps to living like Downton Abbey

For most people, the holidays are done and gone, but for Anglophiles like me, they're just getting started. Our celebrations actually began on December 25th with the Doctor Who Christmas Special, followed by last weekend's Downton Abbey Season 5 premier, and will culminate in April with the start of the new Game of Thrones. In other words, it's a great time to get your British on. To get in the mood for Downton Abbey's all new crop of scandals and sassy Maggie Smith quips, there's two ways one could go: upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs A proper British cuppaMiranda Tegtmeier for bunnyandbrandy.com           Step 1: Get yourself some period clothing. There's a few vintage shops around town that might have something that fits the bill, but if they can't deliver a full length tea gown dripping in pearls in your size, go full on cos-play and have one custom made for you. Step 2: Decorate your living quarters appropriately. Hildt Gallery in the Drake Hotel specializes in American and British art from the 19th and 20th centuries, which means by Lord Grantham's standards, these pieces are positively modern. One single sea-scape or Impressionist portrait might set you back all of your Christmas cash from Grandmama, but honestly, isn't it worth it? Step 3: Hire some staff. I'm not just talking your run of the mill house maids, you can actually hire your own butler, complete with formal attire and snooty attitude, to cater to your guests and organize your household (though technical

5 reasons why Wrigleyville doesn't suck

5 reasons why Wrigleyville doesn't suck

This weekend marks TBOX, the single largest display of douchebaggery known to man, when costumed and Christmas sweater–wearing bros flood into Wrigleyville and drink for more than 12 hours straight, becoming one massive stumbling and vomiting zombie horde. To be frank, Clark Street in general tends to give Wrigleyville a bad name, but there is so much more to this "starter neighborhood," which I have called my home for the last eight years.  1. Wrigleyville is home to some of Chicago's best comedians. It's a stereotype that Wrigleyville is mainly populated by heavy-drinking recent college grads, and while that may be partially true, a large part of those twentysomethings are also up-and-coming comedians. Yes, they will host all-night keggers every other weekend and you will probably have to step over them on your way to work some mornings, but make friends with those guys and you've got an in to any comedy show in town. You want a couple tickets to The Second City to impress your relatives coming in to town? Your drunk neighbors can not only get you in to see the next comedy sensation for free, they can make sure you get the best seats in the house.  2. Wrigley Field is a spectacular venue. Regardless of how you feel about the Cubs, if you're a baseball fan in general or even just a fan of history, living next to Wrigley Field can be awe-inspiring. Every game day is like a giant block party; the whole neighborhood smells like hot dogs and, if it's early enough in the season t

12 reasons to be excited for snow (yes, really!)

12 reasons to be excited for snow (yes, really!)

We’re all dreading the latest Snowpocalypse/Snowmageddon/thunder snow/polar vortex about to be dropped on our fair city like the fiendish plot of some super-villain, but there are some definite upsides to the oncoming winter weather (other than all the hilarious Game of Thrones jokes). Being raised in Arizona, I didn’t see snow until I was 18 years old, so it still holds some magic for me (meaning: I look like a crazy person to seasoned Chicagoans when I start cheering at the first sign of snow). In my defense, there is a lot of awesomeness in this city that couldn’t happen without snow, such as: 1. The Holiday Train. Catching it is a magical experience in itself, but it’s ten times more magical when it’s snowing. 2. Sparkle sparkle! Snow is nature’s glitter, meaning all of Chicago suddenly looks as fabulous as Halsted Street during the Pride Parade. 3. Crime rates drop drastically when it snows. Because even criminals take one look at a raging Midwest snowstorm and think, Nope. Not today. 4. Random sidewalk snowmen. You just know each one is some child’s masterpiece. 5. Sledding at Soldier Field. You got so depressed by the Bears sucking that you left at halftime, but at least you can go sledding to justify the trip outside. 6. Puppies in the snow. Sure, the turd blossoms in the spring are no fun, but there might not be anything more magical than watching the joy on a dog’s face as they leap into a snow drift or scoop up a mouthful of cold, white stuff. 7. Frozen parties. Th

Little Goat Bakery now serving your childhood memories

Little Goat Bakery now serving your childhood memories

Little Goat Bakery, the sideline business of the popular Stephanie Izard diner (and little sister to Girl and the Goat), is shifting focus from its homemade breads and bagels to new, sweeter items with flavor inspiration coming from the depths of your third-grade lunch box.   Luckily for my sweet tooth, I was invited to check out some of the new items at an intimate gathering at the bakery, hosted by the Top Chef winner herself as well as her executive pastry chef Mathew Rice. Rice became well-known last year for designing Izard's wedding cake, which consisted of strawberry Nesquik, chocolate-covered Cheez-Its and bacon frosting, and a lot of that playfulness has gone into the new items. I mustache you to get your own cookie!Photograph: Jessica Berson There were a plethora of chewy, buttery cookies in flavors like s'mores, butterscotch and brownie that would be the envy of anyone's bake sale, as well as a peppermint Swiss cake roll that looked like it was right out of the Little Debbie packaging, but was packed with cream filling that had bits of crunchy candy cane in it. The "Wookie Pie," so named because it was first made for a Star Wars–themed Sunday dinner back in May, was a pretty standard snack cake that paled in comparison to some of the other more adventurous goodies, as did the mustache cookies made from a dry shortbread. (But getting to decorate the facial hair–themed sweets alongside the chefs did made them taste a little better.) Stephanie Izard, sous chef Mini

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