The two Michelin-starred Chicago restaurant Acadia, along with many other restaurants and bars closed due to the Coronavirus, have, by necessity, found creative ways to stay in business and help feed those sheltering in place.
The closures of restaurants across America has left many chefs and farmers with food and produce piling up with no where to go.
The expression ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’ coined by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates in 400 B.C. fits today’s world in ways we couldn’t have imagined several weeks ago.
Acadia’s Open-air market
Ryan McCaskey, chef and owner of Chicago’s Acadia, has instituted some novels ways to help both industry employees and people in need.
McCaskey has turned the parking lot behind Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave.) into a free, open-air market on Saturdays during the pandemic.
He has distributed food from the restaurant (along with donated food from suppliers and local businesses) that would otherwise have spoiled--creating a win-win for all.
The market, open from 1:00pm. to 3pm. on Saturdays (free for industry employees), in past weeks has offered seafood, including shrimp, cod and 700 oyster, bratwurst, pork chops and a heaping supply of oranges.
“We were busting at the seams with food,” Mr. McCaskey said. He said items available this Saturday will range from caviar to toilet paper. There will be proteins, canned goods, dry goods, dairy, produce, etc. We will supply some bags, delis, containers, but we encourage people to bring something they can use to transport goods back home. He also asks that you take what you need but be considerate of others and leave goods for the next person.
Acadia is also offering curbside pickup. Acadia’s bar offers Chef Ryan McCaskey’s Bar Snacks which consisted of small bites, showcasing some of Acadia’s greatest hits in just a mouthful at a fraction of the price. Curbside pick up orders can be placed through contacting the restaurant directly at (312) 360-9500.
Many other restaurants are offering curbside pick up and delivery--here is a sampling:
WoodWind (259 E. Erie St., 18th floor)
- For those located at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and in neighboring areas, WoodWind is offering an express counter with sandwiches, soup, and snacks for takeout. The counter offers options like a Mediterranean Veggie Wrap ($8), Yogurt Parfait ($4), and Butternut Squash Soup ($4) for takeout. Additionally, snacks like granola bars, trail mix, and chips are available for ($2), along with various fruits for ($1). The select menu ranges in items from $1-$8.
- The counter is located on the second floor of the Lavin Family Pavilion. It will be open daily from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Seoul Taco (River North: 738 N. Clark St.; Hyde Park: 1321 E. 57th St.; Naperville: 206 S. Washington St.)
- The Korean-Mexican fast casual restaurant features dishes inspired by traditional recipes from Chef/Owner David Choi’s childhood. Menu items include the Kimchi Fried Rice Burritos, Tacos, Nachos, Quesadillas, and Gogi Bowls, Seoul Taco’s take on the classic bibimbap dish. All menu items can be customized with any of Seoul Taco’s protein options: Bulgogi Steak, Chicken, Spicy Pork, or Tofu.
- Seoul Taco offers takeout and curbside pickup options at all three Chicagoland locations. Delivery is also available via Caviar, DoorDash, and UberEats.
- For more information, please visit www.seoultaco.com
Portillo’s (Locations throughout Chicagoland)
- The iconic Chicago favorite will be offering a limited menu for drive-thru and delivery orders. All of Portillo’s classic menu items, including Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, Italian Beef Sandwiches, and Famous Chocolate Cake are available for ordering.
- Guests can order Portillo’s for delivery by visiting portillos.com or through the Portillo’s app, available for download online via iPhone or Android.
- Customers can find the Portillo’s location nearest to them by visiting portillos.com/locations.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib and SideDoor are offering 20% off all orders for curbside pickup and third party delivery between the hours of 4:30-8 p.m.
Chicagoans can get a full menu that includes fare from both Lawry’s and SideDoor with appetizers including Crab Cake, Chicken Wings, Poutine, Buffalo Cauliflower, and Crispy Pork Ribs, sandwiches including the Prime Rib Sandwich and Knife & Fork Pastrami, as well as Lawry’s signature steaks, lobster, salmon, and roasted prime ribs of beef.
The classic steakhouse also offers signature sides including mac and cheese, fried brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, the Famous Original Spinning Bowl Salad, prime rib chili, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and more.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib also offers family-style prime rib dinners for four, half prime ribs (serves 6-7), and whole prime ribs dinners (serves 12-14) with all the prime rib dinner fixings. See the full menu here. Diners can order by calling 312-787-5000. Available between 4:30-8 p.m. at 100 E. Ontario St.
Another pickup/delivery option is to shop “The Green City Market’s virtual market.” Nearly 30 farmers are participating--some with delivery options, others offering pickup. I ordered from Alden Hills Farm and was delighted with the ground beef, roast, chicken, eggs and fresh baked bread that was delivered in person from Wisconsin to my door. Looking for an Easter turkey--they’ve got you covered. I will be trying other vendors soon and will report back.
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