Tag: Chicago

Ms. T's: I tried a restaurant without checking Yelp first

Ms. T's: I tried a restaurant without checking Yelp first
In the late 13th century, Marco Polo departed from Venice and journeyed all the way over to Turkey, India, China. Two hundred years later, Christopher Columbus made it over to the Americas. Neither explorer had GPS. No smart phones. They just went on an adventure. Today we honor them with a holiday and a game of... Read more »

Stella's Diner: A place to call home

Stella's Diner: A place to call home
“Do you have a favorite memory of Gus?” “Oh God, so many come to mind,” Maria replied. Maria Mavraganes is Gus’ younger sister and the current Owner/Manager of Stella’s Diner here in Lakeview East. The story of Stella’s Diner begins all the way back in the 1950s with Gus and Maria’s parents. The two immigrated... Read more »

Chefs for Change: Thanksgiving Edition

Chefs for Change: Thanksgiving Edition
If someone were to build the perfect way to feed a community, I think it’d look a lot like a farmer’s market. Douglas Callegario would be there with freshly baked breads. All Grass Farms would have a table with eggs, milk, tons of fresh produce. You’d pickup what you needed and then meet with Leyla and Ahmet... Read more »
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Empanada Mama & The Pie Man: Believing that we will beat this

Empanada Mama & The Pie Man: Believing that we will beat this
Empanada Mama & The Pie Man. A small storefront in Lakeview East run by two guys who opened their doors six months into a Global Pandemic. Where does that type of courage come from? Chasing a dream regardless of the current circumstance. On Facebook, the two describe their mission like this: We’re just two guys (Oreste... Read more »

Just a city guy working a farm shift

Just a city guy working a farm shift
Ever have that moment when you wake up, open the laptop, click on Zoom and think to yourself, “Yep. I’m ready to work on a farm.” Now, don’t get me wrong, this forced work-from-home arrangement started out great. No commute. Optional pants. But I feel like I signed a deal with the devil. He sold me... Read more »

A (somewhat) brief history of milk

A (somewhat) brief history of milk
Our church held communion over Zoom. Pastor Joe was on-screen reading the Lord’s Supper. I had the fridge open, looking for some grape juice. I couldn’t go too Catholic with actual wine. And orange juice feels disappointing without pancakes. So I continued scanning the shelves. My eyes finally locked on a mason jar full of raw farm-fresh milk.... Read more »
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Chilam Balam: What it takes to keep a restaurant open during a pandemic

Chilam Balam: What it takes to keep a restaurant open during a pandemic
When I was 17-years-old, we had a new “authentic” Mexican restaurant open its doors. It took my hometown by storm, quickly establishing itself as the third pitcher in my family’s after-church rotation (trailing Arby’s and Fazoli’s). I remember going there for the first time and seeing all of these new menu items. What’s this chimichanga thing? Flautas?... Read more »

The wonder of saying yes and letting go (Part 3)

My fondest memories of school had nothing to do with class. And my favorite work memories weren’t really about the work. It’s always been about the people and the stories that happened somewhere along the way. And great stories, great memories always start with a yes. Note: For this story, it might be helpful to start with Part 1... Read more »

The wonder of saying yes and letting go (part 2)

Samer Asous learned how to make bagels from his dad and uncle. What started out as the family baking for H&H Bagels in Manhattan eventually turned into their own Mom and Pop shop down in Brooklyn. Samer helped his family by learning both the baking and business side of operations. Note – If you’re new to... Read more »
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The wonder of saying yes and letting go (part 1)

The wonder of saying yes and letting go (part 1)
They say you miss 100 percent of the shots you didn’t take. And that our biggest regrets in life aren’t over the mistakes we made but, instead, the moments when we were too timid. Didn’t take any risks. These chapters were never written because we met life with a fragile No instead of a trusting Yes. And... Read more »