Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago P: 773-697-7922 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5PM-2AM, Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat: Noon-3AM, Sun: Noon-2AM
In June 2012 Emporium opened it’s doors at the forefront of the then current “barcade” trend. Situated in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, just down the street from the bustling “6 corners,” Emporium established itself as one of CHI’s premier barcades. Location aside, they have an awesome beer menu, and if you’re into whiskey (we are), they have a separate menu dedicated entirely to the “Ruckus Juice.” When it comes to the games, these guys hit the nail on the head; you’ll find ALL of the classics: The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA JAM, and Street Fighter. If that wasn’t good enough, they have a separate room dedicated entirely to pinball and live music. Emporium is dope but beware, if you come here late on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably end up doing more waiting and watching than actual playing; so go early or on odd days if you’re there strictly for the games. This place is ideal for a pre-game before the night begins, I’d highly recommend a stop if you’re near “6 Corners”.
The Twin Cities’ BBQ scene has been lacking for quite some time, but things have began to change around the metro. One place that has been doing it’s thing for years is John Hardy’s down in Rochester. The small, shack style restaurant sits right off highway 52 for any wayward traveler looking to fill up while on the road. If you came here for decor and fine dining service, you came to the wrong place. Here you’ll lineup to order just like everyone else and you’ll receive the same awesomely prepared food, just like everyone else. The ribs are a crowd favorite, but the sampler is also worth tackling if you want variety. Dry rub guy/gal? Do you like a plethora of sauces? They’ve got you covered. If you happen to be in the Rochester make sure to stop by 1 of their 2 locations for some of the best BBQ in the state. Click the link below for more info.
The Chicken Connoisseur is back at it again with episode 11 of his web-series, “The Pengest Munch.” This time he’s off to Mile End for a stop at FFC, the crep is top notch; but the restaurant not so much. Peep episode 11 above and stay tuned for more from the Chicken Connoisseur.
Location: Numerous (Best are 87th & Kedzie, 83rd & Ashland) Hours: Vary by location
Growing up in Minnesota, KFC and Popeyes were the marquis chicken places aside from a few token spots like El-Amins, Shorty & Wags, and Pizza Gallery. When i came to the city of Chicago, it was clear that one name rang loudest in the conversation over chicken; Harold’s. A Southside institution, Harold’s Chicken Shack has reached national acclaim for having some of the best wings, not only in Chicago; but in the entire United States as well. When driving on the Southside you’ll see a Harold’s in just about every neighborhood stretching down into the city’s south suburbs, you can find them all across the city but they are most prevalent out south. The chicken itself is great, Juicy, Crispy and lathered in a sauce locals have named “Mild Sauce”; it’s like a blend of BBQ, Honey BBQ and ketchup. They provide a variety of sauces but Mild is really the only way to go, if you’re ever in Chicago you CAN NOT leave without eating at one of the many around town. Thank me later.
Location: 2555 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago Hours: Mon-Sat: 7AM-5PM, Sun: 9AM-3PM
Chicago is one of those cities where you can literally eat just about any type of food under the sun. Whether it’s Swedish pastries in Andersonville (really, that’s the name), Ethiopian food in Roger’s Park or tacos in Little Village; it’s all there. One of my favorite spots in the entire city is also probably one of the smallest, in the summer the line really stretches down the block. El Cubanito cooks up Cuban style steak sandwiches that could easily stand up to the traditional Philly that’s often favored. If you’re simply looking for a snack, they also make a damn good empanada; all of which can easily be had for under $10. Cuban food is often slept on, but one stop here and that’ll all change. If you’re ever near Logan Square and need a bite to eat, check out El Cubanito; you wont regret it.
Minneapolis isn’t very well known for it’s Jamaican cuisine, but a little food court stall from the Burnsville Mall has began making big waves in south Minneapolis. On a summer day you can’t miss Pimento, reggae can be heard blasting from the open store front from at least half a block away. Within that block you’ll no doubt smell the chicken & pork that’s been catching people’s attention. Formerly neighbors, Tomme Beevas linked his home recipes with Yoni Reinharz’ business savvy and a restaurant was born. After winning the Food Network’s, Food Court Wars and spending a few years in Burnville, the duo decided to open a new location in Minneapolis. The food indeed lives up to the hype. Succulent jerk rubbed chicken falls off the bone onto a bed of rice, plantains, beans and Jamaican slaw. They also offer some damn good pork and oxtails for those looking to get that truly authentic feel. The staff is helpful and the menu can be navigated with ease by just about anyone. Food for 2 will run you about $20, not bad for a fairly balanced meal with a home cooked feel; on Wednesdays they offer a solid 6 wings for $5 deal. If you live in the vicinity of 26th street & Nicollet, GET FAMILIAR! Otherwise it’s well worth the trip, click the link below for more information.
The Pengest Munch is back with episode 10 at Morley’s. The Chicken Connoisseur links up with Bonkaz for a tour of Thornton Heath and some good eats. High scores across the board and you know the crep was on fleek. Check out episode 10 above and keep an eye out for the next installment.
Located in downtown St. Paul, Mickey’s Diner is quite possibly Minnesota’s most iconic diner. The classic box car was originally designed in New Jersey then transported to Minnesota in 1939. Known for their pancakes and breakfast plates, this is a place where a slim wallet can take you far. Milk shakes and malts are a must with any burger, everything is cooked to order so you’ll know it’s fresh when it hits the table. If it’s hockey season beware, things can get crowded quick, Mickey’s is a very small diner so make the trip during off hours. Click the link below for their official website.
Tucked in the corner on one of Dinkytown’s busiest intersections, above the Kitty Kat Klub; lies one of Minneapolis’ best burger spots. At night the old school signs reading “Annie’s” in bright lights can’t be missed. Up the stairs and through the old parlor door, Annie’s interior looks as if it has never seen a makeover (in a good way). They have a decent variety of sandwiches, including a pretty good BLT; but everyone knows the burgers are the only way to go. No frills, no special sauces; just straight up hand/homemade burgers with lots and lots of cheese. Annie’s is a true parlor, they serve some of the city’s best malts and milkshakes to accompany any of the tasty burgers you decide to try. Overall this place is definitely the best spot for a classic “no nonsense” burger, the price is right and the service is fast; if you’re ever on campus make sure to stop in for a bite. You won’t regret it.