Food Truck Gone To The Dogs

You’ve had your fun with the food trucks, now it’s fido’s turn. The city’s first dog food truck, Fido to Go, hits the pavement May 7th at Bark at the Park. Pampered pooches can enjoy gourmet treats such as apple harvest squares, sweet potato puffs, and a variety of frozen treats (think doggie ice cream.) These treats sound good enough to share?!? [Time Out]

Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival

If you like foods made on a small-scale with the utmost care and quality, you must check out Pastoral’s first annual Artisan Producer Festival. This free event takes place Saturday, April 30th, from 11am–3pm at the Chicago French Market and will feature both local and national culinary producers.

A Coffee CSA

There’s a delicious new service for the conscientious coffee fiend, a community supported agriculture project called (so not to confuse you) Coffee CSA. Subscribers receive a monthly delivery of freshly roasted coffee beans directly from small, 100% family-owned farms around the world. Beans come from 140,000 independent farms ranging in size from one to 10 acres in regions famous for their coffee, including Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala. All beans are both certified organic and Fair Trade. With a mission to, “offer you great coffee and a meaningful relationship with a hard-working farm family,” subscribers can also view photos, videos, and read stories directly from their farmer. Coffee CSA is brought to you by Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, the world’s first global cooperative of coffee farms. [Slashfood]

More CPS Lunch Controversy

When schools start banning homemade lunches you begin to wonder if things have gone too far. Such is the current state of the cafeteria at numerous Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where one West Side principal dubiously reasoned, “Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school.” Really? The decision to ban lunches brought from home is currently not a district-wide ban and is left to the discretion of each individual school’s principal.

Next: The First Review

Someone had to break the ice. The ice being the formidable Next and the icebreaker being Chicagoist, the first publication to publish a review about the new restaurant. The review was published within a mere week of Next’s opening, which would traditionally be considered a faux paus in the restaurant world. Reviewers often allot establishments a few weeks, even a few months, to work out the kinks. However, with Next morphing into an entirely new restaurant experience every few months, restaurant reviewers are more incentivized than ever to hasten the process. [Chicagoist]

Food Truck Summit

Chicago’s food truck scene has seen some pretty impressive growth over the past year despite our restrictive and dated food truck laws. Now it’s time to come together, discuss, and celebrate.

Chicago’s first food truck summit takes place in the parking lot of Goose Island Brewpub this Tuesday, April 19th, from 7-10pm. Participating food trucks include Flirty Cupcakes, The Southern Mac, Sweet Miss Giving’s, Tamalli Space Churros, 5411 Empanadas, Hummingbird Kitchen and gaztro-wagon. Each truck will offer a signature item (as opposed to their full menu).

Take advantage of this yummy truck pow-wow since it’s rare to find these trucks in the same locale at any given time!

Congrats To The 2011 Eat Out Award Winners!

A big congrats to Time Out Chicago’s Eat Out Award winners Lillie’s Q for Best New Barbecue and Girl & the Goat for Best New Restaurant!

Props extend to Stephanie Izard for the Chef of the Year award and the Boka Group guys, Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm, who received the Restaurateur of the Year award. It’s been a stellar year for all.

Aviary Opens…NOT YET

From The Aviary Facebook page: “We are NOT opening tonight… most likely next week.”

Aviary Opens…

While the alluring elusiveness of Next continues to captivate Chicago, the spotlight shifts today, April 13th, to next door bar Aviary. Originally scheduled to open last week in tandem with Next, the high-concept cocktail bar can accommodate only 200 patrons. Seeing as how reservations are not required as with sold-out Next, you can expect foodies wanting a piece of the action to descend in droves.

BPA Free

We all know that eating fresh foods offers us a multitude of culinary joys and health benefits, but now you have yet another reason to mosey on over the farmer’s market, dust off your Dutch Oven, and get cooking – protection from BPA. Bishphenol A, the much reviled substance that can be found in food cans, plastic-packaged foods, water bottles, baby bottles, and even store receipts has been linked to everything from breast cancer to infertility to early puberty. Such an overwhelming amount of studies purporting the dangers of BPA have been published in recent years that Canada, Europe, and China have banned the substance in baby bottles.