As vaccination rates continue to rise and things start to open back up, the concept of “making plans” is starting to re-enter our lives. And your usual excuse of, “Sorry, I already have plans,” probably won’t work for a few months. So, if you’re in need of ideas, here are six new openings, events, and special menus to check out this week.
On Wednesday, Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream in Pilsen is making a special Mexican pizza that’s an homage to the discontinued (and apparently beloved) one from Taco Bell. This place makes excellent tavern-style pizza, and it’s first-come-first served while supplies last. They’re not accepting pre-orders, and ordering starts at 4pm.
With Warm Welcome, an NYC-based organization that amplifies Asian Americans in the culinary community, has a series of monthly baker’s boxes highlighting baked goods from Asian American chefs around the country. May is Chicago’s turn, featuring chefs across the city, like Aya Fukai from Aya Pastry, Nikita Dhingra from Plattered by Niki, and Palita Sriratana from Pink Salt. Pickup is at Pauli Gee’s In Logan Square.
Mi Tocaya, an excellent Mexican restaurant in Logan Square just reopened their cute outdoor patio, and debuted a brand new food menu too. You’ll find dishes like tlacoyo de nopalitos, fried oyster tacos, and queso fundido con birria - which are DIY quesabirria tacos with goat birria, handmade tortillas, and consome.
Welcome 2 The Jungle
Welcome 2 The Jungle, a pop-up shop, is hosting a “Tiny Kitchen Dinner” series with rotating chefs and themes, and a portion of the proceeds go to Chicago-based organizations. This Saturday, May 8th, they’re serving a four-course dinner from Alt Economy - an organization started by Chef Jennifer Kim (formerly of Passerotto) - to explore equity through alternative economies. The meal only has space for 12 people, so if it’s sold out by the time you read this, follow their Instagram to find out when the next one happens.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm, Kostali, the restaurant inside The Gwen in Streeterville, has a Tipsy Tea Party. It’s essentially high tea with cocktails, which means you’ll get tea, booze, and small bites like pecorino gougeres, cream cheese and caviar sandwiches, and saffron cake with jam. There are two seatings (12pm and 2pm), and packages range from $35-185 depending on what kind of tea party you want to have.
If you need an activity to do with your friends besides playing bags in the alley, you should know that Royal Palms Shuffleboard just reopened in Bucktown. On Saturdays (the rest of the week is only for leagues) you can reserve a shuffleboard court for up to eight people. It costs $75 an hour and each reservation includes a lesson, coaching, and courtside drink service.
If you’re looking for something to do or a new place to eat, and you also really miss live music, consider heading out to Berwyn and visiting Babygold Barbecue. This new restaurant opens May 6th at FitzGeralds, a music venue in Berwyn. They just remodeled their outdoor patio, where they have live music nightly, and now you can listen to it while eating things like ribs, grilled oysters, and po’boys.
On Mother’s Day Funkenhausen, a German-inspired restaurant in West Town, is relaunching their weekend brunch. They haven’t served Funkenbrunchen (we have always loved that name) for over six months. You’ll find dishes like pretzel French toast, spaetzle carbonara, and you can get your mimosa served in a boot too. God, we really missed this place.