The Chicago (Quarantine) TV & Takeout Guide

Where to order from and what to watch: 10 ways to do dinner and TV right.
The Chicago (Quarantine) TV & Takeout Guide image

If you’re like us, your nights currently revolve around three main questions: what to eat, what to watch, and what time to change into evening leisurewear. Because let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do and your ex still hasn’t changed their Hulu password. So we’re here to make sure you’re doing dinner and TV right. Below, you’ll find our picks for great delivery and a new or classic show to pair with it.

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TV Pairing:The Americans (Hulu)

“I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy some dark, dystopian stuff. The Handmaids Tale? Homeland? Yes, please. That said, these days I’m not always in the mood for shows that hit too close to home. But The Americans takes place during the Cold War, and there’s something almost innocent about an era where spycraft meant microfiche, tape recorders, and wigs in the trunk of the car. And when I’m watching married Russian spies and their children navigate 1980s America, I want to eat something that feels distinctly American: a cheeseburger with fries. And not only does The Loyalist have an incredibly delicious burger, but the name just feels oh-so-right.” -AK

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TV Pairing:Battlestar Galactica (Netflix)

“I named my dog Cylon. I had my wedding party walk to the drums from the theme song. Everyone is tired of me talking about this f*cking show. So, I get it - enough is enough. But I feel like I have a responsibility to let everyone know how excellent this series about self-willed robots is, especially with Westworld circling the drain. After all, someone did the same for me - back in the dark ages when Netflix DVDs had to be sent to your house. I would rush home to check the mail and order a cheesesteak from Philly’s Best along the way. This show and that sandwich are forever linked in my mind. Plus, handheld food means never having to take your eyes off the killer robots on the screen.” -AK

TV Pairing:Parks & Recreation(Netflix)

“In Season 3 of Parks & Recreation, there’s an episode entitled “The Fight” that I’ve watched about a hundred times, usually when I’m very hungover. It’s 25 minutes of perfection built around a fictional liquor called “Snake Juice,” and shows every main character plastered from said spirit along with the aftermath of it all the next day. What does this have to do with Happy Camper? Just the fact that their breakfast pizza is what we - you, myself, Ron in a tiny hat, Janet Snakehole, and Burt Macklin - can all agree does the body well after a Friday or Saturday night featuring too much Snake Juice. Or, any day really. What is time anymore?” -MB

TV Pairing:The Killing (Netflix)

“This show got a lot of sh*t - mainly because of the red herrings, cliffhangers, and relentless rain. Now we live in a world of streaming, where red herrings and cliffhangers are meaningless. Meaning these days we can enjoy The Killing for what it’s really about: the relationship between broken cops Sara Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (a fantastically trashy Joel Kinnaman). And nothing goes with the chill of this absurdly moody show better than the rich curries from The Spice Room. No, it won’t change who killed Rosie Lawsen, but honestly, that’s never been the point.” -AK

TV Pairing:McMilliions (HBO)

“The first time I watched Supersize Me, I couldn’t help but crave a large order of fries from McDonald’s. Then, when I watched McMillions, an HBO miniseries that shows how McDonald’s was scammed out of more than $20 million through their Monopoly game, it immediately gave me a hankering to somehow screw over McDonald’s myself. Because when I was a kid, I was obsessed with collecting all the pieces and winning a bunch of money - but in reality, I had no shot to ever win. I don’t know what I would have done with my earnings back then, but if I pulled off this big of a heist today, I know exactly what I would do - fund a second location for Carmela’s, my favorite taco place in Chicago, to open in New York (where I live now). I miss their incredible al pastor tacos and tortas so much that I have dreamed for years of how to acquire enough money to make this possible - and watching McMillions has given me a new fantasy to think about.” -CM

TV Pairing:Orphan Black (Hulu)

“If you don’t know, Orphan Black is about a bunch of clones finding out that they’re clones and figuring out why. And the actress (Tatiana Maslany) who plays all these clones somehow manages to make them all feel like completely different people. When I look at a sea of fantastic dumplings from The Momo World on my coffee table, I feel like I’m looking at a bunch of Sarahs, Alisons, Cosimas, Rachels, and Helenas. They’re all momos, and yet different and unique in their own way. And just like with the show, I love them all and it’s impossible to pick a favorite. Don’t make me.” -AK

TV Pairing:Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Netflix)

“You know how some people put on Friends or The Office just to relax? Well, for me that show is Buffy. Sure, at first the ’90s outfits, chunky highlights, and ridiculous monsters are a little distracting. But after the episode “The Puppet Show,” you’ll forget all about it. All seven seasons create a perfect story arc - one that makes you laugh, cry, and contemplate your spiritual existence. A meal at Monteverde is like that too. This Italian restaurant never misses a beat, and as far as a spiritual experience, eating the Neapolitan alla ragu on my couch comes pretty damn close.” -AK

TV Pairing:Beforeigners (HBO)

“The premise for this Norweigan show on HBO immediately got me hooked - people from the past (any time period, from the Stone Age to the Viking Age to the 19th century) start to magically appear in present-day Oslo. Hence they are labeled “beforeigners.” It’s a really cool show that explores what it’s like being an outsider and having to adapt to situations that are out of your control. That’s exactly how I felt the first few times I walked into Mr. Beef. This spot on Orleans has a list of 15 rules inside the restaurant like “No Bathroom,” “No Stupid Questions,” and my favorite “No Mhhh’s, Ughhh’s, Or Duhhh’s.” It took me around 10 times to get used to how it works here, and like a beforeigner, I had no clue how to order without being insulted. But the place grew on me, and since restaurants have been closed for dine-in, I’ve missed their incredible Italian beefs with spicy giardiniera, and their even spicier insults. But in the meantime, at least I can get yelled at on the phone ordering their food.” -CM

TV Pairing:Justified (Hulu)

“This fantastic show about federal marshal Raylan Givens takes place in the hills of Kentucky, and I can confirm (don’t ask how) that Justified’s oddly tasteful portrayal of hillbillies is alarmingly accurate. While this pairing isn’t the most subtle, ordering food from Big Jones while watching this show is the way to go. This place focuses on old-timey Southern food and doesn’t f*ck around with its classic recipes. The Bluegrass Barbecue Bonanza is big enough to feed four and includes toasted buttermilk pan bread, smoky baked beans, and burgoo. Basically exactly what I think would go perfectly with moonshine. Also, Timothy Olyphant could just be sitting in an empty room and I’d watch him for hours. And yes, I know how that sounds.” -AK

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TV Pairing:The Witcher (Netflix)

“No show has confused and entertained me as much as The Witcher. It has mages, mythical creatures, three timelines, and dialogue that you don’t realize is being intentionally funny until episode three. Plus, it makes zero effort to explain what’s going on. In fact, Netflix created an app just to help us sort it all out. But it’s such a fun watch that none of this matters. And Gadabout’s all-over-the-place menu (where corn and poblano empanadas exist next to bonito-topped pancakes) confuses and delights me in the same way. That said, I still don’t understand exactly what the hell a “Child Surprise” is. If you do, hit me up.” -AK

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