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What to Eat and Drink in Chicago This Week

There’s BBQ, mid-day sake, a sandwich salute to Elvis, and a puffed-up pizza that’s topped with prosciutto.

Bomba pizza at Bar Toma   Photo: Jeff Kauck

Monday, January 6

Dare to step out into Chiberia? For tonight’s BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Florida State, Lillie’s Q chef (and FSU grad) Charlie McKenna is hosting a watch party, and the $40 entry gets you bite-sized portions of shrimp and grits, barbecue, and more, plus two drinks. Tickets are available here.

Tuesday, January 7

Sneak out for a mid-day sake tasting at Roka Akor (456 N. Clark St., River North, 312-477-7652). For $20, you get to sip nine different rice wine varieties selected by experts, then pick your favorite to go with your à la carte meal. $10 of your tasting admission goes to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The deal’s only available at lunch, though, through Friday.

Wednesday, January 8

Elvis would have turned 79 today. Toast to the King’s caloric overindulgences with Kanela’s (3231 N. Clark St., Lake View, 773-248-1622; 1552 N. Wells St., Old Town, 312-255-1206) fried peanut butter and banana sandwich or a peanut butter and banana smoothie.

Saturday, January 11

Cozy up to your favorite comfort foods, sans gluten, at the first in a new monthly series of cooking classes at Bakersfield (330 E. Ogden Ave., Westmont, 630-568-3615). You’ll learn to make teff pancakes, Southern fried chicken with cheddar corn bread, and gluten-free carrot cake, as well as a drink to pair with each dish. Sign up at the restaurant’s website for the $40 class, which starts at 2 p.m. (Gluten-free cooking not your thing? February’s class focuses on healthy Mediterranean eats.)

Sunday, January 12

Set your DVR to record the Food Network’s “Sandwich King” at 9:30 a.m. today—they’ll be airing an episode focusing on the Bomba burger and Bomba pizza (that’s pizza dough puffed up and topped with La Quercia prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano) from Bar Toma (110 E. Pearson St., Gold Coast, 312-266-3110). Then, pop over to the restaurant itself for a special brunch Bomba burger topped with a fried egg and La Quercia bacon for $12 in celebration of the dish’s star turn, or grab a Bomba pizza for half-price through January 19.

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