What’s with all these new fees on my bills? Do I have to pay them?
Many restaurants added fees to help cover costs during the pandemic. Since it’s not yet over, these charges are still here. You may see a “COVID surcharge,” for things like PPE, or a health charge, often 2 or 3 percent, that contributes to staff health insurance. Many restaurants also eliminated tipping, so you may spot an automatic service charge, typically 15 to 20 percent. While you can usually ask restaurants to remove these charges, considering how they’re making restaurants safer and their employees healthier ... don’t be that person.
What’s a fun second date spot?
How about a progressive date? You could start with cocktails at Queen Mary (2125 W. Division St., Ukrainian Village), then walk down the block to Pub Royale (2049 W. Division St.) for butter paneer and gobi Manchurian. If you’d prefer one spot, go to Galit (2429 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park): You can bond over the delicious bites in the salatim and gallantly let your date finish the hummus.
What are the best gluten-free spots?
Arepas are gluten-free; I love the ones at BienMeSabe (bienmesabechicago.com). Piccolo Sogno (464 N. Halsted St., West Town) offers everything from cacio e pepe to fish stew. And much of Vietnamese cuisine fits the bill; try HaiSous (1800 S. Carpenter St., Pilsen), where Thai Dang’s tasting menus are entirely gluten-free.
What’s the best place to eat with kids that’s actually good?
I’d go to Community Tavern — not only does Joey Beato offer one of the city’s best cheeseburgers as well as plates like chicken and kimchi dumplings, but the restaurant is also family friendly. The kids’ menu includes grilled cheese on brioche and chicken-and-rice stir-fry. Plus, kids under 12 eat free Tuesday to Thursday with the purchase of an adult meal. 4038 N. Milwaukee Ave., Portage Park
What’s the best bar with good food to watch a football game?
It’s hard to beat the Moonlighter. You can order cocktails by the pitcher, plus excellent burgers, $2 hard-shell tacos, and even fried chicken wedge salads. Bonus: There’s a very good piña colada if you need to distract yourself from your team’s performance. 3204 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square