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We’re Loyal to Our Local

Bruce Elliot at the Old Town Ale House, Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune Bruce Elliott started drinking at the Old Town Ale House in 1961, three years after it opened. Back then, the place was hoity-toity and played classical music. After it burned down and reopened across the street, the crowd got rougher, but Elliott … Read more

We’ve Got Characters

Streetwise vendors sometimes go to great lengths to attract customers.Photo: Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune 1. Columbia College in the ’90s had its share of StreetWise vendors. For me, the most notable was a gentleman who spoke in the most regal of English dialects to ply his wares. It wasn’t uncommon to hear “Forsooth, my fine lad!” … Read more

Giardiniera

Don’t call it a relish; relishes mask flavor for the weak and unimaginative. Giardiniera—basically chopped peppers and vegetables marinated until they’re good and punitive—zaps everything with an oily sheen of danger. Whether it lands on Italian beef sandwiches, brats, pasta, or pizzas—hell, I’ve seen people douse their eggs with it—giardiniera turns ordinary food into something … Read more