Posts by James Podrasky

5411 Empanadas is Taking Over Chicago, One Pastr...

5411 Empanadas collage

5411 Empanadas is one of the fastest growing restaurant groups in the city. Named after the international dialing code for Buenos Aires, the group first opened in 2009 with a quality product and making deliveries to local Chicago businesses. That led to an incredibly successful food truck and their first physical location, which opened in…

De Noche Mexicana Embraces Mexican Cuisine in Lo...

de noche mexicana in Logan Square interior

Gentrification has drastically transformed Logan Square in the last few years from a primarily Latino neighborhood to hipster paradise with both positive and negative results. For all the cool bookstores like Uncharted and great restaurants like Lula Caf and Longman & Eagle, there have been longtime businesses that have closed and residents forced out. However,…

Challenge Your Tastebuds and They’ll Side ...

Albany Park?s Rojo Gusano

Chicago?s Albany Park is one of the most diverse areas in the city, if not the entire country. About half of the population of the neighborhood is made up of foreign-born immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Korean, Yugoslavia, Somalia, and many, many more countries. 40 languages are spoken in Albany Park?s schools and a walk down…

The Gold Coast?s Coconutz Takes Chicago to the T...

Coconutz Takes Chicago to the Tropics

It?s clear with a name like ?Coconutz? the owner?s of the Gold Coast?s newest bar don?t take themselves too seriously. Taking influences from traditional Tiki Bars, which has made a major comeback in recent years? and the Caribbean, Coconutz promises fun and the chance for Chicagoans who can?t escape the winter to embrace some warm…

IVme Hydration Clinic Offers Energy & Hango...

IVme Chicago Clinic

Generally my beat around The Chicago Traveler is restaurants and the occasional concert. The evening started off normally enough at Old Town?s Pomp & Circumstance for an open house at the nearby IVme Hydration Clinic? drinking an Old Fashioned and snacking on sliders. That normalcy didn?t last long, though, soon after I was taken on…

Artango Combines a Passion for Art, Dance, and S...

Artango food and dancing collage

Ravenswood?s Artango serves authentic South American cuisine, but it?s also a dance studio and something of an avant-garde art gallery? all packed in a hundred-year-old former factory. That certainly makes Artango one of the most unique dining experiences in the city. Artango History Artango started as a tango center inviting Chicagoans to learn more about…

LuxeHome Chill : raising money for charity with ...

Luxehome Chill banner

Wandering through the boutiques that make up LuxeHome (website), on the first floor of Chicago?s Merchandise Mart, you didn?t know what you?d find. Tucked away in model bathrooms, kitchens with Wi-Fi ready refrigerators, and next to paint samples? there might be a lobster roll, coffee-flavored sake, or a steel drum band doing a cover of…

Blackwood BBQ Makes Getting Smoky Loop BBQ Easy

Blackwood BBQ getting smoky in the loop

While visitors to our city may have hot dogs and deep dish pizza on their minds, Chicagoans are well aware of our city?s rich, if not complicated, barbecue scene. There?s not exactly one specific Chicago-style barbecue with many rich traditions divided by region, ethnic background, and economic class ranging from South Side rib tips to…

Relax With a Beer and Bar Bites at Tradition

tradition not your traditional sports bar

As I approached Tradition, I thought to myself ?oh no, not another sports bar.? Not that there?s anything wrong about sports bars, but they can very similar: sports memorabilia, dozens of flat screens, and pretty good burgers. Fortunately, Tradition was not what I was expecting. Formerly Par Bar, a golf-themed pub at 160 N. Franklin,…

Kanela Breakfast Club = Sweet and Savory in Stre...

Kanela Breakfast Club Streeterville

Chicago has no shortage of breakfast and brunch options. Stumble out bleary-eyed on a Sunday morning and even the grease bucket on the corner is probably offering some fried egg hotdog nightmare?there are so many places to grab brunch that it?s easy to make a mistake. Fortunately, you can?t go wrong with Kanela Breakfast Club.…