Thomas was a third-grade thug. He was the kid who got paddled by the principal monthly for infractions ranging from taking nips of art class mucilage from Elmer’s rubber orange nipple, to contorting his face grotesquely and eliciting guffaws from fellow classmates behind the teacher’s back.
Well my home’s in the delta, Way out on that farmer’s road. Now you know I’m living in Chicago, And people, I sure do hate to go. -Muddy Waters, My Home is in the Delta That lyric from Waters is a bit of an idle threat. It was recorded in 1963 at Chicago’s Tel Mar recording studios for one of the greatest records of all time, “Folksinger”. But, Muddy stayed in Chicagoland, dying in his Westmont, Illinois home in 1983.
Visions of maple-glazed crispy pig ears have been dancing in my head for years since I tried them at chef Jason Vincent’s now-defunct Nightwood in Pilsen. They were one of those iconic Chicago dishes, like Avec’s bacon-wrapped dates or Alinea’s black truffle explosion. But as of 2015, they were no more. Though he was named a Food & Wine magazine best new chef (the equivalent of an Oscar in the culinary world), Vincent went into semi-retirement to raise his two young children. But it was only a matter of time before he reemerged, and earlier this year he announced a partnership with Josh Perlman (Avec) and chef de cuisine Ben Lustbader to open Giant in Logan Square. I stopped in recently to see if his new venture could hold its own
The 1800 block of North Avenue is turning into the Lynyrd Skynyrd junction. On one side, you’ve got chef Cary Taylor serving up corn-perfumed johnnycakes and fried green tomatoes at The Southern, while across the street you’ll find Charlie McKenna, formerly of Tru and Avenues, serving up boiled peanuts and smoked ribs at the new Lillie’s Q.