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SAVOR LiqrBox; Good Stuff Eatery
DISH: Weekly Dining Guide
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-02-05

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The best thing I can say about LiqrBox ( 873 N. Orleans St.; liqrboxchicago.com/ ) is that it can make you feel at least 20 years younger.

Why do I say this? It's because the clubstaurant ( with the upper club space open on weekends ) exudes an unapologetically nostalgic vibe, with everything from '90s music piped throughout the first-floor restaurant space ( "Don't go chasin' waterfalls..." ) to boozy concoctions served in juice boxes ( yes, juice boxes )—and those drinks are pretty smooth, with Absolut Peach, for example, not that far removed from a Capri-Sun ( making it a pretty tricky drink ).

Guests enjoy the perks of a 4 a.m. liquor curfew, along with a full-service kitchen that serves shareable bites until 3 a.m. The food program is spearheaded by Mark Sparacino, chef/owner of the nearby Italian restaurant Prosecco.

At LiqrBox, though, Sparacino gets creative with traditional favorite snacks. He serves items such as ( large ) pizza rolls, shrimp corn dogs, Spaghetti Ohhhh's, creamy mac 'n' cheese served in a parmesan bowl and a loaf of cheesy bread—with part of it cut out to hold tomato soup. ( I personally can't wait until LiqrBox hooks up with a delivery service. )

Good Stuff Eatery

Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn is the mind behind Good Stuff Eatery ( 22 S. Wabash Ave.; GoodStuffEatery.com/locations/chicago ), a deceptively large spot that "serves delicious burgers, handspun shakes and handcut fries," according to its website .

Actually, I can't argue with any of those claims. The burgers are sizeable sandwiches, priced at $6-$8 each—and a few of the items pay homage to the restaurant's Washington, D.C., roots. ( This Good Stuff is currently the only one outside of the D.C. area, and has artwork featuring the Blues Brothers to acknowledge its Windy City location. ) Some of those offerings include the very tasty Michelle Melt ( a free-range turkey burger with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, ruby tomato and lettuce on a wheat bun—with "South Lawn herb garden mayo" ) and the Prez Burger—formerly known as the Obama Burger ( burger with applewood bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort cheese and horseradish mayo ). Don't ask me what the Melania Melt might have.

There are other enticing options, such as the Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown and the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich. ( By the way, any of the burgers can be made with grilled chicken, for the more health-inclined. )

The milkshakes are worth mentioning as well. They come in flavors such as Toasted Marshmallow, Salty Caramel Kiss, Cinnamon Crunch and Bipartisan Vanilla ( which the general manager said is simply vanilla, despite its political name ). The Milk & Cookies shake is a wonderfully viscous vanilla concoction that's topped with a couple Oreo cookies. )

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.


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