Glazed and Infused's red velvet doughnuts
Pop-up restaurants are like the summer flings of the dining world: They're great while they last, but they're not meant to last forever. Some, like the return of the Fridays-only ice cream shop at David Burke's Primehouse, give fine-dining chefs a chance to let loose, while others, like Big Star's appearance in the West Loop, just bring tasty summer eats closer to the masses. From doughnuts to burgers to lobster, here's where to catch a taste of summer pop-ups before they're gone.
Big Star's West Loop Taco Shop
Where: 2 Riverside Plaza
When: Noon-2 p.m. on June 27, July 19, Aug. 23 and Sept. 13
The details: Even if you intend to just swing by Wicker Park favorite Big Star to grab a few tacos for lunch, somehow the lure of that patio proves too great, and before you know it, you're two hours and a pitcher of margaritas late getting back to work. This lunchtime pop-up brings those delicious fish, pork belly and potato tacos closer to West Loop offices.
City Porch at Navy Pier
Where: Outside the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows
When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday through the end of October
The details: The regular menu lists contemporary dishes that are a few steps above the hot dogs and popcorn you'd normally find at Navy Pier: Think toasted rice-crusted tempura shrimp and lamb sliders. Plus, guest chefs such as Heather Terhune (Sable Kitchen & Bar), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) and Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven) will contribute some special dishes in June, July, and August, respectively. Munch inside and soak up the A/C, or grab an Adirondack chair and take in a view of the docks.
Sunday Dinner Club at Green City Market
Where: South end of Lincoln Park, inside Green City Market
When: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through October
The details: Normally, you'd have to be invited to join Sunday Dinner Club's mailing list, then wait patiently for an e-mail announcing the location of its next underground meal. On Saturday mornings, though, they bring their juicy burgers to the public at Green City Market, sans hassle. Each week's burger makes use of the best of the market's goodies, including Brunkow cheese and Heartland beef, plus fresh veggie toppings.
PT at The Talbott
Where: The Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Place
When: 6:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday through this fall
The details: The Talbott Hotel's restaurant is in the midst of a revamp, but in the meantime, Mercadito chef Patricio Sandoval and mixology duo Tippling Bros. have teamed up to create PT. This bar and sidewalk patio serves brunch, lunch and dinner, with a focus on summery dishes such as a shrimp po' boy and mini-lobster rolls. Cooling cocktails include the Basil and Grapes, an icy mix of dry gin, muddled white grapes, basil and lemon juice.
Ice Cream Shop at David Burke's Primehouse
Where: J Bar, 610 N. Rush St. (near David Burke's Primehouse)
When: 3-5 p.m. Fridays through late August or early September
The details: For the second summer in a row, pastry chef Jove Hubbard and executive chef Rick Gresh man a tiny walk-up window, where they scoop two to three flavors each week for lines of overheating shoppers and office workers. In the past, they've served south-of-the-border flavors such as spicy Mexican hot chocolate and margarita, as well as sweet cones of Key lime pie or Chambord truffle ice cream. Follow the crew on Twitter at @DBPrimehouse to find out the flavors of the week.
Glazed and Infused at The Purple Pig
Where: The Purple Pig, 500 N. Michigan Ave.
When: 8 to 10:30 a.m. daily
The details: Doughnuts are the new bacon (and yes, there are bacon doughnuts), and Glazed and Infused is just the latest shop to feed the city's carb cravings. If you can't make it to the Wicker Park or West Loop locations before work, all the flavors (including PB&J, red velvet and chocolate glazed) plus coffee are now available each morning at Glazed and Infused's sibling restaurant, The Purple Pig. Bonus: Rather than closing shop at the end of the summer, owners have plans to keep the doughnuts coming indefinitely.
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