THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Favorite Festivals Kick-Off Summer Season!

Cute, funny happy glass of beer and hot dog

We’re not wasting any time here in Chicago as our first weekend in June is packed with our favorite festivals kicking off the summer season!  There’s no time to waste so let’s get started.

Celebrating the influence of this genre born in our great city over 80 years ago, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival kicks off summer in Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage (201 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop this Saturday (12 p.m.-9 p.m.).  This free inspirational music festival offers a roster of choirs and contemporary artists for a day of family-friendly music.  This year’s lineup of top talent includes the award-winning RIZE Youth Company, Grammy winners Karen Clark Sheard and Tye Tribbett, and more!  For a full line-up, visit the festival’s website.

The Midwest’s oldest juried art fair will celebrate its 76th year at their annual 57th Street Art Fair located along 57th Street between Woodlawn and Kenwood Avenues in the Hyde Park neighborhood this Saturday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.).  This art fair features nearly 200 artists offering art lovers the opportunity to view and shop original works of art from around the country for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience as well as speak with the artists about their creations.  Plus, live music will be presented by Buddy Guy’s Legends, a Food Court will be presented by the Ray School PTA, and there will be lots of activities for the children as well!  You’re sure to find something special, handmade, and one of a kind at this art fair!!

The Lincoln Park neighborhood will be celebrating Hellenic culture at their popular annual Lincoln Park Greek Festival on the grounds of St. George Greek Orthodox Church (2701 N. Sheffield Ave.) this Saturday (12 p.m.-11 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.).  Once again, this fest will bring the aromas, sounds, tastes, and traditions of Greece to all Chicagoans along with authentic flavorful food, great music, dancing, a craft fair, and pure fun!  Everyone will proudly be Hellenic for at least one day – OPA!

Another summer festival season opener is the Do Division Street Fest located on Division Street between Damen Avenue and Leavitt Street in the Wicker Park neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.).  Catch performances on two stages programmed by local live music venues the Empty Bottle (booking talent for diverse and cutting-edge music for the east stage), and Subterranean (booking current and popular bands for the west stage).  Plus, check out the food trucks, a fashion show (Do Fashion), vendors for shopping, and the Family Fun Fest offering kids’ activities such as a petting zoo, mega slide, rocking kids’ music, and more!  There’s something for everyone at this fest as well!!

Chicago’s original German neighborhood will be celebrating Maifest this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.) at 4700 North Lincoln Avenue at Leland Avenue in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.  This free fest welcomes in the street festival season with outstanding German and American food and beer.  So, grab a pretzel or full dinner, enjoy some lederhosen- and dirndl-costumed dancers, hoist a stein, and kick back for some great German and American bands providing entertainment throughout the fest!

The 2nd annual Windy City Hot Dog Fest takes place this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.) at Six Corners (4000-4080 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in the Portage Park neighborhood.  Some of Chicagoland’s favorite hot dog stands will be competing for who has the best hot dog, as voted on by the festgoers.  In addition to tasty dogs, there will be live entertainment, arts & craft vendors, a kid’s area, a top dog parade on Sunday (show off your fur-baby), and a hot dog eating competition (down as many hot dogs as you can in 5 minutes) where the winner walks away with bragging rights and a trophy!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News: Singin’ the Blues in Chicago at Lincoln Park’s Kingston Mines

The bass guitarist plays the bass guitar in the spotlight.

“Come on

Oh, baby don’t you wanna go?

Come on

Oh, baby don’t you wanna go?

Back to that same old place

Sweet home Chicago!”

First recorded by bluesman Robert Johnson, 1936

Is there any music genre more emblematic of a place and time like Chicago’s blues scene? To this day, ‘The Blues Brothers’ movie remains the quintessential celebration of Chicago’s most iconic music. 

How’d Chicago Get the Blues? 

Chicago blues was heavily influenced by the Mississippi bluesmen who traveled to Chicago in the early 1940s, according to Wikipedia sources. Muddy Waters, a colleague of Delta blues musicians Son House and Robert Johnson, migrated to Chicago in 1943, joining the established Big Bill Broonzy, where they developed a distinctive style of blues music…more urban than the Southern sounds coming out of Tennessee or Mississippi. They were soon joined by artists such as Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, and John Lee Hooker, and many other legends. 

Every year, the City of Chicago celebrates its status as a blues destination through the annual Blues Fest, held this year from June 8-11 in Millennium Park. 

Kingston Mines: From Theatre to Legendary Blues Club 

Lincoln Park’s Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted Street, is the largest and oldest continuously operating blues club in Chicago, according to its website. For year-round blues, no club has a richer history or has played host to more legendary performers. 

The place was founded as the Kingston Mines Theatre Company and Café on Lincoln Avenue in 1968, named after Kingston Mines, Illinois, where the father of one of its actors, Jack Wallace, worked, according to Wikipedia sources. Their most notable production was ‘Grease’ which premiered in 1971. Actress Marilu Henner originated the role of ‘Marty’ before moving to Broadway a year later. The theatre company expired in 1973, while the Café survived as a blues club and café.

To this day, you can order specialties like Southern Fried Okra, a Chicago Style Hot Dog, Chicago-style Ribs, and their special Kingston Mines Burger, topped off with desserts like beignets and Eli’s Cheesecake. 

In 1972, Oak Park’s Dr. Lenin “Doc” Pellegrino, M.D., bought the club from the and renamed the Kingston Mines Café. It moved to its current location at 2548 N. Halsted in 1982. He owned it until his death at 92 in 2018.

The club motto, “Hear Blues – Drink Booze – Talk Loud – You’re Among Friends!” was a Doc original.  Aswasthisone, hanging on the back wall of the stage: “Illegitimus non Carborundom,” Latin for “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

Doc” knew his business. ‘With urban blues you’ll hear performers sing about jobs in factories, jobs in mills, rental problems, unemployment and prejudice. It’s a big city blues.’ The other side of this binary come from humbler settings: ‘With rural blues, things are more about farming, driving a mule, problems with the bossman, the small town existence.’ The intermingling of the two is what makes Chicago distinctive. ‘Rural blues with a large overlay of urban blues still hanging on. This is Chicago blues.’”

  • Excerpt from “Kingston Mines: ‘Doc’ Pellegrino Can Still Hear the Blues” by Jacob Knabb on Centerstage Chicago (June 7, 2005, via the Chicago Bar Project. 

Their lineup over the years reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of blues royalty:  Magic Slim, Koko Taylor, Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Junior Wells, Mike Wheeler, Joanna Connor, and scores of other musical greats.

Kingston Mines is open Thursdays and Fridays from 7pm–4am and Saturdays from 7pm-5am. They offer a variety of discounts to veterans, seniors and students off their cover charge (usually $15.)  For more information, click here

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review: A Menu for Man and Beast at River North’s Siena Tavern

Cute spaniel eats burger sitting at table in cafe

I have two dogs, and I’m always looking for places we can go and take them along. In the summer, we’re very lucky to have so many restaurants in Chicago that allow man’s (and woman’s) best friends on their patios. 

While restaurants often have bowls of water and treats set out for dogs (I’m looking at you, Lakeview!) it’s much more rare to find a restaurant that serves its own menu created especially for dogs.

Imagine my surprise to run across River North’s Siena Tavern, whose Puppy Ciaomenu complements their upscale Italian fare in a 10,000 square foot hybrid of “a rustic Italian market, a fine dining restaurant, and a modern, industrial tavern, bridging old world comfort and  the approachable menu ranging from antipasti, pizzas and mozzarellas to fresh pastas, entrees and desserts,“ as their website says.

The brainchild of Top Chef: Season 5 fan favorite, Fabio Viviani, the restaurant espouses a “farm to fork” take on Italian specialties, including Neapolitan pies, homemade pastas, and even a mozzarella bar.

Dog parents can start with specialties such as a Burrata, made with tomato jam and basil oil. Or, their gluten-free Grilled Octopus, served with heirloom fingerling potatoes, red chilies, celery-chimichurri, and aged balsamic. Viviani kicks it up a notch with a Waygu Beef Meatball, served with roasted tomato sauce and bellwether ricotta cheese. 

Pastas are made from scratch daily, and gluten-free pastas are available. Don’t miss the Squid Ink Linguine, with grilled lobster tail and spicy lobster cream. Reviewers have also raved about their Rigatoni Alla Vodka, made with Parmesan, burrata, and bread crumbs. 

An entrée such as Brick Chicken Diavolo is served with sticky parmesan potatoes, arugula, blistered grape tomatoes, red onion, shaved parmesan, and grilled lemon. Roasted Salmon is paired with artichoke, fava bean, charred cebolita onion, aranci, and mint. 

As we say here, (only when warranted,) leave room for dessert! Sorbettos deserve a mention with flavors like Strawberry Prosecco, Malted Milk Chocolate, S’mores and Salted Caramel.

Puppy Ciao for Fido

A portion of the proceeds from their Puppy Ciao menu benefits PAWS Chicago. Dinner or brunch starts with a simply grilled choice of Chicken Breast or Burger Patty.  Both are coated in extra-virgin olive oil. Their Doggy Desserts include Woof-Cream, Dairy Free Gelato, a Doggy Doughnut, and Pawsibly the Best Sundae Ever! 

Google reviewers were laudatory:

“Started off with bourbon and the grilled octopus and never have I been served it this way, but it was a great mix of flavors and would order again, but I’m sure they switch it up, as a good restaurant would. I don’t see it on the current menu anymore, but they had what was called, “carbonara in a jar,” and yes it came to us in a jar and our server prepared it for us. I’ve never seen it and I kind of like it, but besides that point it was hot and quite delicious. A little showmanship is always fun, plus great octopus and pasta, yes please.”

“Had a wonderful time at Siena Tavern. Taylor our waitress was wonderful, insightful and very helpful. She asked about allergies which was a plus. Also her recommendations were spot on. The atmosphere was awesome and the food delicious, serving sizes enough for 2 or 3 to share. We are big fans of Top Chef and Fabio was one of our favorite chefs, that is why I chose this place, but after visiting the restaurant Taylor made it more appealing, and well worth our visit.”

Siena Tavern is located at 51 W. Kinzie Street, and is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Their hours are Monday-Wednesday, 11:30am –11:30pm, Thursday, 11:30am–12am, Friday, 11:30am–2am, Saturday, 10am-2am, and Sunday, 10am-11:30pm. For reservations, click here. 

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Tips for a better run

Low angle view of motivated athletic man running during rainy day

Now, I am definitely not a runner, but I know so many of my friends enjoy running for their main exercise. I’ve done some research and have found some tips for a better running experience. I know some are well known but others perhaps not. In any case, it’s good to take a refresher and make your run more fun and productive. 

Have a good playlist for your run. Music really gets you going and keeps you going. It also can combat mental fatigue which is helpful especially when you need to run after a trying day at work. Keep the beats more than 128bpm. Think: dance party! Not a big music fan? Some people love running to podcasts, or a good audio book. Whatever floats your boat. 

Make sure your running clothes are going to help, not hinder you. Your bottoms need to fit properly so you’re not stopping to pull them up. Thin layers on top are best as you will need less coverage no matter what the weather is as you warm up. Ladies, make sure your sports bra is sufficient to hold everything together. Bouncing boobies can be very uncomfortable. Shoes are of course the most important. It is a good idea to go to a store where you can be fitted by a professional who will understand that running shoes are different than walking shoes.  

Breathing is important. Breathe through your nose for 3 beats then out your mouth for the same count. Be mindful. Running is tough when you are struggling for breath. Search online for breathing exercises for running. 

Of course, you may be huffing and puffing because you are going too fast and for too long. Always start out with a training schedule that will work you up to the level you are looking for. This is most important especially if you are training for long distances. Warm up properly on a stationary bike or do some foam rolling. The warmup is designed to loosen stiff muscles and get the blood flowing.

Before you even jog that first step you should do some strength training. Strength training will help with your cardio while building up your lower muscles in your legs and glutes. You can check out for some good exercises. 

Track your run. You can use a Fitbit, smart watch or just your phone. Plan a route and pace. You can even virtually run with a friend if you like. Running with someone if possible is always good as it creates accountability.  

Stretching is more important after exercise than before. Some stretches warming up is good but after a long run it’s imperative. It helps you rest and recover from the pounding you receive from running. Do hip flexor stretches. Hips take a lot of punishment in running. Look up post running stretches. 

So if you are considering trying running make a plan and get out there. I’m told there is a great thing called “The runner’s high”. 

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago

Big Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Small House

Increasing White Outlined Houses Against Rustic Background

Small houses offer the promise of a simpler life with less material possessions, less maintenance, and a lower mortgage. Despite the benefits there are some tradeoffs that warrant consideration. Before taking the plunge, it’s definitely worth thinking about the pros and cons of going small in the world of real estate.

Here are some big questions you should ask yourself when it comes to buying a tiny house.

How Often Do You Entertain Guests?

Having one or two friends over at a time is one thing, but hosting a large dinner party with 10+ guests might not exactly be comfortable – or even possible – if your living quarters are short on square footage. Unless you plan on entertaining guests in the backyard, having more than a handful of people over at once won’t be practical. If you like things small and quiet, great. Although if you’re the type to throw big bashes, you might want to consider going a little bigger in the housing department.

If You Have Pets, How Well Can You Coexist?

If you’ve got any pets, or plan on getting one in the near future, consider the fact that they’ll have to put up with minimal indoor space. A small house is fine for a cat who only makes use of a litter box, sofa, and kitchen. A larger, more active dog, on the other hand, might find it tougher to coexist and be happy in a small space.

Are You an Avid Collector of Things?

Living in a small house means keeping a lid on the amount of belongings you’re able to accumulate. If you have a large collection of items, you might have to scale down if you’re considering moving into a tiny home. In addition, if there are any sentimental items like passed down family furniture, the likelihood of all your belongings fitting decreases.

For instance, if there’s an oversized hutch that’s been in your family for generations that you simply cannot part with, will it fit neatly in your home? Or will it not even fit through the doorway?

Are You Prepared to Spend More Time Outside?

Living small usually means spending a lot more time outside. One of the things about small homes is that a lot more living tends to take place outdoors. If home is just a place for you to lay your head between work and life, a lot of space probably isn’t necessary. And if you’re a big outdoorsy kind of person, a tiny space may be all that you need. However, if you’re home-body and home is where most of your time is spent doing the things you love, you’ll probably need more space.

What Are Your Hobbies?

Certain hobbies obviously take up a lot more space than others. In a small house, that might be space you can’t afford. If you love drawing, paining, knitting or cooking, a small house shouldn’t pose a problem. On the other hand, if you have an affinity for pottery, woodworking or shooting videos, a tiny house might be an issue. Consider if a small house would make your hobby more difficult to participate in, and decide if you’re OK with that in favor of less space (and most likely a smaller mortgage).

How Good Are You at Sharing Your Space?

Will you be living alone or sharing the space with someone? If you live with others (or plan to in the future), consider how well you’ll be able to share your space. If you grew up in a big family with minimal room indoors, you probably won’t have any issues. Horrible memories from bad dorm experiences? Then take a moment to reconsider.

There’s a certain charm and freedom associated with tiny homes. And of course, there’s always the much cheaper price tag (depending on the location). There’s a lot to think about and weigh before making this decision. Regardless of whether the home you buy is big or small, this type of purchase is an important one. Do some soul searching, and as always, discuss your options with an experienced real estate agent before you make the next move.

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Memorial Day Weekend Ushers in Summer 2023!

Memorial Day Banner Vector illustration, USA flag waving with stars on bright background

As is customary, Chicago unofficially kicks-off the summer season over the Memorial Day Weekend which just so happens to be this weekend.  If you’re ready for Summer of 2023, then come celebrate with us as the city pulls out all the stops!

Begin the Memorial Day Weekend at the Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade this Saturday honoring the fallen heroes and the Gold Star family members who have lost a loved one while serving in the U.S. armed services.  The wreath laying takes place at 11:00 a.m. at Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) while the parade kicks-off at 12:00 p.m. on State Street from Lake to Van Buren Streets in The Loop.  Plus, this year’s Grand Marshal is Major General Rodney Boyd, Assistant Adjutant General who hails from the South Side of Chicago and is the highest-ranking African American Officer in the Illinois National Guard’s 300-year history.  Come join the crowds lining the street waving flags and paying their respects as part of this Chicago tradition!

It’s back and ready to kick-off the unofficial start to Chicago’s summer festival season.  The 38th annual Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest takes place in the heart of the Lakeview neighborhood on Sheffield Avenue from Belmont Avenue to Roscoe Street on Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m.-10 p.m.).  Attendees can expect to have a blast at this festival which features top Midwest tribute bands on the main stage (near Roscoe), and an eclectic “community” entertainment stage (near Belmont) filled with fun neighborhood music acts, DJs, and other performers.  Plus, you’ll find plenty of great eats, libations (beer and wine), and artisans to browse while you hang out on the street to welcome in summer!

Not only is the Randolph Street Market celebrating its 20th anniversary but it’s also their season opener Garden Party this Saturday and Sunday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Hall (1341 W. Randolph St.) in the West Loop.  Browse wares from over 200 vendors offering the best vintage decorative arts, fashion, and furnishings along with global goods and designer creations.  New this year, the market is shining a spotlight on its home décor offerings with one-of-a-kind finds and programing for interior designers.  Plus, the market also features beer and wine gardens, spirits, local restaurant food vendors, and music.  It’s one of the best summer kick-off parties in Chicago!

It’s time for the Pilsen neighborhood’s annual Mole de Mayo Festival this Saturday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.-9 p.m.) on 18th Street from Ashland to Blue Island Avenues.  Honoring the traditional Mexican sauce with a mole cook-off get ready to visit over 20 popular festival food vendors who will be vying for the 2023 People’s Choice and Best Mole winner title.  This festival also features two main music stages offering a variety of music styles; an open-air mercado bustling with local merchants, crafters, and artisans; and lucha libra wrestling matches featuring high-flying aerial maneuvers and colorful masks!

One of the best aerial displays you’ll find in Chicago during the summer is the Navy Pier Fireworks which kick-off this Saturday (10 p.m.) and continue on Wednesdays (9 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 p.m.) through the Labor Day Weekend.  Stunning views are available from across the pier’s public spaces to take in this dazzling free display complete with dramatic and popular music soundtracks.  Plus, the show can also be viewed from nearby beaches or while cruising along the Lakefront Trail!

Bring on Summer 2023!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago

Neighborhood News: Memorial Day Weekend at Chicago’s Beaches

People on the beach in Chicago, IL

As Chicago moves into summer, Memorial Day Weekend means one thing to beachgoers:  it’s time to discover (or re-discover) the greatest 26 miles of beaches off of Lake Michigan! From Loyola Beach in Rogers Park to Oak Street Beach to Rainbow Beach on the South Side, there’s a stretch of sand and water fit for everyone in your family. And often, a cocktail or beach picnic! 

Beach season runs from the Friday before Memorial Day (May 26,) through Labor Day.Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty, from 11am to 7pm, in designated swim areas. And then, at your own risk. Water temperatures run pretty cold right now. According to  the temperature is currently right around 56°F. Brrr… 

Are Chicago’s Beaches Real? 

Chicago’s entire 28-mile Lake Michigan shoreline is man-made, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago History. As they tell it, the original sand dune and swale topography has been dramatically altered by erosion and severe weather conditions. Today, step-stone and rubble revetments and offshore breakers withstand wind, waves, and the freeze/thaw of the seasons. Beach sand is held in place by groins or armored with revetments or sea walls. In the 1860’s, as commerce grew  accommodate the Illinois Central Railroad, breakwaters were built and the lake filled in, extending the lakefront from Michigan Avenue almost to its present-day shoreline

Public Beach History 

Beaches were often privately owned, or were the property of hotels and businesses. According to The Encyclopedia of Chicago, the city opened its first public bathing beach in 1895 in Lincoln Park, at the shore between Fullerton Avenue and Diversey Parkway, primarily as a response to the efforts of the Free Bath and Sanitary League (formerly the Municipal Order League) According to, the group began as a women’s reform organization. But the organization didn’t have recreation in mind: The push for public beaches was motivated by hygienic concerns, like public access to the lake for washing off. One element of the campaign involved persuading the city and state governments to designate certain spaces as beaches for public use. The second element involved ensuring that the city would clean up and maintain these beaches so that city residents could enjoy the benefit of access to clean water. 

While the primary motivation of middle-class reformers in opening the bathing beaches was to improve the health and sanitary habits of the working class, the campaign also demanded that city dwellers have recreational use of the lake.

Today:  The Lakefront Trail

As Yoda might say, “Recreation, it has.” As Choose Chicago tells us, the Lakefront Trail is an 18.5-mile, multi-use path along the shores of Lake Michigan. Run, walk, bike, or skate from its northernmost point at Ardmore Avenue south to 71st Street, touring diverse and vibrant neighborhoods such as Lincoln Park, Streeterville, the Loop, and Jackson Park as you go.

Today: Doggy Paddles and Recreation 

As WTTW and Choose Chicago note, two of Chicago’s beaches, Montrose Beach and Belmont Harbor Beach, have reserved dog-friendly areas for canines to “kick up some sand!” 

The Montrose Harbor Dog Beach, located at 4400 N. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, is a 3.83-acre area open year-round where dogs can roam leash-less. 

At the eastern end of Montrose Beach is 11 acres of dedicated natural habitat referred to as Montrose Beach Dunes. Dunes began to naturally form at this location. The Dunes supports state-listed and locally-rare plant species, and over 150 bird species.

The fenced-in dog beach at Belmont Harbor is much smaller, requires dogs to be leashed and may be a bit more crowded. It’s located at Belmont & Lake Shore Drive. 

North Avenue Beach

Rent a powerful WaveRunner at Jet Ski Chicago, or hit the waves with a wave board or paddleboard at Great Lakes Board Company, according to Choose Chicago. Or do a little outdoor yoga with Sun and Moon Beach Yoga. And if you love volleyball, the Chicago Sport and Social Club runs the largest volleyball league in the world. 

Happy Trails, Everyone! Enjoy summer at the beach! 

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Restaurant Review: A Century of Good Eating in the West Loop

Historic Illinois US 66 Route sign and old brick buildings in Bloomington City, Illinois

Opened since 1923 and located at the very beginning of historic Route 66, Michelin-listed Lou Mitchell’s is the gold standard for classic American diners.  

The award-winning diner, whose building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings,  is home to many firsts in the business of feeding hungry Chicagoans, travelers, politicians, and celebrities. For example, according to their website, Lou Mitchell’s was the first place in Chicago to serve breakfast all day. (I bless them!) Additionally, they say many of the trademarks of the ‘American Breakfast Diner were invented here, from serving eggs in skillets, to having eggs with Greek bread.

“We just want to feed everybody, make them happy, make them want to come back, and they do,” owner Nick Thanas said to CBS recently. 

The “fun part” of Lou Mitchell’s magic formula was added, according to their website, in 1958, when the restaurant began offering breakfast diners donut holes. A tradition was set in place and since that day, millions of donut holes and boxes of Milk Duds have been given out. 

I’ve been a frequent visitor to this West Loop treasure since my career began. My earliest memories of Lou’s was standing in line, trying to wake up, while the late Lou would walk up to us, free Milk Duds in hand, and say “Good morning, beautiful ladies!” while handing us the sweet treats. And when we were seated, Krispy Kreme-like donut holes and fresh orange slices awaited us. 

It’s no wonder this restaurant is celebrating a century of impeccable service and food this year. 

My personal favorite is something I haven’t seen anywhere else…their Apple and Cheese Omelette– made with Michigan Sugar Sweet apples and Old English cheddar cheese, and  served with a choice of toast, home-made orange marmalade, and hash brown potatoes, it’s enough to make two meals, and the contrasting gooey cheddar and sweet apples make for an amazing bite. Paired with their Gold Cup award-winning coffee, it’s a memorable meal that will keep you coming back, time after time. 

Add malt to a Belgian Waffle or Pancake, and you’ve got something like Heaven coming your way. Pair it with fresh, pure whipped butter and Mitchell’s own Maple Syrup blend. 

Other exclusive items come from the Kid’s menu. Milk Dud Pancakes are chocolatey good. Other kids will enjoy their Mitchell Mouse Pancakes.

Lighter appetites will enjoy their healthy Organic Yogurt, Granola and Seasonal Fruit Parfait. 

After 10:30am, Lou Mitchell’s starts serving lunch. Try a creative Popeye Sandwich, which pairs a scrambled egg with bacon, spinach and swiss cheese on toasted ciabatta bread and served with hash browns. 

Monday through Friday, try their Baked Meat Loaf, with mushroom gravy and home-made fresh mashed potatoes and vegetables. On weekends, they serve the meatloaf with hand-cut fresh french fries, and homemade cole slaw.  Or, their Golden Brown English Filet of Sole, with homemade tartar sauce and lemon wedge. 

Other reviewers were equally impressed. 

“Wonderful experience and very affable atmosphere,” said one Google reviewer. “We had coffee cake that was more fluffy & light than decadent. I ordered the malted pecan & bacon waffle. It was so savory that syrup was unnecessary. My wife loved her cottage cheese omelet with ground beef! I had also ordered a delicious side of sausage. We were greeted with orange slices & fresh donut holes. Our first time and we’ll most definitely be back!!!”

Lou Mitchell’s is located at 565 W. Jackson Boulevard. They are open Wednesdays through Fridays from 6am-2pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 7am–2pm, and are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. No reservations that we’re aware of, hence the long lines. For more information, click here.  

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – How our senses change as we age

Elder happy people working out with colorful dumbbells

As we get older our senses change. These changes take place in the organs themselves as well as the brain. Neurons naturally die, and we become less able to process information, store memories, and perceive sensations. We are less able to learn whether neurons die from nature or injury and disease. For example, organs like your eyes and ears start to deteriorate with age. Studies find that deterioration of sight may limit the ability to do exercises to strengthen the brain. Make sure to get your eyes and hearing tested after 55 to get the help you need!

Injury and disease can hasten this decrease in our brain cognition. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is diagnosed if two or more brain functions are significantly impaired. Functions like memory and language skills are the most typical. All forms of dementia involve neuron destruction. A stroke would be considered an injury. It happens in an instant when an artery breaks, or a blood clot cuts off blood flow to the brain. This causes brain cells to die. Retaining function depends on how quickly you receive medical attention. 

There are practical ways to combat memory loss. Exercise has been found to improve mild cognitive impairment. It seems also that different types of exercise have different effects on our brain. Weight training is a bit better for the ability to remember things in context, associative memory. Aerobic exercise works more on verbal memory. Scientists think that cathepsin B, which is released by muscles during exercise builds cells in the hippocampus, a brain region essential to memory. So, education, cognitive puzzles, sensory challenges and exercise will all help to improve blood flow to that most important organ, our brain. 

Believe it or not, some mental ability increases with age. Elderly brains typically have sharpened language skills and a larger vocabulary. Healthy mature brains perform as well as younger ones when it comes to any task requiring analysis, organization of information and planning. There may be a decrease in processing speed but we can still keep up with the young ones!

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago

2023 Equity Analysis May