Eat. Watch. Do. — 2020 Takeout Awards | Celebrate St. Paddy’s | Summer concert comeback?

Adam Lukach, Chicago Tribune
·3 min read

Same Chicago Bears, different quarterback.

The more things change, the more they stay the same — and so, the Bears’ eternal turnstile of mediocrity at quarterback continues for another season at Soldier Field.

But us? Our Food section celebrates two sets of awards this week. We’re honoring our Critics’ Choice Award winners for their incredible contributions to the hospitality in 2020. We’re also asking you to vote in this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards and support your favorite nominees in a dozen categories.

On top of that, we have all the takeout specials and festive recipes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day you could want. We’ve also got the latest on summer concerts at Wrigley Field and Ravinia, plus musings on HBO Max’s slumber-friendly programming. See you Friday.

Critics’ Choice Takeout Awards: Chicago’s best chefs, industry innovators and community champions of 2020

It was almost exactly one year ago — specifically, March, 16 2020 — that restaurants throughout Illinois went dark, as people were told to stay home as much as possible and hide ourselves away from a deadly virus we barely understood.

This week, we are recognizing heroes of the hospitality industry in 2020 with our Critics’ Choice Takeout Awards, including including Community Champions, our Best Industry Advocate, the Most Inspiring Pandemic Pivot, and more.

Our Person of the Year? Chicagoland’s essential hospitality workers — all of them

You be the critic: Vote for your favorite restaurants in the 2020 Readers’ Choice Takeout Awards

You’ve seen our choices, but now we want you to be the critic in our annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Tell us which of your favorite restaurants found a way to make things work during 2020 in categories like Best Meal Kit, Best Walk-Up Window, Best New Restaurant and many more.

Voting is open now through April 1, so head to our website and smash that vote button.

Did we mention we’re also having a (virtual) party? Celebrate Chicago’s hospitality workers at the virtual Chicago Tribune 2020 Takeout Awards.

22 St. Patrick’s Day specials in Chicago, from corned beef ramen to Irish coffee takeout kits

Although many St. Paddy’s festivities fall on the weekend, some people celebrate on the holiday proper. If you’re planning to indulge in an Irish diet today, we’ve got holiday specials from bars and restaurants throughout Chicago.

Still want to quench that green beer thirst for St. Paddy’s? Here are three spots with takeout options.

Three corned beef recipes to enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day that aren’t hash

A day of free sandwiches? If Manny’s Deli gets 30 days of perfect mask wearing, apparently so.

Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen is staking a mountain of free corned beef — and pastrami and salami and, yes, even turkey if you must — on customers keeping that mask on at the legendary South Loop restaurant.

The 79-year-old institution announced on social media Sunday night that it would “give away free sandwiches for the day” if staff could go 30 days without needing to remind customers to mask up. Only 27 days to go!

Wrigley Field 2021 concert lineup in place if shows are allowed to happen

That’s a big “if” right now, of course, but the Cubs seem to think there’s a chance. They’ve rescheduled a full slate of summer concerts at the Friendly Confines, essentially shifting the 2020 schedule to this year.

Meanwhile: Ravinia Pavilion will reopen with Chicago Symphony Orchestra back in place

Falling asleep while watching Oscar nominees, but staying wide awake for HBO Max’s ‘World of Calm’ — which is meant for sleeping

Reporter Chris Borrelli explains:

“My favorite new series to stream right now is HBO Max’s ‘A World of Calm,’ which was created to settle down a racing mind, right before bedtime. ... Ironically, it seems to be the only thing I have been able to watch lately without falling asleep.

My last pre-pandemic meal: A comforting bowl of pozole in Logan Square as the world turned upside down

“Though this was (my wife and my) first visit, after a few bites, I realized we’d struck gold. ... [But] instead of spending the time gushing about the food like I normally would, we sat stunned as we tried to wrap our heads around the situation at hand.”

Reporter Nick Kindelsperger waxes nostalgic about his last sit-down before the pandemic set in.

Recipe of the day: Irish soda bread

Want bread to go with all your Irish fare tonight? This recipe from The Daily Meal takes less than one hour

17 things you didn’t know about Guinness beer