I wish I’d never written this post, but sadly, this topic must be addressed under the current circumstances. Restaurants throughout the country are suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Here in Chicago, the situation is dire: The Governor has ordered restaurants and bars to close to dine-in customers until April 30 (extended from March 16). Furthermore, many international events, including two of Chicago’s most popular gatherings of food industry professionals – The National Restaurant Association Show and the Sweets & Snacks Expo – have shut their doors this year as a precaution, in yet another blow to local restaurateurs and government officials.
What can we do to help? I thought long and hard about the situation, as did many foodie friends and local social media influencers I talked to these past couple of weeks. Ultimately, I think, we can all do our bit, and it doesn’t necessarily have to take up a lot of resources. Time is of the essence here, which brings me to…
Idea #1: information sharing. If you can, I encourage you to spread the word on ongoing delivery/pick-up restaurant deals, especially if these involve restaurants you’ve visited before, and whose food is therefore very familiar to you. Sharing the info with your readers (particularly on social media) can be a powerful tool.
Idea #2: ordering restaurant gift cards. This provides restaurants with much-needed revenue to keep their severely affected operations afloat until better days.
Idea #3: ordering pick-up or delivery. As an added bonus, several restaurant delivery companies such as Uber Eats have announced they are waiving delivery fees for independent restaurants – which I think is absolutely amazing!
I have compiled a list of ongoing restaurant promotions, which I hope will make your mouths water and will convince you to order from these hard-working, incredible people 🙂
- Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass Cafe’s James Beard Award-winning chef Sarah Stegner has opened a hotline to help people with cooking tips during the coronaviurus crisis. Chef Sarah is available daily between 2 pm and 4 pm to answer questions regarding food preparation and cooking. “Our goal is to help you plan a nutritious, balanced meal with what you have at home and make it possible for you to be comfortable cooking for you and your family,” Stegner said. Phone umber to call is 847-920-8437. Check out Prairie Grass Cafe’s website for delicious curbside pick up specials!
- Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
- Angelo’s Wine Bar & Restaurant
Angelo’s Wine Bar & Restaurant is one of my all-time Chicago favorites – my visit a couple of years ago was an incredible event! While you can no longer (for the time being) visit the restaurant to experience its immersive ambiance and retro vibes, you can definitely place an order for carry-out or delivery.
Another favorite of mine, ROOH’s progressive Indian cuisine is now available for delivery, free through Grubhub. I highly recommend their Garlic Naan, Butter Chicken, and Chickpea Curry. Absolutely incredible explosion of flavors – highly recommended!
The restaurant where I had my favorite brunch experience last summer, etta is now available to bring home as a family meal, with menus changing daily and superb offerings to satisfy various family sizes (menus can be viewed on etta’s website). Orders are available for pick up and delivery daily starting at 3pm. etta has also created an Employee Relief Fund. Please consider contributing and click HERE to donate.
- Weber Grill Restaurant
All Weber Grill locations are now offering delivery and touch-less curbside pickup. You can also contact the individual restaurant to arrange pickup. Weber Grill has created an Employee Relief Fund, and will be matching all donated funds 100%.
- Estrella Negra
Estrella Negra is home to some of Chicago’s most delicious chicken wings, the tamarindo wings, which are covered in house-made spicy, sweet and sour tamarind sauce, and are complemented with chives and goat cheese crumbles. I tried these wings at last year’s Chicago’s Best Wingfest and was blown away by the flavor and the presentation. Estrella Negra is open for takeout and delivery Friday to Sunday, with a special revised menu. You can also show your support for this restaurant by donating to its Employee Relief Fund here.
- Gino’s East
Carryout, curbside pickup and delivery are still available daily from most locations from 11am – 9pm daily. Gino’s East has a very funny and eye-catching graphic on their website to assist customers with ordering, featuring super deals such as Buy One Deep Dish Pizza Get One Thin Crust Pizza Free, and Buy 2 Frozen Pizzas, Get 1 Free.