Monday, June 16, 2014

In memoriam Phil Ashbach, Moody Tongue debuts brews, Alinea's modern Chinese, and more

Posted By on 06.16.14 at 12:35 PM

A fatso from Phils, now Fatsos Last Stand.

Things happening in the world of food:

• Phil Ashbach, who owned one of the city's best no-BS hot dog and burger stands, the former Phil's Last Stand (renamed Fatso's Last Stand a few weeks ago), died of brain cancer that was diagnosed last fall. An ebullient regular-guy host with more personality than a little stand could quite hold, Ashbach said his own best epitaph: "I'm a 400-pound Jew and I'm bald. I'm the easiest guy to make fun of." Chicagoist has more details.

• Open Table got bought by Priceline. I'm not sure this will change much of anything, or lead to everyone on earth switching to tickets instead of reservations, but CBS Money Watch explains why it was probably worth it to Priceline to spend billions of dollars to monopolize another chunk of your online trip planning.

• Jared Rouben's Moody Tongue Brewing (which I wrote about here and here) will debut its beers at what is promised to be an annual event, Pair-Up at Thalia Hall. The beer will be paired with eats by Jared Wentworth (Dusek's), Jason Hammel (Nightwood/Lula), Paul Virant (Vie) and other surprises from the Pilsen neighborhood. It's on Saturday from 3 to 6 PM and tickets are $25 here.

• Thai Festival Chicago 2014 will happen in Daley Plaza Wednesday through Friday, with a drum parade at 11 AM on Wednesday. There will be food, dance performances, cooking demos, crafts for kids, and more, all of it free. If you check in at the Thai Consulate booth you'll get a 20 percent discount coupon for 21 participating Thai restaurants around town.

Frontier's So You Think You're a Foodie series of game dinners continues on June 25 with a wild meat that seems downright tame compared to some they've featured, but is still interesting for being a meat that's more heard about than eaten in America: pheasant. It's $65 per person; tickets are here.

• Apparently Next isn't the only Grant Achatz restaurant fooling around with modern Chinese; this blogger says Alinea's in a Chinese phase at the moment, too, with interesting but overly salty results. (h/t Francis Sadac.)

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