Chicago’s Asian Restaurants Celebrate First Annual AAPI Restaurant Week

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The first annual AAPI Restaurant Week, sponsored by OCA-Asian American Pacific Advocates, a nonprofit that serves the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, is underway. More than 30 restaurants in 15 city neighborhoods, three suburbs, and Waukegan will be participating.

The celebration of local restaurants, planned to coincide with AAPI Heritage Month, kicked off last Friday, May 13, and will continue until Sunday, May 22. OCA wanted to show off the diversity of Asian and Pacific cuisine to Chicagoans without creating extra expense for restaurant owners, officials explained in a press release, so participation is free and deals are optional. Nonetheless many of the restaurants will be offering special prix fixe meals or discounts on certain items. A full directory of participating restaurants is available on the OCA website.

This summer’s cheapest produce may be at the farmer’s market

Farmer’s markets are known — and mocked — for asking customers to pay twice as much for organic produce as they would for their conventional counterparts in a supermarket. But in these topsy-turvy times, the farmer’s market may be the best place for a deal on carrots and strawberries this summer. World events, notably the war in Ukraine, have driven up the cost of synthetic fertilizer to three or four times what it was in 2020, WBEZ reports, and that cost, along with gas and other supply chain expenses, is being passed on to consumers. Organic farmers don’t have to adjust their fertilizer, they tell WBEZ, so their prices will stay the same. Which may not be a deal exactly, but perspective is everything.

The only Chicago farmer’s market guide you’ll ever need

In related news, WBEZ has created a guide to the city’s farmers markets, organized by day and geography. In theory, by next month, it should be possible to shop at a market every day, in every part of the city — and in some suburbs, too.

Get food at O’Hare without leaving the gate

The City Council’s Aviation Committee on Friday approved eight new concessions for O’Hare’s Terminals 3 and 5 plus mobile ordering in Terminals 1, 2, and 3 that will allow customers to order food ahead of time and have it delivered to their gates, the Tribune reports. The new concessions include Sparrow Coffee, Bar Siena, the Hampton Social, and Butcher and the Burger, and the gateside ordering will be operated by Grab Chicago via a mobile app which will allow customers to order food en route to the airport or while they’re waiting in the security line and have it waiting by the time they reach the gate. A similar service is already available at Midway and at O’Hare’s Terminal 5.

McDonald’s to leave Russia for good

McDonald’s announced that it will be pulling out of Russia permanently and is seeking a buyer for its 847 Russian locations, Crain’s reports. The Chicago-based fast food corporation temporarily shut down all its Russian restaurants in early March in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine — the war affected the supply chain and also, executives said, Russia’s actions were inconsistent with McDonald’s corporate values — and has, since then, been losing $50-$55 million per month. The company will continue to pay its 26,000 Russian staff members while it seeks a buyer. McDonald’s made its Russian debut in Pushkin Square in Moscow in 1990, just before the fall of the Soviet Union; 30,000 people lined up on opening day.

A McDonald’s surrounded by lines of people in winter coats who are waiting to get in.
Customers line up outside a McDonald’s in Moscow, the first in the then-USSR, in 1990.
Photo by VITALY ARMAND/AFP via Getty Images

The Hampton Social

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