Monday, June 21, 2010

STAGE BITES: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

Public Enemy performs their greatest hits at Congress Theater Saturday.

Every Monday look for the week's top performances paired with the best deals before and after the show:

Public Enemy at Congress Theater. Look for this radical, pioneering hip-hop group to diss "Arizona," "Fight The Power" and "Shut Em Down." 8pm show Saturday. Get tickets here.

90 Miles Cuban Cafe: All dinner items are under $10 at this lively Cuban corner spot in Logan Square. You get a heaving plate of meat (chicken, shredded beef or roasted pork) accompanied by rice, black beans and sweet plantains. Bring a bottle of rum to pour in the yummy tropical shakes. Flavorful flavors include mango, strawberry, papaya and the signature Guanabana. Patio and BYOB. No corkage fee! Proximity to show: Five minutes by cab/car.

Cafe Bolero: More Cuban cuisine, but at this nearby hot spot you'll get a full-service bar with your exotic bites. Hit up the menu for hearty, authentic dishes or take in one of several sandwiches, including the super-savory ropa vieja sandwich loaded down with shredded flank steak. Proximity to show: Five minutes by cab/car.

Fuego Mexican Grill: Triple-threat taqueria offers live music, dancing and heaping plates of authentic Mexican fare. Head here after the show for late-night dinner and get VIP entrance to club upstairs. Proximity to show: Five minutes by cab/car.

"The Office" star Kate Flannery performs at Mayne Stage this weekend.

Kate Flannery's Lampshades at Mayne Stage. She's best known as stuffy "The Office" employee "Meredith Palmer," but Flannery also has strong Chicago ties. The Philly native's an original member of the Annoyance Theater, where she created over 15 shows, including "The Miss Vagina Pageant" and "The Real Live Brady Bunch." She's doing two shows at 8pm Friday, Saturday with co-host and "Anchorman" star Scot Robinson. Get tickets here.

Act One Cafe: Adjacent to Mayne Stage, the contemporary American resto uses locally sourced products in most dishes, from Dietzler Farm's beef to Miller's Farm chickens. Menu changes seasonally, which is something rare in this part of Rogers Park. Proximity to show: Inside venue.

Roots Caribbean Cuisine: You'll have to wait until you get to the show to drink, but you'll be glad you did if you stop here for some of the best jerk chicken in the city. The jammin' joint also serves up legit Belizean food. Proximity to show: On same block.

Sex Marks the Spot at Theatre Building. Political sex scandals are spoofed in this hilarious production that's back by popular demand. Through July 25 (7:30pm Thursday, Friday; 2:30, 7:30pm Saturday; 2:30pm Sunday). Get tickets here.

Rise: Order one of the Sushi Flights ($18-$28) to get an idea of some of the best options on the menu. Highly recommended come the Southport Sushi (two Maguro, two Hamachi, two Namasake, two Unagi and a soft shell crab roll) and Spicy Hand Roll Trio (spicy tuna, spicy scallop, and spicy octopus). Proximity to show: Four blocks north; five-minute taxi ride.

Sapore di Napoli: It's not only BYOB (also no corkage fee!), but the authentic Neapolitan pizzas are definitely on point. Highly recommended are the traditional Margherita and Quattro Stagioni (tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichokes, Kalamata olives, mushrooms, prosciutto). Proximity to show: Two blocks west.

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