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Where It Begins documentary gets Pitchfork mention

Local filmmaker John Isberg's music docmentary, Where It Begins: 1977-2000, received a mention on Pitchforks' "The Latest," a list of current events within the scope of the giant indie music magazine stalwart. This is in time with the launch of the project's Indiegogo campaign, an effort to help fund the completion of the project, which has thus far been self-funded.

We here at Smile Politely can't seem to rave enough about Where It Begins, and it's good to see that people are catching on.


Today is CSA Day

Today is CSA day, a day intended to encourage people to sign up for community supported agriculture. 

In and around C-U we have plenty of CSA options for produce, meat, cheese, and fowers. Though the 3rd Annual CSA Fair isn't until next Friday, March 3rd, you can still take a look at local options by checking out SP's coverage from last year's fair. The information from last year may not be currently accurate, so be sure to check out next week's fair for specifics. 

In the meantime, you can look into or sign up for Prairie Fruits Farm's cheese and gelato CSA, or Brackett Farm's CSA. 

Top photo by Jessica Hammie. 


Triptych Brewing hosting Day of the Dude at The Art Theatre on March 6th

Finally - the combination we've all been waiting for: The Big Lebowski and locally-crafted beers from Triptych Brewing.

On Monday, March 6th, The Art Theater in Downtown Champaign and Triptych Brewing will be collaboration on a one-of-a-kind showing of the Coen Brothers' classic.

A special imperial stout from Triptych will be made available exclusively for the event, and you'll be able to take home a special Triptych teku-style glass.

Admission to Day of the Dude is $20 and includes the film, the glass, and two beers. Tickets can be purchased now at Triptych Brewing's brewery in Savoy.

For more information, and to RSVP, click here.


Hello, C-U: Ania

"I am from Poland originally but I've been here in the states since the 1980's. My family came here to escape the communism in Poland. To get here we crossed borders, illegally. One time we got caught crossing the Yugoslavian border. The wall was about this high [holds up hands to about 4 feet]. They kept us overnight and my father was in handcuffs. We had to go to trial too. Eventually, another officer let us go. He said to just go to another spot on the wall and cross one by one. I spent years here in the states and then went back to Poland for a visit. There was a school starting up and they needed someone to teach the children English. I was nervous but they encouraged me to do it. I found out then, that I loved teaching. I came back here to get my masters degree at Southern Illinois University and now I teach English as a second language to students at Parkland College. I love my job, I can really empathize with the immigrants. I don't know what would have been of my life if my family had stayed in Poland. I can't say if it would have been better... or worse."


Common Ground Food Co-op now stocking Smoking Goose meats; special sandwich

For those of you who enjoy a good and varied meat now and then, Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana is now stocking various meats from Smoking Goose Meatery in Indianapolis.

Right now, they're offering a special Pork Andouille sausage, because Mardi Gras is right around the corner. In March, they'll be offering Corned Beef, and a special Reuben sandwich which utilizes the aforementioned Corned Beef. Both sandwiches are served on Great Harvest bread.

For a description of the upcoming specials, here's what CGFC had to say:

The Andouille: smoked pork sausage: allspice, chili, mace, mustard.

Corned beef: Whole, pasture-raised beef briskets are spice brined under black peppercorns, fresh bay leaves, coriander, juniper berries, mustard seeds, cinnamon, garlic, and four leaf clovers.


Check out a bunch of tiny Angus Youngs in the new Single Player video

Local pop punk act Single Player released a new video via Punknews today that comes with a healthy breakfast of rock and roll. The video for the single “AC/DC Changed My Life” features Single Player frontman Sean Neumann having quite the time trying to eat his morning cereal as he is constantly interrupted by a handful of mischievous little Angus Youngs. Neumann played all the miniature incarnations of the AC/DC frontman himself, showcasing his ability to rock out in any form/size. The video fits well with the track’s upbeat tempo and lighthearted humor, and is in theme with Single Player’s breezy approach to punk music.

“AC/DC Changed My Life” is being released ahead of Single Player’s new EP, At The Buzzer, due out this Friday on Rat King Records. Stream the video below, and preorder the album here.


Little known fact: you can get an awesome breakfast for $10 at Strawberry Fields

There are plenty of breakfast options in Champaign-Urbana, but if you're looking for an alternative to elaborate brunches and the Original House of Pancakes, look no further than Urbana's own Strawberry Fields, which serves breakfast every Saturday from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Even better? It's $10. And for a uniquely international and fresh twist on breakfast, that's a pretty damn low price if you ask me. For more information, keep it tuned to Strawberry Fields' Facebook page here.


Baxter’s offers half-price apps all day Wednesday

Who said that happy hour has to be only one hour? Baxter's American Grille offers half-priced appetizers all day every Wednesday (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.):

Appetizers on the menu range in regular price from $9 to $12. Tuna tartare for $5.50? That might usually be a red flag, but not on Wednesday! It also makes paying full price for drinks not so bad.
Top photo by Brittany Busboom. 

The Rico sangwich at Papa Del’s is basically perfect

I married into a (mostly) Italian-American family who live in Chicago. There's a deli on Harlem, close to Higgins, called Nottoli, and more than 50% of my visits to the in-laws involve going to said deli and grabbing an Italian sangwich. It's amazing. 

Here in C-U, there are options for the same type of thing. Of course, there's Jimmy John's, and despite my misgivings about the corporation and the local operator of the locations, I still crush an Italian Night Club from time to time. I do a lot of things I shouldn't, so it's OK. 

There's Cheese & Crackers as well, and they serve Mindy's Italian which is a good sangwich too. It's served on baguette, which is a little too rough for my taste, and I like my Italian sangwiches on Italian bread, but still, solid. 

For me, however, the best of these sangwiches comes from the menu at Papa Del's, which is, of course, known for its Sicilian style pizza, a legendary meal around here. 

It's hard to order anything but their pizza, but if you want to try something different off the menu, this sangwich is basically perfect. It's got everything you want, and the slices of meat are premium, and the bread is perfect for this sort of meal. 

This is highly recommended. $10.00 USD. Comes with a side. I get mine with no tomato, because that's my preference. I frequently buy two, because wrapped up, and stored for a day, it almost tastes better. Not sure why.