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Check out Espresso Royale’s Ginger Dragon Tea

With the low temperatures among us, Espresso Royale has a solution: Ginger Dragon Tea. A blend of ginger, lemon, and honey offers a potent treatment to any cold, fever, or cough. 

From a Ithsmus.com review: 

It’s High Cold Season in Wisconsin, and winter’s getting real. Only the strongest among us will avoid succumbing to the swarms of viruses and bacteria making their way through the population. We need a drink that’s the equivalent of a superhero. And it exists: Behold the elixir known as the Ginger Dragon.

Its list of ingredients is so simple (and healthful) that your grandma would approve: ginger (steeped nice and strong in-house), lemon and honey. That’s all. A hot toddy with ginger instead of booze.

I tested my belief that the drink is “magical” on my editor, who was recovering from a sinus infection and sounded like vintage Debra Winger. She liked it! Naturally, I had to get one for myself, “to make sure it’s not poison,” as my mom used to say when snatching a bite of something.

Whether you’re sick or not, the lemon/honey mixture soothes the throat and the ginger opens up the nasal passages. If deliciousness is magic, I rest my case.

Stay healthy. Rest. Drink lots of fluids. And consume this holy elixir.


Feeling a little stuffed up? Perhaps that cough just has a mind of its own? Why not try Espresso Royale's delicious...

Posted by Espresso Royale-CU on Friday, 29 January 2016

Pekara Bakery announces special Valentine’s Day treats

Pekara Bakery & Bistro has recently released their Valentine’s Day menu full of sweet desserts, in case you needed something to bring home to your significant other. If you like to procrastinate, you're in luck - they're taking orders until February 11th - so you have an entire week, but why wait?

From the menu

Chocolate and White Chocolate Petit Fours

Box of 6 for $13.00, or a dozen for $25.00

Heart-shaped or assorted Parisienne macarons

Box of 6 $13.00, or a dozen $25.00

X’s,O’s and shaped princess cookies $13.00 per dozen.

Heart Shaped Paris Brest– French pastry filled with a silky diplomat cream, topped with powdered sugar and almond slices for $25.00

For the Love of Chocolate Cake– Heart shaped chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, vanilla buttercream and a dark chocolate glaze topped with fresh raspberries for $30.00

Please give us a call at 217-359-4500 or stop in to place your order by February 11th for pick up on February 14th


The full story behind of one of C-U’s greatest bands: American Football

Check out this awesome feature on American Football, one of the most influential emo bands of all-time. Learn about how the band formed in Urbana back in the mid-90s and how they ended up creating a sound that defined a genre for years to come. Also, find out the story behind the infamous house on High St. in Urbana that is on the cover of their self-titled album.

The full feature can be found here, via Noisey.


Miga releases Valentine’s Day menu

Miga has recently revealed their special Valentine's Day menu. They'll be serving a special seven course dinner for $85 with an optional wine pairing for $35. The seven course dinner includes: salad, soup, salmon, steak, duck, bi bim bap, and dessert.

UPDATE: You can now find the full menu here: 

Napoleon arcadian greens

soy balsamic vinaigrette, parmesan cheese crust sheet garnished with dry baby shrimp & bonito

Andriano Pinot Bianco

Korean beef radish soup

radish, green onion, chive oil, sesame chili oil

Birichino St. Georges Pinot Noir

Scottish salmon

served medium rare, potato & spinach purée, oven dried tomatoes, edamame confit, calamari salad, chive oil and micro cilantro

Mas Fi Brut Rose Cava

Smoked duck

shaved onion, wasabi mayo, wild berries, wine reduction

Moonlight Meadery ‘Desire’

Beef tenderloin

potato & spinach puree, topped with caper cream, caper salsa, garlic chips, and micro cilantro

Ones and Zeros Syrah Blend

Bi bim bap


crisp mixed greens, assorted marinated sauté vegetables, sunny side up quail egg, and sun-dried chili pork sauce

Himezen Ume Sake

Luxardo dark cherry chocolate cake

wild berries, Luxardo cherry, white chocolate chip and crispy crumbles

Arzimo Recioto di Soave

From their Facebook:


Looking for the perfect place for a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day? Miga will be offering an exclusive seven-course...

Posted by Miga on Sunday, 24 January 2016

Common Ground Co-Op hosting local farmers and vendors this February

Common Ground Co-op is celebrating its love for local this February. Every Saturday, Common Ground will be hosting local farmers and vendors for some speciality in-store sampling. Meet the people who work hard year round to provide our community with fresh delicious food. Sample some of their best products and save money on your purchases of local items. Coupons are also available in-store. 

Have a little more time? You can design valentines with your kids and enjoy live music by local musicians in the classroom. This event is a wonderful way to show your love for all things local.

A full list of participating local vendors can be found here.


Bret Michaels coming to C-U

I know I love ironically singing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," and you probably do, too, but here's your chance to sing along for real. Live. In concert. In Champaign. Seriously.

Our friends over at The City Center are bringing Bret Michaels to C-U on Thursday, February 25th. If you want to see the illustrious Poison frontman (or what my generation simply knows as a sleazy reality TV star), tickets will set you back $30 for general admission and $50 for VIP.

For those of you who may remember, Michaels previously had two concerts cancelled in C-U over the past two years due to complicaitons from a kidney operation. 

Here's an old episode of MTV Cribs that features Michaels, his motorcycles, his sick tank top with a skull on it, and all of his wonderfully themed cowboy hats.


Rackspace’s Robert Scoble: C-U “is primed to beat Silicon Valley in innovation”

Champaign-Urbana's tech scene is in the news once again, and this time, it's due to Rackspace's Robert Scoble, who profiles Champaign (as well as Blacksburg, VA) as one of the most underrated places for tech in the entire country. Read his full feature via Medium here, and check out some choice quotes below:

So, when I say Silicon Valley is being beaten, and is at risk of losing more companies to small towns, here’s why. In the past week I’ve visited two of those towns, Champaign Illinois and Blacksburg, Virginia.

You might not know, but YouTube, Tesla, PayPal, Mozilla started in Champaign at University of Illinois there, and Blacksburg is home to many of the leading thinkers of autonomous vehicles, and others, thanks to being the home of Virginia Tech.

I’m seeing signs that the flow of talent from small town America to Silicon Valley is reversing, though, and wanted to understand it.

One huge reason? Housing costs. Everyone loved taunting me with their homes with big yards that cost a few hundred thousand compared to more than a million back home.

But it goes further than just housing costs. After all, that gap has always been there as far as I can remember.

No, now they are winning people and company because way of life is much more friendly to families and, small town leaders have worked to fill in a “livability gap.” Things like having nice bars, music events, and restaurants for entrepreneurs to hang out in after a long day working. Things like high speed internet. In Virginia they have gigabit wifi in some areas.


MTD introduces latest route, 21 Raven

MTD has recentely implented a new bus route, 21 Raven, catering specifically to University of Illinois students. Operating every 30 minutes on weekdays around the Quad, those on campus will avoid crowded buses and the possibility of being late. The 21 Raven route includes stops at PAR, Transit Plaza, Illini Union, and Krannert with free rides by iStops - except for going to and from the Vet-Med facility on the far southen reaches of campus. 

From the CUMTD Blog:

Don’t get in a fret before class. Take a look at the 21 Raven route and see how it can serve as a resourceful alternative. It comes every 30 minutes on the weekdays from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. It circulates around the Quad and also serves the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine (a.k.a. Vet-Med).

For example, the 21 Raven will be at the Illini Union every hour at :12 and :42. A perfect time to head home after getting out of class! Every bus stop along the route is an iStop, excluding Vet-Med, making it easier to quickly board and go.

The Raven also operates in one big clockwise circle, so there is no need to concern yourself with east versus west and north versus south. If you want to beat the crowds on the 22 Illini, 12 Teal, and 13 Silver, the Raven is something to take advantage of!

Check out the route below:



You should follow John Isberg's Where It Begins documentary updates

If you're interested in having some mad local music scene knowledge dropped on you — do yourself a favor and follow John Isberg's (Swede Films) Facebook page: Where It Begins: CU Music Documentary 1977-2000.

John is a friend, of course, but this is shaping up to be something really special. He knows his stuff, and it has been interesting thus far to follow along with his conversations and discussions with those connected to this time period in C-U music.

More soon, we're sure — but start by following there. Highly recommend it.

Of course, the namesake of the documentary coming from this classic tune from The Blackouts, one of C-U's very, very best. Goddamn, does this song rip.

Braid performing at a house show, pictured above.


Carle announces new office complex at Curtis Rd. and I-57

Well, this can't be good news for Downtown Urbana. Today, WILL has reported that Carle Hospital is consolidating all of its administration, which is now scattered throughout Champaign-Urbana, to a new, centralized location on Curtis Road at the I-57 interchange.

Included in this consolidation are the offices of Health Alliance in Lincoln Square Mall in Downtown Urbana, which can't be good news for the Mall or the town in general.

This news comes after numerous lawsuits from Urbana and a court ruling that Carle (and hospitals all over the state) have to pay refunds for taxes they had missed.