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Here’s some local food porn I’ve enjoyed this week

These Lego cookies from Sugar by Sarah:

This lemon elderflower cake from Berries & Flour (read our review here):

 
This chocolate mousse cake video from Rick's Bakery:
 
 
Top image screenshot from Sugar by Sarah's Instagram page
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The recently-refinished Amphitheatre space at Krannert Center is very satisfying

I was at Krannert Center earlier today and as I approached, I noticed that they had done some work on their beloved Amphitheatre space. The stairs are absolutely pearly white and stunning. If you're paying a visit in the near future yourself, take a look.

For those who enjoy some good ole fashioned symmetry porn (like me), here's a photo for you.

Photo by Patrick Singer

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Be sure to dine on Nando’s patio this summer

Ah patio season. It's really the best season of all. And we are fortunate to have numerous outdoor dining opportunities throughout C-U. 

This Friday, I enjoyed some quality patio time with my spouse and some friends at Nando Milano. Now, I love the general atmosphere of an Italian restaurant like Nando. I like the low lighting and cozy feels. However, they also happen to have one of my favorite outdoor seating areas, so I'm willing to forgo the cozy for some fresh air, especially on a Friday when you have the bonus of live music wafting through the air. It's a lovely way to dine and perhaps polish off a bottle of wine. 

If you haven't tried it, please do. It's the perfect time right now, because we haven't yet seen the heat and humidity that will inevitably descend in the latter part of the summer.

Also, this dish I had with pappardelle, morel mushrooms, and truffles was ah-mazing. The parmesan sauce was rich but not too heavy handed, and snuck so delightfully into the pockets of those morels. 

Nando Milano
204 N. Neil Street
Champaign, IL
Monday-Thursday 5 to 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 5 to 11 p.m.
Sunday 4 to 9 p.m.

Photos by Julie McClure

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Myco: An art exhibition in celebration of fungi

Local artists Drea Aarons, Patience Anders, Julie Sue Fiscella, Cris Hughes, Casey Lowry, and Skot Wiedmann have taken inspiration from a place few artists find it:  the world of fungi. Stop by Ivy House this Friday to see what has they've come up with. 

And in the meantime, stay tuned for their Facebook event page for teasers. 

Myco
Ivy House
June 7th, 6 to 9 p.m.
704 N State St, Champaign

Photos from Myco Facebook event page

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Go for the torta ahogada at Maize

Torta ahogada means drowned sandwich; this massive sandwich is covered with a thin spicy sauce. It's not unbearably spicy, but it does soak into the bread and giving your whole sandwich some heat.

I offer you two photos: The top photo is as ordered; the photo below is with the sauce on the side (you can pour it on to taste). My concern with this set up was the potential for soggy bread, but if you pour it on yourself it's not sopping. I very much enjoyed dipping the sandwich into the sauce. It's really enough to share with another person, and it's only $8. 

Give it a try next time you're at Maize. 

Maize
60 E Green St
Champaign
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

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100 N Chestnut St
Champaign
Su-Th 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F + Sa 11 a.m to 10 p.m.

Photos by Jessica Hammie

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The Idea Store can help you celebrate Pride

It's Pride month across the nation, and though C-U celebrates PrideFest in September when the students are around, that doesn't mean you can't and shouldn't do a little recognition this month. This year is extra meaningful, as it's the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. They are the reason Pride is celebrated every year in June.

As I was strolling through The Idea Store yesterday, I was seeing rainbows everywhere. Fun fact: the original Pride flag was inspired by Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow" and was created by Gilbert Baker. It originally included hot pink and turquoise, but has since been streamlined to the standard colors of the rainbow, and several other incarnations have now been created, represented various parts of the LGBTQ+ community. In the original flag, each color was assigned a meaning: 

Hot pink =  Sex
Red = Life
Orange = Healing
Yellow = Sunlight
Green = Nature
Turquoise = Magic/Art
Indigo = Serenity
Violet = Spirit

If these photos inspire you to create, The Idea Store will be teaming up with The UP Center to bring some DIY Pride crafting to the Urbana Free Library on June 13th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. All ages are welcome, and there will be multiple projects to try.

Photos by Julie McClure

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Here’s a cool aerial photo of Parkland in 1978

Parkland College Library shared this photo, from their archives, on Instagram yesterday. This photo struck me because it's looking at the campus from the northwest, meaning we're looking at Bradley Avenue (see the barn in the top corner) and it's crazy to see all of the things that aren't there, including my neighborhood and the Dodds Park soccer fields where I spend a significant portion of my life. It's also before the theater and planetarium were added. 

For some comparison, this photo, from flickr, was taken in 2004 from a similar angle.

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I had a really good lunch at Esquire

It included a grilled cheese (cheddar on multi-grain) and fries ($5.50), and a lemon drop martini ($6.75). Both were damn delicious. "What a combo!" I hear you exclaim. You're right. I made choices because I'm a grown ass lady and I do what I want. I regret nothing. 

Esquire Lounge
106 N Walnut
Champaign
11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily

Photos by Jessica Hammie

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Check out some photos from Urbana’s Downtown Get Down

Melinda spent a gorgeous evening on Saturday at Urbana's Downtown Get Down. The event featured live music, an artist market, and games among a slew of other activies. Didn't make it this Saturday? Worry not as this event recurs on the fourth Saturday of every month through August. Check out some of the sights Melinda captured with her camera below.

Photos by Melinda Edwards

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Signs of life at the new Farren’s

Literally, there are signs. If you drive down Walnut Street, you will notice that Farren's has officially put their name on the awnings, and have added brand new signage to the former Radio Maria space.

They announced the move in February, with no specific timeline, but things are obviously moving along. 

Just a nice little reminder that this is indeed happening. 

Photo by Johanna Megeff via Facebook