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Hey, that’s Frosty the Snowman up there atop Midtown Plaza

Although I am certainly not ready for Christmas music to start playing everywhere I go (perhaps you can call me Scrooge for this), this is an enjoyable and safe distance for me to get prepared for the holiday season.

Yes, that's Frosty the Snowman perched up there on top of Midtown Plaza. Look at 'em, all jolly and full of air! When you're passing by the building at First and Springfield in Champaign, look up (though keep your eyes on the road!) to catch a glimpse. The easiest sightline is heading north on First Street to see him.

Photo by Scott Harper

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I ate this Thanksgiving calzone and I don’t feel bad about it

Somehow I have never been aware of this tasty concoction that D.P. Dough whips up every year at this time. It's called the Thanksgiving Zone, and it has your Thanksgiving dinner all tucked nicely into a pocket of dough. There's turkey, stuffing, and gravy, then some American and mozzerella cheese to bind it all together, and you get some cranberry sauce to dip it in. 

You may be skeptical, dear reader. I was too, as my calzone eating experience has only included your typical pizza toppings. But, I was not disappointed. It's a lovely little bundle of comfort food in a rather delicious crust. 

Note: I was unable to tackle this beast all in one sitting. I am a mere mortal. I look forward to my leftovers tomorrow, in keeping with the Thanksgiving theme.

Photo by Julie McClure

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How about a meal at I Wok?

Have you been to the Chinese restaurant in Savoy? It's located in the same little area as El Rancho Grande II and Industrial Donut. We reviewed it just about a year ago. I recently got some lunch takeout to eat as a picnic, of sorts, in my car on a nice day. (It's not nearly as sad as it sounds; you make the time and space for these things when and where you can, you know?)

The orange chicken was excellent, and not too saucy ($6.75 for lunch meal). The barbecue boneless pork spareribs were also delicious, and not too saucy ($5.75; $9.75).

Consider I Wok next time you're looking for some Chinese takeout.

I Wok
113 Calvin St
Savoy
T-Sa 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Su 11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

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Check out this photo of the Orpheum’s facade from a while back

The Orpheum shared this photo on Instagram, offering glimpse of what the back of the theater looked like before the R and O were painted over — a result of Kerasotes taking over operations from Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) — and it faded into what we see now (pictured below): 


Photo from Wikipedia Commons

You can read a bit of the theater's history here and here

Top photo from Orpheum's Instagram 

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Next time you’re in Vegas, think of Danville

Watchfire Signs, a Danville company that designs, engineers, and manufactures LED signs just completed a updated version of the lighted canopy that stretches over Fremont Street in Las Vegas. The canopy was originally built back in the nineties as part of the snazzy redo of "old Vegas." I'm a bit of a repeat Vegas traveler, so I've seen this light show a few times now, but in case you don't know what it's all about, you can check it out here

It's become a major off-the-strip attraction, so it's a pretty cool thing that a local company can claim some ownership of it. You can read more about it on their website, and take a look at their Facebook videos to catch a glimpse of the construction and updated look. The goal is for the entire new design to be fully operational by New Years Eve. 

Photo from Watchfire Signs Facebook page

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Have you checked out Plant Mode’s new space yet?

Plant Mode officially opened a short while back in Midtown Champaign at 75 Chester after making the jump over from Furniture Lounge's loft, and I finally had a chance to stop by today and check out the new space.

There are a ton of plants in there to check out, here is a quick tour of the store. Be sure to stop by and help them clear their inventory, there's a lot of green friends to check out and take home with you.







Plant Mode
75 Chester St.
Champaign
M closed
Tu-F 12-7 p.m.
Sa 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Su 12-4 p.m.

Photos by Patrick Singer

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KAM’s and Jarling’s Custard Cup, together as one as this tiling is revealed

KAM's has closed. RIP KAM's. May its legacy live in minds of all who experienced it, warts an all. They are already dismantling the building it seems, which is sad in a variety of capacities. Though they will be rebuilding another version of KAM's on First and Green, things won't be quite the same, but so it goes in this life.

All that being said, here's an interesting tidbit unearthed by Cary Frye about the establishment as it begins to be torn down. Check out the photo below, which features panels that have been torn off of the front, which interestingly enough features a tiling pattern behind the blue and orange panels which resemble the same tiles at Jarling's Custard Cup.

Coincidentally enough, as we've found through some commentary, KAM's and Jarling's shared ownership at one point, and certainly there are a ton of hidden gems that will hopefully be unearthed as the establishment comes down.

Photos by Cary Frye

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Pizzeria Antica has some new lunch specials

Pizzeria Antica has some new weekly lunch specials for vegans, vegetarians, and "meatatarians," including pizzas and cheese plates. The lunch specials are available 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Check them out in the photo below.

Pizzeria Antica
10 E Chester St
Champaign
M-Th 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. + 5 to 9 p.m.
F + Sa 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Su 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Top photo by Jessica Hammie; bottom photo by Julie McClure

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Here are some foods we ate at Anju Above

Late last week, ahead of the Explosions in the Sky show at the Castle Theatre in Bloomington, the group I was with paid a visit to Anju Above, which just so happens to be right around the corner to the venue. This Epiphany Farms restaurant features a variety of options — sushi, pizza, ramen, and tons of other apps and small plates — read Jordan's review of the restaurant to get a closer look.

We collectively had a variety of items, some of which you can check out here — I ordered the ramen and some fried pork dumplings, but they were eaten too quickly to capture. If you are visiting B-N anytime soon, you should check out one of Epiphany Farms' restaurants, which you can check out at the link above. They are doing great work over there.


Salmon nigiri 


Marinated tofu hand roll: Cucumber, Kimchi, Pickled Vegetables

Yuba Honey Soy Marinated Tofu Pocket: Pickled Vegetables, Scallion, Sushi Rice, Teriyaki


Pork Steam Buns: Roasted Pork Shoulder, Korean BBQ Sauce, Scallion, Sriracha


Gucci Cali sushi roll: Seasoned Lump Crab, Avocado, Cucumber, Lemon Puree, Garlic Miso, Tempura Crumble

Anju Above
220 E Front St, 2nd floor
Bloomington
M-Th 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
F + Sa 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Su 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Photos by Anna Longworth