Category: Photo

Black Dog has adult slushies now

Get excited: Black Dog Smoke & Ale House is serving up boozy slushies. You can enjoy your ribs with one of their adult beverages. Right now, you can have one of these icy drinks for $6 each: Amaretto stone sour slush or a vodka Zepplin slush. At this time, you can only enjoy these special drinks onsite in the patio seating or indoor dining. 

Black Dog Smoke & Ale House
320 N Chestnut
11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily


Top image from Black Dog Smoke & Ale House Facebook page. 


The arancini at Papa Del’s are delicious

I've been ordering Papa Del's pizza for many years, but just recently I decided to throw some arancini from the appetizer menu into the mix. If you're not familiar, arancini are delightful balls of cheese and rice that are then breaded and deep fried. Papa Del's serves theirs with a slightly spicy romanesco sauce as well as a balsamic glaze, which is my favorite dipping option. 

The outside is crunchy, the inside is warm and gooey; they're delightful. I know that the pizza is very filling, and you probably don't need an appetizer, but it's worth it.

Papa Del's
1201 S Neil St

Top image by Julie McClure.


Spalding Skate Park gets a little community love

Something to note, as you are walking around the parks these days, in consideration of how the hell 2020 ended up looking like the beginning to a Wes Craven film. When you ask yourself "how is it that X isn't better or why does Y not exist or how do we get Z over here" you can always just point back to how much we spend per $100,000 of property value on our parks.

Needless to say, it isn't much — nowhere near enough — and as a result, the hard working folks at local Park Districts have to do a lot of picking and choosing, often times without the appropriate amount of staff to get everything done. So, essentially, it's on all of us, and no one person in particular. That's a fact. 

To that end, one of the gems of the park district system in Champaign-Urbana is the Spalding Skate Park, used to an immense degree for over twenty years now, and despite the fact it was designed by a long boarder and not a skate boarder, it provides a lot of fun and challenging fun for a lot of different folks in town here. 

But it's usually sorta jacked up, because again: no money, no time, no resources. 

One local skater decided to change what they could. They took some pieces in disrepair home, bought the lumber, put in the work, and returned it to the park in one day's time.

I'll keep them anonymous just because... yeah, let's just keep their name out of it. They didn't do this for a plaque, they did it because they can, and because they wanted to help. Check it out: 

Now that right there is called pitchin' in. It's inspiring. Thanks "human being" who loves this community enough to do this type of work! 


Black Dog is now serving adult slushies

Look at those slushie machines in action at Black Dog Smoke & Ale House. You can get your ribs and an icy cold adult beverage. Try their amaretto stone sour slushie or a vodka Zeppelin slush. 

Currently, Black Dog is open for patio seating, indoor dining, and curbside pickup.

Black Dog Smoke & Ale House
320 N Chestnut St
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily


Top image from Black Dog Smoke & Ale House Facebook page. 


Farren’s slushies are back

Farren's announced the return of their slushies. You can choose from three options: very berry Margarita, coconut pineapple daiquiri, and rum twister. They all look delicious.

Place your order by phone at 217-359-6977 for curbside pickup, or go for patio dining.

Farren's Pub
117 N Walnut
Su-Th 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F+Sa 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Top image from Farren's Facebook page.


Check out the artwork of local Black artists at Avionics

Local artists and University of Illinois School of Art + Design professors Patrick Earl Hammie and Stacey Robinson currently have work on view at Avionics.

You can visit Avionics to purchase some beverages (and, in July, food, too), as well as Page Roasting Company coffee. To enter Avionics, you must wear a mask, and only three people are permitted inside at a time. Current horus are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Three vertial artworks are hung on a wall. On the left and on the right are two digital prints with Afrofuturist themes by Stacey Robinson. The left images features a woman's face, though the eyes are obscured by a design. The background is purple and has stars. On the right is an image of a pyramid with a spaceship hovering above and to the left. The spacehship is beaming light down. The background is red. In the center is a portrait of a young black woman with an Afro by Patrick Earl Hammie. Photo by Jessica Hammie. Artwork, l-r: © Stacey Robinson; © Patrick Earl Hammie, Ingrid Silva Drawing, 2018; © Stacey Robinson. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

A painting by Patrick Earl Hammie: Ingrid Silva, 2018. The painted portrait is large and done in earth tones and browns. The woman is pictured facing the viewer, unsmiling. She has an Afro. The painting is hung on an off white wall. To the left of the painting is a countertop with a stack of records for sale. Above the records is a wall-hung clock. Photo by Jessica Hammie. © Patrick Earl Hammie, Ingrid Silva, 2018. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

© Stacey Robinson. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

202 S First St
M-Sa 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Top image by Jessica Hammie.


Thirsty? Head to Nando Milano’s Instagram page

Sometimes we're all just a little parched, and in need of some thirst quenching. One way to satisfy (or instigate) that desire is to head to Nando Milano's Instagram page...because it's a thirst trap.

In addition to the mouth watering food photos, you'll find images of the Vullo brothers: owner Dario, pictured below, and Executive Chef Alessio. From the IG feed, it appears that the brothers have found ways to capitalize on all of their assets.

If that sort of thirsting isn't your thing, there are still plenty of plates of desserts and pasta and the occasional charcuterie to meet your needs.

Nando Milano
204 N Neil St
M-Th 5 to 10 p.m.
F + Sa 5 to 11 p.m.
Su 4 to 10 p.m.

Top image screenshot from Nando Milano's Instagram page.

Link / Photo

Have you tried one of C&C Kitchen’s $10 meals yet?

C&C Kitchen is local food truck specializing in Southern inspired American cuisine. If you haven't tried C&C Kitchen's food, you should check out their $10 meals. You can have your choice of catfish fillet, wings, smoked pork chops, or smoked sausage plus a side. The choices for sides are: greens, potato salad, macaroni salad, grilled asparagus, fries, or mashed potatoes and gravy.

Check out C&C Kitchen on Facebook for the times and locations, so you can get some of this good food. 


Top image from C&C Facebook page.

Link / Photo

217 Black Restaurant Weekend kicks off this Friday

Hosted by Buy Black Chambana, the 217 Black Restaurant Weekend is this Friday, June 19th to Sunday, June 21st.

From the Facebook event page:

Whether a local business supporter, black business supporter, or just plain foodie, this celebration is sure to have your love for CU bubbling and your taste buds bursting with joy.

217 Black Restaurant Weekend, organized by Buy Black Chambana with support for Visit Champaign County, is designed to promote economic diversity in Champaign-Urbana. It is an opportunity for the community to support and bolster our black-owned businesses that have some of the most bragged about menus and truly engaging atmospheres.

Simply put, we are using food as a force for good while highlighting community and culture. We are celebrating black-owned restaurants, celebrating togetherness, and championing inclusion.


217 Black Restaurant Weekend participants are:

Rumbergers - 2502 Village Green Place, Champaign
C&C Kitchen - 708 E. Main St., Urbana
Caribbean Grill - 2135 S Neil St, Champaign
Stango Cuisine - 140 Lincoln Square Mall, Urbana
Wood N’ Hog Barbecue -101 W. University Ave, Urbana
japattuglyburger - 704 N Hickory Champaign (ONLY open Sunday)
CBPB Popcorn Shop - 1506 S Neil St, Champaign


Top image from the 217 Restaurant Weekend Event Page.


Miga has reopened for carryout and delivery

Starting today, June 11th, Miga is open for carryout and delivery, Monday through Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m. Call 217-398-1020 to place your order.

The menu does not currently include any sushi, but that's in the works. The current menu is below.

Miga's carryout and pick up menu as of June 11th, 2020. Image from Miga's Facebook page. Image from Miga'a Facebook page.

301 N Neil St
M-Sa 4 to 9 p.m.

Top image by Anna Longworth.

Link / Photo

Don’t miss the daily specials at Wood N’ Hog BBQ

Black-owned, delicious Wood N' Hog BBQ has daily specials in addition to their full menu. On Monday, the special is small jerk tip, and on Tuesday, small turkey tip. Wednesday is pulled chicken. Thursday is small hotlinks. Friday is pulled pork. On Saturday, the special is jerk chicken wings, and Sunday special is half a barbecue chicken.

Don't sleep on their sides either. You can get fried green tomatoes, okra, french fries, mac 'n cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, or cornbread. You can order pickup by calling 217-607-0120 or get Wood N' Hog delivery through Grubhub or Doordash


Top image from Wood N' Hog's Facebook page.