Category: Photo

Peep these Peeps-topped doughnuts

Ye Olde Donut Shoppe has some Easter-themed treats, including these Peeps®-topped doughnuts. They also have some "Easter basket" ones, with coconut and those little malted chocolate eggs in the middle of the doughnut hole "basket."

No matter your preference, Ye Olde will be open on Easter (this Sunday, April 4th). The doughnut shop(pe) is accepting pre-orders until 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 3rd. Call 217-359-3311 to place yours.

Here’s a little Easter Peep... I mean Preview. �� We will also have Easter basket donuts this weekend as well! WE WILL...

Posted by Ye Olde Donut Shoppe on Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Top image by Ye Olde Donut Shoppe Facebook page.

Photo / Word

Sakanaya Downtown will open mid-May in the former Miga restaurant location

Miga's Facebook page announced the grand opening of Sakanaya Downtown which will open in the former Miga restaurant location. The Sakanaya Downtown will feature some Miga favorites and also new dishes from Sakanaya.

The opening date is scheduled for mid-May for dining in. Sakanaya was named one of the best restaurants of the decade for their delicious ramen, bento, sushi, chicken wings, and more.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My only hope is that those crunch fries make it to this new menu because that was my favorite combination: sushi and crunch fries — with some sake, of course.

Top image from Miga's Facebook page.

Photo / Word

Fresh International Market now sells quarts of Red Bicycle’s ice cream, vegan gelato, and sorbet

Sold at Common Ground Food Co-op, Harvest Market, and Salt & Light Market, Red Bicycle Ice Cream is expanding where you can find their ice cream to include Fresh International Market.

At 505 S Neil Street in Champaign, Fresh International Market now sells Red Bicycle ice cream, vegan gelato, and sorbet. The flavors offered at Fresh International Market include green tea crunch, Orea, vanilla bean, and vegan lemon crunch. You can see what flavors have recently been delivered to any of the four local retail places here.

Red Bicycle makes small batch ice cream with dairy from Kilgus Farmstead and makes vegan gelato with a coconut milk base as a dairy-free alternative to ice cream. The Urbana ice cream shop opened on July 6th in 2017. The ice cream shop was open during the summers of 2017, 2018, and 2019. We reviewed the shop in 2017. In 2020, they didn't open the shop but took orders online and sold at retail locations.

Several pints of chocolate vegan ice cream from Red Bicycle in Urbana are in green paper pint cups, uncovered. Photo from Red Bicycle Ice Cream's Facebook page. Photo from Red Bicycle Ice Cream's Facebook page.

If you're hungry for Red Bicycle. now you can find it at four local retail locations — and you should definitely make today a fun day by getting some.

Red Bicycle

Top image from Red Bicycle Ice Cream's Facebook page.

Photo / Word

Here’s the latest on the C-U Crochet Coral Reef Satellite

During my recent visit to Krannert Art Museum, I came upon the ever-evolving C-U Crochet Coral Reef Satellite at the front desk. Wanting to learn the latest about this project, I reached out to Guen Mongtomery, one of the project's organizers, who provided the following update. 

We continue to be excited about this project and recently announced that the Urbana-Champaign Satellite Reef is still accepting coral submissions and has a new timeline. Our final crochet reef will now be installed September 20, 2021 at the Siebel Center for Design. We are also proud to announce that we are recipients of an Urbana Public Arts Grant. In addition to hosting monthly zoom workshops, we are hosting a series of pop-up exhibits at Art Coop, Fish Alley, and the Urbana Free Library, along with library workshops. We are hoping to reach out into the Champaign community, if you have a group that would be interested in a workshop, or want to learn more about how to participate, please contact us. Feel free to join our Facebook group, which we keep this page updated with announcements and events.

Top photo by Debra Domal.


The Winter Honeysuckle at Japan House has bloomed

The Winter Honeysuckle at Japan House is always the first shrub to bloom. (Yes, they are watching the cherry blossoms carefully.) This plant is fragrant, and as you can tell from the photo, beautiful. Perhaps you should pay it a visit on your next outdoor experience.

The first to bloom every year in the Japan House Gardens is a shy, but oh so pretty deciduous shrub aptly named "...

Posted by Japan House at the University of Illinois on Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Top image from Japan House at the University of Illinois Facebook page.


That’s enough from you, Bobo’s

Here we go again with some bigoted bullshit from Bobo's Barbecue in Champaign. This time, it involves the sign above, a photo of which circulated the local internet and ended up surfacing in the always-adventurous Spotted in Chambana Facebook group.

If you don't recall their previous antics with their signage in the restaurant, look no further than this SPlog from 2016.

Top image from Spotted in Chambana.

Photo / Word

Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill is coming to Champaign

Naf Naf is a Middle Eastern chain restaurant, and it will be located on North Prospect. Naf Naf means to "fan the flame" which their website says is an "expression used as an invitation for friends and family to gather and share a meal together." The first Naf Naf opened in 2009 in Naperville, Illinois with handmade recipes true to the owner's Middle Eastern upbringing. 

Photo from Naf Naf Grill's Facebook page.

The restaraunt menu includes a build your own pita or bowl option. You can start with your choice of a pita, rice, lettuce, hummus, or couscous, and then add protein with a choice of chicken shawarma, steak, or falafel. You can top your pita or bowl with a variety of sauces, veggies, or Middle Eastern pickles, and you can add a side of Naf fries, lentil soup, or basmati rice.

Photo from Naf Naf Grill's Facebook page.

At this time, no opening date has been announced.

Naf Naf
2502 N Prospect Ave

Top image from Naf Naf Grill's Facebook page.


Legacy Pizzeria brings pan pizza to Champaign

Have you tried the new pizza place in town? Legacy Pizzeria opened in The Village at the Crossing and has been slinging pan pizzas for C-U since November. The menu includes salads, linguine pasta, 12 inch pan pizza, dessert, and sodas.

The pizza looks thick, tomato-topped, and worth a try for sure. Check out these drool-worthy photos of Legacy's pan pizza.

Photo from Legacy Pizzeria's Facebook page.

Photo from Legacy Pizzeria's Facebook page.

Photo by Legacy Pizzeria's Facebook page.

If you can't have gluten, all the pizzas at Legacy can be made with a gluten-free crust. Like this one above.

There's only two salads on the menu, but the burrata Caprese salad caught my eye. Legacy's burrata Caprese salad ($10.99) comes with a bed of mixed greens and cherry tomatoes drizzled with basil pesto, focaccia bread, topped with creamy Burrata. That is one good looking salad.

Photo from Legacy Pizzeria's Facebook page.

You can order your pizza, pasta, or salad from Legacy Pizzeria for carryout or delivery here

Legacy Pizzeria
2501 Village Green Place
Su-Th 4 to 8 p.m.
F+Sa 4 to 9 p.m.

Top image from Legacy Pizzeria's Facebook page.


Gelato from Baldarotta’s Gelateria is a sweet idea

Baldarotta's opened their new Gelateria on Friday, and I went for the gelato. I ordered the gelato sampler ($6) and the gelato brioche ($6).

Eight small cups of gelato from Baldarotta's are on a white table. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This adorable flight of gelato gave a taste of each of the eight gelato available in the Gelateria: Italian espresso, vanilla, dark chocolate, hazelnut, lemon, caramel, raspberry, and pistachio. The Italian espresso had a very strong coffee bitter with a nice creaminess and the faintest of sugar. The vanilla was a simple, rich vanilla bean flavored gelato.

The dark chocolate was insane, and I demand that you try it. It was so chocolatey, just intense cocoa flavor and little surprise chocolate chips (or chunks? or bits?) throughout the scoop. The hazelnut had a huge flavor, a full nuttiness with little hazelnut balls throughout the gelato. The lemon was bright and delicious with large pieces of cookie, reminiscent of lemon pie. The caramel was creamy, velvety, and sweet with chocolate covered caramels. The raspberry was tart and fruity, a very concentrated fresh raspberry flavor that I could tell came from actual raspberries and not from raspberry syrup or artificial flavoring. Lastly, the pistachio gelato was smooth and creamy with a subtle pistachio flavor and a bit of saltiness.

A gelato brioche from Baldarotta's in Urbana has a brioche bun with chocolate drizzle plus two scoops of gelato inside with crush pistachios. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The gelato brioche is a Sicilian ice cream sandwich, and I am here for it. Baldarotta's gelato brioche comes with two scoops of gelato and three toppings. When I ordered, I thought I could only pick one flavor and have two scoops, but what a dummy. Of course, the two scoops can be two different flavors, and it's better that way for sure.

I chose dark chocolate and caramel for my gelato, and I chose pistachios, chocolate sprinkles, and chocolate sauce for my toppings. This combination was heaven, but if you want to make yours differently, the other topping choices are strawberries, raspberries, candied lemons, candied oranges, candied cherries, almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, caramel sauce, raspberry sauce, maraschino cherries, and granola.

Check out the Gelateria menu.

Baldarotta's new Gelateria menu of gelato, italian soda, and Italian desserts. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

You can order in person at the Lincoln Square restaurant at the Gelateria, past the sandwich shop part of Baldarotta's, and enjoy it at one of their many bistro tables. You can also order online for pick-up or delivery. 

Baldarotta's Porketta & Sicilian Sausage
300 S Broadway Ave
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Su noon to 3 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.


As Nas wins his first Grammy, take note: The album art was made by Harmonia Rosales

Legendary rapper Nas won his first Grammy yesterday, which is kind of hard to believe due to his prolific career chalk full of excellent and influential albums. So first off, congratulations to Nas, nice work.

Nas' album, The King's Disease, was released last August, and took home the award for Best Rap Album. The album's incredible artwork was created by Harmonia Rosales, an artist who grew up in Champaign and is now based in Los Angeles. Rosales was born in Chicago. Her work is incredible, just take a look through her website to get a glimpse. Read more about how this all came to be, as Rosales shares the story behind the artwork in this interview. Check out the album art below.

Another fun fact: Nas performed here with Talib Kweli back in 2008.

Album art for Nas' album The King's Disease, featuring renaissance style themes, angelic figures colored in red, surrounded by flowers. Artwork by Harmonia Rosales.
Artwork by Harmonia Rosales.

h/t to Cathy McCarthur.

Top images from Harmonia Rosales' website.


Did you celebrate yesterday’s Pi Day with some pie?

Yesterday was March 14th, or National Pi Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the mathematical constant Pi.

Pi is defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and the value for Pi is 3.14. Pie, the circular, baked dessert, is available from lots of delicious places in C-U.

Did any of our math-loving, dessert-obsessed readers celebrate? Where did you get your Pi Day pie?

Top image by Thomas Nicol.