Where to eat for the Juneteenth Restaurant Celebration | Food & Drink Feature | Chicago Reader

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Where to eat for the Juneteenth Restaurant Celebration

Your guide to an infinite combination of al trunko food crawls

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Jeremy Joyce, the dynamo behind @blackpeopleeats, is one of the pandemic’s great pivoters, scrapping plans for an inaugural outdoor food festival set for tomorrow into the Juneteenth Restaurant Celebration, where some 70 Black-owned restaurants across the city will be offering $6.19 specials in socially distanced celebration of the day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free (two and half years after the fact).

The restaurant celebration offers an astonishing number of tempting deals that collectively present the potential for an infinite combination of al trunko food crawls. It’s enough of a challenge to decide how to prioritize rib tips at Honey 1 BBQ, over cobbler at Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream, over a half dozen at Dat Donut, over gumbo wings at Nita’s (formerly Anita’s Gumbo), so a handy map has been plotted to help strategize within the limits of your digestive real estate.

But you don’t need to stick to the specials if you want to test drive Garifuna Flava’s Belizean stewed chicken or Bumbu Roux’s ayam semur jahe (both contributors to the Reader’s new community cookbook). I suddenly find myself with simultaneous yearnings for the legim at Kizin Creole, the famous caramel cake at Brown Sugar Bakery, Brian Jupiter’s blackened shrimp po’boy at Ina Mae Tavern, and a 1/2 mix, mild sauce, fried hard, from the First Family of Fried Chicken. Assuming we rise from our individual food comas, it all bodes well for a centralized post-COVID food festival next Juneteenth.  v

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