Today's Special: Food truck opening a home base

CHAMPAIGN — The owner of the popular Caribbean Grill food truck is opening a brick-and-mortar eatery this week.

Mike Harden, also the executive chef, said his new Caribbean Grill restaurant opens Tuesday at 2135 S. Neil St., C, in the Shoppes of Knollwood complex.

"We're doing a quick-service concept with 32 seats total, including outdoor seating," he said.

Entertainment listings, May 25-June 1, 2017


This weekend


What: Pair and team events for players of all skill levels. Kibitzers are welcome. Hosted by local players from Bridge at Ginger Creek community bridge club.

When:9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily May 25-29.

Where: Hawthorn Suites, Champaign.

It's race time: Zoo-m on over to Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — Most of us know the "greatest spectacle" in auto racing, the Indy 500, takes place over Memorial Day weekend — this Sunday.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the rest of the city is just a 126-mile race, er, straight shot on Interstate 74 from Champaign.

Meg Makes: Splendid salad from strawberries, spinach

I love it when the flavors of seasonal produce complement each other, and spinach and strawberries are no exception.

My mom already has a bountiful harvest of both, and she said they remind her of a favorite salad that was served at our church's annual Mother-Daughter Banquet.

My Amish Home: Windy days have grass growing long

"Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

Block party/food distribution event set Thursday in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Coming this summer to a handful of Champaign neighborhoods: block parties with free groceries to go.

For the first time ever, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank and the Champaign Park District are getting together to host block parties and food giveaways in a handful of neighborhoods.

The first one will be 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Countrybrook Apartments in west Champaign.

Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival canceled over financial concerns

CHAMPAIGN — After a nine-year run, the annual Champaign Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival has been called off for 2017, organizers announced on Facebook.

Just Askin': The numbers behind Portillo's

How big is Portillo's?

Well, these some numbers provide a glimpse.

Portillo's sold "a little over 5 million cakes" last year, founder Dick Portillo said this week.

Overall, Portillo's had more than 32 million transactions last year, he said.

It also has two commissaries totalling over 110,000 square feet.

Today's Special: Salad Meister ready to mix it up on Monday

CHAMPAIGN — A Campustown salad restaurant will open its doors this week.

The debut of restaurateur Rob Meister's latest concept, Salad Meister, is Monday at 601 S. Sixth St., C.

"We're the masters of salad creation," said Meister, who also owns Minneci's at the Crossing. "It is a healthy fast food alternative. In under three minutes you can get a fresh, healthy salad."

Make room for Campustown cuisine

Now that the hordes have left the University of Illinois campus, it's a good time to check out restaurants in Campustown. But there are so many, with new ones popping up all the time. To give you a few ideas, staff writer Melissa Merli met with six UI employees for lunch at their favorite Campustown eatery.