The prepared-meal concept has been gaining momentum in recent years, and there's a new one on the horizon for folks in the West Loop. Real Comfort American Kitchen will feature fresh-made American comfort food with a slight twist, based around co-owner Benji Tomlinson's love of macaroni and cheese. It'll serve made-to-order dishes out of an on-site kitchen, hoping to capitalize on the exploding population of young families and condo owners in the neighborhood. Look for it to open around the end of May.
Tomlinson says they'll offer four-to-five "gourmet" mac and cheese selections, four-to-five soups, meatloaf sandwiches, take-home dinners for groups, and "interesting plays on things" like a surf & turf sandwich. They'll run online contests, such as calls to submit recipes to cook on-site. Co-owner Ray Parker, a sous chef at Chalkboard in Lincoln Square, will run the kitchen.
A small amount of seating, including one large communal table, will fill up the front of the space that used to house Westminster Hot Dog. They're considering in-house meat curing and beer and wine to go in the future, and hope to be completely locally sustained within a year. The initial opening is in six-to-eight weeks, a website should be up soon.