— Downtown eaters can now get some iconic hot dogs, chocolate cake, Italian beef, and more delivered. That’s because Portillo’s is testing delivery at its longtime River North location, Crain’s reports, as well as in its Tampa, Fla. and Phoenix, Ariz. stores. Ownership launched the service, which runs through Grubhub in Chicago, in hopes of expanding it to most Chicago-area stores soon. The favorite local chain is also currently running a social media contest that can net customers free food for a year.
— This year’s second Next iteration, Hollywood, is now underway at the Alinea Group’s concept-changing Fulton Market destination. Tickets, which run from $125-165 (plus supplements if you choose) are available now for “a meal inspired by great Hollywood movies to take you on a journey off the silver screen and onto your table.” Check out a video trailer for it below, which is framed like a movie theater preview, and includes clips from “Goonies,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” and other film icons.
— Meanwhile, in more Alinea Group news, Nick Kokonas takes a deep dive into why they’re self-publishing the Aviary Cookbook and more on the publishing industry in his latest epic Medium post. He reveals the exact contract terms of the Alinea Cookbook 10 years ago, what they needed to self-publish, explains why they crowdsourced money via Kickstarter, and many more details and opinions in order to prove his view that chefs, restaurant owners, and other writers “should avoid traditional publishing deals if at all possible.” You can read the whole thing here.
— And more pop culture at Chicago restaurants: “Seinfeld” fans will be able to eat muffin tops and big salads like Elaine Benes and other foods from the what many consider to be the best TV sitcom of all time at Scofflaw. The event, which happens June 4 for no cover charge, will also offer black and white cookies and themed cocktails including the “Festivus” (swizzle with gin, sherry, raspberry, and citrus) and the Del Boca Vista (Ramazzotti, Combier Pamplemousse, Luxardo Maraschino, lime, and grapefruit).
— And more: a food truck based on popular Adult Swim cartoon “Rick and Morty” is coming to Chicago on June 1, Time Out Chicago reports.
— Brendan Sodikoff is closing in on a location for the first Au Cheval in NYC. Eater NY reports that the Hogsalt team pitched a Tribeca space to a community board earlier this week, although Sodikoff says it won’t be an Au Cheval if the board doesn’t approve the operating hours he’s asking for — specifically a 6 a.m. liquor license for what would be an all-day Au Cheval with a coffee and matcha program — and that its approval and more will be a “long process.” Sodikoff expanded to New York late last year when he opened the exclusive 4 Charles Prime Rib in the West Village.
— And finally, with 68-year-old Italian beef favorite Joe Boston’s last day coming Saturday, the restaurant is flooded with customers and closed early yesterday and is will open later today (11 a.m.) because they ran out of beef and sausage, according to a Facebook post. Saturday’s hours are now “11:00 a.m. - ?”, so if you want one last beef, take note.