Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Chicago food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
In what may be a collaboration for the ages, Birrieria Zaragoza, one of the city’s finest purveyors of birria, and its Archer Heights neighbor Angelo’s Stuffed Pizza (4850 S. Pulaski Road) have teamed up to bring the world birria stuffed pizza — goat birria stuffed pizza, to be precise. Is this the logical conclusion to the quesabirria craze?
Angelo’s announced the impending arrival earlier this week with a Facebook video, and chef/owner Adrian Zamudio gave more details about the genesis of the project in an email: “I’d seen a couple of places make thin pizza with birria and thought no one was doing stuffed and no one was using a high-quality meat like Zaragoza, so I asked my neighbors if they’d be interested in collaborating and boom!”
The video features John Zaragoza inspecting and tasting the pizza for the first time and pronouncing it “phenomenal.” Other early tasters who posted their reviews on the Angelo’s Facebook page are not so sure. One felt it needed more hot sauce. Another pronounced it “a disgrace to pizza and birria.” The collaboration will continue indefinitely, Zamudio says.
The pizza is topped with cilantro and onions, harkening back to Gino’s East brief experiment when the chain opened a restaurant that mixed its pizzas with Mexican ingredients. The location is closed, as is a Gino’s in Mexico City.
John Barleycorn Wrigleyville finds a tenant
Cresco Labs plans to move its Sunnyside Lakeview dispensary to larger quarters later this fall, the former John Barleycorn at Clark and Eddy Streets, Block Club Chicago reports. The current space, which was built to handle medical marijuana customers only, is just 900 square feet; the new one will be more than 10,000 which, a spokesman said, will be able to serve 60 customers at once. The move should happen mid-November, pending a permit from the city’s zoning board. John Barleycorn, a Wrigleyville icon, closed in January 2020. The original in Lincoln Park has remained vacant since closing in 2014.
Support Louisianans after Hurricane Ida
Top Chicago bar Sportsman’s Club in Ukrainian Village will, along with New Orleans’s Bacchanal Wine Bar, host a benefit this weekend to raise money for Louisiana residents who have been affected by Hurricane Ida. There will be music, food and drink, and a raffle and silent auction; the event runs from noon to 8 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Meg Galus gets a new gig
Pastry chef Meg Galus, who left the Boka Group this summer after six years, has a new gig: she’s now the executive pastry chef at Cocoa + Co., a chocolate cafe in Old Town. Owner Kim Hack had been wanting to expand into pastry, and Galus had been wanting to start her own chocolate-based pastry business, so this seemed like a natural collaboration, they said in a press release. Galus starts today; in celebration, the store will be handing out mini macarons all weekend.
Sunda launches lunch
Sunda New Asian, Billy Dec’s southeast Asian restaurant in River North, is now serving lunch for pickup or delivery, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Options include bento boxes, poke bowls, sushi rolls, lumpia, and steamed buns. Sunda recently announced plans for a Fulton Market location.