Almost since its premiere in the fall of 2001, WTTW's weekly restaurant review series Check, Please! has been the public television station's highest rated local program. Over the course of 11 successful seasons, the show's host Alpana Singh and its rotating panel of three "regular people" reviewers have weighed in on almost 400 local eateries, bringing them vastly increased visibility and in many cases, a multitude of new diners.
This summer, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel has revisioned the city's annual Taste of Chicago event to be shorter and feature a greater variety of local eateries, Check, Please! has partnered with the popular food fest to hand pick a group of neighborhood restaurateurs that share characteristics of those that have been or might be seen on the WTTW's citizen-reviewed show.
During the July 11-15 event, three "Pop-Up" eateries will each be given one day to offer up their best dishes to diners. They are scheduled as follows:
July 11 – Beat Kitchen, Jin Ju, and Marie's Pizza & Liquors
July 12 – Inspiration Kitchens, Riva, and Tre Kronor
July 13 – Café Trinidad, Garifuna Flava, and LM Restaurant
July 14 – Arun's, Austrian Bakery, and the Nile Restaurant
July 15 – Caffe Gelato, Karyn's on Green, and Chicago Raw
Seven of the 15 "Pop-Ups" have been featured on Check, Please! Among the menu items featured in the Pop-Ups section, located on the east side of Columbus Drive just south of Jackson Boulevard, are the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich at the Austrian Bakery; Vegetarian Crab Sliders at Karyn's On Green; Mussaman Beef with Rice (Thai) from Arun's; Beet and Endive Salad, Roasted Almonds and Raspberry Vinaigrette at the Inspiration Kitchen; and Daeji Kalbi (Korean Pork BBQ) from Jin Ju.
"We are very pleased to help bring more potential patrons to these great restaurants," said David Manilow, creator and co-producer of Check, Please! "They are typical of so many establishments featured on our program – local, diverse, and representative of the great neighborhoods our city is known for," he added. Check, Please! is currently in production on its 12th season, to premiere on WTTW in October. Watch the show, explore the restaurant scene in Chicago, try out the Chefs' recipes, and more at wttw.com/checkplease.
For more than 55 years, audiences have turned to WTTW for distinctive programming that informs, inspires, educates, and entertains. WTTW reaches 1.5 million weekly households over a four-state area, making it the most-watched public television station in America. Recognized for its award-winning local and national productions, WTTW is committed to presenting the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children's programming across its four distinct television channels: WTTW11, WTTW Prime, its Spanish-language channel WTTW V-me, and WTTW Create, its "how-to" channel. For more information, please visit wttw.com.