Just try it!

By Carmen Schmidt |

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When I was growing up and would wrinkle my nose at food I thought I would not like, Mom always said, "you'll never know unless you try." And, what do you know? Sometimes, I did like it.

Foodie, or not a Foodie, you decide.

By Carmen Schmidt |

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Every week Check, Please! offers restaurants featuring a variety of cuisines. It's interesting to see how people react to these cuisines. Most of our guest restaurant reviewers are "foodies," so you can expect that they will have an open mind when it comes to unfamiliar eating environments and cultures. But, this week's show proves that even foodies can find themselves in a rut.

How can I be on Check, Please!?

By Carmen Schmidt |

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When people learn that I work on the production of Check, Please!, the reaction is always the same. First, I'm told just how much people love the show. They love Alpana and get excited about discovering new places to eat. Then, they proceed to tell me about one of the restaurants they visited because of the show or about their favorite restaurant and how it should be on the show. And finally, the question comes: how can I be on Check, Please!?

Aren't the portions always big?

By Carmen Schmidt |

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So, who doesn't like chocolate?! It's a common biological need. Or at least that's my take on the subject. I mean when the next episode features a restaurant called Hot Chocolate, how can you go wrong?

"un-Belizably" Delicious Food

By Carmen Schmidt |

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Our ninth season of Check, Please! is off to the races with three more exciting new restaurant conversations. Are you feeling like having a big juicy steak in a classic Chicago setting? Or, maybe you're looking for some South American flavor. Let me tell you, this next episode has it all.

Welcome back!

By Carmen Schmidt |

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Welcome back to the new season of Check, Please! We're excited to bring you a ninth season of culinary treasures. As a new Associate Producer to the production, I'm excited to tell you about what else is new. Along with over 40 new restaurants and charismatic guests from all over Chicagoland, there are more new things to talk about on the production side as well.

My Experience as a Guest on Check, Please!

By Rachel Gillman |

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Because I love talking about food almost as much as I enjoy eating it, the opportunity to appear on "Check Please" was like a dining dream come true! Since I have a slight obsession with sushi, I submitted Oysy as my restaurant pick.

Tales from Behind the Bar | Mai Tai

By Peter Vestinos |

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America's fascination with Tiki and the Tiki Cocktail lasted from the 30's well into the 70's and every few years or so someone says Tiki is back and a few soon-to-be-doomed bars open up, mugs in the shapes of skulls and pineapples are stocked and someone goes into the basement to dust off the Mai Tai recipe. Except for maybe the Old Fashioned, I cannot think of another drink which was created long ago and which is still commonly called for, but the modern recipe is a pale comparison to the original. My guess would be that 99% of bartenders don't know how to make a proper Mai Tai.

The Pilot

By David Manilow |

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Before Check, Please! became a series in 2001, we needed to create a pilot to prove that the concept on paper would translate into a television show. I knew that we wanted a diverse sampling of restaurants, but I wasn't sure that we would be able to convince three places to let us shoot during their busy hours without any promise that the show would ever be on TV. So, I forever appreciate Taqueria Los Comales in Little Village, Little Bucharest (now shuttered) in Lakeview and mk Restaurant in River North for stepping up to the plate.

Al Primo Canto

By David Manilow |

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One of the restaurants we're featuring this week is Al Primo Canto, a Brazilian Galeteria on Devon. When I first heard that Al Primo was a Galeteria I mistakenly thought it was another Italian Ice Cream place but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's kinda like a marinated chicken version of the better known churrascaria Brazilian steak houses.

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