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Check, Please! travels to Logan Square to visit Quiote, and our discussion soon turned to Mezcal, a distilled spirit from Mexico.

Perhaps you’ve seen Mezcal recently on a cocktail menu and were curious to try it. Or perhaps you’re already a seasoned enthusiast and have been extolling its virtues for years. But one thing is for sure: Mezcal has definitely exploded in popularity in recent years, and is finally stepping out of the shadows of its smokier sibling, Tequila.

Mezcal and Tequila have a lot in common, but differ in some significant ways as well. For instance, all Tequilas are Mezcals, but not all Mezcals are Tequilas – in the same way that all Bourbons are Whiskeys but not all Whiskeys are Bourbons.

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Our trusty Check, Please! reviewers checked out Balmoral Tap Room by Half Acre Brewery, a veteran of the Chicago craft beer scene. The Windy City is now home to 167 breweries, more than any other city in America, according to the Brewers Association.

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One of our featured restaurants is Chicago Culinary Kitchen, which is a celebration of all things barbecue.

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On this week’s episode, we featured Niche, a restaurant located in Geneva offering a selection of more than 400 whiskeys and bourbons. That’s a lot to choose from, and with brown spirits becoming more popular than ever, perhaps you’ve been meaning to dip your toe into the whiskey pool. But where should you begin? Here’s a quick guide to a few popular styles that will get you started on your journey.

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Instagram and posting photos of the food we eat was an interesting point of discussion on this week’s episode, and it has become an increasingly popular part of dining out. We’ve all been to dinner with that one friend who, as soon as the food hits the table, reaches for their phone before they pick up their fork. We are then forced to bear witness to a strange dance and ritual as they contort themselves and click away in an attempt to get the perfect beauty shot. And only once the digital blessing has been bestowed are we then given permission to dig in to the now-cold food. It begs one to wonder, “If you don’t photograph it, did you really eat it?”

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