Five things to eat or drink in CU this month: July 2022: Food and Drink: Smile politely

This summer fly by. Target has already opened up its school supply shopping, and I’m not ready. I want us to hold on to the summer as best we can before the fall.

Let’s go to the market this July to find ingredients for dinner. Let’s have sushi in downtown Urbana and mutton korma in downtown Champaign. This month, let’s gather with friends at Seven Saints’ Courtyard and have appetizers. Let’s skip dinner and grab a fried chicken sandwich from a food truck. Let’s save school shopping for later and try out our summer food adventures in Champaign-Urbana.

Photography by Alyssa Buckley.

Fresh product, cheese, sauce, bread + meat | CU . Farmers Markets

This month, everything is in season and at farmers markets: tomatoes, peaches, sweet corn, green beans, and more. Wander the markets and find your favorite vegetables at a variety of farmers’ tables. Add market vegetables to your salad, pizza, or roast for a side dish.

If you eat meat, visit Harden Ranch, Ruhter Bison, Allison Centennial Farm, Moore Family Farm and Triple S Farms; You can find bison burgers, lamb chops, chicken breasts, bacon, and summer sausages at the market. Do you like cheese? Grab your next cheese from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery. Award-winning makers of goat cheese sell chevre, flowery crust cheeses, feta cheese, and more at Urbana Market in the square. Do you use hot sauce? Pick up a bottle of Clásico from Regal Gecko’s, a mango-habanero-flavored hot sauce or buy one (or a few!) of the creative hot sauces from The Weird Meat Boyz. If cooking isn’t in your wheelhouse, buy a pint of berries and serve them in a nice bowl.

Champaign Farmers Market
3 to 6 pm

Urbana market in the square
Sa 7 am to noon

Photography by Alyssa Buckley.

Chicken Tikka Masala + Lamb Korma | Himalayan chimney

Himalayan Chimney serves fine Indian food in downtown Champaign, and the food is fantastic. Try chicken tikka masala ($14.99) and lamb ($16.99). Both dishes come with a choice of rice or naan. Chicken tikka masala pieces in creamy gravy. The orange sauce had a nice taste of tomato and cumin, and the marinated chicken had plenty of flavour. The korma dish had very tasty lamb chops in a light broth. The marinated sauce with lamb on rice was fantastic. We also ordered the garlic naan ($2.99) which was served hot and super garlic. The charred pimples and chopped fresh herbs on the pillow bread were heavenly.

If you are having dinner at Himalayan Chimney, you should order lassoni gobi as well. It’s an appetizer of fried cauliflower dipped in a sweet tomato-garlic sauce—and it’s fantastic.

Himalayan chimney
134 W Church Street
M-Sa from 11 am to 3 pm, from 5 to 10 pm
From noon to 3 pm, from 5 to 9:30 pm

Photography by Alyssa Buckley.

Sushi Rolls | Sakura Japanese Kitchen

Sakura is a neat place to dine in downtown Urbana, and now that Crane Alley and Dancing Dog are closed, let’s try eating downtown Urbana a lot. Last week we went for sushi: cherry blossom rolls, jalapeno rolls, spicy tuna, and Urbana rolls – but you can order any kind of sushi you want. The sushi menu contains rolls of cooked fish, raw fish, nigiri, smoky and even fried rolls. The restaurant has wine products, beer, sake, tea and Pepsi.

Starting right, the cherry blossom roll ($14) had raw salmon and avocado with raw tuna. This was the best bite: a smooth avocado with fluffy salmon and fresh tuna plus a few blisters of roe. The jalapeño roll ($15) didn’t need wasabi because it was too hot. The roll had avocado, cucumber, jalapeno, tempura flakes topped with yellow topping, Thai chili, spring onion, ponso sauce, and oregano. The bright heat of jalapeños and baby chilies pair well with the cucumber, and the white fish soak up the spicy flavors. The Urbana roll ($16) was a big, hot bite. It had raw tuna, raw salmon, and white scallops inside rice, marinated, fried, and topped with a spicy mayo and eel sauce. I loved the way the trio of fish tasted and how scandalous I felt eating fried sushi. Finally, the Spicy Tuna Roll ($8) had raw tuna dusted with hot seasoning, and it was a solid tuna roll.

Sakura Japanese Kitchen
132 W Main Street
M-Sa from 11 am to 3 pm + 5 to 10 pm
So 11 am to 3 pm + 5 to 9 pm

Photography by Alyssa Buckley.

Chicken Flautas | seven saints

Patio season is here, and the beer garden on Seven Saints is a lovely place to meet friends. The entire appetizer menu is on Seven Saints, and these chicken dumplings ($14.99) were surprisingly good. I love Flutes, but I’ve never had Seven Saints Flutes until this dish. The application came in the form of a plate of flutas stuffed with pepper-roasted chicken, cheddar jack cheese, black beans and corn sauce. Stuffed flour tortillas were deep fried and topped with mango chutney and a drizzle of sour cream, and there was a cup of sweet jalapeño sauce for dipping.

The fresh flavor of the mango chutney and grilled chicken tastes great especially with the crunchy flauta. The heat of the jalapenos was tempered by the sweetness of the sauce, and it dipped well without being too spicy. The chicken cheese filling was perfect. The appetizer came out hot and was great with our cold drinks on a summer evening out.

seven saints
32 E Chester Street
Su-Th 11 AM to 11 PM
F + Sa from 11 am to midnight

Photography by Alyssa Buckley.

Fried Chicken Sandwich | Food Truck Watson

The Watson’s fried chicken sandwich is my go to Downtown Champaign, and the food truck version of the classic sandwich ($12) was absolutely delicious. All sandwiches from Watson’s truck are served with seasoned waffle fries – and I like them more than wedges. The classic sandwich had fried chicken thighs topped with mixed greens, sliced ​​dill pickles and herb mayonnaise on a brioche bun. The crunchy dough and salty thigh taste great, and the mayonnaise and pickles complement the fried chicken well. I love the spice on my fries, and I love dipping these fries into one of the restaurant’s signature sauces. All sauces from the truck are 75 cents, and are worth ordering a few. There’s black pepper ranch, Carolina gold, back, buffalo, and honey mustard.

Chicken Shack posts the weekly food cart schedule on social media, so be sure to follow Watson on Instagram and Facebook to see where they’ll be.

Food Truck Watson
Sites vary

Top photo of Alyssa Buckley.

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