It’s Thursday, Chicago.
Perhaps we’re jumping the gun a little in these final days of September, but indulge us in calling this the official kickoff to spooky season (Halloween is just 32 days away, after all).
If you’re ready for some screams (of laughter or terror, depending on your preference), we’ve got a review of “Hocus Pocus 2,” which will start streaming on Disney+ this weekend. For even more nostalgia, read our rereleased 1993 review of the original “Hocus Pocus” here. Or hit the road — before temperatures dip even further — to check out a destination on our list of haunted historic sites.
Speaking of history, food critic Louisa Chu finally tracked down the original “Mrs. Herring” behind the Walnut Room classic pot pie, the signature dish at the former Marshall Field’s. We’ve even got the original pot pie recipe, possibly the oldest from a restaurant in Chicago, if you want to try baking it yourself — what could pair better with chilly temperatures than a steaming-hot, flaky pie?
Theater-goers and fans of “The Bear” alike should check out our review of “Clyde’s,” now playing at Goodman Theatre, while our review of Chicago’s best local Oktoberfest beers are sure to tempt both beer enthusiasts and German fest fans.
See you next week.
— Lauryn Azu, deputy senior editor
The movie “Bros,” writes Tribune critic Michael Phillips, “is in the awesomely raunchy R-rated tradition of ‘Trainwreck,’ ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Knocked Up.’ ” The Billy Eichner-backed rom-com is the first from a major studio that centers on a gay romance. Read the full review here.
Tribune food critic Nick Kindelsperger dedicates a column this week to classic South Side barbecue joints such as Honey 1 BBQ that specialize in rip tips and hot links. Chicago-style barbecue developed during the mid-20th century, predominantly on the West and South sides. But these spots could be edged out as Texas-style barbecue grows across the suburbs, Kindelsperger writes. Read the full story here.
“The Norman Rockwell” from comics Alex Ross has a new book out. Ross has been known for decades as the industry’s marquee cover artist and an illustrating legend. The book, “Fantastic Four: Full Circle,” arrives as Marvel is gearing up for a new Fantastic Four movie. Read our interview with Ross here.
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The Walnut Room has been a Chicago tradition for over a century, but who is the woman behind its signature dish? Tribune food critic Louisa Chu weaves a lively tale about Mrs. Sarah Alice Kevan Haring, whose pot pie likely inspired the Marshall Field’s flagship to open restaurants to huge success.
“Clyde’s,” playing at the Goodman Theater through Oct. 16, is a dark comedy that, like the FX hit “The Bear,” is also about toxic working environments prevalent in many a restaurant. “Although whereas the former is romantic and hopeful,” Tribune theater critic Chris Jones writes, “the latter mostly is deconstructing a lousy situation for everyone.” Read the full review here.
Tribune Food reporter Josh Noel tried more than 25 locally made Oktoberfest beers to find “the best of the best.” Read about his top picks and where to find them.
“Reasonable Doubt” creator Raamla Mohamed is a “Scandal” alum who takes the Rhimes template and improves upon it, writes Tribune critic Nina Metz about the new Hulu legal drama. Emayatzy Corinealdi stars as Jax Stewart, a glamorous Los Angeles attorney to the rich and powerful. Read her entire review here.
One East Garfield Park online bakery is embracing the confluence of Mexican and Jewish cultures with its offerings based on the most delicious aspects of both cultures’ rich food traditions. Read more about their fresh challah, babka, cookies and conchas, and how the two co-owners got their start after immigrating to Chicago from Mexico.
For more Halloween themes on screens, AMC’s “Interview with the Vampire” out next week “is vibrantly written, tonally self-assured and unexpectedly funny,” writes Tribune critic Nina Metz. Read her full review here.
Our list of spooky sites across the Midwest includes a Milwaukee haunted hotel, a Missouri mansion called “Gates of Hell,” and a deserted lighthouse.