Election Day is a day you need to hear about food and drinks. There are no controversial candidates or dreamy promises here. No, dear reader, these are solid recommendations for the month of November. 


A glass of red is poured on a wooden counter with the bottle J.J. pinot noir with the cork. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

2017 J.J. Willamette Valley Pinot Noir | Art Mart

Let me begin by saying, we all could use a drink: life, liberty, and the pursuit of libations. This pinot noir ($21.99) is from Oregon and is a J.J. Williamette wine made from a blend of barrels from multiple vineyards. It was an approachable, fruit-forward red that was easy to drink.

This pinot noir had a pleasant cherry aroma. It was light at the beginning of the sip, and it ended with a lively finish. It's the sort of drink you can sip while you watch election updates tonight or start drinking with lunch as you read updates on social media. Later this month, it would be very nice as a Thanksgiving red as you're cooking or nibbling on appetizers. You can email Todd to place your order or go into Art Mart to pick up a bottle or two. When I picked this up, I made an impulse purchase of one of Art Mart's fresh baguettes, and I definitely didn't regret it.

Art Mart
1705 S Prospect Ave
Champaign
M-Sa 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Su 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A light brown shake with drips of chocolate syrup in a plastic cup sits on a white counter with a black straw. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Peanut Butter Oreo Shake | 4th Quarter Nutrition

Nestled in between the now permanently closed Rosati's and KoFusion on campus, there's a new healthy shake place in town. Serving up fruity energy drinks, protein shakes, and coffee, 4th Quarter Nutrition has quite a few options for drink customization. Check out their menu.

An image of the menu for 4th Quarter Nutrition featuring the different flavors of drink offerings. Photo by 4th Quarter Nutrition.Photo by 4th Quarter Nutrition.

I ordered the Peanut Butter Oreo shake ($6), and it was pretty great. The shake is usually $7, but they offer a $1 discount if you share on social media and tag them. Done and done.

An overhead photo of the peanut butter Oreo shake where you can see crumbled Oreo cookies and peanut butter powder. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

For only 240 calories, it tasted like a frappuccino minus the coffee, minus a lot of sugar. It was cold, sweet, and honestly pretty filling. I don't know if these shakes are supposed to be a meal replacer, but it defiintely replaced my lunch — which would have easily have been more than 240 calories. If you're looking for a quick and low-calorie meal, this is a great option. 

It was thinner than a milkshake, more icy than creamy. The chocolate syrup and crumbled cookie toppings were delicious additions to the shake. I think if you like the idea of a low cal shake, you'll love this. With so many different flavor choices, super nice staff, and curbside pickup available, it will be easy to keep going back for something different.

4th Quarter Nutrition
701 S Gregory
Urbana
M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sa 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A full, unsliced tiramisu cake with whipped cream on top sits on a clear plate on a black table. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Tiramisu Cake | Rick's Bakery

You haven't lived until you've had a cake from Rick's Bakery. Whether you're celebrating, comforting yourself, or just have a sweet tooth, Rick's cakes are perfect for any occasion. I picked up the medium tiramisu cake ($16), and it was divine. The soft, spongy cake was saturated in coffee flavor and topped with miniature whipped cream poufs with heart-shaped milk chocolates. The crumb edge of the cake was very moist, and the layers of the cream and four layers of cake were dreamy. 

A small slice of tiramisu cake sits on square white plate on a black table with the tiramisu cake behind it. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This sweet cake is a fancy cake suited for coffee-lovers as you cannot escape the strong coffee taste. The medium cake was enough for eight small slices, so if you need more cake than that, go up to the large cake. No pre-orders are necessary. Inside the shop, Rick's Bakery has several cakes ready for pickup in various sizes. You can buy a larger version of this cake for $28 and also a smaller, personal-sized cake for $4. The staff offered to write something on top of my cake, but I couldn't think of anything, so I enjoyed it with the gorgeous marbled glaze top as is.

Rick's Bakery
124 W Main St
Urbana
M-F 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sa 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A close up of a fig, proscuitto, and mortadella sandwich on white bread halfway wrapped in parchment paper. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Fig, Prosciutto, and Mortadella Sandwich | Harvest Market

Sometimes when you're grocery shopping, you don't want to cook after unloading the groceries and putting them away. You could totally buy the bread, arugula, and the meats from the deli to make this sandwich, but why, though? This fig, prosciutto, and mortadella sandwich ($7) is already made and sold in the deli. Just point to it, and the staff will release it from the glass case for you.

This was a small but mighty sandwich with a great sweet and salty combination of flavors. The sandwich bread was cut thick from a baguette, and it was chewy, soft, and very fresh. The fig jam was sweet and sticky and found its way onto the savory, salty sliced pork making for the most amazing bite. The arugula was a nice (minimal) touch which didn't take away from the delicious meat. There was some kind of smear that may have been mayo, but it was good. Harvest Market has lots of prepared food options, so the next time you're there loading up on groceries, don't forget that you did enough: you went to the store, you wore your mask, you got the goods, you unpacked them. You deserve to skip cooking: just pick up the sandwich.

Harvest Market
2029 S Neil St
Champaign
6 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily

Several pies of varying toppings: crumble, whipped cream toppings, pumpkin, and coconut shaved toppings sit on a metal counter at Po' Boys in Urbana. Photo by Po' Boys Facebook page.Photo from Po' Boys Facebook page.

Thanksgiving Pies | Po' Boys

This November is currently being overshadowed by the election and COVID pandemic, but November is also the month of Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving, let Po' Boys do the pie baking. Po' Boys pies are $20 ($26 for the gluten free version). You have lots of options: apple, apple crumble, blueberry, blueberry crumble, cherry, cherry crumble, peach, peach crumble, double chocolate mousse, pecan, coconut cream, and pumpkin. You can order online here and set your pick-up date, or you can call 217-367-2255 to put in your pie order for Turkey Day. 

If you want to make your own pie (you do you, boo), check out my round-up of prepared Thanksgiving meals, sides, and a la carte options in Champaign-Urbana

Po' Boys
202 E University
Urbana
W-Su 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.