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Here’s the one vegetable you should eat this weekend

Have you been to Dumpling Noodle BBQ yet? The Champaign restaurant is only a few months old, but it's quickly become a go-to for the eponymous items. (The pork noodle soup made our Best of 2018 list). My favorite item on the menu, though, is the eggplant with garlic. It's absolutely delicious, and among the best eggplant I've ever eaten. 

Read up on the restaurant's other offerings here

Dumpling Noodle BBQ
715 S Neil St
Champaign
Su-F 1:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Sa 1:30 p.m. to1:30 a.m.

Photo by Jessica Hammie

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Hit up Fleurish this Valentine’s Day

Yes, flowers seem like kind of a cliché Valentine's gift, but have you ever received flowers from someone you care about and not appreciated them? No. And if you stop by Fleurish, it is not going to be the same as grabbing those last minute roses at the grocery store. The ladies there know what they're doing, and can help you choose something lovely, whether it's a dozen roses or a vase shaped like a face. 

If you're thinking it's too late to secure your Valentine's flowers, it's not! You can even stroll into the store on Thursday and get what you need. But, that will be a busy day so save yourself some time and help them prepare by pre-ordering. You can call or you can stop by and take a look at what they have to offer. I recommend the latter, because it's really a mood lifter to be there amongst these beauties. Here's a peek at some of their offerings:

Fleurish
122 N Walnut St.
Champaign
217-607-0015
Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday-Monday Closed

Photos by Julie McClure

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What’s your favorite sandwich at Cafe Kopi?

Cafe Kopi's food menu is surprisingly robust. I always think that it's pretty limited, but it's not; there are hot and cold options, open- and closed-faced sandwiches, and wraps. (Also soups and salads). 

I recently had the turkey pesto panini ($7.40), and it was delicious. Served on an olive bread with turkey, pesto, cheese, and tomatoes, it's super filling and a very satisfying lunch option. I ordered mine with a side of Sun Chips, but you have the option for soup, an apple, or a salad. 

What's your favorite thing to eat at Kopi?

Cafe Kopi
109 N Walnut St
Champaign
7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

Photos by Jessica Hammie

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Go have some pizza in honor of National Pizza Day

I'm not really sure who decides these things, but if it's an excuse to eat delicious food, does it really matter? Also it's the weekend, and who really wants to cook on the weekends? Here are a few of my go-to pizza options: 

Papa Del's 

When I plan to eat and then not move for the rest of the day.

Photos: Justine Bursoni

Old Orchard

Where I can use bowling as an excuse for not paying attention to how many of these conveniently tiny pieces of pizza I shove in my mouth.

Photo: Bobbie Bonebrake

Pizzeria Antica

When I want pizza plus salad, wine, gelato...all the things. And that crust is top notch.

Photo: Jessica Hammie

This is obviously not an all encompassing list. Where do you you go to fulfill your pizza cravings?

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Bruce Springsteen performed at Assembly Hall on this day in 1981

A while back, I posted about Elvis Presley performing at the Assembly Hall in 1976, which was a fun one to put into the SPlog. I stumbled upon this one today — Bruce Springsteen performed at the Assembly Hall on this day, February 7th, back in 1981.

Photographer Mark Rudolph has some amazing photos on his Flicker album. Check those out, that's his photo ahove.

Here are a few photos from the Champaign Urbana History Group:


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Happy Lunar New Year, look at this food

Today is the Lunar New Year — Chinese New Year — and what better way to celebrate than to look at a bunch of delicious food you can get at Golden Harbor?

You can now order food from Golden Harbor online and pick it up. It's magnificent. 

118. Combination Pan Fried Noodles

Pumpkin with salted egg yolk

875. Spinach with fresh garlic

Half Peking duck

Spicy Pumpkin

77. Jalapeño ground pork on noodles

1006. Three kind mushroom and tofu (I think)

486. Sliced beef with basil sauce

Happy eating! 

Golden Harbor
505 S Neil St
Champaign
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. + 4:30 to 8:50 p.m.
Su 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. + 4:30 to 8:20 p.m.

Photos by Jessica Hammie

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Maize has an updated menu

Maize at the Station has updated its menu to include some long time specials, like the enchiladas verdes. The most exciting news, in my opinion, is that churros will also be available all the time. Take a look at the new menu below.

Recent specials, but churros will be moved to the permanent menu

Here's the delicious chile relleno, followed by the chicken enchiladas.

Yes, I took a bite before I took the photo. I'm not sorry about it. 

Maize at the Station
100 N Chestnut St
Champaign
Su-Th 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F + Sa 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photos by Jessica Hammie

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When was the last time you ate at Masijta Grill?

If you haven't been recently, I suggest you make plans to visit soon. I had dinner there last weekend for the first time in a long time, and it was absolutely delicious. 

We started with the fried pork dumplings (12 pieces, $10) and they were perfectly crispy and flavorful. I could drink that dipping sauce. 

Because I'm basic and it was freezing cold outside, I ordered the bulgogi hot stone bowl ($14) which was, unsurprisingly, hot AF. The mixture was the perfect type of delicious comfort food, and I left feeling warm, more than satisfied, and completely full. 

Our table also ordered the marinated beef with mushrooms and the thinly sliced beef brisket for the grill ($21 each). The meat came with some other tasty bits for the grill like garlic and sliced jalapeños. It was a treat. 

Need a refresher on the restaurant? Check out our review

Masijta Grill
202 N Race St
Urbana
10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Photos by Jessica Hammie

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These Urbana folks built an igloo and roasted marshmallows all up in it

As the snow melts today, and we prepare for a full on black ice assault for the next week or so, I thought I'd share these awesome photos of a group of Urbana folks who built an igloo last week when the powder was fresh, and really great for packing. 

They even made a camp fire inside of it, and roasted marshmallows. I'm dead. 

These aren't Inuits, or Eskimos. Just some awesome Urbana kids named Dathan and Ezra Shine with help from Jane McClintock and Danielle Chynoweth. 

It's a reminder: not everything is awful. Some things are the opposite of awful. Some things are great.