Friday, August 10, 2012

Taste of Andersonville Hightlight: Welcome Johnny Brown Bag and Marigold!

Nothing says storefront Italian restaurant like an espresso machine and chalkboards!
The Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl is next Wednesday, August 15, and we have a stellar lineup of delicious food from some of your favorite Andersonville restaurants.  You can choose from one of two routes: one more vegetarian friendly (the SALT Route), the other for the meat eaters among us (the PEPPER Route).  Or you can chose both with a specially priced WHOLE ENCHILADA ticket (quantities limited).   If you don't yet have your tickets, I highly recommend getting them soon!  This event will sell out.  Click here to see the routes and order your tickets.

Something exciting about this year's event is it features two restaurants that as of this writing are not yet open.  Marigold Restaurant was renowned in Uptown for serving delicious and inventive Indian fare, and they are set to relocate this fall to the former Ole Ole space at 5413 N. Clark.  For the dinner crawl, they will be serving their famous Murg Makhni (Butter Chicken) at Urban Orchard.  The second restaurant, which will be serving the addictive and delicious arancini (fried rice balls), is Johnny Brown Bag at 5306 N. Clark. By August 15 they will  be open and able to serve out of their storefront just north of Balmoral.

I recently sat down with Johnny Brown Bag owner John Scalzo in his beautifully renovated space and got the scoop on the new causal Italian spot and why Andersonville reminds him of growing up in Italy.  Read more after the jump!

John and Jennifer Scalzo - two very friendly new business owners in Andersonville!
John Scalzo and his wife Jennifer own the popular Via Carducci Italian restaurants, with the original  in Lincoln Park and a second location in Bucktown.  Scalzo originally wanted to open his second location in Andersonville but was unable to find space.  Johnny Brown Bag was his wife's idea and came out of the couple's desire to have a smaller spot that would still be a full service restaurant with dine in, carry out and delivery service.  It will feature 16 seats inside with a facade that can be completely opened up on nice days. You can get a peek at their menu here, which will also be available for carryout and delivery.  He is hoping to add beer and wine service in the future.

Scalzo has wanted to be in Andersonville for a while because he loves the neighborhood.  He loves the people and the families and the energy which reminds him of his childhood spent in Italy.  La Dolce Vita indeed!

We hope you will join us next week for the Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl.  You can find Marigold on the PEPPER Route, and Johnny Brown Bag on the SALT Route.  Yum! 

The Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl takes place on Wednesday, August 15 from 6:00-9:00 pm.  For more information about the event and the different routes, and to purchase tickets, visit

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