Last Call: Gingery summer cider and a day in the life of a restaurant inspector

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Citizen Cider’s The Dirty Mayor

As I’m not much of a beer fan (although Kate Bernot is trying to convince me), I admit I had some horrible experiences with cider in my youth. Back then the primary brand was Woodchuck, which was a super-sweet alcoholic beverage (note: bad combo) that basically tasted like spiked apple juice. I was pleased as I got older that cider seemed to have changed as well, finally offering some drier options. At the recent National Restaurant Association show, I did a tasting at the Citizen Cider booth, a Vermont brand I’ve spied here in Chicago at some specialty stores. The server poured us everything from a hoppy cider (The Lake Hopper) to a beyond-dry version that almost tasted like a sour beer (Wit’s Up). But my hands-down favorite was The Dirty Mayor. It’s a crisp, light cider augmented with ginger, so it tastes like a refreshing apple ginger beer. I can’t even think of a combo more palatable, making this can exceedingly drinkable. Summer 2018 has just kicked off, but The Dirty Mayor is in the lead for my favorite beverage this season. [Gwen Ihnat]

A day in the life of a restaurant health inspector


They’re feared, they’re reviled, but what do health inspectors really do? This piece from Priya Krishna—a Takeout contributor, writing here for The New York Times—sheds some light on the mysterious jobs of these important city employees through the eyes of one inspector. His job sounds surprisingly interesting to me, and that’s before we even get to the mouse poop. [Kate Bernot]