Updated: June 30, 2012 6:01PM
From upscale to low-cal, the Sun-Times’ “Big Deals” column brings readers the dish on food and drink specials that will not break the bank.
Dog days of summer
Allium, 120 E. Delaware. Chef Kevin Hickey celebrates National Hot Dog Month with a dog and suds (homemade Chicago-style hot dog paired with beer or wine) deal, available through July 31; $16. Guests can cool down with sips from the Summertime Scorcher deal — half-priced summer drinks and draft beers through Labor Day when the forecast is 90 degrees and above. Call (312) 799-4900; alliumchicago.com.
Geja’s Cafe, 340 W. Armitage. Celebrating its 47th anniversary, the cafe continues its birthday discount tradition by offering 47 percent off all food bills July 1-5. Call (773) 281-9101; gejascafe.com.
Benjamin Restaurant, 1849 Second. Highland Park. Chef Benjamin Brittsan’s summer dishes include housemade Strauss lamb sausage with roasted pepper ragout, tzatziki sauce and feta from a local purveyor, mint; $9. Ravinia concertgoers: show your server (prior to ordering) your pre- or post-show ticket and receive a 15 percent day-of-show discount 5-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing. Call (847) 748-8737; benjaminrestaurant.com .
The Pony, 1638 W. Belmont. The bar salutes Canada’s birthday, July 1, starting at 2 p.m., with a day of Canadian-inspired drinks and food that includes Crown Royal shots ($5); maple bacon burgers ($5); Canadian gravy fries ($2); and Molson Canadian buckets ($15). Call (773) 828-5055; theponychicago.com.
Hub 51, 51 W. Hubbard. Holiday food specials, available July 3-4, include a full slab of ribs for $25 and $2 Miller High Life beers. A la carte brunch specials, offered beginning at 10 a.m. July 4, include a truffled egg sandwich ($8); lemon skinny pancakes ($10); baked apple French toast ($11) and $6 Bloody Marys and mimosas. Call (312) 595-0800; hub51chicago.com.
Butch McGuire’s, 20 W. Division. Try the Velvet Hammer (half Guinness beer topped with half champagne); $6. Call (312) 787-4318; butchmcguires.com.
Roots Handmade Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago. Gourmet pizzas made with local produce such as Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat pizza (Pleasant Meadows Farms goat sausage ragu topped with Quad Cities mozarella blend cheese, smoked and sharp aged cheddar cheeses finished with a yuzu-maple drizzle; $24-$29); along with specialty frozen novelties such as the Roots beer float (all-natural housemade root beer paired with a choice of organic housemade gelato; $6) are among new summer offerings. Call (773) 645-4949; rootspizza.com.
Drink of the week
Kit Kat Supper Club, 3700 N. Halsted. The Fireworks (Hpnotiq Harmonie, splash of champagne, grenadine rimmed with a pop rock, $6) is available July 1. Call (773) 525-1111; kitkatchicago.com.
Deal of the week
The Gage, 24 S. Michigan. Chef Dirk Flanigan toasts the restaurant’s 5th anniversary with an a la carte menu, available through July 12, spotlighting five of his top dishes (prices range from $9-$32). A commemorative beer, Half Acre Gage 5YR Red ($5), will be available as well. Call (312) 372-4243; thegagechicago.com.