Red hot tamales, fried Kool-Aid pickles: Wicker Park restaurant offers unique dishes

Chicago Scene

CHICAGO — We love the blues here in Chicago and one restaurant is drawing inspiration from the Mississippi Delta.

The city can thank the Mississippi Delta for the love of the blues. The region is widely known for originating in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, stretching due south all the way to the Catfish Row in Vicksburg Mississippi.

The Delta is a restaurant and a craft cocktail bar in Wicker Park, specializing in the food and beverage culture of the Mississippi Delta region of the United States. The Delta has built an “all are welcome” atmosphere with their Tastemaker Tuesdays, which is a celebration of music, people and good vibes.

The restaurant is the dream of co-owner Eldridge Williams. Raised in Memphis, Williams grew up eating Mississippi Red Hot tamales from the very factory where his father worked when he was a child.

Signature Kool-Aid drink

“The Delta is definitely a concept that embodies a lot of history, deep history — and we told ourselves a long time ago of we’re going to do something we’re going to do something that has a story and has substance,” Williams said.

The Delta offers up signature red hot tamales along with other unique menu staples. Favorites include boo fries, fried Koo-Aid pickles and Dime Store Chicken. Patrons flock to the Delta’s Sunday Soul Brunch, filled with soulful music and brunch items like piña colada flapjacks and bananas foster waffles.

Always drawing inspiration from the Mississippi Delta, Williams and Christian Sia, executive chef and managing partner, pay homage to the region by offering up one-day pop-ups — they recently offering a Wu Tang pop-up that highlights the Mississippi Delta Chinese immigrants that migrated to the area after the Civil War.

The Delta is on North Avenue in Wicker Park.

For more, follow @tomwgnchicago

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