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Pilsen upscale Mexican restaurant?

There isn't anything terribly upscale in pilsen but Fogata Village is an excellent sit down restaurant---try the mole.

Dear Restaurants: Please Stop Playing Live Music

So live music is really common down in the beach towns of Florida and it can make or break a dinner----this cover band ruined a beautiful cruise with 3 course meal but a guy playing acoustic guitar absolutely made a basket of grouper nuggets on the beach.

Substitute for sport peppers?
Sport pepper are sport peppers not serranos, they look totally different are light green and pointy and pretty small---also they are hot so pepperoncini are really not equivalent. You can sub whatever tastes good to you but I would advocate ordering them off the net if you want the same taste.

So You Want to Make Ice Cream for 100 People?

If you can't acquire dry ice you can just salt your ice, I once transported an ice cream cake over 5 hours that way. It was actually recommended to use by the guys who were going to sell us the dry ice.

A Sandwich a Day: Tuna on Baguette at La Pane

I was hoping it was hot like a spicy tuna roll----may have to try that a home next time.

TGI Fry-Day: Sweet Potato Falafels from I Dream of Falafel

I find the falafel at baba pita or couscous to be far superior.

College Tours: Best Cheap Eats Near the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

I highly recommend the octopus at Davanti and I love just about everything at the sweet maple cafe.

College Tours: Where to Eat Near the University of Texas at Austin

I'm not sure that you can generalize about colleges and their proximity to food. The University of Illinois at Chicago has great food choices just a couple of blocks away from campus----little italy is basically in the middle of the two campuses. I think you'll offend a lot of people with such a generalization.

Chain Reaction: O'Charley's

I don't remember the food but I got a soda topped with cotton candy and that made me smile,so maybe it's more the good times :)

The Best Bánh Mì in Chicago

Agree with Saigon Sisters, its excellent and very fresh. Although I must admit I had the meatball and not the original----they're pretty creative with their fillings there.

Sauced: Extra Tangy Tartar Sauce

I once had a tartar sauce based potato salad, it was pretty awesome!

10 Biscuits We Love in Chicago

I would have never ordered the biscuit at sweet maple, not with banana pancakes on the menu, but we had them catered once and they were fabulous. Also the OJ is fresh squeezed, its a great place.

Soda: Why I Love Sprecher Root Beer

And yet the NY times rated it number one as you can see prominently on the label, so I think there is some difference in the tasting criteria as you mentioned. Personally I love it although everyone thinks I'm drinking beer at lunch.

Standing Room Only: Joy Yee Smoothie Station

I usually get the lychee honeydew, its a bitter more subtle than the watermelon but just as refreshing.

8 Octopus Dishes We Love in Chicago

The octopus at greek islands is excellent.

Out of the Express Line if you have more than 10 items, please!

Back when I was a cashier we were told to tell people that it's OK but next time please don't do it next time. You'd be surprised how often the people were just shocked and wanted to change lines immediately once they'd been called on it. The reality is a lot of people are just oblivious for various reasons.

'That's Really Good... For Vegan Food.'

I'm not sure if you have any sort of click rating but your vegan posts have been even more appealing than the usual in part because they offer more insight to your thought process. It's actually more that just the food but the whole experience that you are sharing.

9 Bowls of Chili We Love in Chicago

I think bars are the way to go for this. I would recommend Output bar and grill which is available on grubhub, since ordering in is the only true way to combat the winter climate here.

Let Them Eat: Cake Roll with Honey Semifreddo

That sounds awesome, apparently my inner core is sequined as well.

Can homemade mayonnaise be canned?

no--if you want to avoid botulism which is is more of less instantly lethal then oil in canned stuff should be left to the pros and anything you can should be pretty acidic like fruit.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Soda Fountain

Any of the basic lemon/lime plus fruit combos is easily converted using sparkling water. My fave is blueberry limeade---juice some limes, add sugar volume equivalent to lime juice add water (sparkling optional)----put some in the blender with blueberries, enjoy.

SE Staff Picks: Carey's Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Hmm was thinking of dehydrated strawberries in vodka to solve the age old strawberry ice cream issue--ie frozen berries. May have to try that...this sounds wonderful by the way.

Taste Test: Pre-Made Chocolate Pudding

TJs is a lot like what I can make at home---but I do eat snack pak, just the mud pie flavor though, the original chocolate is um well exactly as you described it.