Funeral Potatoes' Monday Night Foodball Menu Credit: Funeral Potatoes

Last week, Eve Studnicka, with an assist from her Funeral Potatoes partner Alexis Thomas, took part in an amazing pop-up with Borneol, Texas butcher (and former Chicagoan) Kriss Abigail. Abigail had arrived in town with an axis deer carcass harvested in the Hill Country, which she broke down at Saint Emeric in front of 30 guests. Studnicka and Thomas then whipped out a seven-course wild-game dinner that included dishes like “coconut & pumpkin bisque with lavender confit axis shoulder;” and “black garlic venison ragout atop juniper-scented polenta with pickled rose petals.”

At least I had an excellent reason for why I couldn’t be there. I was at Monday Night Foodball at the Kedzie Inn, scarfing down vada pav grilled cheese and veggie Hakka noodles made by Jasmine Sheth of Tasting India (with an assist from Sebastian Vargo). That was Week 3 of the Reader’s ongoing chef pop-up series, which preceded Week 4, three nights ago, the spectacular eight-course Cambodian feast by Mona Sang of Mona Bella Catering.

I’ve gone to my share of amazing pop-ups lately. I can’t complain too much. Especially since Studnicka and Thomas are bringing Funeral Potatoes to the Kedzie Inn this Monday, September 27.

Don’t panic, but they just dropped their menu this week. They’re taking preorders right now, but after they inevitably sell out of those, they’ll be preparing for walk-in orders. And you are invited.

I’ve been wondering if the creative virtual restaurants we’ve been hosting for Monday Night Foodball would endure as the traditional restaurant economy continues to stagger back to life at this stage in the pandemic. And the more we host, the more I’m convinced that these chefs are going to completely reinvent it.

Studnicka and Thomas were out in their van delivering cacio e pepe mac and cheese, creamy massaman tomato soup, and dark chocolate mango brownies when I caught up with them and asked if they were still considering opening up a brick-and-mortar situation. Hard no.

“I think people tend to perceive alternative economy or cottage industry businesses, or virtual restaurants as transient, temporary, pop-up things, and not necessarily as legitimate business formats,” said Studnicka. “That’s not been true for us. This has sustained us for almost two years now, more so than any other jobs we’ve ever had. And it’s really cool to see other people who are also doing similar kinds of work outside of mainstream restaurant culture and finding so much success. We’re in a pretty sweet spot. So I think we’re just gonna keep trying to do this for as long as we can.”

“We’ll still look at Pinterest boards and Instagram content at different places and be like ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a spot where we could decorate, and plate everything, and have face-to-face interactions with people?’” continued Thomas. “But then we think for one second about the overhead, and paperwork, and installing exhaust systems. . . .

“. . . and nevermind,” finished Studnicka.

But not on Monday. Thomas told me they were planning on some “spins on classic bar food,” but that’s kind of a humble understatement. 

Please consider the menu:

Smoky Midwest melt (nut free)

Ciabatta + fried Chef’s Crown ham + honey mustard + smoked tomato aioli + pickles + Gouda + greens $12

Sweet basil grilled cheese (vegetarian, nut free)

Grilled semolina bread + garlic herb mascarpone + provolone + mozzarella + tomato herb jam + basil $9

Beer garden loaded fries (vegetarian, nut free)

Beer cheese sauce + vargo brothers power kraut + crispy onions + kimchi ranch $7

Funeral potato jalapeño poppers (vegetarian, nut free)

Panko jalapeños stuffed with pimento cheese hash browns. Served with kimchi ranch $7

Goat cheese walnut creme brûlée (vegetarian, gluten free) $5

Lapsang souchong drinking chocolate (vegetarian, gluten free, nut free) $5

Plenty for everyone, but there is a bit of urgency. After Monday Funeral Potatoes will be taking a two-week break for Thomas’s wedding and some well-earned R&R. Not only is Foodball Week 5 a rare chance to eat their visionary midwestern comfort food fresh out of the kitchen, but it’ll be the last time—for 14 long days—you can order their usual, weekly delivery menu.

See you at 5 pm this Monday.

Kedzie Inn
4100 N. Kedzie
(773) 293-6368