Nemanja Milunovic’s cevapcici sandwich returns to Monday Night Foodball this month Credit: Nick Murway

I spent nine mornings last month in Portugal eating every possible pastry I could: among them pastéis de nata, pastéis de feijão, croissant brioche, travesseiros, Jesuítas, and the infamous pudim Abade de Priscos, aka bacon pudding.

That was for work. And for work, I mean training in preparation for Cadinho Bakery’s debut on the new winter lineup for Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up at Ludlow Liquors. We’re coming up on a year at our Ludlow home at 2959 N. California in scenic Avondale. We’re gonna hit 96 Foodballs since August 2021, ringing out 2023 with some bangers.

First up this Monday, it’s Puerto Rican-style guisado rice bowls from Papa’s Chicago. On the 20th, Max Glassman, aka Pierogi Papi, twists up his babcia’s dumpling recipe. Four days after Thanksgiving, it’s a Serbian three-peat with the return of Foodball’s favorite sons, Nemanja and Marko Milunovic. Cadinho’s up next, followed by Mike Bancroft and Ann Kostroski of Co-op Sauce and Sauce and Bread Kitchen, with a fungal-based dinner in support of Fernet Fungo, the mushroom-infused amaro they made in collaboration with Drew Fox of 18th Street Distillery. Finally, on December 18, it’s Meze Table, a Greek-inspired farmers’ market mainstay that I’ve been greedily eyeing since last February when they took over Kimski for the month.

After that, we’re on ice until January when the next lineup drops. Until then, remember to watch this space and follow the chefs, the Reader, and me on Instagram to get the very first word on weekly menu drops, updates, and ordering protocols.

The new Monday Night Foodball lineup
Monday Night Foodball abides