Did You Know?

A bicycle commuter who rides four miles to work, five days a week, avoids 2,000 miles of driving and about 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.

Get your appetite ready for the Four Star Bike & Chow

In addition to the fun camraderie of riding with many hundreds of cyclists on some great biking routes, this year, the Four Star Bike & Chow is offering an exciting new element — delicious snacks at rest stops along the way.

The ride, which is the longest running bike ride in Chicagoland, will be held on Sunday, August 25. 

A few of the treats offered at this year’s rest stops will be samosas from Arya Bhavan, an Indian restaurant on Devon Avenue known for its healthy fare; pierogies from the Red Apple Buffet, a landmark for Polish home cooking on Chicago’s Northwest Side; and pulled pork sliders from The Smoke Daddy, an award-winning home for Chicago style barbeque.

With four different routes ranging in length from 12 to 62 miles, there is something for everyone on the ride. Pierogies will be available for riders on the 22, 35 and 62 mile routes; riders on the 12, 35 and 62 mile routes will get samosas; and sliders will be available for 12 and 22 mile riders.

Get your appetite ready for the ride and find out more about a few of the restaurants providing the food.

Arya Bhavan

Arya Bhavan sets itself apart on Devon thanks to its vegetarian, vegan and raw Indian options. Chef Kirti Sheth opened the restaurant in 1998, and focuses heavily on using healthy, organic ingredients for her cuisine.

The restaurant’s name means “welcome to our home,” which is fitting since Sheth (pictured below) considers her customers part of her family. /

“When I feed people, the joy I experience is something that makes me truly believe that I am at the right place … we are not only serving food, but [helping make] healthy, happier people”

/Sheth considers samosas one of her signature dishes, and is experienced in serving them up to hungry crowds on the go. The restaurant, located at 2508 West Devon Avenue, has been selling them at Taste of Chicago for a decade.

“I have probably sold a million samosas in ten years,” Sheth said.

Arya Bhavan’s samosas are unique because they are baked, rather than fried, and the dough is made using organic unbleached flour. The samosas (pictured right) are filled with potatoes, green peas and Indian spices.

Red Apple Buffet

The Red Apple Buffet has been serving homemade comfort food with a Polish focus for nearly 25 years.

Anna Hebal, president of the Red Apple Buffet, describes its offerings as “Polish cuisine mixed with everything else.”
Polish specialties such as blintzes, stuffed cabbage, pierogies and sausages play a starring role in an expansive buffet, alongside other favorites including numerous desserts, carved meats and seafood.

Hebal found a passion for the food business by working in restaurants after immigrating to the US in the 1980s, and decided to start the Red Apple Buffet, or Czerwone Jabluszko in Polish (pictured right).
Having now expanded to two locations, 3121 and 6474 North Milwaukee Avenue, Hebal says Red Apple is unique because everything is handmade and made fresh all day.

During the Four Star Bike & Chow, riders can try three different kinds of pierogies from the Red Apple: sauerkraut and mushroom, potato and cheese, and meat. The pierogies (pictured left) are lightly fried so they are slightly crisp on the outside and easy to eat on the go.

“We are still doing it the old fashioned way like mama does it,” said Hebal. “We are proud that ours are handmade … just like you make at home.”

The Smoke Daddy

During the Four Star Bike & Chow, riders will also enjoy pulled pork sliders from The Smoke Daddy. The sliders will be smothered in Smoke Daddy’s original vinegar based sauce and served on an egg roll bun.

Known for its own brand of Chicago barbeque, The Smoke Daddy has been offering smoked chicken, beef and pork with all the necessary fixings for almost two decades./

The restaurant has been featured by Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray and within countless other programs and publications. Attendees at the Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza are also familiar with their food, since the restaurant has been offering food to festival-goers for years.

Fans rave about the sauces Smoke Daddy uses on its meat, offering a mix of traditional and original flavors.

Smoke Daddy, located at 1804 West Division Street, uses its own large smoker to cook beef, pork and chicken daily, and according to Pett, the smoking techniques take anywhere from four to nine hours, as the meat smokes over apple wood, hickory and cherry wood.

“The meat gets infused with smoke flavor and it makes the meat very tender and delicious,” said Pett.

In addition to the food listed here, Four Star riders will also enjoy Thai food from the Star of  Siam restaurant. 

Along with the great food, riders will enjoy fantastic biking routes featuring the sights in numerous neighborhoods in Chicago and the nearby suburbs. Learn more about the Four Star Bike & Chow. 

Images courtesy of Arya Bhavan, Red Apple Buffet and The Smoke Daddy.