Flanked by politicians on her right and family and friends on her left, Chef Debbie Evans of the Peckish Pig on Howard Street holds the Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination award from the Illinois Office of Tourism and the Chicago’s North Shore Convention and Tourism Bureau.         RoundTable photo

Kudos and congratulations abounded on Jan. 7, as Gina Speckman, executive director of the Chicago/North Shore Convention and Tourism Bureau, presented the Peckish Pig with the designation as an “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination,” the first in the North Shore area.

The Delicious Destination Award, from the Illinois Office of Tourism, honors local food establishments around the state that are beloved destinations for visitors and locals alike.

Chef Debbie Evans and her husband, Jamie, operate the restaurant/brew pub at 623 Howard St.

“Schools are closed, but we’re here,” said Ms. Speckman, referring to the -20 wind chill outside. She said the restaurant “is a beloved destination for families and visitors alike.”

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl echoed that thought, saying the restaurant is “a destination for Evanstonians and tourists.” She also congratulated Eighth Ward Alderman Ann Rainey, who had a “vision of Howard Street as a [place] where great things happen.”

“None of this could have happened without the Evans family and [local brewer] Tom Fogarty,” said Ald. Rainey.

State Senator Daniel Biss said he is “thrilled for the City and the way that this neighborhood has developed.”

State Representative Laura Fine said the designation “gives us bragging rights. Evanston is a destination.”

In accepting the award, Ms. Evan said, “Thanks to my family.”