Taste of Chicago has been a tradition since 1980, which is longer than most of us have been alive (sorry to bring that up, 80s kids).
Every year the Taste of Chicago boasts musical artists, numerous food trucks and vendors from the Chicagoland area and draws extremely large crowds of Chicagoans, Illinoisans, and tourists from the rest of the world.
Anyone that’s been to Grant Park knows that it’s pretty big. Now, imagine walking into Grant Park and immediately feeling a temperature increase of probably ten to fifteen degrees.
Maybe not that dramatic of an increase, but it was HOT! Factor in the 80 degree weather, vendors cooking outside, and people giving off some immense body heat, holy guacamole, was the heat was intense.
The great thing about the Taste of Chicago is that it’s free to enter BUT to eat or drink; it is mandatory to buy tickets. This year, for twelve tickets, it was $8.50, which is higher than the previous years. Once your purchase the tickets, you'll stand in an extremely long line, and get a small to medium sized portion of the food that you chose for 4-10 tickets. So if you go, it’s suggested that you go with friends or family to keep you company.
The first stop was Kasia's Deli to get pirogi's. The dish came with roughly five pirogi's. Kasia's pirogi's among other Polish deli's are pretty prominent throughout Chicago because of the very high population of Polish descent. Authentic Polish food? Count me in! The sauerkraut pirogi's were delicious as they always are.
The second stop was to The Billy Goat, as a vegetarian, I wasn't able to buy anything from there. However, I have a friend, Tony, who does eat meat and he ordered the cheeseburger. It was a nice sized cheeseburger and smelled really great. Tony said that his burger was juicy and tasted fresh.
After being there for a while, I found myself becoming frustrated with some of the people that were there. It bothers me when people stop walking in the middle of a big crowd, slam into you with their elbows and don’t say excuse me, or when people drive their strollers over my foot. All of those are easily avoidable if people just paid attention, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt; they weren’t paying attention because they were hungry.
Another stop was the Farmer's Fridge. My friend Kelley and I tasted the avocado toast. At first we were skeptical to get it, because it seemed pretty easy to make at home. However, we watched a lot of people buy the avocado toast, so we gave in and had tried it. Kelley and I liked it, however our friend Tony, did not. The avocado spread was on toasted pumpernickel and had sliced red bell peppers on top. It was a nice light snack to have on a hot day.
Last but definitely not the least, was the desert stop...the Churro Factory! Tony bought a funnel cake with hot fudge on top. This funnel cake was big and was a great way to end the day. It was messy, sugary and sweet, what more (besides napkins) could someone ask for?
Despite the heat, the numerous amounts of people who don't really know how to walk in crowds, the Taste of Chicago visit was a success.