Tag: Taste of Chicago

Puppies and Movies and lots of Food, Oh My…

Puppies and Movies and lots of Food, Oh My…

“The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters in two days, and I am one of millions eager to see it. My friends and I are already planning an outing for next week, which means the anticipation will build till then.

Summer started out slowly, but after a month, things picked up, and getting to see the third Batman movie in this trilogy is just one of the awesome parts of my summer.

Here’s a brief summary of last weekend’s happenings:

Friday, July 13th

1.       I started this superstitious day with bowling with friends. I was out in Lombard, so we went to this little bowling alley called Stardust Bowl of Addison. Considering I’ve rarely bowled into the triple digits and my worst score ever was a 40, I was ready to do granny style bowling every time just for amusement. Though I didn’t reach triple digits (only one of us did- and there were six of us!), I did manage to get third place (by trying). I’m getting better!

2.       After a round of bowling and two rounds of air hockey (this I lost at both times sadly), four of us decided to continue the day with a grand buffet meal. We’d been talking about trying Golden Corral, so that’s exactly what we did. That chocolate fountain that they have? It’s no joke- this fountain of sweet chocolaty bliss was perfect.

3.       The last trip of this day was to a small place called Puppies. Guess what they sell here;monkeys! On a serious note, I found my soulmate in a small Chorkie (Chihuahua/Yorkie mix). He is four months old and so lively, but alas, I couldn’t take him home. At least I can adore him through this photo I took:

Saturday, July 14th

1.       On this day, I got together with one of my best friends as well as two of her close friends from home. The four of us went to Navy Pier and rode the Ferris Wheel (this seems to be my new routine), and then started a walk out to Taste of Chicago.

2.       Though we reached the Taste and the food looked great, we knew the portions wouldn’t fill our rumbling tummies for a reasonable price, so instead we walked through it until we stumbled upon Buckingham Fountain. And to think that just a few weeks ago I said that I wanted to make it a goal to finally see it this summer! It was beautiful, and even more so with the setting sun.

3.       After finally getting some food, we traveled back to Rogers Park to my friend’s apartment, where we settled in with some treats and the movie Sucker Punch. Though I’ve seen it before, I hadn’t paid close attention, so seeing it for the second time was amazing. Those critics that said this movie wasn’t good? Their favorite movie is probably Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (no offense to anyone).

So what’s next for the rest of July? Movie theaters, Six Flags, and the event I’ve been dreaming of for weeks now- Anberlin’s acoustic concert at Taste of Lincoln Avenue on Saturday, July 28th.

Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago

Having been in Chicago for more than a month now, I can really begin to understand what everyone means when they say: “You must live in Chicago during the summer.”  I thought my home town of St. Louis was an interesting place to spend my summer breaks; however it pales in comparison to its big Midwest brother.

Last Thursday, I checked out the largest festival Chicago has to offer, appropriately titled: “Taste of Chicago”.  Among many other things, “Taste” is the premier event for food-loving aficionados who happen to be in Chicago during the early part of July.  Traditionally a ten-day festival that begins around the Fourth of July, “Taste” underwent some changes this year in an effort to increase numbers.  These changes included shortening the event to a five-day celebration (July11-15), as well as cutting back on the amount of food vendors invited to participate (complete rersturant list here).

Though the vendors may have been less in number than in years past, the food quality was of no concern.  Amongst the food vendors stood some Chicago pillars, such as Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Cubby Bear, and Gold Coast Dogs.  Dessert was served too, with Chicago favorites like Eli’s Cheesecake and Original Rainbow Cone in attendance.  Picky eaters need not be concerned with limited selection because a wide variety of cultures are represented at “Taste”, including Mexican, Jamacan, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and many more.  But even with some of the best food in the city, “Taste” is so much more than a food festival.

The icing on the cake for all “Taste” attendees is the concerts that play on the large, open fields of Grant Park.  Creating the inseparable bond of delicious food and great music, big-name musicians provide the evening’s entertainment.  This year, names like Jennifer Hudson, Luke James, Michael Franti, Calexico, Dierks Bentley, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Death Cab for Cutie all turned out to play for the 1.2 million “Taste”-comers this year.  For an up-close-and-personal experience with the bands, seats could be bought for around $25 dollars, but for those who don’t mind enjoying their pulled pork sandwiches and watermelon on the lawn, seating was free.

So, if you dare to bare the heat and mingle with some million-something people while enjoying the cities best food and a wide variety of music, the Taste of Chicago, is an event you should put on your 2013 calendar.  After all, it is the largest food festival in the world.

The Taste!

The Taste!

The first year I came to Chicago the Taste was definitely a lot bigger than this year! But food is food and if it tastes good, who am I to argue.

This year I decided to attend again. While my visit might not have been the best for my wallet, I got to sample some great food: deep dish pizza, rib tips, cheesecake and Italian Ice. I snagged all this for for 16 tickets, roughly 10 dollars because I split 32 tickets with a friend.

Either way it was worth the money, it was a good time and a fun date. After, my friend and I took a walk along the water and looked at all the boats docked in the yacht club.

The fact is the best thing about the taste is not the food, it is not always the people (sometimes too many come to the Taste), but its about the environment. Chicago is one of a kind.

Recent Chitown Adventures: Part 2

Recent Chitown Adventures: Part 2

Okay, so I promised two blogs for this week, so here’s the second one.

On Sunday, I was with a friend all day, and we decided to head down to Navy Pier because she wanted to check out the shops and hadn’t been there in a while. I might as well have been an out-of-state tourist because I had no idea that Navy Pier had so many cool little shops indoors.

We journeyed into many places, including the Build-A-Bear Shop and this cool little place with all different kind of ties. If I weren’t already tight on cash, I surely would have been at the end of this trip because there were so many things I wanted to buy.

We decided to spend what money we had on something a little bit more beneficial (but not at all nutritious) to us- Garrett’s popcorn and Haagen Dazs ice cream. Here’s a photo of one of our treats:

Was the ice cream as delicious as it looks? Definitely. Was it worth the money? That’s to be determined at a later time over cheaper ice cream.

After my second trip to Navy Pier in one week, we strolled around downtown until we came across this super awesome outdoor art exhibit. Artists from all over were displaying their work, whether it was handmade clocks, watercolor Chicago skyline paintings, or handcrafted jewelry.

My personal favorites were the paintings done by this one woman named Lidia Wylangowska. Here’s a photo I took of the small print version of a painting that I bought:

The last adventure of the day was lived up in the suburbs, out in Des Plaines. My friend and I took a road trip to a tiny restaurant called Bob Mele’s Little Villa Restaurant and Pizzeria because it was karaoke night there.

Talk about a botched attempt at a song. If Queen had heard us sing “Somebody To Love”, they would have rethought why they wrote it in the first place. We would have to beg for somebody to love our version because it turned out, we didn’t even really know the lyrics to the song (and that was just the beginning).

Other than my Sunday field trips and a lovely Sushi dinner with my cousin at a restaurant called Tank on Monday, the rest of this week has been rather slow. Thankfully, my workweek is over so who knows? Maybe I’ll check out Taste of Chicago this weekend.