The 30th Annual Taste of Chicago kicks off Friday, June 25 at 11:00a.m. in Grant and Millennium Parks. This year's food and fun fest will feature 53 daily vendors, nine restaurants and over 300 menu choices. Entertainment will take place on seven stages. The guide below will help you navigate.
UNIQUE FOOD CHOICES:
Try the Jibarito ( pronounced "hee-bah-ree-to)Sandwich from Sabor Latino (#36 on the east side of Columbus Drive halfway between Jackson and Balbo). The tasty treat invented in Chicago in 1993 features a variety of ingredients placed between flattened fried green plantains. It has become a favorite with Latinos and is catching on with many others around town and around the country.
Ukrainian Village's Shokolad Pastry and Cafe, new to this year's Taste, is offering Varenyky, a dumpling-like creation, that has been called the "National Dish of Ukraine," in regular and "Taste of" size portions. You'll have to go to their restaurant (2524 W. Chicago Ave.) for their popular "cheesecake lollipop." (Taste location: #47 on the east side of Columbus, about a block south of Balbo).
Also new to this year's Taste, Iyanze brings a West African vibe to tastebuds with Jollof and Oxtail (coconut rice and sauteed goat), only in Taste size portion. (#2, second vendor just north of Monroe on the east side of Columbus).
Top off any of the above offerings with Garrett Popcorn's Popcornsicle--caramel corn fast-frozen on a stick. (#53, final vendor, east side of Columbus, almost to Balbo).
HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES:
If you are looking for the Taste of Chicago Diet Plan, Humana, is offering its Healthier Choices for the 2010 Taste of
Chicago menu. Some choices weigh in at as little as 320 calories and 300 mg. sodium. If that's what you are looking for, try any of the following:
- Gazpacho or Grilled Anjou Pear Salad from the Grill on the Alley, location, #12.
- Whole Wheat Potato Pierogi, Kasia's Deli, location, #35.
- Oven Baked Crab Cake Nuggets from Polo Cafe, location #33.
For a complete list go to: Healthychoices
Throughout the Taste there will be entertainment and activities for kids of all ages on the Fun Time Stage and the Family Village. Most events continue all day. Highlights include WXRT's "Little Rockers Day" on June 30. For a complete list go to: www.tasteofchicago.us
The Taste of Chicago musical stages offer a cornicopia of musical talent and acts from rappers to the joker. For a complete line-up of free concerts throughout Taste go to: www.tasteofchicago.us
June 25 through July 4.
June 25 through July 2, 11:00a.m. to 9p.m.
July 3, 11:00a.m. to 7p.m.
Sunday, July 4.11:00a.m. to 6p.m.
NOTE: The City's big fireworks extravaganza has been moved from the 3rd to the 4th.
Grant and Millennium Parks.
Main Entrance, Michigan Ave. and Congress Dr.
Free admission to Festival grounds and concerts.
Tickets are sold in a strip of 12 for $8.00 for a strip. Small "Taste of" portions should be available at all vendors for 2 to 4 tickets. Larger portions vary, but no food item costs more than 12 tickets. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are accepted but you will be asked for an I.D. when making a credit card purchase.
Public Transportation, highly recommended. transitchicago.
Driving: Good luck, if you drive. For parking your best bet is the Millennium Garages, under the park. millenniumgarages.com
Bike: Bike parking is available on the perimeter of Grant and Millennium Parks
If you are a foodie, two food network "stars" will be at the Taste.
Friday, June 25.
Iron Chef Mario Batali will be cooking up some Italian fare from his new book "MOLTO GUSTO: Easy Italian Cooking at Dominick's Cooking Corner. 1:00p.m. Stick around for his book signing at 2:00p.m.
Thursday, July 1.
Giada De Laurentiis, will be looking good demonstrating her seasonal recipe favorites, paired with Bella Sera wines. Dominick's Cooking Corner. 3:00p.m.
Other local and national chefs including Chicago's Hardy Boys, Heaven on Seven and the Purple Pig's Bannos men, Ida Pinkney from Ina's and many more will be on stage daily from 11:00a.m. until closing. Dominick's Cooking Corner.
On Monday, June 28, Taste of Chicago will partner with Broadway in Chicago for a family friendly evening featuring the cast of Chicago's Billy Elliot, Shrek, Wicked, Rock of Ages, Traces, Million Dollar Quartet and others. 6p.m. Petrillo Music Shell.
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