Delicious DIRT for Food Mafia’s Feed. Taste of Chicago 2011 Begins

Pig Out. Get Your Taste On Delicious DIRT Style

Courtesy of

There’s an app for that –> obviously in 2011 you know there’s a Taste of Chicago App. This is a MUST download for all you Food Mafia members.  Be aware however, signals in the midst of the Taste jungle might be low… Patience food nerds… deep breaths.  We suggest you review the app in advance to maximize all.   CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

Taste iPhone App. Photo by Apple

Taste of Chicago 2011 started in Grant Park folks! Can you believe it’s that time?  Wasn’t it last week we were wearing winter coats?  The Taste runs until July 3rd so get your grub on soon. Hard.  Unless you avoid it like the plague like many of us city folk.  But, if you’re willing to deal with the crowds, go in with an open mind and see what happens while you gorge yourself at this mecca of food festivals.  You might just stumble into a P Funk concert in the middle of it all like we did summer 1995 after riding to Grant Park on our tandem bike… Ah, #theolddays.

George Clinton + P Funk. Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Some find this festival one of the best things about summer in Chicago…while others find it the worst.  What makes it or breaks it for us?  The answer is a combo of the crew we roll with, the weather (Tom Skilling‘s classic), and the time of day.  HINT: get to the Taste mid day -> 2-4pm and not on a weekend. CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE + almost taste ‘em.

Manny's Turkey Legs @ 2011 Taste by Manny's

Once inside, eat your way through with everything from Tuscany’s Italian Beef to Connie’s Deep Dish Pizza to Robinson’s ribs to Gold Coast Hot Dogs (Chicago Style).  Don’t forget the scrumptious BBQ Turkey Leg (above) from Manny’s Deli (if you can turn down their Corned Beef Sandwich or even better, tackle both).  By the way, Manny’s potato pancakes might actually #changeyourlife.

Manny's Courtesy of Manny's

The City of Chicago provides a list of all the food so you can map out your pig out in advance (or download the app + be ahead of the curve).  Stuff yourself silly on all of Chicago’s delicious DIRT.  Then, go ahead and chow down even more.  You’ll mac that snack as you listen to music + maybe even dance like no one’s watching.  Taste, while touristy, can be a hell of good time.

Smoke Daddy @ 2011 Rib Fest by Smoke Daddy

For us true Chicagoans there are a few Taste treats not to miss.  Experiencing everything from Vermillion to Smoke Daddy to Manny’s Deli to Lao Sze Chuan all in one place – well, that’s just delicious DIRT.  So crack your usual shell, try newbies and mix in some diversity this year.  Visit the Healthy Farmers Market Workshop this year. Healthy is the new crave after all!  We also suggest you also definitely get in on those chef demonstrations. This year – chef Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno, Jimmy Bannos, Giada De Laurentiis and oh so many more.  Plus, look out for Healthier Choices Icons this year on menu boards and app (see pic below).

Healthier Choice Highlight

Jimmy Bannos' + Scott Harris by Dough Boys

Jimmy Bannos + Scott Harris by Dough Boys

For those of you who simply need to take down some good ol’ Chitown staples, there’s Eli’s Cheescake.  Either before or after all the savory foods, if you’re a fan of cheesecake, Eli’s can be damn fine.  Of course, we still can NOT resist a Garrett’s Chicago Mix with a (slightly) shorter line than in stores. There’s also Billy Goat Tavern’s SNL-famous Cheezborger Cheezborger. We’re psyched to try Vermillion’s offerings at the taste this year.  Some of our secret Taste favorites are Dominicks Watermelon Slices + O’Brien’s Celtic Corn on the Cob.  Both so simple + oh so delicious.

Billy Goat Booth @ Taste by Buffalo Chow

One Chitown notable missing this year at the Taste is Ann Sather.  Their famous homemade cinnamon rolls are IMPOSSIBLE to resist (see pic below).  So, after gorging yourselves, remember, Ann Sather’s brunch is now mandatory this summer.

Courtesy of Natalie Neusch

Get Your Taste On.  Don’t Hold Back. Life Is Short. Hedonism Is Good.

Carpe Diem. Photo by

Nuf' Said


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