The Taste of Chicago Food:
I am always looking for new restaurants to try out but sometimes you go to a new place spend money on a meal (that may include drinks, apps, dessert) before you realize that the food wasn’t the greatest and you never want to go back. That’s why I love food festivals! You get to taste a little bit of what each place has to offer and then you can make the decision to go back or not to spend the big dough. This year my husband and I had time to hit the Taste of Chicago for half a day. Although we only sampled a few places, I thought I would share our experience…
Live Fire Carbon Mexican Grill
BridgePort 300 W 26th St. Chicago, IL, West Town 810 N Marshfield Ave. Chicago, IL
(Disclaimer: Carbon suffered an E. Coli outbreak from their cilantro back in July 2016.)
At the Taste of Chicago, Carbon offered two types of tacos, grilled steak and tequila lime chicken. My husband and I immediately wanted to try the tequila lime (shown below).
At their restaurant: Tequila-Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast….$3.25
The flavors were amazing and fresh. The chicken was tender and flavorful, the added onion and cilantro gave me a good crunch to the taco and their homemade salsa fresca added a fresh kick to the rest of the flavors. After tasting this, I definitely will be checking them out at one of their restaurants in Chicago.
(Casual Puerto Rican Eatery)
3221 W Armitage Ave Chicago, IL 60647
While at The Taste of Chicago, my family (the Puerto Rican side), saw this stand and immediately ran over to check it out. Once we all saw that they were serving jibarito’s, no question we had to try. It was delicious!!! What makes this sandwich so hard to get perfect is that first, it’s a steak sandwich so that meat has to be flavorful, and extremely tender. Secondly, the tostones or fried plantain that is being used as bread has to be firm and crispy on the outside but moist and tender on the inside so that you can easily bite through the sandwich.
El Jibarito Sandwich $5.95
I am definitely checking out their place when craving good Puerto Rican food. This place was my favorite out of all the booths we visited, hands down. If you like Puerto Rican Food check out my recipe for chicken pinchos!
Every year I always try to hit up at least one BBQ place and this year my husband and I decided on Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs. The smell was hypnotizing and there was a little bit of a line which is always a good sign (good food). We decided to try the BBQ ribs that they offered at their booth.
There was no good way to eat this without getting it all over ourselves, so we just dove right in, napkins in hand. The meat was amazing! It was tender, juicy and fall-off-the-bone good. However, the BBQ sauce was too much on the vinegar side for both my husband and I. I know some people like their sauces extra vinegar-y but unfortunately, this did not work for us. With all of that being said, I would have to say, I would try them again. If a friend wanted to meet me for dinner there, I would not be opposed to it. As tender as the meat was, it was enough to intrigue me to try them again.
Garifuna Flava 2518 W 63rd St, Chicago, IL 60629
I wanted to try this booth because I love love love Caribbean food. This booth had something called Panades, which are Empanadas from Belize. These panades are stuffed with buffalo fish and served with a sweet cabbage slaw.
At the restaurant, you can get 5 of these for $5.95
I really enjoyed these. However, the outside of the panade was a little tough. I usually give restaurants the benefit of the doubt, when going to big events like this, because I know that they are producing mass amounts of the same food in the heat and for many people in a 3 to 4 day time period. The flavors inside gave me enough intrigue that I would go to the restaurant and get a meal. I am also intrigued enough that I would want to try many other things on the menu. I dipped my panade in the coleslaw and it was very good all together. All in all, it scratched the Caribbean itch and made me long for days on the beach! Also, after perusing their website, it looks like they have been on T.V. many times and have won awards for these panades, so I will definitely be going for a sit down meal at their restaurant.
Tuscany Taylor 1014 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607
I am also a huge fan of Italian food and I had been hearing great things about this booth’s Toasted Ravioli, so I decided to give them a try.
Unfortunately, the toasted ravioli tasted a little tough like it has sat out a hair too long, but the marinara sauce on top…..AMAZING! I actually licked the little paper tray that they came in. It was really really enjoyable. I will definitely be going here to try a bigger entree. The sauce tasted like they just made it 5 minutes ago, it was fresh and savory…….so good.
Lifeway Kefir Shop 1745 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
As the sun started to set and my husband and I were walking out of the park, we came across the Kefir stand. They called us over and asked us to help them out because I guess their refrigerator broke. So we each received a free mango frozen kefir, perfect timing! Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. Mmmm, actually now I want one.
I hope you enjoyed my adventure at this year’s Taste of Chicago and we have to thank all of the hard working people busting their butts to keep us safe, cook us delicious food in the dead of summer and then clean up afterwards. So to all of those people, I say whole-heartily Thank You. 🙂 I had a great experience with my family and my tummy left happy.
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