By pre-arrangement earlier this week, my TAs and I went to Taste of Chicago after work today. It’s five days long, and has just about everything you could want in a Taste Of type event: music, restaurants, food trucks, garbage cans, large corporate sponsors, the works. They even have what are called “pop-up restaurants”, which are restaurants which just come for a day or two.
We were eminently blessed with cloudy skies and the threat of imminent rain, rain being immanent to today’s forecast. (Oh, yeah, I just went there.) This kept the crowds and lines away, so we were pretty much free to choose what we wanted. There were only a few long lines. The Happy Lobster food truck was one. (No link because I didn’t eat there.)
We wandered a bit, and as we neared the end of the first leg of the venue, I spied the Bruges Brothers Food truck. (No apostrophe there because that is the name of the food truck, although I could put one there if the truck actually belongs to the Bruges brothers.) I liked the name (food trucks have the best names), so I wandered over. I fell prey to the Duck Fat Frites and Samurai Sauce, but only the Taste portion. If you have not had duck fat fries, um, yeah, they’re good. If you are living in Connecticut and want to try these things, the Mercado Food Truck (I am just way too good to you people with these links) at the Coventry Farmers’ Market had duck fat roasted potatoes last year, which is pretty close. Samurai Sauce is a spicy, but not too spicy, mayo.
We wandered back along our path, and set off along the second leg of the fair. As we got to the end of the row, partially on a dare, partially out of interest, I stopped at Chicago’s Dog House, and had a Taste portion of Rattlesnake and Rabbit sausage, which, I must point out, is a Humana Healthy Choice option. Not even kidding. The sausage was pretty sausage-like, relatively mild in flavor, although it was served with cheese and a mix of sweet and hot peppers, so the overall effect was spicy.
A few minutes after this, it started to rain. My companions, knowing my personal motto, asked if I was prepared – they weren’t. I reached into my backpack and pulled out my umbrella, which kept us sort of dry, although it would have been a tight squeeze if we all tried to fit under it. (Girl Scout motto: Be prepared.) We were still getting wet, and one of my TAs mentioned that if her dress got wet, it would become see through. (Girl Scout motto: Be prepared.) I asked if she wanted a rain poncho, and she assented. Because doesn’t everybody carry both an umbrella and a rain poncho in their backpack? I think I got major Girls Scout brownie points today. Or maybe it’s major Brownie Girls Scout points. Hmmm. I think age might play a factor there.
Taste portions are pretty small – about 15 frites and three bite-sized slices of sausage. I knew I didn’t have any kind of dinner waiting at home, so I was looking for something to complete my meal, but not anything junk foodie. Earlier, at the intersection of the two legs, I had spied Vee Vee’s African Restaurant. I went over and bought a full portion of Goat and Plantains. It was so mellow – goat and plantains in a tomatoey tasting sauce. A really nice comfort food for the rain. (I admit to some ignorance regarding this restaurant’s logo. It had the outline of an African country and a version of that country’s flag on it. I mistakenly thought I was looking at the Ethiopian map and logo, but found out just moments ago that they were actually Nigerian. Only 3,000 (almost exactly) miles off.)
After that, we headed home, all thinking that we’ll be back tomorrow.