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Taste of Chicago - What to eat this year?

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So I'm going back to Chicago (I grew up there, my family still lives there) specifically to go to Taste, my wife, a native of LA, has never been. I don't care about crowds, heat, whatever, but I do want to know what's great this year.

I used to go all the time back when I lived in Chicago, and I remember that there were always some great things to eat - toasted raviolis, deep dish pizza (since I can't get that or a beef in LA), Eli's cheesecake on a stick, etc. Looking at the list of dishes, it doesn't appear to have that many different things, but I haven't been in years, so I would appreciate a little feedback.

Anyone been this year and have any raves/can't miss items, and does anyone have any "must avoid at all costs, don't waste tickets" items?

Thanks in advance

Tim
"toy geek"

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  1. Just from past experience, the food at the daily special things over by Buckingham Fountain are generally better than average, and the must to avoid are the "boneless BBQ rib" sandwiches. Also, the "tempura" is generally greasy fried crap. A few years back, the samosas were decent, as were the artichoke hearts. But of course, most of the food is awful. I'm planning to go next week to see Cheap Trick, and I'll probably just get the sweet corn and funnel cake, the usual fair stuff you don't get anywhere else.

    1. I agree with Pete, but I go every year anyways. I love the babyback ribs from Sweet Baby Ray's and I'm picky about my babyback's. I also love the turkey leg, but I'm not sure who has it. I'm actually going tonight so I can't give you any input yet. Also, across from the gourmet food section is chocolate covered strawberries. They are huge and fantastic if they have them this year.

      1. It's all gotten a bit generic, in my opinion, but since they closed the downtown Harold's I like to get some wings & white bread -- use both the sweet & hot sauce...yum!

        1. I thought the samosas were the best part this year. Of course Harold's chicken is always a favorite. The rice pudding with cranberries from Vermillion was also interesting.

          4 Replies
          1. re: chicagofatty

            Most of the food is awful?.... My husband and I are Chicago this weekend for an MLS soccer game to see our Toronto FC's.
            I was really looking forward to eating at the Taste of Chicago, in particular the Cajun catfish taco, beer battered artichoke hearts and the herbed tofu cutlets with sesame garlic and ginger tamari have all caught my attention.
            From the sounds of it though, would we be better off in a restaurant for a good meal???

            1. re: Mikejor

              Yes (as in yes, you would be better off somewhere else)

              If you do go, try a few things - get the smaller taste portions, enjoy the weather, check out Millenium Park and the skyline, but the best food in Chciago is not found at Taste.

              1. re: wak

                Agreed. If you end up there, the beer battered artichoke hearts are among the taste's better offerings (speaking from years past, I haven't been this year).

                1. re: SuzMiCo

                  And I guess we can add that you should avoid the Hummus...