Let’s admit it, some Chicago food/neighborhood fests are overrated. Fiesta del Sol, however, is not. It’s long been the largest Latino festival in the Midwest. This year, Fiesta del Sol kicks off today and ends Sunday, taking place in the heart of Pilsen (1400 W. Cermak Rd). May St Cafe (1146 W. Cermak Rd.), one of Pilsen’s finest gems, is contributing to the festivities by creating a mini menu exclusively for festival days. The menu features empanadas, tacos de lechon (roast pig), fish tacos, Cubanos, and a signature May Street mini burger with avocado crema and chihuahua cheese. Local DJs will be performing on May Street’s patio each day of the festival. And don’t forget the tropical drink specials, sangria, fresh margaritas, and cold Mexican beer to beat the heat. If you’re not going to Lollapalooza, this is a great alternative.
To learn more about Fiesta del Sol, featured restaurants, music lineup, and more, click here.
One of Chicago’s most anticipated culinary events - The Taste of the Nation - is headed back on Wednesday, August 13th at Navy Pier in the Grand Ballroom (600 E Grand Ave). More than 85 renowned chefs and mixologists from all over Chicago will participate in one of the largest food-focused events in the city, now in its 26th year. All proceeds from the event will go toward the Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” Campaign, which seeks to end childhood hunger across America. Learn more about the organization here.
It’s easy to buy a bunch of seasonal ingredients at the Farmer’s Market; the hard part is often knowing how to cook them. The Green City Market is here to help. This month, GCM is out with the Green City Market Cookbook, featuring recipes that use local ingredients from the market. The cookbook includes 88 recipes, from chefs and farmers alike, which were tested and reviewed by volunteers. The book represents everything local: local ingredients, local chefs, even photographs by a local photographer.
The cookbook can be purchased here.
When I first stumbled upon The Dairy Star, after a long jag down Devon Avenue, gobbling up boti kebabs and tearing into a round of crispy dosas, it looked like just another little ice cream stand. What I didn’t realize is that this little icon has been a beacon of sweet, creamy soft serve for kids of all ages for nearly 30 years. It reminded me right away of the famous Dairy Ripple near Lake Geneva. While the kids might go right for the chocolate cones (dipped, of course), I prefer the Buddy Bar, which looks an awful lot like a Buster Bar from DQ, just not as elegant; that’s perfectly fine with me. The fact that it’s a tad misshapen and a little crooked proves that they’re made by hand. Arriving in either chocolate or vanilla flavors, they’re all stuffed with Spanish peanuts and a ribbon or two of fudge, before being coated in an icy, chocolate shell. It can be enjoyed in one’s car, or on the small patio out front.
This week, The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper looks to Belgium (the guy should know, his bar has more than 100 Belgians on offer) for his Beer of the Week. The Vicar Quinto comes from the Dilewyns Brewery; it’s a golden, high fermentation beer with secondary fermentation in both the bottle and the cask. It’s brand new in Chicago, so go pick one up this weekend. Cheers.
Nothing says summer like a sizzling grill. Roscoe Village is turning up the heat once again this weekend, bringing us its 5th annual Burger Fest featuring fourteen different vendors. Head to Belmont and Damen between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The chefs will compete for both the critic and crowd favorites, so visitors get to take part in the action. This year’s vendors include: Butcher & The Burger, Cortland’s Garage (last year’s crowd favorite and winner of the Critic’s Choice Honor), DMK Burger Bar, Goose Island, John’s Place, Leader Bar Drafthouse & Eatery, McGee’s Tavern & Grille, Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Reggie’s Music Joint, Rockit Burger Bar, Select Cut Steakhouse, The Slide Ride Food Truck, Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap, and Square Bar & Grill. The festival also features live music, with artists Better Than Ezra, Treaty of Paris, Fort Frances, This Must Be the Band, and Trippin Billies. Kids can have fun too at the Kid’s Zone Activity Area. Gate donation is $8.