Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, April 21

Gapers Block

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susan / June 29, 2003 10:16 PM

If you're lucky enough to get some free or cheap tickets, sure. Otherwise, my broke and crowd-hating ass prefers to actually go to a restaurant.

Naz "Hottt" H. / June 29, 2003 10:37 PM

I usually end up going every year. I'm actually interested in seeing some of the performers this year but not interested in going for the food. I'm drinking my Haterade instead.

heather / June 29, 2003 11:55 PM

There is nothing better, in the sweltering heat, than sitting on a curb with friends at the taste of chicago, buttery corn cob in one hand, refreshing lemon-shake-up in the other, people watching and giggling cattily....

I love the crowds at the taste - the more, the merrier, I always say!

WizOfOdds / June 30, 2003 1:53 AM

Haven't missed one in living memory...sure, I've eaten at every booth a few times and its expensive and crowded but...Ostritch Burgers, Eli's cheescake, AND corn on the cob? C'mon. You gotta go. But just once.

amyc / June 30, 2003 8:03 AM

Eating greasy pizza slices with a million other people? Nope. I am going to see Elvis & The Imposters this year, though.

brian / June 30, 2003 10:21 AM


A lex, x, x / June 30, 2003 12:12 PM

Well, only if you have an EXTREME penchant for food on a stick. Although I think the spaghetti on a stick was a bit much...

Nah, I won't be going. I'm still recovering from the last time I went and saw a mass of crawfish heads on the sidewalk, collecting in the sewer.


Phineas / June 30, 2003 12:16 PM

I suppose it would be, yes.

Provided someone took away all the other food in the whole city.

jima / June 30, 2003 1:15 PM

susan's answer is correct. I have me some free tickets, so that'll be lunch for tomorrow. Otherwise, stay away, Joe!

miss ellen / June 30, 2003 1:37 PM

already braved the opening night crowds. thought it wouldn't be as crowded, but boy was i wrong. either way, catching ms. erykah badu FOR FREE was worth it & i brought my own beverages to sip, so it was worth it.

don't know if i'll make it up again to sample the food, but lots of stuff was lookin' good - especially those turkey legs ;)

kegz / June 30, 2003 1:42 PM

It's worth going to if you've never been, but I wouldn't cry if you miss it either.

haywood jablome / June 30, 2003 3:30 PM

sure it is worth going to, if you are from the suburbs.

Jeff / June 30, 2003 7:21 PM

I don't want to come across as an arrogant southerner who says there isn't a single bite of tasty, authentic southern food to be had at Taste of Chicago, but um, there isn't a single bite of tasty, authentic southern food to be had at Taste of Chicago. I spent $50, 4 hours, and a massive stomachache figuring that out last year.

The barbecue is poorly seasoned, the sauces are crap, and none of it is hickory-smoked. The fried green tomatoes I saw weren't even served with ranch dressing (the horror!) and the fried pickles were cut length-wise into spears into of chips (the shame!)

Maybe there's some other good food I was missing but the southern food was ten kinds of suck.

Alice / June 30, 2003 9:44 PM

My preferred combo is the stuffed artichoke followed by that perennial south side favorite - the rainbow cone.

alicia / July 1, 2003 12:26 PM

wait?! the cost is what?
is the food free after you pay the cost of admission?

Miss Black / July 1, 2003 1:07 PM

The food costs a small fortune. What is free is the (pleasure)/(horror) of (people watching)/(being rubbed up against the unwashed masses.) Depending how you feel about it.

jima / July 1, 2003 1:13 PM

Admission is free, but you have to buy food tickets (50 cents each; you buy them in sheets of 11 for $7). Expect on paying 6 to 8 tickets for a sandwich, 4 or 5 tickets for a smaller food item (like a pierogi or potsticker), and 3 for a small "taste" portion of an entree.

We just came back from the Taste; we hit it for lunch this afternoon. I had a pretty good dog with everything at Gold Coast Dogs (booth 25), and my boss sez the beef sandwich at Buona Beef (booth 24) is first-rate.

the farkleberry / July 1, 2003 4:32 PM

Some years you're in the mood for crowded, smoky, mediocre outdoor eating without adequate sanitation...

...some years you're not. Frankly, I don't think the Taste is an accurate representation of the food available here in Chicago - what I've had at most restaurants in both the city and suburbs has been far superior to what's offered at a typical Taste of Chicago.

I just think of it as the Midwest's biggest picnic. If you're in mood for the masses, the smells and the noise (Ok, ok, this was a good year for bands at the Taste), you'll enjoy it.

Rebecca / July 1, 2003 4:44 PM

I went yesterday with a group of friends. (I live in the suburbs and had never gone). We bought a bunch of tickets and bought a ton of stuff, and all had one or two bites of everything. That way it really was a taste. It was fun.

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