Friday Foodie Forecast: Chicago Fires Up Its BBQ Grills
Is there any smell as anticipated as the summer's first ribbons of smoke wafting from a backyard barbecue? Just one sniff conjures thoughts of tasty ribs, baked beans, cold drinks, patios and warm summer nights. Kick off the 2010 grilling season with a smorgasbord of smoky events.
Tickets went on sale earlier this week for the much-anticipated 10th annual Green City Market Chef BBQ. The picnic will be held in Lincoln Park on Thursday, July 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and while the summer may still seem far away, tickets have sold out quickly in the past. This year, the event will showcase the talents of 80 chefs (up from 65 last year) all using ingredients from the market. Participating restaurants include the crew from Avec and Blackbird, Coco Pazzo, Frontera Grill, Blue 13, mk, NAHA, Piccolo Sogno, Purple Pig, Spiaggia, Smoque BBQ, The Girl And The Goat, Sprout and more. Locally made beers, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks will also be served. Tickets are available online, at all Illinois Spice House locations and at the information table of the Green City Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets are $100 for adults, including all food and beverages, and $25 for children ages 2-12 (children's tickets are not available online and can be purchased through the Green City Market's office). Call (773) 880-1266 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Roast and Toast at Dunlay's on the Square
You know it's summer when diners gather on the patio for a traditional all-you-can-eat pig roast. From noon to 5:00 pm on Saturday, June 5, Dunlay's on the Square will host a pig roast with pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, barbecue chips, coleslaw and cornbread. Since no pig roast would be complete without some cold beer, diners can also purchase $3 pints of Shiner Bock (brewed in Shiner, Texas, where people know a few things about barbecue). Cover band The Kingfish will play from noon to 3:00 pm, and two Shiner Bock grills will be auctioned off during the day. The cost is $16 per person and no advance tickets are required. Dunlay's on the Square is located 3137 W. Logan Boulevard. Call (773) 227-2400 for more information.
Memorial Day Red, White & Bar-B-Q
Professional and amateur barbecuers battle for the title of Illinois "Grand Champion" at the Red, White and Bar-B-Q event this Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30 in Westmont, IL. Sponsored by the Westmont Jaycees and Lions, the contest is endorsed by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and is open to the public. Red, White & Bar-B-Q will offer three days of food, competition, a "People's Choice Chili" award, cooking demonstration, live music, carnival rides and vendors. The "Grand Champion" winner will be announced on Sunday, May 30 at 5:00 pm. See the full schedule of events here. Entry is free, but food and beverages are not. The Red, White & Bar-B-Q challenge will take place at Ty Warner Park in Westmont, at the intersection of Plaza Drive and Blackhawks Drive.
Albany Park is putting the "A.P." in bon appetit with its first neighborhood restaurant crawl. On Tuesday, May 25 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, diners can feast on small plates of food and drink at a diverse selection of 18 restaurants including Las Cazuelas Mexican Restaurant, Nazareth Sweets, Al Khaymeih Restaurant, Noli's Pizza, Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen, Ssyal Ginseng House. Crawlers can check-in at the Body Worxs Fitness, in the Leland Crossing Condominiums, 4650 N. Kedzie Ave. and pick up their passports, which will be stamped at each restaurant. Some locations will also feature live entertainment and vans will be available to shuttle diners between some locations. Tickets are $30 in advance and available online, or $35 (cash or check) the day of the event. Children (12 and under) cost $12. For more information, contact Elizabeth Derry at (773) 478-0202.