LTH Home

2010 Green City Market BBQ, July 15

2010 Green City Market BBQ, July 15
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 3 of 4
  • Post #61 - July 10th, 2010, 9:43 pm
    Post #61 - July 10th, 2010, 9:43 pm Post #61 - July 10th, 2010, 9:43 pm
    dansch wrote:My number 1 piece of advice: don't eat anything on a roll.

    A ton of the tables were serving things on mini pretzel buns, rolls, etc. If it was something I really wanted to try, I just ate the filling and skipped the bread. With that much food available to sample, eating dozens of rolls just isn't an option.

    -Dan


    This is very good advice.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #62 - July 11th, 2010, 9:14 am
    Post #62 - July 11th, 2010, 9:14 am Post #62 - July 11th, 2010, 9:14 am
    Last year at GCM BBQ (and at any buffet I've been to, ever), there's a plague of lingerers, people who get something to eat at the table and then just stand there, lingering, not talking to chefs or anything, just chow-blocking others. Lingerers. Linnngggeeeerrrrrs.



    That said, at all such events as these, I'm making a personal commitment to being very careful about grabbing chow and then moving quickly aside to make way for others.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #63 - July 12th, 2010, 7:12 am
    Post #63 - July 12th, 2010, 7:12 am Post #63 - July 12th, 2010, 7:12 am
    Does anyone need a ticket? I have one extra ticket. I'm offering it for $90, which is $10 less than face value (hoping that helps get it sold). Please send me a private message if interested. I can either meet you at the bbq before it starts to give you the ticket or make arrangements to meet earlier.
  • Post #64 - July 12th, 2010, 4:54 pm
    Post #64 - July 12th, 2010, 4:54 pm Post #64 - July 12th, 2010, 4:54 pm
    Any LTHer's going to be there? I'm going with boudreaulicious so give us the secret sign :wink: when you see us. I also live fairly close so I'm planning on bringing a blanket if anyone wants to sit down.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #65 - July 13th, 2010, 5:16 pm
    Post #65 - July 13th, 2010, 5:16 pm Post #65 - July 13th, 2010, 5:16 pm
    I have two tickets if anyone wants to buy them at the $100 face value price. Husband has some broken ribs and for some reason is not up to the crowds. If interested please email me at spices@thespicehouse.com
  • Post #66 - July 14th, 2010, 8:19 am
    Post #66 - July 14th, 2010, 8:19 am Post #66 - July 14th, 2010, 8:19 am
    BR wrote:Does anyone need a ticket? I have one extra ticket. I'm offering it for $90, which is $10 less than face value (hoping that helps get it sold). Please send me a private message if interested. I can either meet you at the bbq before it starts to give you the ticket or make arrangements to meet earlier.

    I thought another friend of mine would be taking the extra ticket, but no such luck. I'm willing to sell this extra ticket for $50 (far less than the $100 plus service charge paid). Please send pm if interested.
  • Post #67 - July 14th, 2010, 8:31 am
    Post #67 - July 14th, 2010, 8:31 am Post #67 - July 14th, 2010, 8:31 am
    What's the recommendation for rain gear? I don't feel right bringing a beach umbrella onto a CTA bus in rush hour. Maybe some plastic ponchos? The weather report says to expect scattered showers in the evening.
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #68 - July 14th, 2010, 8:33 am
    Post #68 - July 14th, 2010, 8:33 am Post #68 - July 14th, 2010, 8:33 am
    Independent George wrote:What's the recommendation for rain gear? I don't feel right bringing a beach umbrella onto a CTA bus in rush hour. Maybe some plastic ponchos? The weather report says to expect scattered showers in the evening.


    Pancho. Definitely pancho. An umbrella ties up a hand and you need two hands because most (if not all) offerings are plated.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #69 - July 14th, 2010, 8:54 am
    Post #69 - July 14th, 2010, 8:54 am Post #69 - July 14th, 2010, 8:54 am
    David Hammond wrote:Pancho. Definitely pancho. An umbrella ties up a hand and you need two hands because most (if not all) offerings are plated.


    It also saves you from getting pork all over your nice clothes. Now that I think of it, ponchos should probably be the order of the day even if the skies were clear.
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #70 - July 14th, 2010, 6:54 pm
    Post #70 - July 14th, 2010, 6:54 pm Post #70 - July 14th, 2010, 6:54 pm
    BR wrote:
    BR wrote:Does anyone need a ticket? I have one extra ticket. I'm offering it for $90, which is $10 less than face value (hoping that helps get it sold). Please send me a private message if interested. I can either meet you at the bbq before it starts to give you the ticket or make arrangements to meet earlier.

    I thought another friend of mine would be taking the extra ticket, but no such luck. I'm willing to sell this extra ticket for $50 (far less than the $100 plus service charge paid). Please send pm if interested.

    Just letting everyone know that I have a buyer for the ticket so it's no longer available.
  • Post #71 - July 15th, 2010, 10:10 am
    Post #71 - July 15th, 2010, 10:10 am Post #71 - July 15th, 2010, 10:10 am
    I am very excited that I have just been emailed "the map" of the chef stations. The chef list is phenomenal. There is just no way you will get to everyone you want to, there are too many great choices. If anyone wants to see this, please email me and I will send you the pdf. Email is spices@thespicehouse.com
  • Post #72 - July 15th, 2010, 9:32 pm
    Post #72 - July 15th, 2010, 9:32 pm Post #72 - July 15th, 2010, 9:32 pm
    BURP...
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #73 - July 15th, 2010, 10:27 pm
    Post #73 - July 15th, 2010, 10:27 pm Post #73 - July 15th, 2010, 10:27 pm
    Highlights (top 10):

    Top Three for me:
    Uncommon Ground: Smoked short rib grilled cheese sandwich w/Butterkase, pickled onion and roasted garlic butter. Ridiculous. The first thing I ate and one of the best.
    Terzo Piano: Grilled Pork Belly on toasted bread with honey aioli and summer vegetable salad. My last bite of the night (wouldn't you know) and one of the best.
    Coco Pazzo Squash blossoms stuffed with Goat Cheese, garnished with Arugula/herb salad and tomatoes--sounds SO simple but was absolutely wonderful. Each and every component and morsel. The best.

    The rest of the top 10:
    Boka etc.: Watermelon and Tomato Kebabs with Grilled Pork Belly
    Mon Ami Gabi: Bahn Mi (chicken liver mousse and country pate with pickled summer vegetables, spicy mayo and cilantro
    Naha: Grilled bread topped with Elk Ragu, BBQ mushrooms, goat cheese smoked onions and young greens with red wine syrup
    North Pond: Smoked Trout Mousse with pickled cherries and baby arugula sandwiched between hazelnut macaroon halves. YUM.
    Prairie Fire etc.; BBQ Brisket w/ spicy giardinara and vegetables
    Purple Pig: Raw Corn salad
    Sepia: Pulled Duck sandwich w/Carolina BBQ sauce, pickled unripe strawberry rhubarb and duck skin craklins

    Lots of good desserts but for me, they got a bit lost in the shuffle of savory dishes. Except for the raspberry gelee--and I don't even remember where it was from but I defitely remember eating it.

    Great event--best of it's kind that I've been to. Didn't even mention the drinks but there were many and they were intriguing, refreshing and powerful :P
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #74 - July 15th, 2010, 10:31 pm
    Post #74 - July 15th, 2010, 10:31 pm Post #74 - July 15th, 2010, 10:31 pm
    So what were your favorites?

    Thanks to an LTHer, I was able to get a last minute ticket - phew! I was having big regrets about not getting one ...

    With the heat and more heat, I was definitely looking for lighter flavors and it seemed like more chefs were doing pretty hearty sandwiches which looked yummy but ...

    There were a lot more drinks at various chef stations in addition to the big wine, etc section ... the signature room's watermelon agua fresca with gin (I think that was what it was) was light and tasty but hit rather hard. I was grateful for Carnivale's agua fresca without alcohol and MK's snow cones (with or without vermouth). It would be great to see a few more non-alcoholic options particularly on a day with temps like today.

    Almost everything I tried was tasty ... the corn with korean sauce from Urban Belly/Belly Shack, Sable's vegetarian hotdog was a great pickled fresh taste, Sprout's carpaccio was really good as was Province's vegetable taco. I think my top two - the ones I could not stop smiling after eating were North Pond's Trout mouse on hazelnut macaroon with pickled cherries and arugula ... gorgeous burst in mouth - and 676's amuse portion of "Grilled 'Bacon' with Honey Lacquer and Pea Shoots which made me grin crazily.

    I also really liked Terzo Piano providing a recipe with their dish - for honey aioli.

    A good night ... very big crowd (perhaps a bit more space is in order for such a large offering ... I didn't find lines for food except the usual one for Frontera but it was hard simply walking from spot to spot) and I really wish they would set up some communal tables or even just a bunch of folding chairs.

    Curious what wonders I missed ...
  • Post #75 - July 15th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    Post #75 - July 15th, 2010, 10:42 pm Post #75 - July 15th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    definitely enjoyed the drinks ... !!!

    Dale is a tall dude!
    pizza fun
  • Post #76 - July 15th, 2010, 10:51 pm
    Post #76 - July 15th, 2010, 10:51 pm Post #76 - July 15th, 2010, 10:51 pm
    My two favorites were definitely the sausage from Old Town Social and the pulled duck sandwich from Sepia. This was another pork-heavy year after the trend had moderated last year.

    Once again a great event, but 90 chefs was very overwhelming. I was saying at the event that there was no way to manage it so you got to try all of the best dishes, there were just too many.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #77 - July 16th, 2010, 7:27 am
    Post #77 - July 16th, 2010, 7:27 am Post #77 - July 16th, 2010, 7:27 am
    My top three were the smoked trout mousse with pickled cherries on a hazelnut macaron from North Pond, the grilled bacon and pea shoots from 676, and the BBQ beef heart from Mado. The North Pond dish beats everything but one or two things that I have had in restaurants this year.

    Overall, I thought that it was a great event. I don't usually take to events where thousands of people smashed together in a small, hot place, but aside from the 5-6 groups of eight women that like to stop on a dime and stand in one place, the guys who jump in line (you know who you are guy in brown sweat throught shirt), and the flirty girls who like to start a chat with the platers to skip the line only to leave them hanging after getting the food, I thought that it went smoothly. The jerk to not jerk ratio was very low. Next time, I am bringing a tray and a few chairs and we'll alternate going to get food and then sitting and enjoying it.

    Afterwards, I felt like I had been to each one of the booths, but while going through the book, I made about 50%, which is about the right number considering the nap that was needed afterwards.
  • Post #78 - July 16th, 2010, 8:01 am
    Post #78 - July 16th, 2010, 8:01 am Post #78 - July 16th, 2010, 8:01 am
    "My top three were the smoked trout mousse with pickled cherries on a hazelnut macaron from North Pond, the grilled bacon and pea shoots from 676, and the BBQ beef heart from Mado. The North Pond dish beats everything but one or two things that I have had in restaurants this year."


    Totally agreed on the first two, and never got to try the beef heart. But my god, the trout mousse cookie was a wow experience for me. I wanted about ten of the bacon and pea shoots as well. Lots of yummy and interesting food, but those were the wow experiences for me.

    One additional: the peach panna cotta with proscuitto foam. Forgot where it was from -- someone should remind me. The panna cotta was one of the best I'd ever had, and although they definitely overdid it with the proscuitto foam, it was still an intriguing juxtaposition. Really enjoyed this dish.
  • Post #79 - July 16th, 2010, 8:27 am
    Post #79 - July 16th, 2010, 8:27 am Post #79 - July 16th, 2010, 8:27 am
    jsagoff wrote:One additional: the peach panna cotta with proscuitto foam. Forgot where it was from -- someone should remind me. The panna cotta was one of the best I'd ever had, and although they definitely overdid it with the proscuitto foam, it was still an intriguing juxtaposition. Really enjoyed this dish.


    Bin 36.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #80 - July 16th, 2010, 9:03 am
    Post #80 - July 16th, 2010, 9:03 am Post #80 - July 16th, 2010, 9:03 am
    Image

    I was trying to explain to my wife what the Green City Market BBQ was like and after several analogies of varying effectiveness, I finally said "It's like the food prom." Which is about as good a way as any to describe what happens when all these chefs come out, their food duded to the nines, for an awesome summer party. This year they raised the prices‚ doubled them in fact, and still not only sold out (though it took to the last day this time) but seemed to pack this section of Lincoln Park more fully than last year. (Disclosure: my wife and I went on press passes.)

    Image

    It's a great event, besides supporting the city's most influential farmer's market, the one that does the most in establishing connections between chefs and farmers (hey, somebody ought to make a video about that), it's a fantastic buffet of mostly astoundingly superior food, nearly every dish of which makes some use of things available at the market. Why can't they set up something like this every Thursday during Happy Hour, and serve food of this caliber each week? Because then, what would we have to look forward to in eternity.

    Image

    My first stop, mainly because they were near the entrance, was Mado. True to their reputation for aggressively whole animal cooking, their dish was barbecued beef heart, in a chipotle-ish sauce. Rob Levitt admitted he didn't expect it to be hugely popular, but when we checked back toward the end, he was happy to tell us it was all gone.

    Image

    One of the great reasons to go, of course, is to try food from chefs you don't know if you want to go pay for a full dinner from. I ripped into Andrew Zimmerman pretty good when he was at Del Toro (and Rob Levitt was one of his cooks), but he's at Sepia now, and this pulled duck sandwich with duck skin cracklins was mighty tasty, one of my top three for the night, and enough to make me want to check that place out again under his command.

    Image

    Phillip Foss of Lockwood was serving up a sample of the kind of thing he might do in a food truck if the ordinance ever passes. It was a sloppy joe served on his Israeli-born wife's recipe for a kind of puffy bread:

    Image

    Here's someone from NoMi making beer can chicken:

    Image

    I'm not sure who was responsible for this out of the BOKA Group restaurants, since four of them including The Girl & The Goat were credited, but these two came off the grill just as we walked by and so we grabbed them. Pork belly skewers with cherry tomato and grilled melon, another of my top three, simple and wonderful.

    Image

    Then we saw Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno making these chilled beet soup shooters— just the cold non-pork item we needed at that moment, and delightful:

    Image

    And right after that we saw this peach and honey panna cotta with La Quercia prosciutto foam on top, from Bin 36. The fresh peach flavor was really nice.

    Image

    Image

    Pat Sheerin of The Signature Room had the freakiest looking dish of the night:

    Image

    The description bills the grilled beef shoulder first, but anyone getting it couldn't help but notice the bright green tongue coated with salsa verde.

    Image

    By comparison this grilled lamb from Balsan and Ria with a corn sauce and a dab of pesto was rather plain-looking, which is probably why someone was out promoting it in front of their stand. The lamb was beautifully tender, I'm glad I tried it, though my wife ate it, then asked what it was, and when she heard it was lamb, was sorry she'd eaten lamb during the time period that the kids are raising a lamb in 4-H.

    Here's Barry Sorkin of Smoque slicing up a Santa Maria tri-tip:

    Image

    And Mark Mendez of Carnivale with his meatball:

    Image

    Another chef whose food I was curious to try without spending a big wad yet was John Des Rosiers, of the suburban avant-garde restaurant Inovasi, in Lake Bluff. I was quite impressed with this unusual dish, which started with some long-brined and smoked pork topped with cherries and other fruit, and then included a kind of very light tortilla made in some fashion with cheese incorporated into it which he calls an "Inorito." Weird (and a little soggy in this humid heat) but very interesting, I may have been impressed enough to make the trek up there some time.

    Image

    If I had to pick a favorite of the evening, though, it was probably one that came just as I was about out of stomach for meats, Jared Van Camp of Old Town Social's sausage with Brunkow cheese mixed into it and homemade sauerkraut on top. Yeah, sure, it's an easy crowd-pleaser, a cheesy hot dog, but it was really well done.

    Image

    Another chef I approached with some skepticism was Dale Levitski, hard at work here on his dish:

    Image

    I know people have been impressed with Sprout but what I hear always sounds like weird combinations that, even if they worked, would leave me wishing for a cheesy hot dog after. But I tried Levitski's herb salad with beef carpaccio:

    Image

    And it was really a fine thing, beautifully balanced. Okay, I might still need the cheesy hot dog after a whole meal of such light and delicate things, but I was impressed nonetheless.

    The evening wound down, the guy from NoMI was down to his last beer can chicken...

    Image

    There weren't as many dessert choices as last year, and many of them ran out by the time we were seriously hunting sweets to finish off the meal. MK showed up with an actual ice cream truck, but what they were serving was actually cherry slushies (alcoholic slushies, I should point out), and my wife staked out the first position:

    Image

    A most refreshing end to a long evening of eating. Because you didn't think that was everything we tried, did you? I didn't even have a chance to mention the Dietzler Beef Italian beef from Vie, or the pork belly slider with peach chutney from Blue 13, or the blueberry lemonade from North Shore Distillery....

    Image
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #81 - July 16th, 2010, 12:34 pm
    Post #81 - July 16th, 2010, 12:34 pm Post #81 - July 16th, 2010, 12:34 pm
    I can repeat a lot of what's been said above. I too thought N. Pond's dish about the best. I too could not come close to eating (and drinking) all that's on offer--going home, my wife and I were going through the program, and we could not believe how many stands we flat out missed (not on purpose!). Yet, I have one story I bet has not been told.

    As I was complaining to Rob Levitt of Mado for having the gall to sell out his bbq beef heart before I could find him (yes it was not just food porn but a veritable food maze), another chef came by with some home made sausage. He looked at both Robs.

    Now, do not you think Rob L can make his own sausage. Who needed that sausage?

    OK, even without the compris sausage (or the square of butter that was also handed to Chef Levitt while I was there), it was a pretty darn good night, and fun also for running into all the LTHers on site.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #82 - July 16th, 2010, 2:20 pm
    Post #82 - July 16th, 2010, 2:20 pm Post #82 - July 16th, 2010, 2:20 pm
    msmre wrote:My top three were the smoked trout mousse with pickled cherries on a hazelnut macaroon from North Pond, the grilled bacon and pea shoots from 676, and the BBQ beef heart from Mado.
    North Pond's Smoked Trout Mousse with pickled cherries and baby arugula nestled between two halves of a hazelnut macaroon wins best bite of the BBQ with Mado's BBQ Beef Heart with mustard seed slaw running a close second. Signature Room's Grilled Beef Shoulder was fine, but the Tongue Salsa Verde, also on the plate, stunning. Enjoyed Vie's Italian Beef, loved the Pickled Cherry Bomb Peppers, thought the bread slightly overpowered the beef. Ditto for Prairie Grass, liked the BBQ brisket, loved the house made giardiniera.

    Smoque's Tri Tip a solid triple, tender lightly smokey tri tip swiped with garlic butter served with a salsa draped crostini. Could have eaten 5 of the grilled coarse ground Andouille from Big Jones, though the accompanying sticky tooth breaking Bacon Sorghum Praline left me cold. Bristol's burger would have made a perfect light snack, especially with a spoon of neighbor Prairie Grass's giardiniera, but daunting size for an event with 40-other things I wanted to try.

    Old Town Social and Franks 'n Dawgs wieners were winners and Lula/Nightwood's "Hand Pie" had me reaching for seconds. Also in the dessert category loved Ritz Carlton's Maple Ice Cream, shrug on the accompanying Berry Galette.

    Not enamored by Urban Belly's overcooked mushy textured hard to eat corn or One Sixty Blues chew/chew/chew give-up-toss over sized beef ribs. Prize for least favorite of the evening goes to Sugar Toads inedible salty duck confit, I have to wonder if they tasted the dish before serving.

    Wirtz tent was cocktail central, Templeton Cherries and Raspberry-Ginger Southside with Death's Door Gin and Ginger Beer my favorites. Loved the Signature Room's cocktail, though all I remember lovage was a component.

    WTF award goes to Chipotle, hard shell taco, refrigerator case salsa and processed cheese.*

    Chipotle, Green City Chef's BBQ

    Image, Chow Poodle Productions
    Image

    All in all a wonderful evening and one of the best, if somewhat overwhelming, food events of the year.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *I realize it was not, probably, processed cheese product, but sure as hell tasted so.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #83 - July 16th, 2010, 5:59 pm
    Post #83 - July 16th, 2010, 5:59 pm Post #83 - July 16th, 2010, 5:59 pm
    Random thoughts:

    ** I enjoyed my evening, but I can't say I enjoyed the event as much this year as I have in the past: too many people for my liking, too many restaurants (I couldn't even find some, and Chipotle I tried hard not to find), not enough time to really peruse the menu and decide exactly which restaurants to sample, most portions too large, and a hotter evening than I prefer. Sorry to start out negative here because it's really a great event, but these are just some of my personal thoughts. And yet, I enjoyed my evening and I'm grateful for the efforts of the chefs, restaurants, staff and volunteers (I add a bit more on my thanks below).

    ** As long as I'm bitching, let's talk Top Chef here. How many of the chefs would have been criticized for serving difficult to eat portions (mostly because of size) or for choosing to serve items which required too much (or too lengthy) prep time such that long waits occurred? Just asking . . . but again, I enjoyed the event but I had some issues. Just call me Padma.

    ** Why were some event-goers rude to GCM volunteers? This just made me sad, especially when I witnessed a couple with a stroller berating a volunteer (who could have been my mom) at the entry gate for absolutely no legitimate reason. I just wanted to take the volunteer out to dinner and tell her how bad I felt for her and how appreciative I am of all GCM volunteers. So to all GCM volunteers listening/reading: thank you for all that you do to make the market and the bbq so special.

    ** After two friends had to bail on the event, I then managed to frustrate my one remaining companion by waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting at the Rick Bayless table. He disappeared and we then spent a long time trying to find one another but I felt really bad about this (sorry).

    ** Every week at the GCM, there are tens of thousands of pints of blueberries. And damn it, they're great. So where the f--- were the blueberries last night? Blueberries were largely absent, perhaps muscled out by their larger, sweet but tart friends, the peaches, which were running rampant at the bbq last night. Surely chefs have had a good blueberry sauce with game, right?

    ** North Pond's obviously popular hazelnut macaron - I loved it too. But then I asked myself: where's the smoked trout mousse. So I had one more. Again, I liked it quite a bit. But I suspect I could have served that macaron to my smoked fish-hating friends and they would have gobbled it up and loved it. So although I enjoyed the taste quite a bit, I really didn't get the balance of flavors I expected.

    ** I was a day late and a dollar short for beef heart. Sadly, I only got to taste mustard seed slaw. Were there that many beef heart-loving folk there last night, did Mado serve it in too large a portion, or did they just not have enough? Oh well, it's not like I won't be visiting Mado again anyway, so I'll have it there.

    ** Dansch gets my award for the best advice: avoid as much bread as possible. I was still stuffed, but not as much as in the past. Now if someone had told me Province's homemade tortilla would better resemble sandpaper . . .

    ** Here's my list of favorites, not in order, and understanding that there were many items I didn't taste and which I had tasted based upon what others have said (I think I sampled food from about 35 of the 90 or so vendors):

    Carnivale (or should I say Chef Mendez) - Perhaps his meatball was a bit too dense for some, but not for me - it was probably the best meatball I have ever tasted, and the spicy vegetable escabeche was the perfect complement.
    I can't wait for Chef M to open his own place because I'd prefer to avoid that warehouse known as Carnivale. And I hope he makes this meatball again because I can't recall reacting to a meatball the same way I react to a great Peking duck.

    Eve - A restaurant I have never tried, but now that has to change. Yes, I thought there were too many damn peaches last night (and I love peaches), but Troy Graves wins my golden peach award (I'm still thinking of what the trophy will look like) with his pork confit and peach packets, the ones served hot off the grill in the aluminum foil packets. The pork was so rich, so tender, so moist with a subtle smoke flavor, all complemented beautifully by the roasted peaches and onions. This might have been my favorite item of the evening.

    Coco Pazzo - When squash blossoms are permitted to show off their delicate herby flavor, they shine in a way few GCM items can shine. Last night, Coco Pazzo showed off the beauty of squash blossoms, very lightly battered, filled with a mild goat cheese, fried and served with a tomato-herb garnish . . . just beautiful.

    Ina's/Smoque - Tri-tip smoked + a quick brush of melted butter + crostini with salsa = BR almost speechless. It's a shame so few serve the tri-tip because it is such a delicious cut.

    Frontera - Not surprisingly, the wait was worthwhile. Tender pork belly, an amazingly rich, sweet, spicy and earthy salsa negra, arugula, homemade queso fresco and homemade corn tortillas. All components were outstanding.

    Zealous - Not the richest pork rillettes I've ever tasted, but still very rich and flavorful, and cut nicely by the pickled vegetables (also a little horseradish?) and sour cherry gastrique.

    Terzo Piano - The grilled pork belly was so delicious and tender and I loved the honey aioli. I much preferred TP to Spiaggia, whose pizza with pancetta, mint, apricot and goat cheese hid almost all of the aforementioned except the goat cheese.

    Hot Chocolate - Smoked beer ice cream . . . I need to figure out how to make this one. Wow was that great.

    Fox & Obel - Delicate, flaky and delicious peach turnovers, but the accompanying sweet chevre cream was so delicious that I temporarily lost my balance.

    Four Seasons - A very impressive version of Korean short ribs.

    So despite my complaints, I really had a nice evening and it was nice to see some LTHers there (I'm sure I missed many others). And despite my complaints, I know I will return next year.
  • Post #84 - July 17th, 2010, 9:22 am
    Post #84 - July 17th, 2010, 9:22 am Post #84 - July 17th, 2010, 9:22 am
    BR,

    Great summary of the event. Just a few thoughts inline from me.

    BR wrote:** I enjoyed my evening, but I can't say I enjoyed the event as much this year as I have in the past: too many people for my liking, too many restaurants (I couldn't even find some, and Chipotle I tried hard not to find), not enough time to really peruse the menu and decide exactly which restaurants to sample, most portions too large, and a hotter evening than I prefer.
    It was hot as blazes out there, and I really feel for all the chefs who were standing over giant charcoal grills. The overall size of the event really is a bit much for me and the crowds were so thronged that I had a hard time even seeing what a particular restaurant was serving, to decide if I even wanted to get in line. As far as portion sizes, I totally agree. Places that did single-bite/two-bite hors d'oeuvres style dishes were very much appreciated.

    BR wrote:** Every week at the GCM, there are tens of thousands of pints of blueberries. And damn it, they're great. So where the f--- were the blueberries last night? Blueberries were largely absent, perhaps muscled out by their larger, sweet but tart friends, the peaches, which were running rampant at the bbq last night. Surely chefs have had a good blueberry sauce with game, right?
    A few years ago, Atwood Cafe served grilled (slightly charred) peach halves with whipped goat cheese (I think), hazelnuts and honey. I want another one of those... now. Those were peaches that didn't make you think "enough with the peaches already"
    BR wrote:Hot Chocolate - Smoked beer ice cream . . . I need to figure out how to make this one. Wow was that great.
    Hot Chocolate's ice cream offerings at the BBQ are a favorite of mine every year. This time I was smart and sampled them early in the evening, before the dessert rush hit. I really liked the corn & salted caramel ice cream this year.

    For $100, I'm not sure it's a great value, but I have a hard time seeing myself not going next year. I wish it were smaller, cheaper, less crowded, and not as hot, but I know I'd regret not knowing.

    -Dan
  • Post #85 - July 17th, 2010, 9:51 am
    Post #85 - July 17th, 2010, 9:51 am Post #85 - July 17th, 2010, 9:51 am
    More specific thoughts (and pics) later but I thought it was a stellar event, even if a bit overwhelming. I have often said that this is the best annual food event in Chicago and this year's incarntion did nothing to change that opinion. The offerings are fantastic, the participants (chefs, farmers, suppliers, etc.) and attendees are both impressive groups (I must have run into 30 LTHers and I'm sure more were there) and the energy and enthusiasm that fill the space are like at no other Chicago event. This year's intense heat was challenging and I was completely drenched after about 30 minutes of walking around. Still, given that rain was in the forecast, I was perfectly happy with the hot but dry weather.

    As a fan and supporter of the market, I was thrilled to see that even with the doubled ticket price this year, 2,500 tickets were sold. Given the overhead and decreased corporate donations/underwriting this year, it's nice to know that the market will have a bit more revenue left over to carry out its mission after all the expenses of holding this event have been paid. That said, it was crowded but in a way that, for the most part, I found enjoyable. Almost all of the lines I encountered were completely reasonable and I only came across one that was intolerably slow. On that one, I bailed and I think it would have been just as slow even if only half the number of people were there. Yes, as Hammond foretold, there were chow-blockers but they were easily dismissed with firm "excuse me's." Overall, though, the organizers and volunteers did a fantastic job and the event flowed quite well.

    A few years back, it seemed possible to, perhaps, taste just about everything at this event that looked interesting but with 80+ chefs preparing food this time around, there was just no way. I did better than last year, avoided unnecessary starches, didn't finish every portion (some were generous but ridiculously huge) and walked a lot. But still, about 45 minutes in, I hit the wall and only nibbled from there. There were bites I brought back to our perch that went completely untouched by our entire group of 12. More so than in previous years, the beverages were at the same level as the food, which made the event even more enjoyable -- and challenging -- than it usually is. In the end, this was an event at which even 'relying on my training' wasn't nearly enough to pull me through. :wink:

    I have a bunch of shots but haven't had time to sort through them all. Once I do, I'll be back to post them.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #86 - July 17th, 2010, 10:21 am
    Post #86 - July 17th, 2010, 10:21 am Post #86 - July 17th, 2010, 10:21 am
    I'm a fan and was happy I went and had great bites (as mentioned) but the event would be so much better imho if the space was expanded to ease the crowding and if there were some long communal tables set up or even benches or something. Not sure if folks were at the Three Sisters bbq brunch last year but at that, along with awesome food, the sense of community built as folks found a spot for a bit at communal tables and talked about their favorites and such was a major reason the event worked so very well (well that and the heirloom cherry tomato bloody marys!)

    I'm very supportive of the GCM and shop there every week (though not this week since I am just plain tired of the heat) but the bbq felt a bit like an endurance event this year just getting through the crowds to the various stations even if I rarely had to wait even a minute to actually get some food. I did head to the left when the gate opened since the crowd was heading right towards Bayless, etc which made for some nice chances to stroll and sample at a more leisurely pace but I ended up heading home early since it was just too hot and crowded while last year I never wanted to leave.
  • Post #87 - July 17th, 2010, 10:57 am
    Post #87 - July 17th, 2010, 10:57 am Post #87 - July 17th, 2010, 10:57 am
    Thanks to all for the veterans for your sound advice-and to Cinnamon Girls for the map! It was so nice to have in hand before I got over to the info table were they had them at the event. I did heed the skip the bread advice (for the most part-it's hard for me to ditch a crostini under any circumstances, lol) and was glad I did. I was still too full to sample everything, but cutting down on the bread helped immensely. Like many here, I loved the North Pond offering. I was a big fan of Bin 36 peach panna cotta-somewhat shocking as I am generally turned off by panna cotta and anything with foam. The dish really worked for me, tho. Loved Kevin Hickey's short ribs (skipped the tortilla completely) and Naha's elk ragu. Completely missed MK's snow cones. I really must have been in a food stupor as all I could think of was "what the @*%$ is a Blue Bunny ice cream truck doing HERE??!!" I saw all manner of trays-everything from cookie sheets to faux plastic crystal from the Dollar Store-those got my vote for classiest looking transport mechanism of the evening. Will definitely bring something similar to ease the juggling of food and drink next year. I tried to hold on to the same fork all evening-felt more in step with the GCM philosophy ;) So glad the rain held off. Looking forward to next year!
  • Post #88 - July 17th, 2010, 11:02 am
    Post #88 - July 17th, 2010, 11:02 am Post #88 - July 17th, 2010, 11:02 am
    Great pictures, Mike G. Nice to relive the event thru them. Thanks for taking/posting.
  • Post #89 - July 17th, 2010, 12:22 pm
    Post #89 - July 17th, 2010, 12:22 pm Post #89 - July 17th, 2010, 12:22 pm
    I followed the 'training' this year and formed an eating group, disposed of food I no longer wanted to eat, and avoided starch. And all told, I came out in much better shape than the last two years when I grew as nap-hungry as I was food-full.

    Some of the bites I really enjoyed that have and haven't been as commented on above:

    - Purple Pig's corn relish. This was the first bite I had of the night. The corn was sweet, the dressing was acidic (one of the reasons I love the antipasti menu at the restaurant is the liberal use of acid). I believe there was also a little bit of heat. This was a fine way to start the evening.
    - Belly Shack's corn with togarashi mayo. I didn't eat all of it and it wasn't clean, but it was very tasty.
    - Both of Lula Cafe/ Nightwood's offerings - the marinated beets with cheese curd and red orach (they'd either run out of walleye or it had been eaten from my plate before it was passed to me by my companions), and the marinated goat, radish and hominy were well-composed, salad bites that were properly dressed and seasoned. Both were very good and helped me get a second wind after a lot of pork.
    - Naha's elk ragu with goat cheese and red wine syrup over grilled bread was a very nice bite
    - I normally dislike panna cotta's, but the addition of prosciutto foam, unbilled prosciutto 'dust', and red mizuna drew me in. This was not desserty at all to me, but just a very nice layer of flavors.
    - Also enjoyed the Bayless taco, and after a long and fruitless search for Coco Pazzo's squash blossoms on BR's recommendation, I found them pulling down the tent, turned around and found 3 fine-looking sausages sitting right there - and that's how I came to love Old Town Social's Kaekrainer, the last thing I ate, and a great one.

    I was conflicted about Innovasi's dish. Despite the long list of ingredients, it came down to the pork and raw creme fraiche for me. And it worked wonderfully where the meat had some tooth. Unfortunately, on the same plate, was shredded meaty jell-o which was was completely unpleasant.

    My dessert awards go to:
    - Eli's layered goat's milk basil cheesecake. I usually pass by Eli's stand without a second thought, but the herbal addition piqued my interest. I must have gotten there too late to try the stone fruit sauce, as it was just cake on honeyed graham cracker (cracker discarded). But the cheesecake alone was fantastic. I have to admit that I am an unbiased lover of cheesecake, but I thought the goat cheese tang and basil played off nicely and it was not overly sweet.
    - North Pond's smoked trout mousse, pickled cherries, and young arugula sounded pretty savory on hazelnut macaron sure sounded savory. The first bite was balanced, but the sweetness of the cherries took over. The lack of fish flavor turned it into a whipped cream dollop, and the arugula and hazelnut flavors were nowhere to be found. Mind you, I thought it was very good, but it didn't taste like dinner. Let's just say you could get a lot of kids eating smoked trout this way - just make a cream and cherry sandwich cookie out of it.

    I had fun and ate some good food. I don't think anything will match the novelty and exhilaration of my first market barbeque a few years ago, but this one just seemed to be about more. More chefs, more heat, more density. It struck me this year that, as big as it has become, it's harder to have the same shared experience as another person. One of the things that makes this kind of event great is not just trying all the food and meeting like-minded food folks, it's the Monday Morning Quarterbacking, the LTH-style foodie re-hash of how it all went down. In the last couple of years, it seemed that enough of LTH was drawn to and commented on similar dishes to make for a richer shared-experience for later discussion. This year, there were so many tastes vying for your attention, that it's no wonder that each account shapes up a little differently and paints a different picture. And it's always interesting to see what someone thought of that stand you passed right by. All in all, still rich, but different.

    And hot :)
  • Post #90 - July 22nd, 2010, 9:33 am
    Post #90 - July 22nd, 2010, 9:33 am Post #90 - July 22nd, 2010, 9:33 am
    G Wiv wrote:Ditto for Prairie Grass, liked the BBQ brisket, loved the house made giardiniera.
    Been thinking about Prairie Grass's giardiniera and have come to the conclusion the fine dice, brunoise in chef terms, of component vegetables elevated taste and texture. The even fine dice worked particularly well with the thin crisp bread distributing flavor in a small footprint.

    As a side note, other chefs would do well to take a page from Smoque/Ina (crostini) and Prairie Grass as thin and crisp holds up better in the heat and humidity of mid July than bread, roll and bun.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more