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Summerfest 4th of July (Food and Music Review)

Summerfest 4th of July (Food and Music Review)
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  • Summerfest 4th of July (Food and Music Review)

    Post #1 - July 5th, 2004, 9:16 am
    Post #1 - July 5th, 2004, 9:16 am Post #1 - July 5th, 2004, 9:16 am
    So I gave into my temptation (see above) and went to Summerfest on the 4th. Nowhere near the crowds of Grant Park, much more music, and a decent selection of only slightly-overpriced chow. I'd post this to one of the Eating sections above, but since they're closed now, doesn't seem worth starting another thread.

    First pass through the park, my wife was desparate for onion rings. All the way down to the south end, Pitch's sells an onion blossom and onion loaf. A half-loaf was $3. More like a 1/4 Hackney's loaf or less, about a cup and a half. Served with insipid ranch and a BBQ sauce that just didn't work with the onions. Very tasty on their own, though. Nice little snack to get the day started. Followed it by Hawaiian Shave Ice. $2.75 for two flavors in one overflowing cup: Pink Lemonade and Blue Razz for me. Good value in refreshment, compared to much of the drink prices.

    Wandered around a bit more waiting for our friends to show (we had free tix from a friend of my sis-in-law), hearing music blaring from several stages, all pretty good. Caught Katie Todd Band -- always excellent, and funkier than usual. They're loosening up and jamming more (even included an excerpt of "Bouncing Round the Room" by Phish). Headed back up the fest main drag for the main eating of the evening (I only have prices on what I paid for).

    * Fried eggplant strips from Venice Club -- outstanding. Soft and sweet, served with parmesan cheese, marinara for dipping, and a scary little packet of lemon juice. Great value for $4.75, huge portion.

    * Funnel Cake -- the Mrs.'s weakness

    * Thai Beef Salad from The King and I -- Wasn't a Nuea Nam Thok, as it had too much of a chili powder flavor, and not enough cilantro, but pretty good, and a bit of a kick.

    * Sambosas from Aladdin -- Like a phyllo samosa: potatoes and peas, in a mild curry-like flavoring (cumin, turmeric were noted at least).

    * Cheese Enchilada from Gus' Mexican Cantina (where my Sis-in-law's first wedding was, I think). Pretty insipid. Melted cheese all over the place, very gooey.

    Wandered for a while, heard a bit of Indigenous (rockin' blues), and SOULIVE (70's style funk, soul, R&B, quite good), and headed down for early seats for Indigo Girls. The stage area was neck deep in people, I could barely breathe. Frankly, although the music is beautiful, the live performance was pretty stiff and dull. We wandered back north again for Johnny Clegg "and the music of Savuka and Jaluka." If you've never caught his stuff, please do: colorful, lively, deep in its love for South Africa. You've probably heard "Dela" on the "George of the Jungle" soundtrack.

    Finished up the night with a Thai egg roll from The King and I again: tasty with bits of beef, but greasy and a bit soggy. Oil wasn't hot enough, I'd bet.

    I'll definitely go back to Summerfest again. Getting in and out of there was loads easier than Grant Park. Even with an extra 60 miles on the odometer each way, I probably got home faster.
  • Post #2 - July 7th, 2004, 8:20 pm
    Post #2 - July 7th, 2004, 8:20 pm Post #2 - July 7th, 2004, 8:20 pm
    Yes, that fried eggplant really is amazing! I just read in JSOnline that the Venice Club for that week or so of Summerfest is the largest single processor of eggplant in the world... ... 239875.asp