I am getting back into the groove of trying new things here in the amazing city of Chicago. Chicago is known for its harsh winters, but what many don’t know is that summers in Chicago are AMAZING. There are so many things going on at what time, it is mind boggling. Probably because people are cooped up inside for six months of the year! Chicago has festival upon festival – whether it be food, art, music, etc. Lollapalooza? Yeah, that’s here?
Fyre Festival 2.0 Pokemon Go Fest? Yeah, also here. But let’s be real, clearly I am all about the food and with all the neighborhoods here, THERE ARE SO MANY FESTIVALS!
I made it my mission this summer to get out more and try new things, while I am failing more than I am succeeding, I did make it out to a new festival: Ribfest Chicago. I know what you are thinking…Chicago…ribs? Never heard of it. We have Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City – all come to mind when you think barbecue and ribs. Fair enough – but that doesn’t mean Chicago doesn’t do ribs! Chicago summers hold two major Rib festivals: Ribfest Chicago and Windy City Ribfest; not to mention two or three other BBQ festivals!
Now, don’t hate me…but I have never been a fan of ribs (GASP!) Yeah, I expected Joseph to leave me on the street when I told him this, considering he is from Memphis. They have just never been my thing. Pork has never been my thing, except pulled and in sausage form. I am a weirdo, I know. My family has said this many a-times when we would have barbecues. In fact, I never really liked bbq food until I lived in Hong Kong. Living abroad is what made me realize that DANG this is some good food. Except ribs…and don’t you dare make me eat grilled chicken with bbq sauce. (Sorry, truth comes out dad!) So despite the fact I don’t like ribs, I still went to the rib fest and had a blast! There is so much more at the rib fest than just ribs – pulled pork, cornbread, nachos, art, music, jewelry, etc. So believe me, I was able to eat at this fest – more than I probably should!
Ribfest Chicago is located on Lincoln Ave from Irving Park Road and Berteau Ave with a stage at each of of the fest. Different acts play throughout the day so you can hear everything from country at rock to indie. In-between are tents and trucks filled with food and drinks – however make sure to bring a wallet. Now, this fest isn’t as expensive as say, Taste of Chicago, however it will set you back about $1 per ticket. Alcoholic drinks range from 6-10 tickets and food 3 t0 15 depending on what you get.
My roommate Andrea, Joseph, and I started of the day with an appetizer of pulled pork nachos, because you can never go wrong when starting with nachos. However these were a bit underwhelming unfortunately. I mean, look, the pork didn’t even have bbq sauce on it! Shame, but we took one for the team and devoured them all.
While Joseph went for the ribs, as one does at a rib fest, I obviously went for the mac and cheese as I can never turn down mac and cheese. I may be
28 a twenty-something but GOSH I love me some mac and cheese. Obviously to get into the bbq theme, pulled pork was added, which made it even better. Yum! Call me crazy since I don’t really like ribs due to not being the biggest fan of pork, but I love pulled pork. I’M WEIRD, I KNOW.
We walked around for a bit, listening to the two stages that had music acts, sipping our ciders and taking it all in. We passed a stand that has every fried of desserts you could think of and Joseph took the bait by ordering a fried Milky Way. Unfortunately, they gave him a fried Snickers (blech) but he and Andrea still enjoyed it!
All I wanted was cornbread, but as the night got later, the lines got longer. When it was going to be 25 minutes to get me a piece of cornbread we decided it was time to call it a night. However, not before getting a pretzel ice cream bar and my favorite thing ever – a root beer float! Maybe it is a Midwest thing but dang those things make me nostalgic for my childhood and summers spent in Wisconsin.
Overall, it was a great way to spend and afternoon and checkout a new neighborhood in Chicago. I would definitely call it a success.