Chicago, IL –
I arrived on Friday in the emmaculent city of Chicago a bit early before check-in, so a friend and I headed to breakfast downtown at State & Lake Restaurant. I indulged in Red Velvet Pancakes, three vibrant fluffy pancakes topped with vanilla mascarpone and fresh berries. Traditionally with any Red Velvet dessert, cream cheese is usually not far behind but the vanilla mascarpone offered a sweet yet tangy undertone to cut through the sweetness of the pancakes. I enjoyed it overall.
We continued to tour the city until check-in, sites that included Millennium Park, Prudential Building, and Chicago Tribune. Finally, we checked in and refreshed ourselves from our flight and early tour of the city.
We finally arrived at the Taste on a scorching hot day with reoccurring rain but we were going to weather the storm for Chicago’s great eats. In order to sample food vendors, we had to buy raffle tickets as each tasting was about five tickets each. I went ahead and bought about 36 tickets hoping that it might be enough.
After I visited several vendors I had just enough tickets for one more and had decide what was worth another round and it was the Mustard Covered Catfish from BJ’s Market & Bakery. The catfish was both most moist and flaky with a crispy, flavorful coating.
Later in the evening, 90′s R&B Singer Raphael Saadiq opened the Chaka Khan concert like he owned the stage once again. He sung some of his classics like It’s Your Anniversary, It Feels Good as well as some of his latest songs.
After a short interlude, Chaka Khan graced her presence on stage looking great from her 60 lb. weight loss and forever youthful beauty. Chaka hit every note high and dipped low with every dance move. I was beyond impressed as she exuded great energy and a captivating stage presence. This 59-year-old diva proved that she can still keep up in the race of Soulful R&B!
Overall a great festival with an awesome concert. I only wished there was more vendors at this event for my travel from New York. I was later told that the event date was moved from the July 4th weekend due to previous violence years ago and the city’s current deficient.
The following day, I asked a couple locals where I could find the BEST Chicago deep dish pizza. I was told Gino’s Pizza and Lou Malnati’s Pizza had the best. I had to try them both!
After eating both, they were equally delicious I loved the robust, chunky tomato sauces but didn’t enjoy Gino’s thick cornmeal crust. In the end Lou Malnati’s was my Chicago favorite!
For the rest of my stay I hit several local eateries and hot spots of Downtown Chicago! Check out my gallery for my music and foodie snapshots!