I didn't stay until the end of the show since the crowd was so big - yet we only saw one person get told to leave which overall wasn't bad. I found out on my way to the L that they were turning people away from entering the fenced in concert area. There were THAT MANY people that they had to do it for safety reasons which is crazy! It took me a good 20 mins just to get out of there but overall it was totally worth it.
I had my camera but taking good photos while in a mass of people didn't seem like a great idea. The tickets are sold in sheets with this year's costs being $8 for a sheet of 12 tickets. In terms of taste portions, really just a sample, this works but it does add up if you want to actually eat a meal there.
I ended up getting three things.
- Sweet Potato Fries - 4 tickets - Hashbrowns (731 W. Maxwell St.)
Thin but not too thinly cut, a hint of sweetness which made me think some sort of brown sugar aspect, good crisp on the edges, salted with coarse salt or sea salt that was just the right amount
The verdict: AWESOME! If someone gave me extra tickets or I decided to get more than my usual one ticket sheet a year, I'd definitely go back to get a full portion.
- Red Beans and Rice with Jerk Chicken - 4 tickets - Vee Vee's African Cuisine (6232 N. Broadway St.) One small piece of chopped chicken with blackened spiced edge (end piece of a leg bone!!) that seemed to lacking the spice/heat, red bean and rice were a bit salty and ordinary
The verdict: Meh. Vee Vee's have been there numerous times and I have a friend who really likes their Sauteed Goat with Jolloff Rice. The bone threw me esp with I found a smaller piece and when a woman had to return her entire portion since it was mostly bones.
- Peach Cobbler - 4 tickets - BJ's Market and Bakery (8734 S. Stony Island Ave.)
Sweet but not overpoweringly sweet, thinly sliced peaches but still thick enough not to lose their softness and turn into mush, flaky crust that meshed well and had no shortening/fat taste or texture
The verdict: The paper boat was scraped clean. It was THAT good.
There were some other places that looked pretty good but then I was out of tickets. The $4 that I had left kept me from buying more. I did get a free Honest T Ade - Pomegranate Blue - as well from promo people on the street. It ended up being really good even after it got warm and I'll definitly buy one in the future. Overall though it was a success.