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Taste of Melrose Park, Labor Day Weekend

Taste of Melrose Park, Labor Day Weekend
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  • Taste of Melrose Park, Labor Day Weekend

    Post #1 - August 21st, 2007, 3:17 pm
    Post #1 - August 21st, 2007, 3:17 pm Post #1 - August 21st, 2007, 3:17 pm
    Taste of Melrose Park

    1000 N. 25th, Melrose Park. Free admission.

    Friday, August 31, 6PM to Midnight
    Saturday, Sept 1, Noon to Midnight
    Sunday, Sept 2, Noon to 10:00 PM

    Thrill to Siciliano's Old Fashioned Fried Bologna, Scatchell's Stuffed Melrose Peppers, Louie Ariola's Artichoke Casserole, Missionary Sisters of St. Charles "Sfingi," Campenelli's Fried Twinkies, and many other oddish edibles, all $2 and under.

    And this year...there will be live monkeys. And Dick Biondi.

    I like this event.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - August 21st, 2007, 4:10 pm
    Post #2 - August 21st, 2007, 4:10 pm Post #2 - August 21st, 2007, 4:10 pm
    David Hammond wrote:And this year...there will be live monkeys. And Dick Biondi.

    Jones, Tork and Nesmith back together again. Dick Biondi AND fried balogna! Pack a bag baby....we're movin to Melrose!
    This could be a very cool Saturday evening.
  • Post #3 - August 22nd, 2007, 4:06 pm
    Post #3 - August 22nd, 2007, 4:06 pm Post #3 - August 22nd, 2007, 4:06 pm
    Thank's for the heads up!

    I hope to make it this year. Not only for the food but for the sights. :wink:



    (Picture credit to steveZ)
    Image[/quote]
    Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Spaghetti and Meatballs! (Beauregard Burnside III)
  • Post #4 - August 28th, 2007, 10:53 pm
    Post #4 - August 28th, 2007, 10:53 pm Post #4 - August 28th, 2007, 10:53 pm
    We look forward to seeing all of our dedicated foodies from LTH at the Taste of Melrose Park. Mention your from LTH and we will pile on extra for you. We have to take care of our own. :D

    I hope you all enjoy the Taste as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.

    The Siciliano family

    PS -- My own personal take, even I take a break to get Sfingi, it's outstanding. They will do take home in egg cartons.

    Don
  • Post #5 - August 28th, 2007, 11:01 pm
    Post #5 - August 28th, 2007, 11:01 pm Post #5 - August 28th, 2007, 11:01 pm
    sicilianos wrote:We look forward to seeing all of our dedicated foodies from LTH at the Taste of Melrose Park. Mention your from LTH and we will pile on extra for you. We have to take care of our own.


    This is what I call an offer you can't refuse! :lol:
  • Post #6 - August 29th, 2007, 11:57 am
    Post #6 - August 29th, 2007, 11:57 am Post #6 - August 29th, 2007, 11:57 am
    On the afternoon of Friday, August 31, I'll be interviewing vendors and others as part of a program on the Taste of Melrose Park that I'm writing/coproducing/narrating for WBEZ's 848. I'll be there around 5:00 PM and plan to stay until the evening. If possible, I'd like to interview attending LTH folks regarding their "take" on the food offerings. If you'd like to be interviewed, you can respond to this thread or call me on my cell: 708.902.3969 (note: I may have to switch off my phone during interviews).

    Spoke to the Taste coordinator this morning, and she okay'd an interview with Dick Biondi (along with the Rat Pack, one of the featured performers) -- would love to have him tell the joke that got him kicked off the air during the Eisenhower Administration, but the chances of that seem low (researching the topic, I'm beginning to doubt there ever WAS a joke).

    Anyway, I look forward to this slice, as always.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #7 - August 30th, 2007, 6:02 pm
    Post #7 - August 30th, 2007, 6:02 pm Post #7 - August 30th, 2007, 6:02 pm
    Oh man, I'm getting agita already!

    http://melrosepark.org/events/vendorlist.pdf

    :D :D
    Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Spaghetti and Meatballs! (Beauregard Burnside III)
  • Post #8 - August 30th, 2007, 6:15 pm
    Post #8 - August 30th, 2007, 6:15 pm Post #8 - August 30th, 2007, 6:15 pm
    David Hammond wrote:would love to have him tell the joke that got him kicked off the air during the Eisenhower Administration, but the chances of that seem low (researching the topic, I'm beginning to doubt there ever WAS a joke).


    "Have you noticed how short girls' skirts are getting? If they keep going like this, they'll have to get two hair dos."
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - August 30th, 2007, 6:19 pm
    Post #9 - August 30th, 2007, 6:19 pm Post #9 - August 30th, 2007, 6:19 pm
    stevez wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:would love to have him tell the joke that got him kicked off the air during the Eisenhower Administration, but the chances of that seem low (researching the topic, I'm beginning to doubt there ever WAS a joke).


    "Have you noticed how short girls' skirts are getting? If they keep going like this, they'll have to get two hair dos."


    Yeah, my cousin Gordo (now doing a life sentence in New Mexico) told it to me that way, but I've also heard it this way:

    "Took my girl to see a baseball game. Said, 'Let's play our own game. I'll kiss you on the strikes and you kiss me on the...'"
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #10 - August 30th, 2007, 6:22 pm
    Post #10 - August 30th, 2007, 6:22 pm Post #10 - August 30th, 2007, 6:22 pm
    stevez wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:would love to have him tell the joke that got him kicked off the air during the Eisenhower Administration, but the chances of that seem low (researching the topic, I'm beginning to doubt there ever WAS a joke).


    "Have you noticed how short girls' skirts are getting? If they keep going like this, they'll have to get two hair dos."


    Another version I heard on Steve Dahl's show years ago. "They'll have more cheeks to powder and chair to comb".

    :oops:
    Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Spaghetti and Meatballs! (Beauregard Burnside III)
  • Post #11 - August 31st, 2007, 5:45 am
    Post #11 - August 31st, 2007, 5:45 am Post #11 - August 31st, 2007, 5:45 am
    Clearly, there is much uncertainty regarding this element of the Biondi legend. So how much of a coup would it be if I could get him to repeat his joke for WBEZ listeners? 8)

    Note: the official version of the story glosses over the mention of any job-ending joke: http://www.radiohof.org/discjockey/dickbiondi.html
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #12 - August 31st, 2007, 9:27 pm
    Post #12 - August 31st, 2007, 9:27 pm Post #12 - August 31st, 2007, 9:27 pm
    David Hammond wrote: So how much of a coup would it be if I could get him to repeat his joke for WBEZ listeners? 8)


    Spoke with Biondi tonight, and have a recording of his story re: the Joke. So listen in, won't you, to 848 WBEZ next Friday, when all shall be revealed. Maybe.

    Hammond

    PS. I also got my picture taken with a live monkey.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #13 - September 1st, 2007, 7:33 pm
    Post #13 - September 1st, 2007, 7:33 pm Post #13 - September 1st, 2007, 7:33 pm
    I just returned from the Taste of Melrose Park, fully sated. It struck me that it is what the Taste of Chicago might be if it were run by LTH - or pretty close.

    I particularly enjoyed Gia & Nat's Gnocchis (not nearly as heavy or mushy as gnocchi can be; if gnocchi can be light and airy this is it), Siciliano's Old Fashioned Fried Bologna (who could imagine that fried bologna can be light and airy; thanks Don); and Cervone's Homemade Cannoli (who could imagine that cannoli can be ... not really, but it was as good as I have had in awhile). There was much much.
  • Post #14 - September 2nd, 2007, 12:01 am
    Post #14 - September 2nd, 2007, 12:01 am Post #14 - September 2nd, 2007, 12:01 am
    GAF,

    You are certainly welcome, my family thanks you for your patronage. We are glad you enjoyed the sandwich. I really wish I got more time to talk to the people who stop by the stand, but that job usually falls to my wife, Guadalupe and my Mom, Linda who work the front counter.

    Saturday was a busy night at the Taste, very hot until the sun went down, and we anticipate more of the same tomorrow. I agree with all of your picks, and I thought the meatball sandwich was pretty good (some people said a bit salty, I liked it actually), and a nice size sandwich for the money.
  • Post #15 - September 2nd, 2007, 12:15 am
    Post #15 - September 2nd, 2007, 12:15 am Post #15 - September 2nd, 2007, 12:15 am
    sicilianos wrote:Saturday was a busy night at the Taste, very hot until the sun went down, and we anticipate more of the same tomorrow.


    Yeah, I walked by your place around 6:00 and you and Linda were sitting in the back; most of the folks with a western exposure were sweltering, and it actually seemed that the lines were longer at places in the shade (maybe just a coincidence, or maybe visitors gravitated toward shadier areas).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #16 - September 2nd, 2007, 11:07 am
    Post #16 - September 2nd, 2007, 11:07 am Post #16 - September 2nd, 2007, 11:07 am
    Every year, Corinne Ariola Principe makes artichoke casserole for a local feast and Taste of Melrose Park.

    Image

    When she makes the casserole, she wears her mother’s smock. Her mother has been gone for many years, but Corinne feels that wearing the smock gives her mother’s recipe the “right touch.”

    Image

    I like that the smock doesn't quite fit; it pulls at the shoulders. Corinne is evidently a little larger than her mom, and she is one of many memorable people I met in the last weekend.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #17 - September 3rd, 2007, 11:50 am
    Post #17 - September 3rd, 2007, 11:50 am Post #17 - September 3rd, 2007, 11:50 am
    We went on Saturday night and had an excellent time (it was our new 3 month old's first festival). We tried the artichoke casserole (nice), the arancini (excellent, with cheese and meat inside the rice ball, topped with a little tomato sauce), the fried calamari (very sweet calamari, although it could have used a little more crunch), the eggplant sandwich (decent), the frozen chocolate banana (always hits the spot), and my favorite, the corn fritters, which were light and very delicious. I would consider going every year.
    "My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."

    -Orson Welles-
  • Post #18 - September 3rd, 2007, 10:20 pm
    Post #18 - September 3rd, 2007, 10:20 pm Post #18 - September 3rd, 2007, 10:20 pm
    We went Sunday afternoon, first time ever attending, with another family that's gone every year for the last 10. Doubt I could've convinced my husband to go if not for the added LTH endorsement.

    And we absolutely loved it! Agree with prior posters, it's what a great Taste of Chicago should be. Take a taste, pay $2. Perfect.

    The arancini were fabulous, we actually brought home a few to reheat for lunch. I buy them regularly at IlMulino in Highwood and my husband was shocked (i don't usually share with him!). These were better.

    We loved the artichoke casserole, the cannoli, the fresh mozzarella with tomatoes, the sfingi. Brought home the corn fritters so as not to get too stuffed. We didn't love the ravioli or the gnocchi, but special props to the booth selling the rigatoni with vodka sauce. My little guy is very picky and begged me to find him pasta without sauce. The guy at the rigatoni booth not only gave me plain pasta, but only charged me $1. Wouldn't see that happen at a festival on the north shore!

    Will definitely be making this an annual event.
  • Post #19 - September 3rd, 2007, 11:29 pm
    Post #19 - September 3rd, 2007, 11:29 pm Post #19 - September 3rd, 2007, 11:29 pm
    sujormik wrote:We went Sunday afternoon, first time ever attending, with another family that's gone every year for the last 10. Doubt I could've convinced my husband to go if not for the added LTH endorsement.

    And we absolutely loved it! Agree with prior posters, it's what a great Taste of Chicago should be. Take a taste, pay $2. Perfect.


    I'm so glad you guys liked it. This is kind of an off-radar event, and I know some who actively snub it (buddy of mine: "Taste of Melrose? What's that? Pavement?"), so it's good to know that you and GAF and others had a good time and some good chow there. For me, it's tough to separate the emotional resonance from the food; I just pick up such a good-natured neighborhood vibe at this event that they could serve Wonderbread straight up and I might dig it. Fortunately, as you suggest, there's a lot of diversity here.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #20 - September 4th, 2007, 2:06 pm
    Post #20 - September 4th, 2007, 2:06 pm Post #20 - September 4th, 2007, 2:06 pm
    We went Friday night, and I agree, the food is amazing and cheap. We brought home 5 cannoli (they must have been used to that, they even had bags.) I'll second the arancini and the casserole. I loved the stuffed melrose pepper sandwich as well.

    I'm sorry we didn't make outselves available for interview, with the two kids I never know exactly when we'll be anywhere.

    We'll definitely make it an annual event. That the rides were also $2 was a big bonus for us. $2 pony rides are pretty much unheard of.
  • Post #21 - September 4th, 2007, 2:22 pm
    Post #21 - September 4th, 2007, 2:22 pm Post #21 - September 4th, 2007, 2:22 pm
    I am glad to hear there are those of you who have never attended the Taste of Melrose Park finding your way to our neighborhood. I passed along the info on the cannolis to the owner of the stand. Not only was I close to his stand at the Taste, we live on the same block, as well as the meatball sandwich stand owner and fried dough is across the street. We look forward to seeing you all again.

    I know that we do it for the fun, family atmosphere, and to get to see and talk to the people who stop by our stand. There are far better ways to make money, but not to have a better experience. So we take a few aspirin on Sunday night and sleep in late on Monday, and laugh about the good times until next year.

    My thanks again to David for helping bring the spotlight to the Taste of Melrose Park. We all got a kick out of the radio interview.
  • Post #22 - September 5th, 2007, 6:07 pm
    Post #22 - September 5th, 2007, 6:07 pm Post #22 - September 5th, 2007, 6:07 pm
    My segment on Taste of Melrose Park will run tomorrow, September 6, on WBEZ 848, 91.5 FM, between 9:00 – 10:00 AM and then again in the evening 8:00 – 9:00 PM. You can listen to it online or download the podcast at:

    http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Programs.aspx

    My words with Dick Biondi wherein he reveals the truth behind “the joke” had to be cut (it just didn’t fit into the food talk), but if someone with access to an appropriate site wants to put it out there, I will send them the audio file.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #23 - August 16th, 2008, 8:40 am
    Post #23 - August 16th, 2008, 8:40 am Post #23 - August 16th, 2008, 8:40 am
    The 2008 Taste is coming up at the end of the month.

    http://www.melrosepark.org/events/TASTEF~1.pdf
    Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Spaghetti and Meatballs! (Beauregard Burnside III)
  • Post #24 - August 26th, 2008, 6:35 am
    Post #24 - August 26th, 2008, 6:35 am Post #24 - August 26th, 2008, 6:35 am
    For those of you that have never been to the taste of Melrose Park, there really is a lot to offer at a reasonable price. My family and I look forward to this every year, and take time to stop at our favorite stands. I hope to see some of you there.
    There's always room for fried bologna. - d4v3
  • Post #25 - August 26th, 2008, 11:34 am
    Post #25 - August 26th, 2008, 11:34 am Post #25 - August 26th, 2008, 11:34 am
    We plan on visiting again this year. I am hoping it will be slightly more relaxing with a 1 year old vs a 1 month old. I've been dreaming of a stuffed melrose pepper sandwich since last year.
  • Post #26 - August 29th, 2008, 9:49 am
    Post #26 - August 29th, 2008, 9:49 am Post #26 - August 29th, 2008, 9:49 am
    I have kind of a busy weekend (the usual wakes, funerals, etc.), but I must betake myself back to this festival if only for a half hour or so. I think it's one of the most fun, economical, homey and delicious of all the Chicago fests.

    Three things I like about this annual get-together:

    • Two bucks is the max anyone can charge for an item -- 10 bucks and you're fed
    • Most vendors (like over 95%) have no brick-and-mortar counterparts: they just make family food, year after year, that attracts a loving local following
    • You can have your picture taken with a monkey

    High on my list is to get another picture of me with a monkey. Last year, I won a bet with The Wife which involved getting to put the picture of me and the monkey on our refrigerator for two months (Thanksgiving through Xmas), in lieu of family pix. Sometimes, The Wife would get so mad at me about this whole monkey business she wouldn't talk for hours...which was very satisfying in a sick kind of way. Any way, I want another pic of a monkey and me...

    Here's a link to my WBEZ piece about last year's TOMP: http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Conte ... ioID=13149
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #27 - August 29th, 2008, 5:32 pm
    Post #27 - August 29th, 2008, 5:32 pm Post #27 - August 29th, 2008, 5:32 pm
    David Hammond wrote:• You can have your picture taken with a monkey


    Been there, done that...

    Image

    This experience in Bali really left me with a fear of monkeys.

    Image

    That said, Taste of Melrose Park looks interesting. Will check it out. Hold the monkey.
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #28 - August 29th, 2008, 6:11 pm
    Post #28 - August 29th, 2008, 6:11 pm Post #28 - August 29th, 2008, 6:11 pm
    RAB wrote:Hold the monkey.


    Oh, I intend to. This year, I'm thinking I'd like a close up of me and the little devil.

    David "Hail to Hanuman" Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #29 - August 29th, 2008, 11:14 pm
    Post #29 - August 29th, 2008, 11:14 pm Post #29 - August 29th, 2008, 11:14 pm
    Image

    Taking RAB's lead: A Melrose Park boy in Gibraltar, New Year's Day, 2005. Note the family resemblance.

    The king's perch:

    Image

    Shortly after this picture, he stole a German tourist's foil-wrapped sandwich, ate it, crumpled the foil into a perfect ball, and threw it, with MLB-quality windup and arm slot, off the cliff. I hear they do that with cameras as well.
  • Post #30 - August 31st, 2008, 9:18 am
    Post #30 - August 31st, 2008, 9:18 am Post #30 - August 31st, 2008, 9:18 am
    Terrible news: the monkey did not come to this year's Taste of Melrose. Devastated.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”

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