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Green City BBQ Festival (7/17/08)

Green City BBQ Festival (7/17/08)
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  • Post #31 - July 18th, 2008, 3:56 pm
    Post #31 - July 18th, 2008, 3:56 pm Post #31 - July 18th, 2008, 3:56 pm
    Jonah wrote:One of my favorites, not yet mentioned, was Vie's pork sausage and pickles sandwich (I don't have the official title).


    That was very good, as was the fois sausage topped with some sort of sour cherry relish (cherry: the other pork*) at the booth right next to Vie (can't remember who it was).

    And, speaking of cherries, the cherry pot de fruit at Tru's table were outstanding. The pastry chef said that they were the best batch she ever made and attributed that fact to the use of fresh cherries rather than frozen puree.

    * Cherries and various preparations thereof were almost as ubiquitous as pork...not that I'm complaining.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #32 - July 18th, 2008, 4:06 pm
    Post #32 - July 18th, 2008, 4:06 pm Post #32 - July 18th, 2008, 4:06 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:I found to my surprise that no booth (by my count) featured chicken or egg products.

    Without pulling out the scorecard, I wanted to mention another memorable plate. I don't know if it was because it was my first bite but the grilled peaches with honey, goat cheese and salted cashews at the Atwood Cafe were a perfect apres-le-deluge amuse.



    Nor were there any fish (maybe more understandably absent). I seem to remember a lamb product, but perhaps not. Could have used some more heavily-vegetable item or two.

    That grilled fruit was a nectarine (I thought it was a peach at first, but the grill guy corrected me) and the cheese was a Prairie Fruits Farm chevre. A good combo, but the coldness of the cheese kind of jarred with the hot fruit.

    nr706 wrote:I don't remember who was serving it, but I had an excellent chunk of beef rib.

    Food coma set in quickly - I was able to make it home, then it was straight to a horizontal position. I know it's anathema to the LTH concept, but I have to work on pacing myself ...


    I believe the beef rib was from Ina's/Smoque.

    We were totally messed up after two hours of gorging; drove straight home; went for long walk. That worked.
  • Post #33 - July 18th, 2008, 4:44 pm
    Post #33 - July 18th, 2008, 4:44 pm Post #33 - July 18th, 2008, 4:44 pm
    David Hammond wrote:...it was the simple, unadorned meat that I found most pleasing.

    Hammond,

    The La Quercia prosciutto unadorned was aged longer, 18-months, than the prosciutto plated with arugula and grilled ciabbatta and was simply amazing. That, along with Blackbirds rabbit chorizo, were the two best things I tasted during an enjoyable evening of deliciousness.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #34 - July 18th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    Post #34 - July 18th, 2008, 4:48 pm Post #34 - July 18th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:I found to my surprise that no booth (by my count) featured chicken or egg products. I'm not complaining as most things were very good. But by about the 7th pork plate interspersed with a beet or a burger here or there, I was looking for for something a little different.
    I agree. In the last couple of years, there were maybe a handful of pork dishes, and far more fish and vegetarian offerings. Last night, pork overboard (although there were a few great ones) . . . one of the reasons I really appreciated the beets, tarragon and sheep's milk ricotta from Green Zebra (along with the fact that it was just so nicely composed).


    gastro gnome wrote:Without pulling out the scorecard, I wanted to mention another memorable plate. I don't know if it was because it was my first bite but the grilled peaches with honey, goat cheese and salted cashews at the Atwood Cafe were a perfect apres-le-deluge amuse.
    I agree -- a very nice combination of flavors . . . the salty/crunchy addition of the cashews really brought together the other flavors, and I find peaches/nectarines so refreshing in the heat of summer.
  • Post #35 - July 18th, 2008, 5:27 pm
    Post #35 - July 18th, 2008, 5:27 pm Post #35 - July 18th, 2008, 5:27 pm
    nr706 wrote:I don't remember who was serving it, but I had an excellent chunk of beef rib.


    David Hammond wrote:I believe the beef rib was from Ina's/Smoque.


    Not to presume what nr706 was referring to, but Le Lan was serving a particularly tasty galbi with kimchi. This dish, along with Sepia's aforementioned blueberry dessert were my favorites of the evening. Funny how others have mentioned feeling dangerously overfed. I haven't felt so full since last year's GC BBQ; I left wondering if I'd ever eat again.
  • Post #36 - July 18th, 2008, 7:44 pm
    Post #36 - July 18th, 2008, 7:44 pm Post #36 - July 18th, 2008, 7:44 pm
    Well, it certainly was a stellar event and as good as last year's installment was, this year's was even better. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is no better food event in the Chicago area than this one. And based on the number of LTH'ers I ran into last night, I don't think I'm alone in that opinion :wink:

    Unfortunately, I too, got full very fast last night and I think the slightly sticky weather may have kept my appetite down. But beyond that, there were a lot of sandwiches served and even though they were small, all that bread can fill you up before you're ready to be full. Like gastro gnome, I was stunned by the complete lack of chicken being served. I'm not one to complain about pork -- and I loved most of what I tasted -- but the restaurants that were serving beef ended up, ironically, being the novel ones. Perhaps that's why I especially appreciated the portions of rabbit, lamb, and goat I tasted last night. As for the beef, the 2 most memorable portions of it for me were the barbecued short ribs from Smoque and the braised, grilled short rib from Le Lan . . .


    Image
    The aforementioned La Quercia ham being sliced
    This is a sublime treat; one of the most well-balanced hams I've ever tasted, with a compelling nuttiness.


    Image
    Michael Nahabedian of NaHa and Herb Eckhouse of La Quercia


    Image
    Greek Sausage from Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris of Prairie Grass Cafe
    I loved this flavor-packed sausage which was herbacious and possessed a wonderful vinegar bite.


    Image
    Top Chef Stephanie Izard


    Image
    Chef Izard's delicious pork dish was, refreshingly, served over veggies, not bread


    Image
    Ina Pinkney (Ina's) and Barry Sorkin (Smoque) serving beef shortribs


    Image
    Grilled Pork Belly sandwich with pickled tomatillo relish from Christophe David of Nomi
    This was one of my favorite pork sandwiches of the night. I loved the the crispy parts of the pork, which came through loud and clear. The relish and the bread were both exceptional, too.


    Image
    Paul Virant and his crew preparing Pork Sausage sliders with -- of course -- handmade pickles
    Another fantastic pork sandwich, juicy and potent. The pickles were the perfect accent.


    Image
    Rabbit Chorizo Hotdog from Paul Kahan of Blackbird
    This was one of the more enjoyable bites of the evening for me. I loved the coarse bits of fat that were added into what was an otherwise a very finely-ground sausage. Really distinctive.


    Image
    Atwood Cafe prepping their Grilled Nectarine dessert
    As others have posted, this dessert -- with Prairie Fruit Farms goat cheese, local honey and roasted cashews -- was terrific.

    Image
    Mindy Segal of Hot Chocolate answers questions about her divine frozen confections
    We tried 3 items here: Strawberry Preserve Ice cream, Peach Ice Cream and Blueberry Frozen yogurt. They were all simply phenomenal. I think Ms. Segal's ice creams are just about the best I've ever eaten.

    I was soooo full when we were done last night and I felt bad that there were so many dishes I was too full to even try. That's not something I'm used to and while I can usually 'rely on my training' in such situations, I pretty much fell down last night. Still, almost all of what I ate was fantastic and I'm already looking forward to next year's event.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #37 - July 18th, 2008, 9:00 pm
    Post #37 - July 18th, 2008, 9:00 pm Post #37 - July 18th, 2008, 9:00 pm
    Hey Ronnie, do you think there was more food this year. My wife said no, but I think part of the ultra-fullness we all felt was simly more dishes or at least more food.

    As to the chicken issue. I would surmise that the answer has to do with no "name" chicken vendor at the Green City Market. In fact the only guy around with really a name in poultry (beyond Gunthrop who's more associated with his pork) is John Caveny (who I saw taking in the festivities yesterday), but he's not a regular vendor at Green City. Eggs, I wonder if they just don't fit into the BBQ scheme.

    SteveZ, thanks for reminding me of the cherries, they indeed were delicious; I'm glad they were plentiful.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #38 - July 18th, 2008, 10:13 pm
    Post #38 - July 18th, 2008, 10:13 pm Post #38 - July 18th, 2008, 10:13 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Hey Ronnie, do you think there was more food this year. My wife said no, but I think part of the ultra-fullness we all felt was simly more dishes or at least more food.

    Not to disagree with your better half but yes, I'm told that there were 10 more participants in this year's event, so by my rudimentary calculations, that's 20% more food than last year (or 25% more, if you calculate from the bottom, up). On top of that, I noticed that several participants this year prepared and served multiple items, so yes, I definitely think there were more choices and more food, overall.

    Good point, also, about the chicken. I was thinking its absence mainly had to do with that old restaurant stigma against serving chicken because it's perceived to be so ordinary. But I think you're right. It probably has more to do with the Market not having a chicken supplier. The GCM does have a beef supplier, whose sign was displayed at several booths which were serving that supplier's product, so that backs up your hypothesis.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #39 - July 18th, 2008, 10:29 pm
    Post #39 - July 18th, 2008, 10:29 pm Post #39 - July 18th, 2008, 10:29 pm
    Wonderful pictures Ronnie. As I e-mailed my companions: This is what LTH is all about - go, eat great food, relive with vibrant pictures.

    I've got my grazing menu in front of me now. Thanks for the correction on the Atwood dish. It was indeed nectarines. And, as stevez said, cherries also abounded. It was a parade of pork, peaches and pitted cherries. And somehow my shirt came home clean.

    Anyway, it is striking that so much quality food was available and there is at least some vocal consensus about what was memorable - especially given the long serving time and potential degradation of the product.

    To accent what others have said -

    The thing I loved about the Prairie Grass Cafe dish was not the Greek Sausage or the leeks, but the perfectly done butter-kissed braised potatoes which were creamy but still toothsome.

    Bayless's dish was remarkable in that I had it not 15 minutes from close and the pork loin was still moist as all get out. And the black beans on that bite were just flat out delicious. It was a composed, tasty nibble. The man can cook.

    I also really enjoyed the 'sandwich' half of one sixtyblue's soup n' sandwich. The cherry soup was good, but the goat cheese, brioche and creme fraiche sandwich was surprisingly sweet and delicious.

    And the one fork on which I was able to corral all the elements of Sola's housemade bacon, asian greens, pineapple salad with pickled shallots, rosemary and Chinese black vinaigrette was a memorable one indeed. It tasted good too :)

    And while Stephanie et al did serve (refreshingly) over vegetables, I nearly joked that they should have been popping out some blinis. I didn't for fear of the wrath of Valerie. And I'd be damned if the only bad taste of the night was going to be mine own.

    Bummed to see I missed the ice creams as well as Vie's stand.

    gastro "can't eat everything" gnome
  • Post #40 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:17 am
    Post #40 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:17 am Post #40 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:17 am
    Vital Information wrote:As to the chicken issue. I would surmise that the answer has to do with no "name" chicken vendor at the Green City Market. In fact the only guy around with really a name in poultry (beyond Gunthrop who's more associated with his pork) is John Caveny (who I saw taking in the festivities yesterday), but he's not a regular vendor at Green City. Eggs, I wonder if they just don't fit into the BBQ scheme.


    Perhaps not a "name" on the scale of Caveny or Gunthorp, but TJ's Poultry is a growing operation that does sell chicaken and eggs at Green City. My guess is that the chicken absence has more to do with health concerns, given recent scares at outdoor festivals.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #41 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:28 am
    Post #41 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:28 am Post #41 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:28 am
    Kennyz wrote:Perhaps not a "name" on the scale of Caveny or Gunthorp, but TJ's Poultry is a growing operation that does sell chicaken and eggs at Green City. My guess is that the chicken absence has more to do with health concerns, given recent scares at outdoor festivals.


    I don't think it was a health related concern as much as it was a bunch of chefs trying to use the ingredient du jour, which this time around happens to be formerly neglected cuts of pork. I'm not complaining, mind you. To me, it was a plus to have to choose between so many preparations of pork without having to deal with any dried out chicken breasts.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #42 - July 22nd, 2008, 11:20 am
    Post #42 - July 22nd, 2008, 11:20 am Post #42 - July 22nd, 2008, 11:20 am
    Kennyz wrote:Perhaps not a "name" on the scale of Caveny or Gunthorp, but TJ's Poultry is a growing operation that does sell chicaken and eggs at Green City. My guess is that the chicken absence has more to do with health concerns, given recent scares at outdoor festivals.


    In the previous two years I bought a fair amount of chicken, eggs, lamb brats and my Thanksgiving Turkey from Country Cottage Farms at the Green City Market. They aren't there this year, unfortunately. Some of their products are available at True Nature Foods (address below) and is used at a few area restaurants (Vie, A Mano, Bin 36, 312 Chicago).

    True Nature Foods
    6034 North Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60660
    773.465.6400
  • Post #43 - July 22nd, 2008, 10:11 pm
    Post #43 - July 22nd, 2008, 10:11 pm Post #43 - July 22nd, 2008, 10:11 pm
    Well, since the worst thing I had at the Green City BBQ two years back was some still very pink grilled chicken, I hope health concerns might have had something to do with it :)
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.

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