After their inaugural year, the organizers of the Porky?s Rib Fest hope that their event becomes an oft-circled event on the calendars of barbecue-loving Chicagoans. If this year?s vendor lineup is any indication, they?re already well on their way. Recruited from both inside and outside of Chicago, the award-winning roster includes vendors with decades of combined grilling experience. Hailing from the Lone Star State, Texas Thunder BBQ is a perennial favorite at rib fests around the country. On the hometown front, cooks from Berwyn?s Chicago BBQ Company sling their signature brand of slow-smoked meats. The lineup even includes an international representative: based out of Sydney, Australia, the meat masters of Aussom Aussie tempt taste buds at home and abroad with unexpected flavors such as fruit-based sauces.
Aside from chowing on an international buffet of barbecue, attendees can enjoy a continuous stream of live music emanating from Toyota Park?s expansive amphitheater. Acts have included '70s mainstays, a contestant from a televised music competition, as well as bands covering the iconic catalogs of KISS, Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Buffett. Elsewhere, adults drool over the impressive rides on display at an onsite car show, and kids cash in tickets to climb aboard more than 30 carnival rides. A fireworks show will leave the sky more colorful than that summer when it got all those tattoos.
Diners can practically hear the gulf tides lapping on a Mexican beach as they read the menu at Burrito Mex, whose myriad seafood dishes feature ingredients ranging from red snapper and octopus to oysters and shrimp. Whether fried, breaded, or drenched with spicy diabla sauce, the aquatic creations stop stomachs from rumbling loud enough to trigger lightning. Back on land, the kitchen also crafts traditional Mexican entrees such as burritos filled with carne asada steak, al pastor pork, or—for the more adventurous—tongue. To wash down their feasts, patrons can sip fruity margaritas or feel like powerful diplomats by clinking bottles of domestic and imported beer.
The frown on the Angry Slice and Sub Shop's logo is usually the only one you'll see in the combination pizza and sub shop. That's because with each oven-fresh slice of pizza and deli sub piled on D'Amato bread, diners also receive a complimentary helping of ice cream. This pleasant extra adds a sweet note to the shop's variety of innovative pizza toppings, such as jerk chicken and italian beef, and its six classic sub sandwiches. Guests can savor the hearty meals while sipping on domestic and craft beers such as Miller Light, Goose Island 312, and Stella Artois, and watching football games or lessons on pizza etiquette via six flat-screen TVs.
At Your Service Housekeeping Services tackles cleaning chores so homeowners have more time for themselves. Technicians arrive armed with powerful cleaning products and ready to customize their cleaning services to a particular room or part of the home. Along with their mainstay housecleaning sessions, At Your Service offers thorough carpet cleaning as well as “Before & After” services for big events, helping to spruce up homes before a dinner party or triage the late-night mess after everyone’s cars turn back into pumpkins at midnight.
The chefs at Grand Duke's Restaurant sate bellies with authentic Lithuanian dishes filled with the flavors of northeastern Europe. Staff stuff potato cepelinai dumplings, Lithuania's national zeppelin-shaped dish, with filling such as ground pork or cottage cheese and top potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce. Servers top tables with entrees that include country-style duck, which slow roasts before joining thick kugelis cake and warm sauerkraut, and twin baked pork hocks that rest beside servings of red potatoes. Inside the restaurant's private dining rooms, parties of up to 35 guests can partake in a panoply of dine-in packages. Brown timbered ceilings recall the inns and taverns of a faraway kingdom, and Lithuanian paraphernalia on the walls covers up secret portholes to Vilnius.
At Mega Beer Fest, an unsuspecting arena becomes the epicenter of a flood of craft beers and saucy barbecue. The fest assembles craft beers from 75 breweries from across the nation and combines them with Porky's Rib Fest, which features barbecue slow-roasted in styles ranging from luscious Texan brisket to Australian barbecue basted in a fruit-based sauce. As guests savor each bubbly beverage, they can also enjoy live entertainment including fireworks, a carnival, and live music, some of which may be played on xylophones created after mass consumption of ribs.