Chicago Fests: Chicago Food Social and Nutella Truck!

So on Saturday (08/23) was a food truck extravaganza day!

My sister told me she found out a Nutella truck was coming to Chicago! And I knew I had to go and see it!

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And then also found out there is a food truck social! Even though my last experience wasn’t that great (and gahh still need to post that!) I was willing to give this a shot.

So it was off to the city we go to find food on wheels!

We did the Nutella truck first since they didn’t give us an ending time we wanted to make sure we catch it! We found it in Grant Park without a problem.

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They gave away your choice to trying Nutella on oranges or waffles and I picked waffles and ate my sample in a second. We then tried to get pics with the biggest jar of Nutella.

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And we also got bumper stickers

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I suck at this selfie game

After that, it was off to the food truck fest!

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I heard about this just the day before. After working in the city, I had an eye appointment to dilate my eyes and I saw the Chicago Cupcake truck and decided to treat myself because it’s Friday! I then learned about the fest. I remember hearing about it last year but I couldn’t go, so I knew I had to go this year!

Admission was $5 (not bad, the disaster I went to before was $10) and the lines were not bad! Basically no lines. I think it was because of the weather- it did rain randomly, and I think we came at a good time- like 8pm.

I first got pierogis from Pierogi Wagon. I’ve heard many people love this truck so I was excited to see it there.

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I kept it simple- potatoes and cheese with sour cream, regular size.

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While we were eating, we got free chicken!

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From Cluckson’s. It was good chicken. The owner didn’t want the food to go to waste, and it didn’t! Our table made sure it didn’t. I’m not too sure what it was, but it was kinda spicy but I liked it. Judging from it’s twitter, it looks like it’s kinda new to the food truck scene.

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I then got some firecracker Rangoon from Chicago Lunchbox. They are banh mi sandwich place (which I LOVE, I grew up eating these sandwiches since I’m Vietnamese). But since I was kinda full from other food, I decided to try other things from them.

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I liked them- just the right amount of punch of spiciness.

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Then of course I had to stop by Chicago Cupcake since they were the ones that told me about the fest! I got a cookie dough one for later 🙂

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So far, I’ve had creme brûlée and turtle. The cookie dough is my fave so far

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During the fest, they had music on. It was good, also better than the other fest I went to earlier.

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Overall, this was a good fest. Although I was sad to see that some of the trucks left after the rain (I was looking for Fat Shallot and Toasty Cheese) I’m still happy.

There’s one more food truck that will happen in October call Chicago Food Truck Festival. I’m hoping to go to that one also. And I just learned there’s a Mac and cheese fest coming in October!

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Chicago Drinks: Two Brothers Brewery (Warrenville, IL)

Ever since I went to the Harpoon Brewery tour, it got me thinking of other brewery tours. Even though I’m not a huge fan of beer, I appreciate the process and learning more about it. I guess it’s the nerd in me.

So besides Harpoon, I have done the Anheuser Busch in St. Louis (twice!) and there’s a somewhat well known one by me- Two Brothers!

And yes, I gotta get to Chicago and do the Goose Island one day.

I love Two Brothers when it comes to their food. It’s a place I will take friends to if they are in the ‘burbs and it’s the place that made me love fish tacos.

Many people also love their beer. I have had a few of theirs and it’s not bad.

Tours are free, and are only on weekends.

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On your tour, they also give you tickets for 3 free samples and drinking is encourage on the tour so they told us to head to the bar.

Since both me and my sister aren’t huge beer drinkers, we couldn’t decide what to drink so the beer tender gave us some flights.

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From R-L: Atom Smasher, Domaine DuPage, Ebel’s Weiss, Side Kick.

I liked the first two the best, then they got more bitter and hoppy.

So both me and my sister got Atom Smasher for the tour.

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Before we knew it, the tour was on it’s way. I learned a lot on the tour- the brothers are from my hometown, and are expanding to Arizona soon! I remember seeing Them being sold during undergrad, which is where the brothers went to college also! They also have a second location call the Roundhouse in Aurora, IL but they don’t make much beer there since the water mineral content is different. They also started brewing coffee!

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Afterwards, we got some food and of course I got the fish tacos. Yum.

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Since we got free flights before our tour and were quite full from lunch, we gave our sample tickets away to another group sitting nearby since we overheard they were going on the next tour.

This was a great way to start off our foodie adventure on Saturday!

Chicago Eats: Hot Doug’s

So on Tuesday (08/19), I went to the famous hot dog place in Chicago- Hot Doug’s!

I’ve heard of this place through my cousins and it has been on “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain. And just recently, they announced that they are closing for good starting Oct. 4th.

Therefore, I knew I had to go once school starts since I knew it would be more difficult for me to do so. And they have rather strange hours and are closed on Sundays and random holidays.

People have often waited on average 2 ish hours. But the Redeye, a paper did a study by using social media said the lines are somewhat shorter on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Yeah, my position in line when I first came isn’t in the picture.

Even with the rain, I waited 2 hours ish, but it was worth it.

I like hot dogs, I believe it’s something to enjoy at sporting events and reminds me of summer. And I tend to eat it with ketchup (a sin in Chicago)

But this was honestly the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten. I had it chicago style but no pickles, and no ketchup. And a side of fries.

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I didn’t know a hot dog could taste so good and I’m upset I waited so long to have it. Oh well, but I’m glad I was able to get it once before it shuts down for good.

Now I gotta find another good hot dog joint in Chicago…

Eataly, Vietnam memorial, and blue Sears tower

This past Friday after work, I stayed in the city for a bit to hang out with one of my BFFs who I haven’t seen in awhile- Steven!

Although we have different work hours, I was able to squeeze in some studying for my pharmacology exam and before I knew it, we were off to Eataly!

Eataly is somewhat new to Chicago but people have been going to it for while, and what caught my attention is that it has a Nutella bar! How amazing is that?! I love Nutella (even though I’m not a huge fan of chocolate- I’m just not that crazy about it, I’ll eat it but in small doses). I love those ferror rocher! Which is basically what Nutella is. But the best way to describe Eataly is that it’s an Italian grocery store/restaurant combined.

Me and Steven went to eat in the pasta and pizza section (this whole week I’ve been eating horribly- I’ve basically told myself I can eat anything since I ran a half marathon on Sunday. Oops)

We both got the specials- I got the buffalo pizza (under the idea that it was buffalo sauce, not buffalo meat) and Steven got the pesto ravioli.

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Afterwards we explored more of Eataly but I knew I couldn’t leave without going to the Nutella bar! I got the Nutella crepe and it was amazing- I mean, how could you go wrong? Hazelnut spread on a crepe is amazing.

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Afterwards we decided to walk back to Stevens place to hang out for a bit and on our way back as we were crossing the river, I do two things- I always look for love locks (I didn’t see any) and try to find the Vietnam Vet Memorial.

I found out about the Vietnam Vet Memorial through an article I read about how Chicago wants to change their river walk scene and it talked about what was there already, including the memorial. Both of my parents lived in Vietnam during the Vietnam War before becoming refugees and coming to America. Although they didn’t fight in the war, per say, the war definitely has an affect on their life and mine, even if it wasn’t a direct connection.

I’m proud to say I found it, and as it turns out I’ve been pretty close to it before, it turns out me, Steven with my other BFF Chelsea were in that area when we were watching the Chicago river turn green for St pattys day in 2012! How funny is that?

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One of my favorite things about Steven’s place is the view from his living room. I mean, how could you ever get sick of seeing the Sears tower? I love to take a picture of it every time the antenna changes it’s color. At the moment, it’s still blue for April is Autism Awareness Month, they haven’t changed it for Mother’s Day yet.

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Afterwards, we decided to go to Mario’s Italian Lemonade Stand. I wasn’t sure if it was opening season yet, it’s either May 1st or June 1st and it was pretty cold on Friday but I was so happy to see it was open! That’s the sign that it’s summer in Chicago! Best lemonade ever. Sorry I don’t have a picture of it, I was freezing while trying to eat it, but I didn’t care. Lol but I’ll be sure to take a picture sometime this summer, it’s definitely not the last time I’ll be there!

Whew! What a Friday! I was exhausted on the train ride back, my eye lids kept falling but I finally made it back home. It was fun to have somewhat of a social life again. Summer starts on Thursday at 20:01!

Chicago Eats: Nothing bundt cakes: lemon (Wheaton, IL)

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In the suburbs there’s a cute little bakery that sells bundt cakes call nothing bundt cakes! It’s pretty dangerous but every once in awhile I’ll pop in there, they sometimes send coupons for a free bundt cake or a bogo special, so that’s when I tend to go, or after lunch with friends and we are craving something sweet.

I’m going to try every flavor here also! I got the lemon one the other day, pretty good!

What I really like about this place is they use cream cheese frosting (even though I’m not a huge frosting person, I would say I like cream cheese frosting the best)

Chicago Eats: Vanille Pastisserie

So, I love food. I love anything that tastes good and definitely have a little bit of a sweet tooth.

I work part time in Chicago and I commute mostly by train from the suburbs. At my train station, there’s a mini market call the Chicago French market. I just discovered it this past year and it’s been the best thing I found and a way I like to kill time when I’m waiting for my train.

A place I’m in love with is call Vanille Pastisserie and they make so many flavors of macaroons! Therefore, I’m going to try every flavor.

With it being Good Friday yesterday by the time I got there, there wasn’t much of a selection left. But regardless I got some!

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Red=red velvet
Teal=vanilla
Beige=hazelnut
Cream with specks=coconut

I liked all of these flavors but these are flavors I often pick for other items too lol