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No matter if you're more excited to see Mumford & Sons or a reunited Nine Inch Nails, this year's Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park also continues the fine tradition of bringing food vendors worth your attention. Whereas most large music festivals have generic food vendors selling overpriced crap, the vendors at Lollapalooza's Chow Town are organized by local chef, Graham Elliot. While this all sounds a tad suspicious, the result last year was genuinely impressive. In fact, I had trouble eating everything I wanted to, even though I had a fellow writer along to help me out.
This year looks to be no different. The recently released list of vendors contains a few genuine surprises and a handful of ones I'm excited to see again. While I'm sad to see some places go, the new places more than make up for any losses. For example, instead of Do-Rite Doughnuts, Glazed & Infused is covering the fried dough hole.
The festival won't take over Grant Park until August 2nd, but check out the places I'm most looking forward to trying below. You can also take a look at Lollapalooza's website to see the full list.
Have you ever eaten a decent slice of pizza at a music festival? I sure as hell haven't. All the ones I've tried have been doughy, greasy messes. While I don't know how well it'll translate to the masses, Tony Mantuano's Bar Toma has the best chance of breaking this dubious streak. According to Crain's, the Gold Coast joint will serve its standard margherita pie along with "Smoke & Cure," which features "Vermont artisan pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella and smoked garlic."
Gale's Root Beer
Best known as the original pastry chef at Tru, Gale Gand is teaming up with Edzo's this year to offer her own brand of root beer in a root beer float. She's also offering up a strawberry and cream soda float and a chocolate covered banana on a stick.
Glazed & Infused
The only thing Glazed & Infused has posted about its menu is that it will be offering "assorted doughnuts." But I assure you after trying every single one on the menu, you'll be sure to find something to devour.
Edzo's Burger Shop
This site has something of an infatuation with Edzo's, but how can you blame us when it serves such amazing griddled burgers and hand-cut fries? Last year I raved about the Wisconsin Bacon-Cheddar Burger, which will also be available this time, but you can't go wrong with the classic cheeseburger, hand-cut fries, or white truffle-parmesan fries.
Franks 'n' Dawgs
Last year I happily devoured Franks 'n' Dawgs's Pork of July, a pork sausage topped pulled pork and a cherry Bourbon barbecue sauce. While that one is off the menu, in its place is a Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese Dog, which somehow sounds even more delectable. Of course, you've can't go wrong with a wild boar sausage, triple truffle fries, or shaved brussels sprout salad.
Of course, it wouldn't be Chow Town without a lobster dog from Grahamwich. Until I tried it last year, I'd always thought that the offering was more of a joke than anything else. But it's a serious dish, complete with a crispy batter and juicy hunks of lobster. I can't wait to try this again.
If you're a coffee junkie like me, you'll drink a hot cup no matter the temperature outside. But this year there is a saving grace for the sweaty caffeine addicts out there. Along with serving one of the best cups of coffee in town, La Colombe also produces one of the very best iced coffees I've ever tasted.
Best known for its stall at the Green City Market, Seedling is making an appearance at Lollapalooza's own Farmers Market. Considering how hot it was last year, an ice cold fruit smoothie already sounds like a great idea.
This amazing bakery will also be at the Farmers Market. While the bread and croissants are stellar, I have a feeling most people will be waiting in line for the crepes.
Puffs of Doom
Basically, I just love the name. But if you want to learn more, take a look at our interview with owners Rebecca VanderKloot and Luke Petillon.