Saturday, July 3, 2010
Chicago Day 2
A much needed sleep-in meant a late start to out first full day in Chicago. Our first stop was Taste of Chicago in Grant Park. Other than the plethora of doughy, fried sugar coated foods, the more interesting fare on offer included caramel & cheese popcorn mix, pork filled banana dumpling, mustard fried catfish, mango cumin fries and frozen hibiscus leaf tea with whipped cream to name a few. The only beers on offer were Stella, Heineken and Bud. We needed to find a good bar fast!
We didnt realise the scale of our map and wound up walking through one of Chicago's toughest neighbourhoods, Cabrini Green. Our destination was the Map Room, but on the way we found a cool neighbourhood bar in North Damen called Big Star, a converted auto garage with a beer garden out front. The set-up was very similar to Apex bar in Portland, though the beer garden was more for table service only and drinkers were encouraged to sit at the bar. Enjoying communal tables outside was clearly not part of the equation. We drank the Lost Abbey Devotion, Lagunitas Pils and one final Green Flash West Coast IPA for our lost comrade, Tom whom we had left in New York. It was interesting to note that of the 6 beers on tap, 4 were from the west coast.