Roscoe Village Burger Fest

12 07 2011

On Saturday I attended the Roscoe Village Burger Fest, with camera in tow.

As I exited the #77 Belmont, the street was already perfumed with the smell of grilled meat. Thank goodness I’m not a vegetarian. As I entered the festival, the street grew thick with haze. It was hard to tell if it were from from the heat, the tightly packed bodies, or just from the smoking BBQs lining the street. As I waded through the haze I watched parents trying desperately to avoid the “please mom, can we get one?” that almost always followed the offer of a bubble gun trial use from the men with noise makers and goofy hats.

Each of the nine burger stands had a few options to try. There was every type of burger you could imagine, from your classic Cheese Burger, to Black Bean Burgers, to Burgers stuffed with Feta and Spinach then topped with a salad! As if the burger selection wasn’t enough? Try a bucket of cheese fries, macaroni and cheese fritters, a funnel cake, or an ear of grilled corn. To wash it all down there were plenty of choices of beer, soda, iced tea and fresh squeezed lemonade. So if you could handle the lines, you might not have been able to handle the choices. Of course, most places were offering trial sized sliders of their burgers… just in case you couldn’t pick just one!

As a typical festival in Chicago, there was a stage of live music at each end of the street. Alternating styles, and time slots many bands played. I only caught one, really. I heard a bit of the band playing on my way in. I was unimpressed with their Indy style and look, so I kept on walking. Later in the evening, I caught sound of an excellent cover being played. I wandered down to the far stage, only to find a mass of adults in goofy looking newspaper hats, dancing to the sounds of a cover band, also wearing goofy hats. Who were they? The Hat Guys. Ah, of course. This explained the hats, as gimmicky as it was, they were good! They didn’t just stick to one generation’s music either. During the part of their set I watched they played Elvis, Paul Simon, and Ce Lo Green, among others. They also changed hats, continuously. They also came out into the crowd and danced and mingled. Turns out their local Chicago guys, from the south side.

To see the slide show with the rest of my photos, be sure to check out TimeOut Chicago’s review of the Festival!

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