But we concentrated most of our tickets on the Taste items, which ranged from two to three tickets apiece for a small, two- or three-bite portion of a restaurant's specialty. This was a great strategy for us: Our tickets went further and we could try tons of different foods without getting too full.
We had spicy vegetable samosas still hot and crisp from the fryer, mango cumin-dusted french fries with rich and sour tamarind chutney and miniature versions of buffalo burgers and breaded Italian-style steak sandwiches.
We had sloppy joes at the booth of the eponymously named Chicago Joe's, bites of world-famous Eli's cheesecake and jerk chicken with red beans and rice. And while the strains of a Chicago jazz band drifted through the trees, we blew our last eight tickets on a full-size frozen chocolate-covered banana and a big slab of walnut fudge, which we nibbled while walking from the Buckingham Fountain to the museum district.
As we walked, we passed families, groups of teenagers and urban sophisticates in huge dark sunglasses, all of them with that slightly dazed smile of satisfaction you normally see on people who've just eaten a really good Thanksgiving dinner.But even in their post-Taste of Chicago euphoria, nearly everyone remembered to throw away their wrappers. That's Chicago for ya.
Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret Morning News. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org