Lollapalooza takes festivalgoers on a culinary tour of Chicago

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Sydney Laput

Lollapalooza festivalgoers line up at the food station on Sunday featuring many local, Chicago foods. More than 40 Chicago restaurants were featured at the festival including The Billy Goat Tavern, Cheesie’s Pub & Grub and more.

By Aidan Sadovi , Staff Writer

Even though Taste of Chicago — the iconic Chicago food festival showcasing some of the best food from all around the city — already happened this summer, that doesn’t mean Lollapalooza couldn’t do its own part in promoting some of the Windy City’s culinary institutions. 

From Oak Park, Chicago, The Original Rainbow Cone sliced festivalgoers the iconic multicolored ice-cream cone, a tower of orange sherbet, pistachio, palmer house, strawberry and chocolate ice cream that teetered and melted in the midday sun. 

Lincoln Square’s The Budlong Hot Chicken served scorching hot Nashville-style fried chicken that stained wrappers and fingers red. Tacotlan, a Mexican restaurant from Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood, gave people a taste of the growing birria craze, serving meaty, crackling tacos next to little cups of broth consommé to dip it in.

More than 40 Chicago restaurants — including the ones listed above, including older restaurants like The Billy Goat Tavern — gave festivalgoers a tour of the city on half a mile of road in Grant Park, the hub of Lollapalooza. The official avenue of food vendors,  called “Eat Local Chow Town,” was packed throughout most of the festival. 

Samantha Barrios and Danielle Marie Pizarro, two employees who worked at the Billy Goat Tavern’s stand on Sunday, described the foot traffic the stand had gotten over the course of the festival.

“Thursday and Friday wasn’t really as crowded, but yesterday (Saturday), it was really packed,” Pizarro said. “There was a wall full of customers, and we were short on burgers. There was a line for us to get our burgers to our customers — it was crazy.”

The Billy Goat Tavern, which started in Chicago in 1934, is known throughout the city and even nationally for their “cheezeborgers,” as immortalized in an iconically Chicago Saturday Night Live sketch. The tavern is also known for its connection to the supposed “billy goat curse,” which has been said to have hamstrung the Chicago Cubs baseball team until its 2016 World Series win. Its burgers are made quick, fast and greasy on large black flat tops, which were present at the tavern’s Lollapalooza stand. Wrapped in parchment and double-pattied, the burgers go well with a coke – not pepsi – as said by the famous Saturday Night Live skit

Although the price of food was expensive, Gillian Dein and Jamie Moyer from Detroit said the prices were somewhat to be expected. As they spoke, the two ate some baja tacos and cheese fries from Fatso’s Last Stand in Ukrainian Village at a picnic table. 

“I think the prices are expensive, but it’s concert prices,” Dein said. Moyer added that the food was definitely “a little bit cheaper than the last festival I went to.” 

“I’m smacking hard on it,” Dein said when asked how the tacos were, adding that Lollapalooza’s variety of food options was extensive

“There is a lot of pizza, but overall the variety is pretty fair,” Dein said. One of the options available at Eat Local Chow Town was Chicago classic Lou Malnati’s. 

Billy Goat employee Pizarro said that one of the best parts about working for the venue was “getting to work with different types of people, and then you also get to meet other types of (restaurant venues) and try their food and trade.” 

Pizarro counted the Chinese restaurant Wow Bao as one of her favorites, saying, “Wow Bao is so good. I tried them, and their dumpling, they’re delicious.

“Now I know where to go if I want Asian food,” she added.  

 

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