Friday, August 6, 2010

55th Annual Ginza Fest Chicago

-Feastin' at locals favorite festivals

The next festival in our most recent series here at S'C'&C is one of my favorites and also one I've been to many a times. This year marks the 55th time the Ginza Holiday will be celebrated in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. Back in 1956 when this all started the former temple was located a few blocks east of the current one and they chose the name Ginza for the festival because its a district in Tokyo known for its entertainment. The purpose of the fest was to raise money for expenses to upkeep the temple and also as a way to share Japanese culture and traditions with the people of the neighborhood and city. It's a great time and I always had fun as a kid with all the great activities like the karate demonstrations, live music and just running around the 'hood having a great summers day. Anyone from around the area has been to the Ginza fest in their lifetime and if you haven't you should check it, for those that have or those that want too, its around the corner and will be held August 13th, 14th and 15th, 2010 and like always it is the 2nd weekend of August. So hows the food?

Midwest Buddhist Temple (Chicago, IL)

Well the current temple seen above was built in 1972 and it is often referred to as "The Temple That Teriyaki Built." That's because the chicken has long been a part of the celebration and is what people eat when they go to Ginza fest. I've been eating this charcoal grilled chicken for a while now and last year it was as good as ever and same as will be this year. Its simple and succulent and always sold out by weekends end.

Chicken Teriyaki Dinner Ingredient List

Part of the fun at the festival comes from watching the grill veterans take care of all the party goers and their Chicken Teriyaki dinner needs. The chickens start out getting cooked thru in a large baking device and they are marinated in a sauce mixture and once ready thrown into a large pot located next to the charcoal grills where they are eventually charred and slathered with teriyaki. You can you can see them in this stage in the picture below.

Teriyaki Chicken over charcoal

Video of the Ginza Grillmasters at work

The crowd heard in the video above always has a good time...and great eats

If the open pit charcoal chicken and some outdoor time in the summer wasn't enough the other shows put on at the festival stage are stellar. You can also go inside the temple and see exhibits of bonsai, flower arrangements and other Japanese arts and crafts many of which are for sale. All of this with some great people and a beer or five makes the Ginza Fest a great time. If you want to learn anything else you can check the website listed below under the address info. Just make sure you don't miss out on that open pit chicken. Maybe I'll see you there.

The neighborhood favorite Teriyaki Chicken from Ginza Fest

The Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 W. Menomonee St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 943-7801

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