Friday, August 27, 2010

The Taste of Melrose Park

-Feastin' at locals favorite festivals

In a land where food and festivals are a plenty and thus food festivals are a weekly happening when its not winter there are too many too choose from. The list goes on and on but whenever I'm asked my favorite, some people are shocked to learn it is not the Taste of Chicago which has outgrown me but rather the Taste of Melrose Park. That's right the Western suburb long with a history of Italian Americans and now also the home to many Mexican Americans puts out Chicagolands best food fest. Its not hard to see why when you got those two ethnic culinary backgrounds prevalent in your area. Let me take you around the park during last years fest and suggest you make a real life appearance at it this years Taste of Melrose fiesta from September 3rd-5th, 2010.

The choices seem endless on food

Plenty of pasta for the people

The Taste of Melrose dates back to the 70's and features over 70 different food vendors except these arent restaurants or the same food stands you see at every festival. These are for the most part, families dishing out their recipes that have been around for generations. It makes for a unique festival with a few thousand people and plenty of hearty and wholesome divine food items to eat. Another great part to this festival are the prices. Everything runs from $2-$3 per item. Pictured below are some of my favorite items from the past and a few new ones I tried out last year. I always have to get the artichoke casserole and a fried bologna sandwich or two.

My favorite non meat dish out there, they've been here since the start

best part is the items go fast and thus they are always hot out the oven

Always a favorite of mine to eat

another new favorite non meat dish

zucchini stuffed with cream cheese

Maybe this might be my new non meat dish undisputed champ...

The most beautiful servers...

...and great pasta

Cant get enough

What beholds inside?

The best three bucks you'll spend this year

Baked stuffed clam


fried peperoni bread...great kids serving it up at this booth

The Silciliano's old fashioned fried bologna sandwich is a must get item

Scatchell's stuffed pepper sandwich

neckbones in gravy

Teriyaki steak on a stick

There is no doubt Mexican cuisine plays a major role in Melrose Park these days and there's a nice selection of it at the fest. Tacos, tamales and sugar treats are just a few of the items you'll find. Looking forward to trying more this year.

these tamales reminded me of the ones that made me love them

Whats a food fest without funnel cake?

But the star of the show each and every year are the Little Sister's of St. Charles and their amazing sfingi or Italian fried donuts. You will know where their booth is by where the biggest line is at. Don't you dare miss these treats or your belly and God himself will curse you to hell.

The best of the best and worth the trip alone. God Blessed y'all...

...and me with your fresh fried donuts

When hot out the fryer these are heavenly...

As always I saw quite a few characters and the whole squad on the grounds last year on opening night, but its the same as it ever food fest in Chicagoland. You cant beat the free admission, the highest priced food item is $3, while everything else is $2 and the most expensive thing is the $4 Peroni's and 'Sconsin beer. I'm glad I made it back after a four year absence.

2010 Taste of Melrose Park

Sept. 3rd: 5p to 10p
Sept. 4th: Noon to 11p
Sept. 5th: noon to 11p

Buon appetito!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right on all counts on how wonderful the Taste of Melrose. It has become an annual family outing for us ever since we discovered it, but more importantly our favorite "Fried Dough" or "{Pizza Fritte".

Now that's tradition, we take some to go too, but they never make it home.

Ron's Fried Dough is the stand, and Ron himself is the fryer, fun group too, they entertain for the line, and it always comes up fresh YUM!

I don't know how you missed this one, truly tradition!


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