WICKER PARK — They came, they noshed, and if all goes well, the attendees of the first weekly Nosh will come back to Wicker Park next Saturday and do it again.
The Nosh, a new weekly food festival, brought 17 vendors and hundreds of food lovers to the parking lot of Pritzker School at 2009 W. Schiller St. in Wicker Park Saturday.
Am eclectic array of offerings included egg sandwiches and Dark Matter coffee from The Eastman Egg Company food truck, Dr. Pepper pulled pork tacos from Carnal Swine, tacos from Logan Square's Cherub Cafe, lobster rolls from Gold Coast's Da Lobsta and two heirloom popcorn vendors, among others.
Soup vendor Karl Bader, owner of Oak Park-based Karl's Craft Soups, said the turnout was "nice" with "a good group of vendors."
"People seem to be supportive," Bader said of the market, which he heard about from organizer Alan Kannof about six months ago.
Bader said Kannof pitched The Nosh to him as being "like a farmers market without the farmers."
Wicker Park has a farmers market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
Bader was dishing out samples of chilled Szechwan sesame carrot soup, three-bean vegan chili and summer squash gazpacho and selling the soups for $6 per bowl.
Corn on the cob prepared Mexican-style, smothered in mayonnaise and sprinkled with chili powder and cheese, appeared to be a popular item, with many folks walking around with corn in their hand from Logan Square's Cherub Cafe.
For friends Nikole Muzzy, a Norwood resident, and Michelle Sotak, a downtown resident, the $2 corn-on-the-cob was their first bite though they said they were not sure what they'd eat next.
Around mid-day Saturday, Aaron Wolfson from Chicago's Dog House said that the smoked alligator sausages were his most popular menu item.
Marinated in Asian chili sauce and topped with caramelized onions, the alligator sausage was $8. Other items from the Chicago's Dog House included Infused Cheddar Bacon Sausage and BBA Duck Sausage.
"It's a great location and we're hoping [the Nosh] grows and becomes a destination event every week," Wolfson said.
Wicker Park residents Ty and Lauren Simpson were about to dig into steak and chicken tacos from Cafe Cherub.
The Simpsons said they heard about the market from their block club.
"It looked cool, [so] we thought we'd come check it out," Lauren Simpson said.
Though initially having hoped to have at least 30 vendors, Kannof said some vendors including Pecking Order, Chicago Cupcake and food truck Dio de los Tamales were at other festivals, including the Taste of Chicago, though all are scheduled to attend The Nosh next Saturday.
Kannof said he's hoping for close to 25 vendors on average each week.
To stay updated on The Nosh, visit its Facebook page.