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Chicago Food Social: Big Star, Longman & Eagle Join Food Trucks for Fest

By Emily Morris | September 18, 2013 8:07am
 Chicago food trucks will be featured at the Chicago Food Social.
Chicago Food Trucks
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CHICAGO —  The Chicago Food Social — once known as the Food Truck Social — is mixing things up from previous years with a Saturday lineup filled with food trucks, local restaurants and live music.

The festival, which started as a food truck-focused event in 2011, has expanded this year to include fare from brick-and-mortar restaurants like Big Star and Longman & Eagle.

It's also moved from various locations in West Town to the parking lot of Kendall College, 900 N. Branch St., closer to the Near North Side.

The move was prompted by the "nightmares" organizers encountered while trying to find a home for the fest in past years, including issues with obtaining city permits that would allow the food trucks, as well as neighbors who complained about the social when it took over their streets, West Town Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kara Salgado said.

Now, she's hopeful that a new partnership with Kendall College will allow the social to stay in one place, Salgado said, even if it's not where one might look to find an outdoor festival.

That's one of the reasons why the chamber wanted to amp up the live music lineup this year and offer somewhat bigger-name acts like Otis Clay, Salgado said.

"We figured we might need that to get people down there," she said.

Also on tap is a cocktail lounge from Tito's Handmade Vodka, operated out of a vintage 1965 trailer, which offers Bloody Marys for the morning and afternoon along with cocktails in the evening.

"I think this is the most food vendors we've ever had," Salgado said. "And the fact that we have these chef-driven restaurants ... I think it's going to be a real treat."

The social runs from 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday and costs $5, a portion of which is donated to Share Our Strength, a non-profit that works to fight child hunger.

Students and alumni from Kendall College will offer cooking demos during the fest, Salgado said.

The lineup:

Food Trucks:

5411 Empanadas

Beyond Borders

Beavers Coffee & Donuts

Chicago Cupcake

Chicago Lunchbox

Fischman Liquors Wagyu Wagon

Get Curried Away

Greek Eats

Husky Hog BBQ



Tamale Spaceship

Taquero Fusion

The Slide Shoppe

Two Italians

Windy City Patty Wagon

Restaurants and other participants:

Big Star

Dia De Los Tamales


Longman & Eagle

Publican Quality Meats

Puffs of Doom

Red Door

Saucy Porka

Table Donkey & Stick

Live Music, programmed by West Town's own Empty Bottle Presents:

11:30 a.m. - Todaysh--s

1:15 p.m. - Walking Bicycles

3 p.m. - M.A.K.U. Soundsystem

5 p.m. - Otis Clay

7 p.m. - Maritime

8:30 p.m. - R. Stevie Moore