‘Hot and delicious’ - Chicago food truck fest serves up gourmet meals in the heart of downtown
The weekly festival wrapped up its final day of the season with mouth-watering tacos, hand-breaded fried chicken, and “shrimply delicious” seafood.
Friday was the final day of the Chicago food truck fest, and Chicagoans are already clamoring for its return.
The festival, held on Fridays from late July until mid-October in Daley Plaza, featured everything from tacos and seafood to donuts.
Office workers, local residents and tourists said the event was a bright spot in their downtown experience and hope to see it come back next year.
Vendors serving up food on the final day included Harold’s Chicken, Lawrence’s Fish and Shrimp, and Mr. Quiles, which serves up authentic tacos and quesadillas.
Aubrey Spight, who works across the street from the festival, said the weekly event gives professionals and tourists alike a fresh, affordable option for lunch.
“It gives everyone a diverse chance to taste different food,” he said. “I grew up on the South Side, so I know about Harold’s Chicken and Lawrence’s Fish, but I never knew about Mr. Quiles. It’s good, it’s good.”
Paulette Squire, 64, said the food offered at the food truck fest was “hot and delicious,” and she’s enjoyed having so many culinary offerings only feet away from her office.
“I love the idea of food trucks,” said Squire, a South Side native. “I think it’s cool. It’s small, convenient, close by, mobile. You can get it anywhere, they can go anywhere,” she said.
Squire, who stood in line for some Harold’s Chicken, said she also planned on chowing down on food from Lawrence’s Fish and Shrimp, a truck that promises seafood that’s “shrimply delicious.”
For vendors, the location in the heart of downtown has given them a much-needed economic boost during a year when the restaurant industry has suffered.
“I love this location, they like spending money, baby,” said Jessica Jarmon, the cashier for the Harold’s Chicken truck. She’s been working for the storied fried chicken restaurant since she was 19 and proudly introduced herself as the “Harold’s Chicken queen, baby!”
She added that, to her delight, the Daley Plaza patrons tip handsomely.
“It’s a lot of good people, professional people … My favorite part? The long lines don’t stop, never stop, baby!”
And it’s not just Chicagoans who enjoyed the festival’s offerings. Nancy Sanchez, wh was visiting Chicago from the Atlanta area, said she’s a big fan of high-quality Mexican food, but she was skeptical if tacos would live up to her expectations.
She was pleasantly surprised.
“They were delicious,” she said. “With taco trucks, you never know what you’re going to get.”
The mix of tourists and professionals is something Jarmon, 30, said she appreciates about the food fest.
“We love serving the people good chicken,” she said, noting how once people try the chicken “they’re hooked.”
“We don’t like selling nothing not good on this here truck, because one bite and we got you!”