By Wendy Wollenberg Posted July 3, 2008, 12:03 PM EDT
It's a tale of two Tastes—on one hand, there's the Taste of Chicago, a populist eating extravaganza and a 28-year city tradition currently taking over the Grant Park. And, in the West Loop, there is the Taste of Randolph Street, a relative upstart street festival that has recently gained prominence by catering to residents of the affluent neighborhood as well as area foodies for a few days in June. As Crain's Chicago Business reported this week in an article titled “Execs Take Shelter at a More Elite Taste", the Randolph Street fest may be the better bet of the two, especially for guests who favor quality over quantity.
The story cited the Taste of Randolph Street's V.I.P. tents, which host corporate sponsors and their guests, as well as local media, as a big draw. The Randolph festival's well-edited menu, which includes items from trendy West Loop restaurants such as Veerasway, Sushi Wabi, and Marche, also appeals to a cosmopolitan audience that doesn't want to weed through the randomness of the nearly 70 vendors (ranging from Eli's Cheesecake and Robinson's #1 Ribs to the Billy Goat Inn) at the Taste of Chicago.
Crain's columnist Shia Kapos also said that the come-one-come-all Taste of Chicago could benefit by adding “a preview party for those willing to pony up a special-event price to avoid standing in line holding strips of tickets.”