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The Friday Buffet

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 15, 2007 2:00PM

2007_06_headbutt72.jpgIf it hasn't been drilled into your heads yet, street festival season is kicking into high gear. This week, we'll highlight a couple to check out, as well as feature one of the more humorous press releases to reach our inbox this week.

Strap it on!

We'll Call Ours the "Triple Bypass": Wendy's is hosting an online contest to see who can design their next burger. Folks who log on to can choose from 54 different options, or write in your own burger, for consideration by Wendy's panel of experts. The winning entry will receive $25,000 cash and the possibility of seeing their burger on Wendy's menus across the country in 2K8. Nine runners-up will receive free Wendy's burgers for a year. No need to lose your breath running to the computer right away; the contest runs through August 15.

"Taste of Little Big Horn" Sounds More Realistic. And a Bit Racy: Evanston's Custer's Last Stand festival happens this weekend, and visitors will be able to catch cooking demonstrations from Food Network's Michael Chiarello on Saturday, and Rick Bayless on Sunday. The demonstrations are from noon-6 p.m. each day.

The Next Best Thing: The Heart of Italy neighborhood turns into someone's idea of a Tuscan summer this weekend with the Festa Pasta Vino. Expect lots of wine, pasta, a replica Fountain of Trevi, Venetian period carnival costume, balloon animals for the kids, and other attractions. As for music, you missed Deana Martin (Deano's daughter) last night, but this weekend sees Bobby Valli (Frankie's brother) and the "Chicago Rat Pack" take the stage, along with Gigolo Johnny, Tony Spavone, and the all-grown-up crooner Dakota. Odds are even that you'll also run into someone who looks like this; like hunting for mullets at Blues Fest it should be easy pickings. Admission is free.

Getting Ready For the Tour: Saturday morning will find us donning the tacky bike clothes (under baggy shorts, of course. We're modest.) for the 5th Annual Historic Bronzeville Bike Tour. The ride itself is only 6 miles, so even those of you whose legs turn to mush at the thought of saddling a bicycle can do it with some ease. The route promises to pass some of the better eateries in Bronzeville, including Bronzeville Coffee House, Negro League Café, and Bronzeville's Bed and Breakfast. Registration is $20 in advance, $25 on the morning of the ride (registration the day of the ride is from 7:30-8:30 a.m.). The ride starts at 9 a.m., runs through 1 p.m., and proceeds benefit the Bronzeville Area Residents' and Commerce Council.

"Ready are you? What know you of ready?": Wanna hone your palate to a Jedi-like readiness like Chicagoist? Take the first steps this Saturday from 5-9 p.m. with Sally Selwan of Louis Glunz Beer Company at Lush Wine & Spirits' University Village location. Lush buys most of the beer they stock from Glunz, and it should be interesting to see what Selwan chooses for the tasting.

Cropped image via PETA. If you want to see the full NSFW image, click here and don't say we didn't warn you.