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The Friday Buffet

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 22, 2007 2:30PM

2007_06_grill.jpgSummer officially began yesterday, so we're gonna dedicate this edition of the Buffet to that staple of summertime in Chicago, the block party. Being born and raised in Chicago, we've certainly seen the evolution of the block party from something that brings neighbors together to, well, the monstrosities some of them are today. However, even in this day and age they're great ways to explore the city's neighborhoods, after you finish haranguing with the festivals' gatekeepers on the meaning of the word "donation." Here we go.

- Who's Bringing the Potato Salad?: The website Meals Together, in conjunction with Kingsford Charcoal and Sperling's Best Places, recently conducted a survey of the America's top block party cities. Chicago not only made the cut, we came in at number seven. The top city? Austin. In celebration of Chicago's inclusion, Kitsch'n chef/owner Jon Young has created a recipe for "Spicy Ranch Potato Salad;" the recipe is available at the Meals Together website.

- Better Than Cans Music Fest: The Belmont Arts & Music Festival goes down this Saturday and Sunday on Belmont, between Damen and Leavitt. Music buffs can find the full schedule of events listed here. We like it because it's sponsored by Berghoff Beer.

- More Lucrative Than Bingo: The annual St. Josaphat Summerfest also happens this weekend at St. Josaphat Parish, 2311 N. Southport. If you think Hello Dave and Underwater People are the epitome of good music, then this fest is for you. However, this festival's food can sometimes surprise.

- "Had a feeling that it would be a day like this...": The Inner City Muslim Action Network is sponsoring "Takin' It to the Streets 2007" Sunday at Marquette Park. From 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., this festival is the closest you're gonna get to an old fashioned Chicago block party, and with Lupe Fiasco as the scheduled musical headliner, it's worth a trip down. Expect Lupe to preview tracks from his upcoming record The Cool. If you do commit, be sure to print out our handy guide to South Kedzie so you know where to grab some sustenance.

- Opa!: We're half-Greek, so we have to represent here. Annunciation Cathedral Greek Orthodox Church (1017 N. LaSalle) will be serve as the epicenter of Taste of Greece on LaSalle Street, tomorrow and Saturday from 4-11:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 11:30 p.m. Take your bike, chain it to whatever is rooted to the sidewalk, and enjoy the food.