Sample some local eateries at Lake Zurich's Taste of the Towns – Chicago Tribune

The Taste of the Towns on Aug. 14 in Paulus Park in Lake Zurich will feature local restaurants offering their best dishes, children’s games and live entertainment. (Lake Zurich Area Chamber)
Want to taste a sample from some of the best restaurants in and around Lake Zurich? There’s no better way to try the favorite dishes in the area than at Taste of the Towns, a festival at Paulus Park Aug. 14 organized by the Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a picnic in the park, but with your favorite restaurants providing all the food,” said Claire Slattery, the chamber of commerce’s executive director.
“It’s a good time to enjoy one more taste of summer before school begins the following week. It’s relaxing and family friendly. I think it’s been successful because it’s just an easy way to get together with people and enjoy lots of different kinds of food together.”
This is the 16th year of the event, and organizers this year are focusing on using lanyards to give people the most bang for the buck when it comes to food. The lanyards can be purchased in advance for $30 or $40 at the event, and with one, people can get a sample portion at each of the exhibitors at the festival.
“It’s a great deal to try everything,” Slattery said. “Each restaurant will stamp your visit as you go, so you can keep track of what you’ve eaten and what you’re missing.”
Food will also be available for purchase from the booths individually, which is helpful if you find something you enjoy.
“Each booth sells food on its own, so you can decide if you like the sample of the pulled-pork sandwich, for instance, you can go ahead and buy a full-size sandwich from the booth as well.”
The vendors will offer a wide range of food options, and some restaurants expected include Beelow’s Steakhouse, Fresh Stack Burger, Roaring Table, Rollin’ Smoke Bar-B-Q, Lou Malnati’s and Tamaleria Y Antojitos Chepis.
“It’s a great selection of area restaurants,” Slattery said.
Drinks will also be on the menu, provided by the Copper Fiddle Distillery, Phase Three Brewing, and Broken Shovel Beverages, among others.
In addition to the food, visitors are treated to music throughout the event, which begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until 6 p.m. Early in the day, that starts with a DJ providing music, followed by a live performance from Heather Moran and Ned Abderholden. Kids’ activities take place throughout the entire festival to keep them entertained.
“We’re going to have a car that you can paint, which the kids always enjoy doing,” Slattery said. “There will be things like temporary tattoos and other kids’ games. Plus we have the Globy the Bubbler, who features these amazing ways to blow bubbles. It’s really fun to see.”
For those who want to take eating to another level, there’s a burrito eating contest toward the end of the day, in which 10 competitors can see who can make the biggest dent in a five-pound burrito — with a cash prize on the line.
“It’s silly fun, but people always get a kick out of it,” Slattery said.
But for the vast majority of those who attend the festival, the day is about quality, not quantity.
“We like that this is a way to showcase so many restaurants,” Slattery said. “It’s a good-sized festival that’s not too overwhelming, but you still have a wide variety of choices. Plus there are drinks and desserts to sample as well. It’s just fun to spend an afternoon outdoors in a beautiful park.”
Taste of the Towns
When: 1-6 p.m. Aug. 14
Where: Paulus Park, 200 South Rand Road, Lake Zurich
Tickets: $30 for a lanyard in advance, which includes a sample from each of the food tents; $40 at the event
Information: 847-438-5572;
Jeff Banowetz is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.
Copyright © 2022, Chicago Tribune
Copyright © 2022, Chicago Tribune


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