Mini-Taste Pops Up at Daley Plaza

The Chicago Park District hosted a preview for the summer festival on Daley Plaza on Tuesday. The preview featured 9 vendors offering diverse samplings.

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Chicagoans got an early taste of the Taste Tuesday, when the festival hosted a preview on Daley Plaza. These folks are enjoying Connie's Pizza, which has participated in the Taste of Chicago for 19 years.
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Polo Cafe and Catering's baked crab cake nuggets (center) were the only food at the preview to be selected as a Humana "Healther Choice." Also pictured: cheesey homemade Cajun chips
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Danny Mora, Michelle Delprete and Brooke Becker, all of Chicago, enjoy Baked Crab Cake Nuggets from Polo Cafe and Catering. The trio say it is tradition to go to the Taste of Chicago. "We go every year, and we have a whole methodology to it," Becker said. "We never get pizza and we always share our portions. It's great."
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All food at the Taste preview ranged from $3-6 from all 9 vendors present. At the Taste of Chicago, from June 24 - July 2, food tickets will be sold in strips of 12 for $8.
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Beggars Pizza is making its first appearance this year at Taste of Chicago.
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Regina Haynes of South Holland and Jerlina Hardwrick of Richton Park say the food is what draws them to the Taste of Chicago almost every year. This year, they hope for a safer Taste with fewer crowds.
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Several people, mostly on lunch breaks, wait in line for food samples from Polo Cafe and Catering.
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MaryJo and Janie, both of Chicago, say they are disappointed this year's Taste of Chicago won't have fireworks but are looking forward to the other featured entertainment. "I like that they're having local bands," MaryJo said. "It's always fun to be surprised when you [see] a band you may not have heard before."
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The Chicken Tamale from Adobo Grill was a popular item at the Taste of Chicago Preview on Tuesday in Daley Plaza.
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Emily Chapman, Maria Manffe and Alicia Greenberg enjoyed the popular baked crab cakes from Polo Cafe and Catering and chips and guacamole from Adobo Grill.
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Cesar Tovis took a quick lunch break from work to enjoy a chicken tamale from Adobo Grill at the Taste of Chicago Preview.
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Robinson's No. 1 Ribs served up baby back ribs and rib tips.
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Texas de Brazil captured the attention of these lunch-breakers, who purchased the chicken breast wrapped in bacon for $4.
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Many staked out shady spots at this year's toasty Taste of Chicago Preview.
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Humana's Healthier Choice mascot, Apple Man, was on hand at the Taste of Chicago Preview in Daley Plaza. Every year, Humana offers a "Healthier Choices" guide for finding festival foods that meet calorie, sodium and saturated fats standards set by Chicago physicians. This year's guide offers more "healthy choice" options than ever before- 20 from 17 restaurants, according to a Humana Healthier Choices representative.
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Ruby Brown and Margaret Ashland, both of Chicago, enjoy the Brazilian combo platter from Texas de Brazil.
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Chef Dave Samber, owner of Polo Cafe and Catering, will participate in the Taste of Chicago for his 20th year this summer. "Without the success we have had at the Taste each year, we probably wouldn't be in business today," Samber said. "The Taste is the largest and greatest food festival in the world and people just love it."
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The BBQ grilled boneless pork chop slider was one of three dishes offered by Polo Cafe and Catering.
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Minutes before 11 a.m., nine vendors prepare for the Chicago Park District's Taste of Chicago Preview in Daley Plaza.
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