Taste of Pilsen

Taste of Pilsen Transforms Into To-Go Event During Pandemic

¡Buen Provecho! Taste of Pilsen To-Go 2020 allows ticket holders to pick up signature “to-go” tasting samples from dozens of restaurants in Pilsen.

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The Taste of Pilsen, a popular tradition during Hispanic Heritage Month in Chicago, has been reworked into a to-go format to make the event as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

¡Buen Provecho! Taste of Pilsen To-Go 2020 allows ticket holders to pick up signature “to-go” tasting samples from dozens of restaurants in Pilsen.

"Buen Provecho" in Spanish translates to “enjoy your meal," which is what restaurant owners still want diners to do at this year’s event.

“It’s been hard on everybody, but we have survived and that’s what matters,” said Daniel Gutierrez, co-owner of Cantón Regio. “We’re in this together.”

Gutierrez’s restaurant is participating in the ticketed event that will give diners a to-go bag. His family shares their Mexican culture with people from all walks of life.

“Even though you’re here for many years, you have to always remember where you came from,” added Gutierrez.

Although ¡Buen Provecho! will look different this year, it still offers insight into the culture of those who call Pilsen home.

Maria Hernandez of Chepe’s Tacos, which sits right below the Pink Line on Damen, said business has changed now that people are working from home. That’s why she is participating in the Taste of Pilsen.

“It’s good for me, especially for my business,” said Hernandez.

Agustin Bahena of Mole Village on South Blue Island Avenue said that while business also looks different for him, the goal remains the same: Feed the people.

“We’re grateful to be here to show people what we are doing, sharing our food, our culture and everything,” said Bahena. “We’re proud to do that.”

Yvolina’s Tamales on 18th Street transformed their sit-down restaurant into a pure pick-up station.

Marcelina Hernandez said business has been good, so that is why she tries to give back. For example, when people order her tamales in bulk, she adds a little extra.

“To help the families we gave a free rice and beans to help the people a little bit when people buy a dozen tamales,” Hernandez said. “We try to help.”

The event begins on Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

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