“Hot and Delicious” – Chicago Food Truck Festival Serves Gourmet Meals in the Heart of Downtown


Friday was the last day of the Chicago Food Truck Festival, and Chicagoans are already calling for its return.

The festival, held on Fridays from late July to mid-October at Daley Plaza, featured everything from tacos to seafood to donuts.

Office workers, local residents and tourists said the event was a bright spot in their downtown experience and hope to see it return next year.

Vendors serving food on the last day included Harold’s Chicken, Lawrence’s Fish and Shrimp, and Mr. Quiles, which serves authentic tacos and quesadillas.

Chicagoans were ready to brave the rain for Harold’s Chicken. In addition to a food truck, the Chicken Restaurant has several locations across Chicago.
Mark Capapas / Sun-Times

Aubrey Spight, who works across from the festival, said the weekly event gives professionals and tourists a fresh and affordable option for lunch.

“It gives everyone a diverse chance to taste different foods,” he said. “I grew up on the South Side, so I know Harold’s Chicken and Lawrence’s Fish, but I’ve never heard of Mr. Quiles. It’s good, it’s good.

Paulette Squire, 64, said the food offered at the Food Truck Festival was “hot and delicious” and that she liked having so many culinary offerings just feet from her office.

“I love the idea of ​​food trucks,” said Squire, from South Side. “I think it’s cool. It’s small, convenient, close by, mobile. You can get it anywhere, they can go anywhere, ”she said.

Percy Billings, a worker at Harold's Chicken food truck, prepares a customer's order at Daley Plaza, Friday afternoon, October 15, 2021 His father owns Harold's Chicken Shack # 55, prepares a customer's order at Daley Plaza , Friday afternoon, October 15, 2021. Mark Capapas / Sun-Times

Percy Billings, whose father owns Harold’s Chicken Shack # 55, has been cooking fried chicken his entire life.
Mark Capapas / Sun-Times

Squire, who has lined up for Harold’s Chicken, said she also plans to eat food from Lawrence’s Fish and Shrimp, a truck that promises “simply delicious” seafood.

For vendors, the location in the heart of downtown has given them a much needed economic boost in a year when the restaurant industry has suffered.

“Love this place, they love to spend money, baby,” said Jessica Jarmon, the Harold’s Chicken truck cashier. She’s worked for the famous fried chicken restaurant since the age of 19 and proudly introduced herself as “Harold’s Chicken Queen, baby!” “

She added that, to her delight, guests at the Daley Plaza gave generous tips.

“It’s a lot of good people, professionals… My favorite part? The long lines don’t stop, never stop, baby! “

And it wasn’t just Chicagoans who appreciated the festival’s offerings. Nancy Sanchez, who was visiting Chicago from the Atlanta area, said she was a huge fan of high-quality Mexican food, but was skeptical if the tacos would live up to her expectations.

She was pleasantly surprised.

“They were delicious,” she says. “With taco trucks, you never know what you’re going to get. “

Cashier Jessica Jarmon (center) and cook Hubert Key (right) smile inside Harold's Chicken food truck at Daley Plaza on Friday afternoon, October 15, 2021. They said they enjoy the hectic atmosphere of working in a food truck.

Cashier Jessica Jarmon (left) and cook Hubert Key (right) said they enjoy the hectic atmosphere of working in a food truck.
Mark Capapas / Sun-Times

The mix of tourists and professionals is something Jarmon, 30, said she enjoys about the food festival.

“We like to serve good chicken to people,” she said, noting that once people tried the chicken, “they got hooked”.

“We don’t like selling anything bad on this truck here because one bite and we have you!” “

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