This year Riot Fest kicks off in Chicago’s Douglas Park on September 15th. The three-day independent music festival will attract well over 100,000 music lovers who’ll enjoy a wide range of music genres from punk, rock, alternative, and metal to hip hop. Attendees also look forward to the carnival rides and a variety of food vendors.
Although I have yet to experience Riot Fest, it sounds like a crazy, fun time!
Imagine if this festival was a restaurant….music, great food, and a carnival!!! Oh yes, I love the idea…well you don’t have to imagine because Riot Fest organizers teamed up with The Saved by the Max team to bring you, THE RIOT FEAST; a pop-up restaurant inspired by the yearly event.
The restaurant opened on July 8th in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood for a 3-month run!
Windy City Blogger Collective was invited to experience The Riot Feast and try out the menu. I was really looking forward to this because, well, food….I love music….and CARNIVALS take me back!
Who didn’t love carnivals as a kid? Whenever the carnival was nearby, I used to beg my parents to take me! I don’t know how safe the rides were, but I was on every one of them! I was also eating anything that I could get my hands on! Everything tasted better at the carnival.
Walking in, I got a feeling of nostalgia as if I was about to enter a hallway to the house of mirrors or some other carnival attraction.
I’d say these are solid rules Entrance Hallway
Upon entry into the dining room, you feel as you’re inside a carnival tent. I liked the décor. The interior was dimly lit which made it a challenge to capture the essence in photos; especially the food. We had to get creative with our phone lights. At least the photos are true to what you can expect.
The music playing overhead was loud, but you were still able to enjoy a good conversation. At one point an Ice Cube classic was playing, and I was taken back to my high school days!
The Riot Feast offers three types of seating options; the Nosh Pit (bar seating), GA (communal dining), or VIP (reserved elevated tables). We sat at the communal dining tables.
The Method Man Punch
Restaurant goers may want to start off with one of the band/music inspired cocktails. Some of the names include being Chesterfield King, I Want You…To Want…Me, and Bad Religin.
The waiter brought us a pitcher of one of the rotating punches which are each named after members of the Wu Tang Clan, lol, behold the Method Man: White Rum, Luxardo Cherry Liqueur, Lime, and Pineapple.
Be careful with this one; it sneaks up on you!
Following the drinks were the Openers; first out were the Pop-Punk Corn and the Have-Mercy! Cornbread (John Stamos fans will understand the reference) There was a John Stamos pat of butter served on top.
Popcorn is a fun way to start a meal and is fitting for a carnival themed restaurant. It’s a MUST every time I attend a concert or festival. The Have Mercy Cornbread was very tasty; not overly sweet and well the butter was special!
Why wouldn’t we start out with popcorn? Have Mercy Cornbread with John Stamos butter! I laughed every time that I glanced at this!!!
We were soon served additional Openers: Feel Good Salad of the Summer and Broccolus Urungus.
Feel Good Salad of the Summer Broccolus Urungus
Both the salad and the broccoli were very good! I wanted seconds! The Feel Good Salad consisted of zucchini, squash, tomato, olive oil, and feta. It had a strong garlic punch which didn’t bother me one bit! I’d return just for the salad and the broccoli! The Thai flavors in the broccoli were fantastic! I’m a veggie lover, so these two dishes were right up my alley!
Next up were the Headliners. We started with C.R.E.A.M. (Curds Rule Everything Around Me); Wisconsin cheese curds, Tecate, and pretzel batter served with a honey mead mustard. Then came Where Turkeys Dare: turkey leg quesadilla, baby grilled corn, queso fresco, pickled onion, and hatch chili salsa and The Hot Dog In A Hallway: The Radler’s sausage corn dog. Ahhh, corn dogs! I liked the corn dog the most out of the three, the sausage inside was very tasty.
C.R.E.A.M. Turkey Leg Quesadilla; very generous with the turkey Hot Dog In A Hallway.
Next out was Never Mind the Chicken, Here’s the Funnel Cakes: Chicago-Style Hot Chicken, sport pepper, hot sauce pickles, celery salt, poppy seed funnel cake.
Never Mind the Chicken, Here’s the Funnel Cakes Platter of crispy goodness. Paramoreo Sundae
I was most looking forward to the chicken entrée. It was my favorite of the evening! I was expecting more of a salty sweet combination, but the funnel cake wasn’t overly sweet. The combination was still good. The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside and seasoned throughout, just the way I like it. There was a little tingle to my lips from the heat. Overall winner!
We finished off our meal with a Paramoreo Sundae (pictured to the right) Vanilla ice cream, fried Oreos, kettle corn, bourbon caramel, and sprinkles. I wasn’t too stuffed to taste how good it was.
In all, we ate through eight dishes while enjoying good conversation.
I’d recommend The Riot Feast for Both Riot Fest fans as well as any food lover looking for a unique experience.
Riot Feast is open Wednesday through Saturday through October 2nd.
Who remembers wasting your money on this! Meeeeeeee