Nothing works up an appetite like three solid days of rocking out. Luckily Lollapalooza, which ran from August 2nd to 4th in Chicago’s Grant Park, took the job of feeding the frenzied, dance-crazy masses very seriously.
Chow Town, the collection of food vendors at the festival, was more than your average collection of state fair fried foods. Carefully curated by Chef Graham Elliott since 2010, the best of Chicago was offered to the nearly 300,000 attendees as they rushed from stage to stage.
From classic offerings like Lou Malnati’s pizza to trending bites such as Puffs of Doom’s sweet and savory pastries, Chow Town showed that quality at a festival like Lollapalooza isn’t limited to just the music. Traditional grub was given the Chicago touch. Burgers were available from favorites like Billy Goat Tavern, but those in the know could grab an off-menu treat from Edzo’s and Glazed and Infused: a burger sandwiched in a vanilla glazed donut. Hot dogs were dressed up in their best, as shown by Franks ‘N Dawgs’ Mac ‘N Cheese dog, or made deliciously gourmet, as with Big Fork’s bacon sausage.
It could be argued, however, that the headlining act of Chow Town was easily Elliott’s own Grahamwich. The lobster corn dogs have become a defining feature of the festival, and the consistently long lines in front of the stand were testament to the demand. Elliott and team sold 1800 of the signature snack, along with a healthy dose of truffle popcorn.
As it turned out, the festival success was Grahamwich’s swan song; the sandwich shop announced its closure the Monday after the festival. Was it the end of the beloved lobster corn dogs? Only next year will tell.