I can’t believe that Edison Park Fest was the first street fest that our son has attended… and he’s almost two years old already! I remember when our daughter was born (who is now four years old), her first street fest was The Taste of Randolph, which was just a mere 4 months after she was born… we’re really slacking on the street fests.
But gone are the days when we could show up to a festival in the early afternoon, find a table, and eat and drink for the next 8 hours without having to worry about naps, snacks, or kids getting bored out of their minds while adults just sit around and talk. Street fests are a totally different beast now that there are children involved.
That being said though, we decided to shoot on down to Edison Park Fest on Friday to hang out with some close friends, grab a few drinks, listen to some music and have some dinner.
If you’ve never been to Edison Park Fest, it’s not a super large street fest like some of the ones in other areas of Chicago. It’s like 2-3 blocks long and includes a stage with live music (which is usually pretty solid), a kids area with blow up bouncy castles and stuff, and then a couple street vendor tents serving food… but not the kind of food you’d find at a street fest like Burgerfest or Ribfest or anything.
While there was a Hot Dog food truck (I forget the name), and Giordano’s serving up food, the rest of the food just consisted of generic “festival food” from a random tent that didn’t seem to be affiliated with any sort of restaurant or food establishment. Think deep fried everything…
So I would say that the best part of the festival, aside from the fact that they were serving 16 oz. cans of White Claw, was the live music, and the bouncy castles for the kids. Friday night at 5pm had a band called, I believe, Q101, which was just playing alternative rock from the 90’s, which was awesome. And then later at night some country band came on, but we did not stick around for that.
But even though the music was good, we needed to eat, and the festival food that they had for sale wasn’t going to cut it.
The good thing about Edison Park Fest is that it takes place near quite a few decent restaurants. This might be the reason there aren’t as many food vendors here now that I think about it. You’ve got places like Moretti’s, Firewater Saloon, The Curragh, Emerald Isle, etc..
Since we seem to eat at Moretti’s every week, we decided to give the Firewater Saloon a shot instead… and they also had outdoor seating available, which was a plus because all of their indoor seating is high tables, which may not have worked so well with a baby in a high chair (although they might have taller high chairs, I’m not sure).
Firewater Saloon Edison Park
This isn’t the first time I’ve been to the Firewater Saloon, but it has been quite a long time since my last visit, and I know on my last visit I got some type of breakfast burrito or tacos or something that was absolutely delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I almost went with the same thing again this time, but decided I wanted to try something a little different.
And yes, they do serve breakfast all day, which is always a plus.
Along with their breakfast offerings, the menu is pretty standard for what you’d expect. They have salads, tacos, burgers, and then their house specialties, which includes everything from sloppy joes to steaks.
Knowing that I wasn’t going to eat eggs, I also wanted to kind of steer away from a burger, since I always eat burgers, so the first thing that immediately jumped out to me was their Bacon Wrapped Grilled Cheese! Seriously, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich that is entirely wrapped in bacon!!
How could I not order that?!?!
Well guess what… I didn’t.
I really wanted to, but for some reason the Buttermilk Honey Fried Chicken just seemed way more appetizing to me at that time. I’m not sure if it was due to the fact that I had that delicious broasted fried chicken a few weeks ago, or what, but fried chicken drizzled in honey just sounded like something I wanted to eat that night.
Buttermilk Honey Fried Chicken, Mac n Cheese, and Cornbread
After settling on the buttermilk honey fried chicken, it was time to decide on what sides I wanted. They have a ton of sides that all sounded awesome, but despite the servers recommendations of mashed potatoes and green beans, I went with Mac n Cheese and Cornbread… which are usually my go to sides when they are available.
Funny enough though, even though I had ordered Mac n Cheese, the server must have still been thinking about those mashed potatoes, because she brought out that, along with the cornbread, by mistake, when my food arrived. No worries though, she brought out a side of Mac n’ cheese right away and let me keep the mashed potatoes, which I really didn’t care for too much. But, unfortunately I didn’t really care for the Mac n’ cheese or the cornbread either.
They weren’t bad by any means, but the cornbread was pretty dry and cold (temperature being more of a personal preference, so not holding that against them), but it just didn’t seem as flavorful as some of the other cornbread I’ve had. And the mac n cheese was kind of bland. Not as creamy as I prefer and not as sharp on the cheesiness as I would have liked. But again, not bad… I still ate it all and I think our other friend who ordered it as her entree ate her entire plate, so it’s not the worst.
Of course, after being slightly disappointed with the sides, I was apprehensive as to how the fried chicken itself was going to taste….
Thankfully it was much better.
I would say that Honey Butter Fried Chicken is a step above, but the buttermilk honey fried chicken from Firewater was delicious, and it was a decent size portion. There was enough food to fill me up that night and for me to bring home for lunch the next day, which is always a plus. Although, I probably could have eaten all of it that night, but I decided to just finish my kids fries instead.
The real question though, is was it better than the bacon wrapped grilled cheese would have been… and that I’m not sure of. But that just means that I’ll have to go back there soon so that I can try that grilled cheese to make an honest comparison.
I’ve seen pictures of that bacon masterpiece today, and it looks absolutely incredible, so you know I’ll be back there to try it.
As for the rest of the food in our party, there was a sloppy joe, an entree of mac n’ cheese (as I mentioned above), a taco salad, and then a kids order of chicken strips. The chicken strips with fries were perfect for the kids. There were 4 longer pieces of fried chicken with steak fries (or curly, but I knew my kids would bitch about the seasoning), which was perfect for them to split.
And as far as I could tell, everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals as their plates were pretty much clean by the end of our dinner.
Based an all of that, I would say Firewater Saloon was a solid choice for dinner. The only downside being that our service was a little bit slow, and it seemed to be the fault of the kitchen. Which wasn’t a huge deal since it was a nice night and the kids were behaving themselves. Our server was ‘newish’ and the restaurant was pretty busy because of the festival, so I can’t really put any blame on her. She was also very attentive and checked on us often.
So I think it’s pretty obvious that I’d recommend this place if you’re in the Edison Park area and looking for some pretty good food. The breakfast, that I remember from last time, was delicious, and the dinner we had was very good. Be a little wary of the side dishes, but the entrees themselves are delicious.