Friday, June 25, 2010

Writers sought

Do you live in, work in, or just enjoy the Chicago suburbs?

Do you like to write?

Do you have time to post more than once a month?

If so, I would LOVE to add another writer or two to this blog. My current co-writers seem to have fallen off the face of the earth (ladies, you are always welcome to start posting again!) and I am just too busy to post as often as I would like to.

My only criteria are thus: No national chains, must be in the suburbs. The end. Parks, festivals, downtown areas, restaurants, bookstores, grocery stores, delis, knitting stores, comic book stores... whatever your heart desires to post about is welcome.

If you are interested in helping me, please leave a comment here or (preferably) shoot an email to suburbanawesome [at]


Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer suburban festivals 2010

Sorry I haven't put this up before! Please let me know if I missed any... It's festival season in the suburbs!

24-27: Bloomington Gold Corvette Show, Pheasant Run, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. $17 One Day Pass ($15 for Corvette owners), $40 Three Day Pass. Kids 13 and under are admitted free. All Corvettes, all the time.
22-27: Free! Midsommar Festival Swedish Days, 3rd Street, Geneva. Crafts, food, parade, music, carnival, more.
25-27: Free! Strawberry Fest, Robert Parker Coffin Rd, Long Grove.

2-4: Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival, IL-53 & Short St, Lisle. $5, free under age 5. Hot air balloon launches, nationally known music, a carnival (July 30-July 4) and fireworks at the biggest suburban summer celebration.
8-11: Rockin' Ribfest, Miller Park, Lake in the Hills. Ribs, music, more.
8-11: Free! Itasca Fest, Washington Park, Itasca. Carnival, food, music, kids' activities, more.
10-11: Free! Art in the Park, 1320 Shermer, Northbrook. Art, sculpture, jewelry, food, music, kids activities, more.
12: Barrington Microbrew Fest, Main & Barrington Rds, Barrington. $30. 3-7 p.m.
16-18: Free! Art at the Shops, Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard. Art, live music, food, more.
16-18: Big Greek Food Festival, St. Haralambos Church, 7373 Caldwell Ave. , Niles. $2 ($1 for seniors, free for kids); free for all 3-5 p.m. both days.
17-18: Free! Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival, 120 McHenry Rd., Buffalo Grove. Art, food, entertainment, more.
17-18: Free! Ethnic Arts Festival, 1700 Sheridan Rd., Evanston. Ethnic art, food and music in a lakefront setting.
23-25: Free! Pierogi Fest, 1900 Indianapolis Blvd., Whiting, Ind. Pierogis, polka bands, a parade and more.

7-8: Free! Art at the Glen Town Center, Glenview. Art, live music, food, kids activities and more. Ranked as one of the top art festivals in the U.S.
13-15: West Suburban Italian Festival, Centennial Park, Addison. $3-$7. Food, entertainment, merchandise, more.
13-15: Free! Prairie Fest, Wood Dale Rd & Commercial St., Wood Dale. Food, live music, carnival, pet parade, fireworks.

3-6: Last Fling, Naperville. $10-$12 for Mainstage events; free on Monday, and for kids 3 and under. Live music, a carnival, beer, kids activities and a Labor Day parade.
11-12: Free! Downtown Downers Grove Art Festival, Main Street Downers Grove.
10-12: Free! Festival of the Vine, 3rd Street, Geneva. Wine tastings (free and paid), crafts, food, entertainment.
25-27: Free! Fall Fest, Lee St. from Touhy to Howard, Des Plaines. Food, beer, games (including daily baggo tournaments), car shows, a market and live entertainment in Lake Park.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Patio paradise -- Carlucci's, Downers Grove

I was privileged to attend a Yelp Elite event last night at Carlucci's, 1801 Butterfield Rd. in Downers Grove. As such, please note that I received free food and that the service may have been influenced by my affiliation with yelp.

Carlucci's is tucked in right off I-355 and Butterfield Road, next to office buildings and a hotel. It would be easy to dismiss it as too corporate, too stuffy or too chain-y. But the building and grounds are beautiful, and you really can't hear the traffic at all. Plus, the food we had was amazing.

I am now in love with arancini (risotto, cheese and peas, breaded and deep-fried), and the Caesar salad, pizza, and fish all bear mentioning as extremely tasty.

The star of Carlucci's is really the patio, though -- comfortable, stylish, well-shaded and lush. An excellent place for a night out or a romantic warm-weather dinner. The staff attending to us was super-attentive, constantly bringing out more food and clearing our plates.

If you're looking for a little fancy, Carlucci's might just be the place for you.