Thursday, September 12, 2013

YELP's Walk On The Wild Side

Be careful, blogspot readers, things are about to be incredibly wild during this local event!


SouthSide's brought out the animal in her while attending YELP's Walk On The Side that was recently held at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. And since the theme of the night was "wild", the organizers asked all attendees to don their best and wildest animal costume or wear something that had an animal depiction in their clothing. People from all corners of the Chicagoland area converged at this popular children's museum after hours to partake in fun activities and exhibits, delicious food and cool drinks and music.

Colorfully costumed human weren't the only creatures roaming around the Nature Museum, blogspot readers. There were some that slithered, creeped and crawled while there were others that walked on four furry paws. Located in the outer courtyard, this reviewer spent some quality time with the representatives of Greyhounds Only, Inc  and some of their lovely greyhounds and Green Paws Chicago. Greyhounds Only Inc. ( is a nonprofit adoption and rescue organization whose mission is to place retired and/or at-risk greyhounds from all over the county "...into responsible, loving homes..." as well as " educate the public about the greyhound breed, to provide access to high-quality medical care and to collaborate with others who share..." their common goals. Meanwhile Green Paws Chicago ( offer more than dog walking and overnight stays / in-home pet sitting for busy pet owners. From regularly scheduled pet visits to weekly de-shedding treatments and monthly flea and tick preventative care, your furry members will be well loved for by their pet care professionals. Also in the courtyard, this reviewer sampled a few healthy snacks from Manna Organic Bakery ( like organic bread and some yummy snack crunchies that seem to sprout in your mouth with healthy goodness. You can find these products in places such as your local Whole Foods, Casey's (in Naperville) or Woodman's (in North Aurora).


Upstairs, that's where the party was truly rockin', blogspot readers. The entire second floor featured live DJ music to keep everyone in a festive mood while sampling a wide variety of yummy dishes from area restaurants like Shaw's Crab House (serving delicious mini crab sandwiches and tuna tartare) and J & L Catering (serving a samples of curried chick peas with herbed couscous and cucumber raita on cute scallop-like shells). SouthSide highly recommends trying the all natural pickles and veggies from Fully Belly (, blogspot readers, at fine retailers such as Paulina Market and Gene's Sausage Shop in Chicago or Sunset Foods in Highland Park and Northbrook. Got a taste for Italian? Try Ciao Amore's ( authentic Italian dishes located in the Pilsen neighborhood. Also try some casual, contemporary Indian cuisine from O Mango that served a summertime delight of tender shrimp salad - a very tasty treat even though it's not featured on the regular menu. Couldn't be a Yelp party without yummy but unique pizza slices from Big G's Pizza By The Slice (, blogspot readers! Besides the usual cheese, pepperoni and sausage slices, this vendor also served a unique selection of pizzas to the guests such as BBQ Chicken, Buffalo Chicken & Bleu Cheese and its pis de resistance - Big G's Mac N Cheese. Yep, SouthSide took that challenge of trying a slice of Mac N Cheese and found it quite delicious but very filling after a few bites. She had a cool sample of fruit punch sangria  and Coco Water (coconut water with pineapple) to quenched her thirst.


After a sampling some food in the south wing and courtyard of the museum, SouthSide took a break by enjoying the ever popular Judy Istock Butterfly Haven which houses some of the wold's common as well as rarest butterfly species under one temperature controlled room. Walking through the newest exhibit Food: The Nature of Eating, there were some Yelpers taking advantage of free massages and rubdowns by Spa At Dana ( while others were browsing at the other exhibits or mingling inside the north wing. This wing featured free servings of frozen yogurt treats and yummy toppings by Forever Yogurt and cake pops, cookies, and mini pastry treats and mini versions of the adult root beer floats by Wow Event Design & Coordination ( and Hel's Kitchen Catering (


However the smell of tangy BBQ sauce caught this reviewer's attention before sampling the array of food samples from The Original Just Turkey Restaurant ( located in the Edgewater neighborhood, blogspot readers. Yet, this wasn't ordinary samples of BBQ food - hence the turkey prominently featured in this establishment's food menu. She tried a good portion of their turkey rib tips, sausage and creamy cole slaw. The verdict? YUMMY...especially when it's lovingly smothered in that tangy BBQ sauce! Back downstairs in the snack machine area, there were Yelpers rockin' out to their favorite songs like a rockstar with a DJ, karaoke machine and dazzling strobe lighting.

Sadly, blogspot readers, her walk on the wild side had to end. However, there's always another party in the works for Yelp members like the one happening on New Year's Eve held inside the legendary Palmer House. This annual soiree will feature top shelf drinks and champagne, hors d'oeuvres, buffet, chocolates and desserts as well as multiple rooms of entertainment, celebrity DJs and a live cover band. For tickets and information, visit


Until next time, support your local scene,

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