Monday, April 7, 2014

03 Apr 14 - YELP's Chiberia Sendoff

Winter 2013 – 2014 was long, harsh and one for the record books, blogspot readers, especially here in Chicago. Over 80 inches of snow (thus far ...we’re known to have snow as last as June!) had blanketed this bustling town! We even added new words to our vocabulary like “polar vortex” and “Chiberia” (Chicago + Siberia) and also saw approximately 95% of Lake Michigan frozen over due to the extreme temperatures that dipped well below zero ...not including the wind chill. Yes, blogspot readers, it was a VERY cold winter. Yet, finally, that’s now behind us because spring has arrived. However, winter’s icy grip wants to remain. So YELP decided to chase away everyone’s winter blues by hosting one of its fantastic themed parties at Salvage One Events venue. Thus allowing the lucky attendees to give winter at HUGE heave-ho out of town ...forever. It was a Chiberia Sendoff, blogspot readers! Inside Salvage One, there were two floors of games and fun ...tasting and food samples as well as live music performance by The Hot Sauce Committee and a DJ from Donna & Rocco’s Big Fat Italian Wedding. Attendees were encouraged to take photos or play springtime games of toss or a round of pool  or explore the wonderful possibilities of what could do for them.

SouthSide spent some time exploring the lavishly d├ęcor of the main floor inside Salvage One where she tasted a sample of Pineapple, Coconut and Nutmeg soda by Joia ( This company tantalizingly combines a variety of fruits, herbs and spices for a uniquely intense taste in which nothing is artificial – i.e. no fructose corn syrup or preservatives. It’s even gluten free!. She highly recommends blogspot readers trying this particular all natural drink as well as the Blackberry, Pomegranate and Ginger soda. Both sodas a refreshing yet aromatic that you will immediately find tingling your senses before taking the first sip. There’s also other unique combinations like Lime, Hibiscus & Clove, Ginger, Apricot & Allspice and Orange, Jasmine & Nutmeg. Located nearby Joia on the main floor, there was a table dedicated to the few random samples of Pretzel Crisp like Honey Mustard & Onion, Cheddar & Jalapeno and Everything (has all of the available flavor combinations into this particular pretzel crisp cracker).

Cast of Donna & Rocco's Big Fat Italian Wedding
Also on the main floor, were freebies from Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (who earlier re-tweeted SouthSide’s tweet about YELP’s Chiberia Sendoff event) as well as hosting the open bar for attendees ...a booth featuring – where YELPers could sign up with this company that delivers more than just food like Yet they do more than that – they can also deliver dry cleaning, alcohol purchases, groceries and more to your door. And towards the back of the main floor, a mini chapel was dedicated to the cast of Donna & Rocco’s Big Fat Italian Wedding in which had one hip Father Tony dancing to the DJ spinning the hottest dance re-mixes. This reviewer loved the DJ’s remix of The Doors’ “Riders of the Storm” as well as many others. Somewhere on their site, there’s a picture of SouthSide with Father Tony, blogspot readers. Now it was time join the many others who were doing some serious partying upstairs on the second floor, blogspot readers, where The Hot Sauce Committee was totally jammin’ with their renditions from the 80s, 90s and today. The space on this floor was reserved for food sampling, dancing and socializing with other YELPers.

Devil Dawgs
On this floor, SouthSide first enjoyed the delicious combination of Sweet Potato, Arugula & Date as a salad topped with Sesame Dressing and Crispy Wontons from J & L Catering. She loved the delicious combination of seasonal flavors bursting inside her mouth from each bite. Then, she tried a tiny sample of her favorite vegan Mac-n-Cheese from her good friend from Laviyah of Ste Martean ( but this time she also tried some vegan barbecue. Though liking the Mac-n-Cheese (in this reviewer’s mind, it tasted the same as the regular stuff she makes despite it being vegan made), she didn’t really enjoy the vegan barbecue ...perhaps because it wasn’t served warm. From there, she stood in line to sample a fresh batch of donut holes from Beavers Donuts ( which the hottest and fastest food item of the night, blogspot readers. Every time, the employees of this company re-supplied the table with bags of fresh samples, the donuts would disappear within two to three minutes ...making this particular food item the favorite of the entire YELP event. Next to this table were Local Root ( which passed out yummy samples of pulled pork dipped with jalapeno sauce on toasted bread before moving to the next table where Theory ( also had their own version of yummy pulled pork sliders with Cajun shrimp lettuce salad. It was so good that this reviewer had to go back twice. In the middle of this floor was Devil Dawgs ( where YELPers could create their own Chicago-style hot dog or top it anyway they like ...including drizzling it with (gasp) ketchup. Being a true Chicagoan, SouthSide didn’t top her Devil Dawg with that dreaded red stuff. Sadly, she missed out having a sample from Haute Sausage ( because they ran out within the hour after the event started.

The Hot Sauce Committee
Also on this floor, SouthSide met Amy Fausset, owner and founder of 6D Hair Ties ( who was giving away free samples of her lovely hair ties (some with the YELP logo) and headbands that you could also wear on your wrists. SouthSide’s daughter has already begun using the few she brought home. And if you needed a sudden boost of energy, there were free cans of Monster drinks featuring the Ultra Red variety. The night’s entertainment featured music performed by SouthSide’s good friends – The Hot Sauce Committee ( They not only rocked the stage with their party selections from artists like Tone Loc (“Wild Thag”), Sir Mix-a-lot (“Baby Got Back”), The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire) and many more but had many of the YELPers dancing along with them throughout the event until it was time to go home. Unlike the last time this reviewer saw them perform (at The Grid for pre-St. Patrick’s Day fun), this performance featured a DJ helping them with programmed beats and visual images running in sync with their set list to truly liven up this Chiberia Sendoff party a notch higher. It definitely hot in here that The Hot Sauce Committee sweated out this reviewer's hair ...again, blogspot readers. Comments heard around the room ranged from “...they are fun a band...” to “...they know how party...” and “...they’re playing my favorite songs...” Yep, YELPers truly dug the sauciness added to this party!

Sadly, the fun at this successful YELP event had to end, blogspot readers, for it was time to go home. In SouthSide’s opinion, this was THE best party she has ever attended ...inside one of the coolest venues in town. She cannot wait to attend the next one wherever it may be...
Until next time, support your local scene,

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