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December 20, 2012

Christkindlmarkt: Chicago 2012, Part 1

Over the years, I have really enjoyed going to the Christkindlmarkt (although marketed as Christkindlmarket) in Chicago. Through a chain of events, I was unable to go over the last couple of years. This year, I made my triumphant return. While there was pretty much the same things there every year, it's the anticipation of the event that I look forward to.

The vendors were all nice but just be prepared to bring cash and plenty of it (many of the vendors, specifically food vendors, do not take credit/debit cards). Now while I had fun (as a whole), it seemed to be MUCH tighter as it relates to space. It's on the same location it's always been on (Daley Plaza). It's easy to get to on foot (if you take the train). Once I got inside, the space they utilized seemed to be MUCH more cramped. How tight? For those who live in the Chicago area, imagine going into The Metro and it's at full capacity (actually, a bit more). That's what it felt like.  While I did go on a Friday afternoon (and a pleasant one weather-wise at that), it seemed MUCH more crowded. It seemed as if they consolidated into a much small radius in the same spot. I have to admit, I was getting a bit upset as I could not move with the ease of years past. If you want the entire German experience (in a festival), I think you can get your fill here.

So this is another adventure of mine. This being a food-related blog, I will focus on the foods of  Christkindlmarkt and I hope I won't make you hungry. Most of the vendors make the voyage from Germany to Chicago. They will stay from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. So below are just a sampling of some of the excellent food that is served. I didn't get to eat everything but I did get to enjoy enough. Most are vendors who have come over the years.

As I tried to upload pictures, it didn't seemed to play very nice to me. Which is why I am going to do this in 2 parts. I took an insane amount of pictures this year. So in part 2, I will upload what I didn't upload now. I doubt you'll be disappointed. I'll let the pictures do the talking for me. So let the show begin........

The picture speaks for itself.

The product. Live and in living color. I didn't get to eat these this year but have in years past. ABSOLUTELY delicious. 

Menu board..or at least part of it.

Brats.... brats and more brats!!!! Tasty!!

 Nice....... and piping hot....... potato pancakes!!! These were HUGE sellers from what I observed.

Notice the white signage that says "cash only" in this picture? Be prepared if you do come here to have PLENTY of cash in order to make any purchases. Only a select few accepts credit cards for payment and those are mostly middle to bigger ticket items.

I didn't get a shot of the apples  but below are the "covered treats" for review.

Now this was somewhat a surprise for me.I don't recall this business being here in past years.

Now when I think of tea, I normally don't associate it with Germany. This is an exception. This brand actually tasted pretty good (and I'm not a warm tea fan).

I smelled the different samples and I thought this one and the Winter Blend were the most appealing to me. Unfortunately, I was a bit low on cash and needed money for the train home. 

 On the left, one cherry strudel from Helmut's Strudel. On the right, a double chocolate brownie from Dinkel's (a local Chicago bakery). I ate these over a couple of days.

Part 2 of this will be done later on (as time allows me). There was so much more I wanted to put here but time is not allowing me to do so. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I may return this year but if I don't, I felt I needed to pass those greetings on.

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