Hundreds of thousands of people should make it to the Taste of Chicago, but I won't be one of them.
Random Sweat Transfer.
You're stuck in a teeming sea of humanity at the Taste, all those hot, sweaty bodies, when someone bumps into you, their exposed arms and/or back drenched with sheets of their own perspiration. You've been slimed.
That's RST. Merely typing the words makes me gag.
"I call it the 'Waste of Chicago,'" writes Facebook friend Jerry V. "How much overpriced food can you gorge yourself with in one day instead of just finding a nice local eatery to enjoy a meal with friends. Or am I being unkind?"
That's why I came up with my own Taste of Kass, and asked readers on Facebook to recommend their favorite joints free of the heartbreak of RST. So here are my favorite tastes.
If there is one work of art in Chicago area dessert, it has to be the dark chocolate sorbet at Mancini's, 1111 Lake St., Oak Park. Simple. Mysterious. Devastating. Provocative. The essence of Italian chocolate.
Think of cold chocolate in concentrated form. Anyone who tastes it emits an involuntary deep roll of the eyes. It is the 50 shades of chocolate sorbet.
I purchased a gallon and brought it home for a Fourth of July barbecue and six women all but passed out on the deck it was so good. If you have an argument with your wife, don't get her jewels. Get the dark chocolate sorbet instead.
"The flavors all come in liquid form from Italy, not powder," said proprietor Al Mancini. "That's why it has the good taste."
And Freddy's Pizza, 1600 S. 61st Ave., Cicero, might just have the best ice on the planet. I've already recommended that owner Joe Quercia, famed soccer analyst, become the White House chef. And don't forget the pizza and entrees. A chocolate ice combo with any fruit ice is preferred. But eat it slow. Otherwise, you get the Freddy's head, or "brain freeze."
Another top ice can be found at Teddy's Red Hots, 737 Plainfield Road, Darien. Fruit ice is perfect with a Chicago dog.
Of course another must-taste is the Original Rainbow Cone, 9233 S. Western Ave. If I don't mention it, the entire Southwest Side will get angry.
But you can't have ice cream without first having breakfast. And where can you find a decent breakfast for only about five bucks?
Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan. Best breakfast deal in the city. For about five bucks you get a big toasted Kaiser roll, real eggs, real cheese and real bacon. And coffee.
No double caramel latte with soy milk. No snooty "protein" wraps. How much bacon do you get?
"Three, four slices," said proprietor Sam Sianis.
What else you want?
My all-time favorite comfort food meal: the superb veal saltimbocca alla Romana at Bruna's Ristorante, 2424 S. Oakley Ave., with a side of linguini aglio. The first time I had some, my luncheon companion was a fellow named Daley who'd just been elected mayor of Chicago.