21 June 2012

Thursday Night Out

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
                                                - Douglas Adams, Writer (English)
Sidewalk café on Marion Street in Oak Park

Oak Park is a pretty cosmopolitan little village (most recently voted "Best Chicago Suburb" by Chicago Reader!) that offers loads of cool festivals, cultural offerings, wonderful restaurants, etc. for our proudly diverse population to enjoy.  What is terrific about being a part of all that (besides the secret handshake and the knowing wink and smile we Oak Parkers give one another as we pass on the street) is the sense of harmony and unity one gets when participating in these community events.  We refer to that feeling as "Oak Park-y", which describes a verrry special and unique wholeness, understood and appreciated only by Oak Parkers.

The balloon-twisting guy

This desire to be "Oak Park-y" may explain why the village created Thursday Night Out, a delicious summer dine-around.  This is how the dine-around works: one buys a ticket book containing four coupons for $12.  Every Thursday, from 5-9 PM, twenty restaurants each offer at least three dining/drinking choices, each for the price of one coupon.  One can eat and/or drink four different menu options from as many as four different restaurants.  It is a blast wandering around crowded sidewalks dodging happy kids, smiling neighbors, and dogs; trying different cuisines and drinks; listening to music; and just being part of a vital community sharing a meal together. Things like that are so cool, whether in Oak Park or in your town.

Boy enjoying dog, and vice versa

Although the food tonight was outstanding, what we ate was only half of the fun.  Here is what we enjoyed, with a link to the restaurant serving the dish.  There are many, many healthy choices available on the Thursday Night Out menu; however, tonight we admittedly threw caution to the wind!

Ahhh, Thursday. I am definitely learning to love you.
Vegetarian nachos, Munch
Pad Thai, King and I Thai Restaurant
Chocolate, banana, and caramel verrine, Sugar Fixé Patisserie
Fried calamari, Mancini's
Hummus and warm pita, Jerusalem Café
Somen noodle curry, Seven Ocean

Free beer samples make everyone happy!

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