The NOSH is a weekly food pop-up food festival that showcases a variety of chefs, restaurants, caterers, bakers, butchers, and food entrepreneurs from Chicago. Similar to the food truck meetups I've frequented, The NOSH brings together a variety of vendors in a communal space in order to offer an array of options from quick bites that can be eaten on the go to full meals. You'll typically find The NOSH popping up at the Logan Square Farmers Market, but luckily for those of you working/living in the Loop, the festival has paired up with Block Thirty Seven for the month of February (the event is even accessible via the Pedway, which means if you're already downtown, you don't even have to go outside and face the nasty weather in order to get your nosh on!).
Every Thursday and Friday, The NOSH sets up its vendor booths on the first floor of Block Thirty Seven (conveniently right around the bend from one of my shopping addictions, Sephora!). As I've mentioned before, I spent seven years working in the Loop - during the summer, there were numerous farmers markets and weekly mini food festivals that offered wonderful lunch options. However, the winter months were brutal - there were so few non-fast food/but still fast options. I would have loved to have been able to zip down the block to get my nosh on (ha! I did it again!).
Last Friday, Mario and I were invited to head downtown and, of course, nosh! The nice thing about the NOSH is that because it's a regular pop-up with a smaller lineup (10 vendors), the crowds are far more manageable than those that are often seen at the food festivals that only run once a year (Diana and I stopped by a crazy food festival last summer in which the lines were at least 40 people deep!). During our time in the heart of the lunchtime crowd, the longest line we had to wait in only had five others in front of us. This is especially nice if you're on your lunch break, as you don't want to have to spend more of your time waiting in lines than actually eating.
Since we were down there for a leisurely lunch, Mario and I took our time wandering from stand to stand and considering all of our options. While we each had our immediate favorites (I'll admit I looked at the vendor list for the day ahead of time, so I already had some goodies in mind), we saw something we liked at every single stand! We ended up choosing share smaller options from three vendors neither of us had tried before (Garifuna Flava, Yum Dum, and Chocolate Twist), as well as to take a few others home (I can never pass up Dia De Los Tamales!). We both enjoyed the ability to try several smaller dishes - most vendors offer some form of tasting portion or small dish in order to encourage nosh-ers to try new multiple offerings (most of which are all under $10).
Guacamole and house made plantain chips from Garifuna Flava Caribbean Restaurant
(this was some seriously addictive guac!)
Caramel Cake from Garifuna Flava Caribbean Restaurant
Crispy Fish and Crispy Shrimp Baowiches from Yum Dum Truck (the shrimp baowich was Mario's favorite!)
Korean Chili Chicken and Braised Pork Belly Baowiches from Yum Dum Truck (the chili chicken baowich was my favorite!)
Chocolate Twist (I left with a ridiculous amount of goodies, including my new favorite, the Saigon Cinnamon PB Cup)
The NOSH Lunch Market at Block Thirty Seven runs every Thursday and Friday through the end of February from 11am-2pm: 108 N. State St.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.