Monday, March 25, 2013

Garrett Popcorn Shops

Location: 625 N. Michigan Ave. and 4 E. Madison St., Chicago, IL
Garrett Popcorn on Urbanspoon Garrett Popcorn Shops on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
When it comes to popular, tourist attraction establishments, Garretts Popcorn Shops may top the list.  People come from far and wide to try their famous popcorn.  But, I see just as many locals doing the same... and I am guilty of this crime.  Garrett's has been dishing out bags of popcorn for decades and secretly pumping the incredible smell into the streets of Chicago.  During the summers, I have seen people wait in roller-coaster-sized lines just to grab a delicious bag of popcorn.  And, yes, it is worth it.  Garrett's has the best popcorn in the city and honestly, I can't think of anywhere I would rather order popcorn.  Unfortunately, the line doesn't move fast enough for people with busy lives and some of their prices tend to be outrageous.  If it wasn't for the sky high prices for one of their tins (in the $30-range), I would consider giving them a perfect rating.  But for now, I would still walk 4.5 miles to grab one of the less appealing, wax-paper bags full of the Chicago Mix.

What We Ate:

The Chicago Mix

What do peanut butter and jelly have in common?  Or salt and pepper?  Does the combination of Oreos and milk help out?  If you can't figure it out, these are combinations that are perfect together... just like The Chicago Mix.  This creation combines two of Garrett Popcorn's main flavors--Caramel Crisp and Cheese Corn.  And honestly, this combo should never be separated... IT IS THAT GOOD.  When eating apart, the caramel crisp has an extremely buttery and brown sugar flavor that can actually become overwhelming.  Personally, the butter flavor is over the top and I can't stand eating the caramel crisp by itself.  Now, when the Cheese Corn is separated from its partner, you taste the sharp cheddar that covers each popped kernel.  Some people don't like sharp cheddar and that is why the Chicago Mix  makes everyone love Garrett's.  Together, the sharp cheddar is mellowed out by the sweetness of the caramel, while the burnt buttery flavor is made less prominent by the salty aspect of the cheese.  It is the perfect pairing.  And, it keeps locals and tourists coming back for more.  A must have treat!

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- The lines will be long especially during the summer.  But, Garrett Popcorn is well worth the wait and I highly suggest spending the time in line rather than spending time regretting not tasting the Chicago Mix.
- Chicago Mix.... could and should be the only popcorn offered.

- Don't walk near the store if you are not planning on purchasing popcorn.  They are smart and strategically pump the fresh smells of popcorn into the street, luring more and more customers each day.  It has worked on me several times already.
- Don't be fooled by all the beautiful looking tins... the tin may be the most expensive part and it isn't worth the price.  Just get a normal wax paper bag and dig in.

How far would I walk for this food?


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