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City Offers Preview Of Abbreviated Taste Of Chicago

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Mayor Emanuel attends the Taste Of Chicago preview at Daley Plaza on June 19, 2012. The mayor enjoyed a chopped salad from from Pazzo's with owner Rocky Aiyash.(Credit: Lisa Fielding/WBBM Newsradio)

Mayor Emanuel attends the Taste Of Chicago preview at Daley Plaza on June 19, 2012. The mayor enjoyed a chopped salad from from Pazzo’s with owner Rocky Aiyash.(Credit: Lisa Fielding/WBBM Newsradio)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Downtown commuters and visitors got a preview of this summer’s Taste of Chicago on Tuesday at Daley Plaza.

WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports those who were downtown on Tuesday were in for a treat, as restaurants like Connie’s Pizza, Robinson’s Ribs and Smoke Daddy offered samples of the food they will be selling at this year’s 32nd annual Taste of Chicago.

“It’s just a way for us to get people excited about Taste of Chicago, give them a sneak way to whet their appetites,” said spokeswoman Michelle Boone.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding Reports

For Pazzo’s Cucina Italiana owner Rocky Aiyash, being part of the Taste for the first time is a big deal.

“Everybody knows about us, because of our sandwiches and our salads,” he said.

Dave Samber, chef and owner at the Polo Café, is in his 21st year with the Taste. Among the food they’ll be selling are crab cake nuggets, garlic bread, and pies

“We are from Bridgeport, one of the oldest parts of Chicago, where five mayors have come from,” he said. “So we’re very proud always to be part of a Chicago event.”

A total of 40 vendors, including annual favorites Billy Goat Tavern and Eli’s Cheesecake will be taking part in the five-day Taste of Chicago this summer, from July 11 to July 15.

The Taste has been cut back from 10 days to five days this year in an effort to cut costs, after the festival lost money for the past few years. It was also moved from late June and early July to mid July.

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