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Taste will be smaller, but still features some new delights

Six Taste Chicago restaurants sold items Daley PlazJune 19 preview whwill be annual summer event.  Robinson's Ribs will be

Six Taste of Chicago restaurants sold items at Daley Plaza June 19 to preview what will be at the annual summer event. Robinson's Ribs will be back with rib tips, the boneless rib sandwich, links and pulled pork. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: July 21, 2012 6:19AM

While the Taste of Chicago will be a greatly scaled-back affair this year, there still will be some new offerings for those who go.

For example, for the first time, you will be able to sample Pazzo’s vegan chopped salad or its “fabulous” Chicken Vesuvio sandwich, manager Tracy Nelson said. Although it’s been open for decades, Pazzo’s, 311 S. Wacker, has never before appeared at the Taste.

“Our Chicken Vesuvio sandwich . . . is an original invented in Chicago in the 1930s, so we believe it’s truly a taste of Chicago,” Nelson said.

Pazzo’s was one of seven restaurants that set up shop at a Taste preview Tuesday at Daley Plaza. The actual Taste takes place July 11-15 at Grant Park and will feature 36 restaurants, which is fewer than in years past. But there will be 14 additional “pop up” booths, which will feature two or three different restaurants each day of the fest.

Among those pop-up restaurants, all new to the fest:

◆ Inspiration Kitchen, at 4715 N. Sheridan, which will offer beet and endive salad with almonds and creamy raspberry vinaigrette, caramelized citrus onion flatbread topped with crumbled goat cheese, and black bean burgers on July 11;

◆ The world famous Arun’s Thai Restaurant, 4156 N. Kedzie, which will sell Mussaman beef with rice, tossed wonton salad and mango sticky rice July 14;

◆ The all vegan Karyn’s On Green, 130 S. Green, which will cook up vegetarian chicken legs with cornbread stuffing and collard greens, vegetarian BBQ Seitan sliders and chopped vegetable salad July 15.

Even though there will be no fireworks and fewer musical acts, some veteran Taste-goers who stopped by Tuesday’s preview are now planning to go back.

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