I was the first to arrive by a long-shot. I showed security my ticket, and they let me past the barricades that were blocking off Clinton Street. I showed someone else my ID that got me the souvenir cup that you see below. I also got a blue wristband, but nobody checked it! Once I was beyond the gates, all that I needed was my cup.
I ordered the Caprese Pastorale, which was slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, pesto with fennel, and tomato on a baguette. It was absolutely heavenly. It reminded me of my favorite sandwich shop that my friends and I frequented when I studied abroad in Perugia, Italy in 2007 (a semester before Amanda Knox got there). I always got a similar sandwich there, but it had sliced turkey. The ingredients were very simple, but they were so incredibly delicious when put together that we could not stay away from that shop. Sitting on the steps of the duomo in the square in the middle of the city and eating our sandwiches for lunch were some of my favorite memories of Italy. This sandwich from Pastoral, believe it or not, rivaled my Italian panino. I will be back, Pastoral.
If I was a better blogger and Chicago beer advocate, I would have kept track of all of my favorite brews and maybe told you my favorite three. I can't remember the names of the beers, but the three most memorable breweries (that I had never tried or heard of before) of the day were Solemn Oath Brewery, Revolution Brewing, and Deschutes.