The giant turkey leg mission

Chicagoans like to talk to someone photographing a turkey leg on a tripod in front of Buckingham Fountain

I was on a mission to eat a giant turkey leg. A great Chicago tradition at the Taste of Chicago. During this mission, I discovered that Chicagoans love to talk to a guy photographing a turkey leg on a tripod in front of Buckingham Fountain.

We got out of work early, so I went to the gym and then headed on my mission. Going to the gym only prepared my stomach more for giant turkey leg consumption. The booth this year serving turkey legs is Manny’s Deli. Strange that a jewish deli would be serving dinosaur legs, but whatevs. I’m glad that a booth–whatever booth it may be–is continuing the Chicago tradition.

Manny’s booth is on the far far south end of the Taste. On the hike down there, I passed by Buckingham fountain and noticed how nice it looks. One of the traditions of eating a turkey leg is finding a nice place to consume it. Buckingham fountain would have the location this year.

Manny's turkey leg booth at Taste of Chicago

The five-foot-tall vertical turkey legs attached to Manny’s booth made it very clear that I had arrived. No line. I asked for a turkey leg. The guy asked me if I wanted it dipped. I think they only ask that so they can point out that the turky leg is drenched in BBQ sauce. People were gasping at the turkey leg as I walked through the crowd. It’s always fun to walk around with a turkey leg. I was about to find out how much fun it is to photograph a turkey leg.

Holding a turkey leg up with one hand while shooting with the other

Holding up the turkey leg with one hand, and shooting with the other resulted in some decent shots. But I really wanted an HDR shot to grab all the color depth, and that wasn’t going to happen with one hand holding a turkey leg and one holding a camera. For HDR shots, you need the camera very still–and the subject very still.

Balancing a turkey leg on the fence would be impossible. And there was no objects nearby to balance the turkey leg on. Except… well, I do have this tripod with me. I put the turkey leg on the tripod. It looked like some sort of glorified magical food.

More turkey leg!

I took some shots, but given the angle, you couldn’t see the turkey leg. But how could I angle it down without the turkey leg falling off? Why DUCT TAPE OF COURSE. I pulled duct tape out my bag and attached the back of the tray to the tripod. VIOLA! Now we are cooking!

Turkey leg on a tripod Duct tape holding a turkey leg

About four or five different groups of people came up to me, all excited. “That’s gotta be the best shot of Chicago ever!” “Yeah, that rules!” haha. It was fun. One woman asked me if I was going to eat it. I laughed in reply, “OH YEAH, I’M GONNA EAT IT!” And eat it, I did.

Manny’s put together a good turkey leg. It has a good amount of meat. The sauce was good. I hope the turkey leg looks as good in the photo as it tasted.

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Tom Saaristo
12 years ago

I love it! What a hoot! Manny’s took over serving the bbq turkey leg last year or maybe the year before after the restaurant that made the turkey leg famous at The Taste went out of business. Manny’s stepped up and kept the tradition alive! Yeah, Manny’s!

Tom Saaristo
12 years ago

Speaking of Manny’s, thanks for your vote, but I didn’t win their monthly dessert contest. I found out when I went home and checked their fb page. Maybe next time!

Tom Saaristo
12 years ago

Thanks, Matt! That was the primary sticking point of why people wouldn’t vote because they couldn’t taste it. So then I started asking them to just vote for me, but that didn’t fly.

Sparx
12 years ago

This is a great post! OH MAN! I wonder how many people in the world have ever duct taped a turkey leg to a tripod. 1? I think the answer is 1.

Eliana Briones
12 years ago

That is some turkey leg…makes me want one…I don’t think I’ve ever had a turkey leg…

Belva
Belva
12 years ago

where is manny located ?

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