Every year, the team at Zapwater posts our trend predictions for the next year. Check out last year’s predictions HERE. Some of the predictions through the years have been very Nostradamus. Others have been so far off, they couldn't hit the side of a barn (cough. Michael Corrigan).

But before we post our forecast for next year, we want to look back and throw down the gauntlet. (We’ll begin posting our trend predictions next week.)

As is the case every December, TimeOut Chicago has released its 100 Best Things We Ate and Drank this year. But this year, the fiercely competitive team at Zapwater is having a competition. The challenge, who can try the most things on the list by Memorial Day 2014. Care to join our challenge?

Congrats to Heisler Hospitality for dominating the drink list. We kicked off our challenge by visiting Lone Wolf Tavern and enjoying the No. 2 Sgrippino as a team. Just this week, I also stopped by La Sirena Clandestina (a favorite in Zapwater’s West Loop neighborhood) for some Empanadas.

And this weekend is my birthday. When my wife asked me where I wanted to go, I looked at the list and said, “Smalls Smoke Shack & More for some Brisket and garlic rice.”

Anyway, you get the point. Check back next week for trend updates and check back periodically to see how I am doing on this checklist.

David Zapata