food and drink, parks, shopping
The brain child of food writer and author Abby Mandel, Green City Market is far and away my personal favorite. There I can find, among other marvels, super fresh eggs from a farm south of Chicago that taste so much better than the store-bought kind. Producers travel hundreds of miles in some cases to bring us special cheeses from the far reaches of Indiana and all kinds of fresh foods from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. It's the only sustainable market in the city and although I do enjoy the farmers' markets, this one is indeed in a class by itself. Prices are not high but quality surely is.
Last summer, for example, I was looking for a vegetable for dinner and found a delicious Italian green I'd never heard of or tried previously. Growers are always knowledgeable about preparation methods and happy to share their expertise.
A bit later when lettuces await harvest, just compare those newly pre-bagged greens from the supermarket with these. You'll be stunned at the difference.
Today was my first visit of the season. I found morel mushrooms, "the last of the season" which were delicious and gorgeous hydroponically grown heirloom tomatoes (see photo), among other special treats. There was super fresh asparagus from Michigan, oddly shaped "breakfast radishes" and herbs galore. I also bought some Gibassier, aromatic brioche that are a regional specialty from Provence made with butter and olive oil and flavored with orange flower water, diced vannini orange peel and cracked fennel. I left feeling ecstatic that this market is back in place once again.
You MUST try Chicago's Green City Market which is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from May through October from 7AM-1:30PM at the south end of Lincoln Park, 1750 N. Clark St. at Menominee. For more info call 847.835.2240 or try the website, www.chicagogreencitymarket.org