Working in collaboration with government organizations, TeaGschwendner helped build a factory that processes tea for 130 small farmers. That's just one of the ways TeaGschwendner ensures social and environmental responsibility. Read more here.
With its lapping waves and watery vistas, Lake Michigan makes for a decent approximation of the much larger Atlantic Ocean, where Jeff Mazza feels most at home. Still, the owner of New England Seafood Company Fish Market could not shake a feeling of homesickness when he relocated to the Midwest. "Sitting on a deck eating some fried clams and some lobster rolls, that's every weekend pretty much. That's the stuff we miss and couldn't really find too much out here," he told ABC7?s Hungry Hound.
Rather than pining away and writing novel-length emails to the family dog, Mazza reflected on what he missed the most about New England and put together a plan. Soon enough, he and his brothers had opened a restaurant and market and were busy importing seafood freshly caught in the Atlantic?s waters. Today, their menu includes baked haddock, pan-seared crab cakes, and the aforementioned fried clams and lobster rolls of Jeff?s youth. The lobster rolls?with their cold lobster meat, buttery seasonings, and buns imported from Boston?seem to have won over the most local fans. Serious Eats recently described them as "the purest, simplest version" of the sandwich found in Boston or Chicago.
With four locations speckled across Chicagoland, The Goddess and Grocer pairs the menu of a gourmet deli with the packed shelves of a specialty grocery store. Muffins, scones, and croissants are baked in-house, wafting the scents of melting butter and sugar over a sandwich counter reminiscent of a giant artist’s palette. There, custom sandwiches take shape from 11 breads and wraps, 7 deli meats, 9 cheeses, 12 vegetables, and an assortment of condiments that covers everything from cranberry-tinged mayonnaise to horseradish sauce. A few fixed staples are on hand to simplify decisions, however, including an egg-salad sandwich that Chicago magazine placed on its list of the 50 Best Sandwiches in Chicago, praising it as "a testament to the sheer power of simplicity."
The Goddess and Grocer also assembles bag lunches as well as picnic hampers for patrons looking to enjoy a bite by the lake or to bait a Yogi Bear. To round out these meals, the staff can include high-end, specialty items from the grocery section, including handmade chocolates, artisanal cheeses, mustards and dressings, and wine and beer. Alternatively, they can cater gourmet breakfast, lunch, or dinner for large gatherings and celebrations.
Established since 1949, Bill and Laurie Begale purchased Paulina Meat Market in 2006. As a family, Bill, his wife, and three children continue to operate it as a traditional meat market with German specialities.
In addition to old world sausages, staff have started experimenting with exotic meats and complementary deli items. They now serve sausages stuffed with fillings such as apples and pork, jalapeño and pepper jack cheese, and even a goat bratwurst, all of which can be paired with specialty condiments and fine cheeses.
Paulina Meat Market has broadened the range of the meat counter to include unique cuts of beef, including Flat Iron and Hanger steaks, along with an option for grass-fed beef, Bill Kurtis’s Tallgrass Beef. Knowing that not everyone likes to cook or admit they use their oven for a dragon-hatching operation, the staff have also created a line of ready-to-eat entrees such as their famous chicken pot pies and corned beef hash. All the meat is locally sourced throughout within the Midwest, with the exception of the lamb, which comes from Colorado.
For the perfect jolt of caffeine, look no further than Wicker Basket Cafe. Diners who avoid fat need to be careful, though, because Wicker Basket Cafe's menu does not offer low-fat options. Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to Wicker Basket Cafe — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks. You won't feel cramped at Wicker Basket Cafe, even with a large party — the coffee shop is perfect for large groups. Dine out in the open during Wicker Basket Cafe's summer season when patio tables are available for use.
Wicker Basket Cafe can also cater your next party; call today for details.
If public transportation is preferable, ditch the car and board the nearby stop at Damen-o'hare (Blue Line). Brush up on your parallel parking skills — the coffee shop's W Division St location offers nearby street parking.
Dining at Wicker Basket Cafe will set you back about $30 per person on average. All major credit cards are accepted. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at Wicker Basket Cafe, so come by whenever it fits your schedule.
Made possible by FamilyFarmed.org, an organization that forges bonds between locally grown food and the people who grow, sell, and eat it, the Good Food Festival & Conference lets Chicagoans participate in the locally driven Good Food movement. Coming from all over the Midwest, 150 farmers and artisans display their healthily unprocessed bounties while debunking widespread myths that the freshest fruit grows in cans, and chef demos from Frontera Grill?s Rick Bayless, Perennial Virant?s Paul Virant, and Nightwood?s Jason Vincent celebrate the spectacle of cooking. Young chefs can exercise creative muscles and artsy tendons at the children?s corner, which features face painting, a scavenger hunt, and an arts and crafts session. Scheduled workshops, such as Growing a Community Garden or Brew Your Own Kombucha and Sodas, teach casual eaters about their deep-seated connections to the things they chew (additional workshop fees apply).