One of the struggles of living in the city is the lack of good grocery stores. While there is a Whole Foods, it can get pretty expensive to shop there all the time. In Palatine, we were close to a Jewel, Dominick’s, Whole Foods and Fresh Market. We were also near Joe Caputo and Sons, which was voted a fave among Tribune readers in a recent article.
When we lived in our old place in Logan Square, we primarily shopped at Cub on Elston (which was recently sold and has bare shelves right now - this is not a picture of Dave) and Jimenez on Fullerton (some of the best guacamole we’ve ever tasted and pretty darn good produce as well.) A friend of ours is a devotee of Tony’s Finer Foods, but on the weekends it’s impossible to find a parking space.
We admit, we haven’t tried half of the “secret” places in this great city. For example, we’ve heard rave reviews about Paulina Meat Market, but have never made the trek. Our real place of employment is in the West Loop, in the middle of the meat packing district. We’ve been a little frightened to venture into some of these places, but if all the restaurants in the city come here for their meat and seafood, we know we really should check some of these wholesale places out. But until we get around to it, we’ll continue doing our meat shopping at Costco. While some people are scared of bulk buying from Costco, the meat freezes really well. We’ve gotten in the habit of buying meat and freezing it in serving sizes for two. We take the meat from the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before we want to eat it. Works out great!
But with fall here, the city’s great farmer’s markets—we like the one in Wicker Park best—will be gone for the season. This means good produce is hard to come by. Stanley’s is great and all, but we don’t like making multiple stops for meat, produce and staples. We have never been pleased with the produce found in Jewel and Dominick’s. On one shopping trip to Jewel earlier this year, we got half way through the produce aisle before ditching our cart, with produce in it, and walking out because the selection was so bad. And if you want escarole at Jewel, Dominick’s or Cub? Better have an alternate plan in place, because they don’t always carry it.
We are excited to try Sunflower Market, which recently opened relatively close to us.
Let us know if you’ve tried it out. And we’d love to hear everyone’s recommendations on places to shop.