May 052014

Goddess and Grocer in Bucktown officially moved across the street to 1649 North Damen Avenue in the former Dairy Queen space. The new address gives them more space for dining and for showcasing local foods and beverages.

I popped in last week to get the lowdown and a tour:

Goddess & Grocer

This chicken sandwich is full of win!

The biggest improvement over the old location is a dining area that’s completely separated from the grocery/deli space. In the past, it was nearly impossible to browse the shop without tripping over diners. Now, diners can take their deli purchases upstairs to enjoy their food in the spacious dining room or venture outside to the charming patio.

Downstairs, new additions include a case that features Zarlengo Gelato, and several cases that have pre-made dishes and marinated meats for purchase. Since there’s now a full-time chef on site, dishes will rotate throughout the day to keep selections fresh. The deli bar will also feature local draft brews (once they get their liquor license), as well as a salad bar. Place your order to-go, else the staff is more than happy to take your order upstairs for you.

The cash & carry section includes an expanded selection of local beers and wine, packaged goods from area chefs and restaurants, and grab-and-go items from Goddess & Grocer. I especially liked the addition of an olive station and the large number of charcuterie and cheeses. Though there are nationally available brands like Zingerman’s, there’s a true focus on locally produced and available items. Pick up Lillie’s Q goodies, Bill Kim’s amazing sauces, or rubs from Stephanie Izard, and then stock up on Pipeworks brew.

There’s even more coming to the new site. Look for a juice bar to appear and classes from brewers and food producers. The new space is designed to satisfy more than hunger.

Whether you decide to eat-in or shop for your evening meal, there’s much more to enjoy at the new Goddess & Grocer. Make plans to visit new location soon.

Enjoy more sights & bites from Goddess & Grocer:

I was not financially compensated for this post. Access was provided to me for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.


Apr 302012

When I get off the train at Damen, I invariably wander up to North Avenue to Birchwood Kitchen. Sometimes its for one of their amazing sandwiches, and sometimes it’s browse the to-go items they have up front. It’s always a challenge to decide between eating in and taking things home. I usually end up doing both.

Birchwood Kitchen

Tuna sandwich from Birchwood Kitchen

Though this casual spot gives the appearance of a sit-down restaurant, it’s actually run as a deli. Place orders at the counter and they’re cheerfully served a few minutes later. The tuna topped with tomatoes and Gruyère cheese on multi-grain is my go-to choice, though I’m occasionally lured by the hot pot roast or cold chickpea sandwiches. I once had a goat cheese sandwich with curried veggies that sent me over the moon.

Dill Carrots | Birchwood Kitchen

Bliss! Dill Carrots!

The side dishes and pickles are “complimentary” with the sandwiches but are actually ingenious lures back to the deli counter. The “on the side” dilled carrots I had with my last sammie ended up becoming a minor obsession. They were the accompaniment to every meal I had for the next several days I only pray they’re still on the menu the next time I make it by.

However, I’m not that worried. I’m sure there’s a new favorite obsession to discover on my next visit. Birchwood Kitchen is good that way.

Birchwood Kitchen
2211 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647

May 182011
Lemon Cupcake - Real Kitchen

Lemon Cupcake

In addition to an amazingly good take-out and catering menu, Real Kitchen offers daily cupcakes for $2.50. I tried one with lemon frosting and filling from pastry chef Andrea Correa that tasted as good as it looked. The lemon flavor was bright and fresh without that metallic bite you get in some fruity cupcakes. Perfectly sized, too, with a good balance of frosting and cake.

A lot of places that offer cupcakes on the side don’t wow me, but I will be back for more cupcakes and to sample the other baked goods.

Real Kitchen
1433 West Montrose Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 281-2888