Shop Small 2013

A 365 day challenge

Day 21: Food for thought

Boston has Faneuil Hall.
Seattle has Pike Place Market
even Wisconsin has the Milwaukee Public Market.

Why in the world, then, does Chicago, with its vast array of local delicacies, not have a year-round public market?

Of course, I would prefer it were here in the ‘burbs so I could go weekly, but wouldn’t it be great to find fresh made bread, scrumptious desserts, homemade pastas, local farm fruits and veggies, even a cheese master all under one roof.

Unfortunately, to find all of these individual provisions, we have to go to upteen different locations. And, that’s what I feel like I did today.

Actually, it is what I did today, 4 different stores. Don’t worry, I won’t take up your whole Monday evening with all four. But, the day finally came that I was out of staples: flour, cereal, syrup, toothpaste, and tampons. Trying to stay with small businesses meant several different stops.

I needed lunchmeat for the kids again, so today we hit Zeppe’s Italian Market. It’s nice when Groupon has deals for small businesses; it’s a great way to try new places & save some money!

Zeppe’s is small- basically a deli, pastas, sauces, and some Italian staples. The only refrigerated case is full of ready to eat lasagna, ravioli, and sauces. My daughter was craving lasagna, it was great that would could buy a single piece (that was big enough for 3!), and it was delicious.

The two gentlemen working were very helpful & since some of the lunchmeats were new to us, they let her sample. Though we did get a couple of lunchmeats, I was a little disappointed in the selection. I would have liked more authentic Italian options, or at least Boars Head meats, not Butterball & Ekrich.

Although I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, I’m sure if you’re looking for ingredients for your favorite Italian recipe, Zeppe’s will have it.

Looking for something you don’t see in the case or the shelves? Make sure you ask. I happened to ask for fresh mozzarella, and he went in the back & brought out some of the most delicious mozzarella I’ve had.

Tomorrow’s post is going to get a little personal…I know, the suspense!

Until then, do you have a year-round public market near you? Would you shop there over a grocery store if you did?

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