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SAVOR Green City Market; Sofitel's 'Un-Tea' time
by Andrew Davis
2024-02-24

This article shared 8863 times since Sat Feb 24, 2024
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For those who wonder about the lack of a farmers' market in Chicago during the winter months, I point you toward Green City Market (GCM) Avondale, taking place on Saturdays at 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through March 23.

I was fortunate enough to explore the market with a group that included Prairie Grass Cafe Executive Chef (and Green City Market co-founder) Sarah Stegner, Demera Chef/Owner Tigist Reda and Vernezay Executive Chef/Owner Arshiya Farheen. One of the important aspects of the market that Stegner stressed to me is that all Green City Market (including the summer/fall ones in Lincoln Park and the West Loop) triple-match Link (also known as SNAP or EBT) with all the vendors, up to $25. So someone who spends $25 via Link can get $100 worth of items.

And what items there are! Four dozen vendors present a nice variety of items, from herbs to mushrooms to pastries and even grilled-cheese sandwiches. A few of said vendors include

Nichols Farm & Orchard: If you're lucky, Steve Freeman will tell you all about this Marengo-based, 300-acre farm and its offerings. He imparts his vast knowledge (augmented by such things as a seven-volume encyclopedia devoted solely to apples) to tell you how the Gold Rush apple became Illinois' official fruit, and is more than happy to provide delicious samples of apples, radishes and more.

Gayle V's Best Ever Grilled Cheese: The name says it all. Sandwiches include items containing Swiss, cheddar, gouda and other varieties of gooey cheese.

Verzenay Chicago: The Lincoln Park-based bakery has a load of delicious items. (I can personally attest to how wonderful the offerings here are, as I practically inhaled a blueberry muffin.)

Windy City Mushroom: This South Side-based business has something for full- or part-time mushroom connoisseurs, from oyster and lion's mane mushrooms to cooked items to supplements/tinctures that aim to improve your health and help you focus.

By the way, the Link outreach is part of a movement to increase diversity in consumers—and, hopefully, vendors. Reda has put out feelers regarding a market on the South Side. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy the bounties of GCM.

For more information, visit www.greencitymarket.org/ .

One of my SAVOR with Andrew subscribers once suggested that I try a high-tea experience.

I already had (several years ago, at The Drake) but, at his suggestion, I decided to run another—although it has a definite (and even more decadent) French twist: Sofitel Chicago's "Un-Tea Afternoon Apero." (The Sofitel, by the way, is at 20 E. Chestnut St., just down the street from Water Tower Place.)

"Un-Tea Afternoon Apero" is an afternoon champagne service with French-inspired treats—and things start in a fun way with the bubbly being served in a teapot. (Guests can choose more highbrow brands, such as Veuve Clicquot Brut and Dom Perignon, for additional fees.) As for the bites, there are many—savory and sweet. Among the indulgent choices are choux puffs with truffle cream; French onion-and-Gruyere scones; assorted macarons; foie gras tea sandwiches; orange-and-dark chocolate Battenberg cake slices; smoked salmon on dill madeleines with creme fraiche; and mini-lemon tarts with blueberry and lavender meringue; and other tasty items.

Of course, if you want actual tea, there are several choices, including jasmine green and Earl Grey.

Honestly, my friend and I had the best time, catching up and dining on these decadent conversation-starters. For more information about this exquisite way to pass the time, visit www.sofitel-chicago.com/dining/un-tea-afternoon-apero/ .

Note: This visit was arranged.

Note: No reproduction of this column is permitted under any circumstances without express prior written permission.


This article shared 8863 times since Sat Feb 24, 2024
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