Selling out at Trotter's Express
A coworker told me about the Friday seafood chowder at Trotter's Express, 200 W. Monroe. So I ambled over at about 12:40 looking forward to trying it, and the guy behind the counter (apparently the manager) said it "always sells out by 12:05." I said it seemed sort of absurd to consistently sell out of a popular lunch item 5 minutes into the lunch hour, and he noted that they open at 11. Rather than buy an overpriced CT chicken caesar or whatever, I walked over to Cosi, muttering to myself that I had no intention of disrupting my work schedule in the future for the privilege of fighting, Tickle Me Elmo-style, for a ration of Charlie Trotter's gruel.
If it's true they "always" sell out at 12:05, is this (a) intentional scarcity, or (b) bad production management?
Not sure about the answer to your question, but I can tell you that the sandwiches and salads at CT Express actually are quite good. The prices are similar to Corner Bakery and Cosi and -- maybe I'm a sucker for CT's marketing -- but in my opinion the quality is higher than it is at those places.
I've been to lunch places towards the end of the lunch hour and have occasionally found that they have run out of one or two things on the menu. I order something else instead. And if they're out of something I really want to try, I just make a mental note to go there early the next time. Not a big deal... < shrug >
And, like RMA, I've been to CT Express and I've enjoyed the items I've gotten there. (RMA doesn't mention their desserts, but those are good too.) I also agree with RMA that their quality is higher than most other places that specialize in carry-out. I think it's one of the better choices for carry-out in the Loop, and having an additional choice besides the national chains is also a good thing.
Trotter's To Go Express
200 West Monroe Street
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Mon-Fri, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
312 499-0640 phone
I haven't been to Trotter's on Monroe but am a "big" fan of Trotter's on Fullerton. They have Barbequed Thai short ribs to die for. In addition to other goodies such as pot roast, lamb shanks the ubiquitous chicken and on and on. Pricy but quality not to be had in any other carryout that I can find.