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Food and Farmer's Markets

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Inertia May 5, 2009 11:54 AM

Thank you to everyone for the Serbian restaurant recommendations you provided in my last post. We're really looking forward to our trip (May 15-19) and I've been scouring these boards for dining suggestions - we'll never be able to eat at all of the places on my list! (I guess we'll just have to come back again)

On Friday and Saturday night, we're staying with relatives in northern Indiana (St. John), but on Sunday and Monday night, we're staying at the Hotel Burnham on State Street, near Millenium Park. We'll probably have dinner with family in town on Sunday, visit museums and such on Monday, and have time for lunch on Tuesday before heading to the airport. The hotel deal includes breakfast at their restaurant (Atwood Cafe - any good?), but I've also made a note to look into Fox and Obel as well.

Cafe des Architectes is on my list for Monday night. I'd like to try one of Rick Bayless' restaurants while there - to save money, I'm thinking we'll do that for lunch one day. Any recommendations for Topolobampo vs. Frontera Grill?

Also, being from Arizona, I love to visit real Farmers' Markets that are full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Are there any good ones in the downtown area on Sunday/Monday?

Thanks for your excellent advice!

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    ms. chow RE: Inertia May 5, 2009 12:09 PM

    Breakfast at Atwood is very good. I usually take clients there if in the area for breakfast meetings. F&O is over 1 mile northeast of where you are. One thing i can't say though is what kind of breakfast they have as part of your lodging. I don't know if you get the full a la carte option.

    For info on farmer's market, check here --> http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en...

    1. nsxtasy RE: Inertia May 5, 2009 12:47 PM

      >> we'll never be able to eat at all of the places on my list!

      I feel the same way, and I live here! :)

      >> The hotel deal includes breakfast at their restaurant (Atwood Cafe - any good?)

      Yes, Atwood Cafe is excellent, for all three meals. They serve contemporary American cuisine; you can see the menus on their website at www.atwoodcafe.com For breakfast, I really like their mascarpone stuffed brioche french toast - yum! - but they also have lots of egg dishes if you're not in the mood for decadence.

      >> I've also made a note to look into Fox and Obel as well.

      It's a bit of a walk - exactly one mile - but it's a real treat if you go there, whether it's for breakfast in the cafe, or to get some of their baked goods to go. www.fox-obel.com

      >> Cafe des Architectes is on my list for Monday night.

      Great choice!

      >> I'd like to try one of Rick Bayless' restaurants while there - to save money, I'm thinking we'll do that for lunch one day. Any recommendations for Topolobampo vs. Frontera Grill?

      You can compare their menus on their website at www.rickbayless.com/restaurants I've always thought of Topolobampo as a bit more upscale; it's also significantly more expensive at dinner, but the prices of the two restaurants are surprisingly similar at lunchtime. You can make a reservation at Topolobampo, whereas reservations at Frontera are chancey (they only accept a few, and keep most of the dining room for walk-ins; waits to be seated are common, which is why locals try to arrive 15 minutes before they open the doors).

      >> Also, being from Arizona, I love to visit real Farmers' Markets that are full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Are there any good ones in the downtown area on Sunday/Monday?

      The farmers market season is just starting in most places, due to the seasonality of the produce. For example, the Logan Square Farmer's Market is on Sundays, but it doesn't start until June 7 (and FWIW I've found it overpriced and limited in variety, so you're not missing anything). And the downtown markets, as well as our Green City Market, aren't on Sundays or Mondays. However, the one in St. John is on Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., so you might want to go there before you come into the city. More info at www.stjohnin.com/Documents/Town%20Man... (.pdf file)

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        Eldon Kreider RE: Inertia May 5, 2009 04:46 PM

        The Tuesday Federal Plaza farmers' market starts on May 12, running from 7 am to 3 pm, is fairly close to Hotel Burnham and might be suitable for a quick peek Tuesday morning. Do not expect a lot of produce if you go. Mid-May dates would be heavy on plants and low on produce in a normal year. The cold, wet spring means almost everything is running late.
        http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en...

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        1. re: Eldon Kreider
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          Inertia RE: Eldon Kreider May 5, 2009 05:37 PM

          Sometimes I forget that the rest of the country has 'seasons' - it's actually getting toward the end of Farmer's Market time here in Arizona as it gets prohibitively hot. Thanks for the suggestions, though!

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          foodlover23 RE: Inertia May 7, 2009 09:58 PM

          Green City Market just opened this week but unfortunately it is only open Wed and Sat.

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