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Oct 3, 2013 12:26 PM

Market for Charcuterie post Fox & Obel

I used to love going to Fox & Obel and getting just a few slices of sausage or prosciutto or ham iberco to make a charcuterie plate at home. I usually only got 6 thin slices of 3 or 4 meats which ended up being reasonably priced (considering some of those meats were $25/lb).

Now that Fox & Obel has closed, does anyone have a market they would recommend? I'm looking for a place that has a good selection and has a butcher to slice the meat so you can control how much you're buying and make sure it's fresh (not pre-packaged)

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    1. re: Gonzo70

      I tried West Loop Salumi a couple of weeks ago. I had their ciauscolo. I thought it was tasty, sweet with a bit of a kick to it. Prices are more expensive than normal but you get what you pay for. From what I understand, they use Berkshire pork to make their salumi. I still have a chorizo airing in my dining table which I'll probably eat this week or next.

      Having said that, I didn't see a lot of people ordering just a few slices of the meats. But that was before they introduced the salami board.

      My usual go to place is Pastoral. It's closer to my house and you get to taste them before you buy. I thought their meats are better than PQM's except for PQM's mortadella. But to each their own.

    2. Publican Quality Meats is nice and the Italian shop in th French Market is very good too.

      1. Pastoral has some good options also.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ferret

          PQM has been my go-to spot. I absolutely love their 'nduja, and get it every time, then add a few other textures and heat levels from other offerings. I'm also a sucker for a few slices of Iberico ham when they have a leg up on on the counter.

          Not high on the foodie scale, but I work across from the Binny's in Lakeview and have frequently enjoyed various sausages and hams from there, mostly for a picnic addition or pre-dinner snack. I wouldn't send you there from afar, but if you are in the neighborhood it is solid.

          I recently went to Bari for the first time, and brought home mortadella and prosciutto. Again, if it is convenient, ham it up.

          Pastoral, IMO, carries high quality products in their charcuterie and their cheeses. I always feel, however, that their prices are a bit too high. I never choose it as my destination, and I mostly buy their products when I am nearby and really, really want what they are selling. (Exception: I adore their sandwiches, especially the one with duck, and find it to be a very fair value.)

          I haven't tried West Loop but am very intrigued by everything I have read about their craftsmanship, and look forward to trying it.

          1. re: GourmetWednesday

            Thanks for the response. Having never been to PQM, I assumed it was more restaurant than market. Are you able to get, for example, 1/8 lb of porscuitto, salchicone, and ham? What I loved about F&O was that they had about 20 items behind their glass display and you could get the butcher to cut you just a few slices of several things to make your own charcuterie plate without overloading on one meat.. Is that what PQM is like?

            Most other places that I've seen that carry nice cured meats sell them by whole sausage or salchichon or package of proscuitto.

            1. re: seventhson

              Edited to add a simple answer: Yes! They will also offer guidance to help build a platter that matches your preferences, and offer tasting samples.
              Longer, previously-posted answer: The service at PQM is outstanding and they slice to order. On my first trip, when they had the leg of Iberico, I asked for six slices and they accommodated (IIRC, came to about $16 for a half-dozen slivers of buttery, fatty yumminess). The staff seemed excited I ordered it and took careful precision with the slicing. From the butcher section, their marinated and butterflied whole Slagel Farms chicken is the best chicken I have ever cooked at home. I am a huge fan of this place! Ironically, I have actually never eaten on the restaurant side at PQM.