Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May 5 is Cinco de Mayo - Party with Da Lobsta's Mexican Roll Deal

You probably don’t think that Mexico and Lobster rolls go hand in hand. Think again and run, do not walk, to Da Lobsta for its Cinco de Mayo Mexican Roll Special. The roll can be made with Lobster ($12.95), Blue Crab ($10.95) or Shrimp ($8.95) and comes with Chihuahua Cheese, Avocado, Lettuce and Salsa. Get it on May 5 and save $2 per Mexican Roll. Happy Cinco Da Lobsta. Da Lobsta is located at 12 E. Cedar in Chicago’s Gold Coast and at 131 N. Clinton at the Chicago French Market.

Photo by Cindy Kurman

Da Lobsta Rolls Out its Special Mother's Day Family Bundle for six, only $99, available May 11

Facebook Delicious  Digg MySpace  StumbleUpon  Google Yahoo! Bookmarks  LinkedIn ShareThis  Twitter  Google+

Da Lobasta Logo

Da Lobsta
12 E. Cedar St., Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 929-2423

Da Lobsta is taking Chicago by storm with its colorful and fun attitude, topped only by the quality and flavor of its delicious Lobster Roll sandwiches and much, much more. Keep it casual and yummy on Mother's Day with Da Lobsta's special Mother's Day Family Bundle, with plenty of food for six people. Da Lobsta knows that some moms prefer a casual, relaxed day at home on Mother's Day, and so this is a great way to have an amazing and affordable lobster feast at home, with everything already prepared and ready to eat.

Da Lobsta Catering 400 pixels w borderDa Lobsta's Mother's Day Family Bundle for six people, available from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for takeout or delivery, includes the following tasty selections: 4 sandwiches (choose four from the variety of Da Lobsta's famous Lobster Roll sandwiches or try the Lobster BLT Sandwich or the Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwich). The package also includes a choice of 2 large orders of soup (choose the New England Clam Chowda or the Soup of the Day) and 2 Chopped Salads with choice of dressing, plus 2 specialty dishes (Lobster Mac-N-Cheese or Lobster Crab Spinach Dip). If Blue Crab or Shrimp are more to your liking for your sandwiches or salads, just tell Da Lobsta when you order. The special price of the Mother's Day Family Bundle is only $99.00 (a $135 value) not including tax and delivery. That's $16.50 per person for a large and satisfying lobster feast, ready to eat and enjoy!

To make sure your Da Lobsta Mother's Day Family Bundle is ready and on time, please place your order by Friday, May 9 by calling Da Lobsta at (312) 929-2423. To see their complete menu, visit Da Lobsta also has a second location, open Monday through Saturday at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton, Chicago; 312-207-5705).

Celebrate National Strawberry Month at Delightful Pastries this May

Belgium Chocolate Strawberrieset
May is set aside to celebrate the strawberry so don't let this month pass by without paying homage. Treat yourself and your family to some delicious strawberry delicacies. Delightful Pastries' three Chicago-area locations will be offering some of its most popular strawberry pastries. Pick up a strawberry tart, it's a great dessert for your spring menu.
Looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift? Delightful Pastries welcomes the return of its Belgium chocolate dipped strawberries, a most appropriate "I love you" gift for Mom and don't forget to treat yourself; these huge Belgium chocolate dipped delights are hard to pass up.
Perhaps the most luscious strawberry treat this May is Delightful Pastries' Strawberry Shortcake Paczki which makes its return for Strawberry Month as well as Strawberry & Cream Day, May 21.

Strawberries specials will be available at all three Delightful Pastries locations: Old Town at 1710 N. Wells St., (312) 255-0724; Jefferson Park at 5927 W. Lawrence, (773) 545-7215, and Chicago French Market at 131 N. Clinton, (312) 234-9644. Visit for more information.
Facebook  Delicious  Digg  StumbleUpon LinkedIn  ShareThis  Twitter  Google+

Green City Market Celebrates Sweet 16; Opens Saturday, May 3

Facebook  Delicious  Digg  StumbleUpon LinkedIn  ShareThis  Twitter  Google+

Chicago's most beloved farmers market, Green City Market, (GCM) opens 7 a.m. Saturday, May 3 in Lincoln Park beginning its 16th year legacy.

Green City Market has a full day of activities planned for May 3.
• 8:00 a.m.: Club Sprouts Tent Opens; Kid's Table will be doing demos and tastings at the Club Sprouts tent all day
• 9:30-10:15 a.m.: Edible Gardens Workshop at the Chef Demonstration Tent
• 9:30 a.m. Shop the Market with chefs Sarah Stegner and Carrie Nahabedian
• 10:30 a.m.: Chef Demonstration tent featuring founding board member and board co-president Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Cafe) and Carrie Nahabedian (Naha and Brindille), also a member of the board.
Carrie and Sarah et2
Market shoppers are invited to join Chef Sarah Stegner, founding GCM board member and co-president, and Chef Carrie Nahabedian, GCM board member, as they shop the market for produce before their 10:30 a.m. chef demonstration.

Those wishing to join Sarah and Carrie should meet promptly at the chef demonstration area at 9:30 a.m. The group will meander throughout the market as Sarah and Carrie identify produce to use during their demonstration. Learn what they look for in selecting fruits and vegetables and why they make the choices that they do. 

Green City Market, a 501(c)(3) organization, provides free resources and educational opportunities about local sustainable issues to shoppers, sprouts, and farmers. It's the only way to achieve a sustainable future.

The mission is to make quality, healthy, delicious food available for home cooks, restaurants, schools, and healthcare facilities.

It is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday through October 25 at which time it moves indoors. The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1790 N. Clark) across from the Hotel Lincoln.

There will be 67 vendors this year 10 of whom are new.  Joining the market are:

Amazing Shrimp (No Website) "AMAZING SHRIMP" delivered by Marek Wolanowski is a pilot project for indoor shrimp farming in the United States, with several partners on the board with more than 40 years of experience in aquaculture. After years of experimenting, the project took final shape two years ago and is now up and running and can deliver up to 8,000 lbs of shrimp per week. Wolanowski focuses on a sustainable way of raising the Gulf Coast White saltwater shrimp by using a clear water recirculating system. The system, which was patented 25 years ago, does not use any chemicals, antibiotics, hormones or steroids.  This sustainable system results in the freshest, healthiest, and most "Amazing" shrimp ever! Why "AMAZING SHRIMP"? Because most people, who try the shrimp use "AMAZING" to describe the shrimp after tasting.
Co-op Sauce ( Rogers Park-based Co-op Sauce is crafted in small batches with handpicked ingredients sourced straight from farmers in the Midwest. All of the recipes are hatched from Mr. Mike's (Mike Bancroft) very own imagination, utilizing techniques including fermentation and barrel aging. Obsessed with spice and flavor, Mike, the Sauce Boss, takes inspiration from the farm-fresh ingredients to create flavors that enhance food, rather than overwhelm it with spice. Co-op Sauce donates half of its profits to Co-op Image and employs former program participants in the making and sale of the sauce.

Earth & Skye Farm (No Website) Farmer Patti McPhillips of Manhatten, IL. Earth & Skye Farm is a small CSA farm and an adventure in growing vibrant, healthy food and soil while exploring the spiritual and creative dimensions of farming; providing space to experience and honor the rhythms of seasonality in plant, insect and human life. They grow a wide variety of annual vegetables and some culinary herbs using environmentally conscious and sustainable methods of productions.
Marigold Hill Organics ( - Farmers Greg and Lynn Simmons. Marigold Hill Organics grows a wide aray of delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs. They are is part of the Farm Business Development Center at Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake, IL and are certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA) and the USDA.

Quality Organic ( - Farmer Brian Severson. Quality Organic is conventional row crop farm (all non-GMO) slowly converting some acreage to organic production.
The bulk of its production is conventional non-GMO corn and soybeans.  They have 150 acres certified organic by Oregon Tilth.  They grow corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, field peas, sweet clover for seed and sweet corn.   They have certified organic fresh market sweet corn available wholesale in season (mid-July through August). 

Savory Accents ( - Farmers Joan and Ted Ballweg. Savory Accents, specializes in Chili Pepper products.  They produce a large variety of chilies ranging from the popular Jalapeno to one of the hottest chilies around, the famous Habanero.  Their chilies are harvested and processed fresh from our gardens in Verona, Wisconsin. They also provide a variety of processed products such as Hot Pepper Seasoning, Spicy Oils, Hot Sauces, and Vinaigrettes.  Our goal is to enhance all of your savory dishes with spice and flavor. Their gardening techniques focus on the concept of "terroir", the impact of soil, sun, moisture and the mastery of gardening.  This has a direct correlation to the intense flavor and heat found in our chili peppers.  It's not just about hot, it's about intense flavor. 
The Nomad Food Company ( The Nomad Food Company LLC is a mobile business specializing in wood fired pizzas and other homemade fare. Whenever possible, they source only the finest local and seasonal ingredients to create a truly unique food experience.
Underground Meats ( Underground Meats creates hand-crafted salami and cured meats in downtown Madison, WI. They sell products wholesale to restaurants and markets and direct to consumer through CSA-style meat offerings. They also offer a variety of classes and workshops.
Verzênay patisserie ( Pâtissière Arshiya Farheen bakes artisanal French desserts like seasonal fruit tarts, Fraisier, Cannelés, cakes, eclairs and more, mostly using locally grown ingredients. Verzênay was born when Arshiya moved to Paris to learn and excel in the art of French pastries. After graduating from the Ferrandi school of culinary arts, and working at Delmontel boulangerie-patisserie and hotel Le Meurice, Verzênay became her means to share the French passion for designer pastries, using the highest quality ingredients. Arshiya and her husband Aqeel run this small family business. Their passion for products from local farms, and their belief in using natural or organic foods for over a decade, is reflected in the quality of their desserts.

Wisconsin Fermentation ( Black Garlic North America is a business division of Wisconsin Fermentation Company LLC (founded in 2012). Wisconsin Fermentation Company is focused on fermentation innovation as well as product and manufacturing design and commercialization. The combination of chemistry, microbiology, mycology, engineering, and food technology pave the way for technical expertise within a wide array of fermented products. Currently the flagship product is Black Garlic marketed under the brand name Black Garlic North America.

Green City Market Programs
Club Sprouts Club sprouts
Green City Market encourages young people to try new, locally grown sustainable foods at its Club Sprouts. Each market, children are given the opportunity to taste a different market item- some familiar and some unusual. Each day a child tastes a sample, they receive a stamp on their Club Sprouts membership card. Once the card is filled with 8 tastes, the child takes home a certificate of accomplishment and a special prize.Tastings, Forager Club, and other activities are available at the Sprouts Tent every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

CompostingCompost and Recycling
The green "Compost Center" tent, located in the center of the outdoor market, is Green City Market's centralized waste disposal area. The tent is staffed to help market-goers sort their waste, and to ensure the compost and recycling streams are uncontaminated.

Knowledge CSA gcmsca
Every week, the Green City Market Newsletter features a collection of educational tidbits called the "Knowledge CSA". The CSA stands for "Community Shared Awareness" and includes information on farming, vegetables, local food systems and anything else that helps people understand how food gets from farm to fork.

Farm scholarships etFarmer Scholarship Program
Each year Green City Market offers 10 scholarships, up to $500 each, to Green City Market farmers who wish to pursue continuing education in sustainable agriculture during the winter months.
Scholarships can be used to cover admission/ tuition, materials, transportation and/or lodging for any regional conferences or workshops, any educational opportunities offered by your local extension offices, and other approved programs. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide assistance to those who wish to increase their understanding of sustainable growing practices. Green City Market's Farmer Scholarship Program depends on support from our generous donors. Donate to the market today.

Field trips
Field Trips
Visit Green City Market with your group. Field trips with Green City Market are relevant for school groups, summer camps, and more. Not just for grade school or high school kids, we offer "field trips" for a variety of groups - adults too!

HeirloometHeirloom and Heritage Preservation Project
The Heritage and Heirloom Preservation Project promotes heirloom and heritage products through signage at farmer stands and incorporation into all GCM programs.

Green City Market works with its Market vendors to help preserve and promote heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits and heritage breeds of animals - the foods our ancestors enjoyed for centuries. Over decades these products have adapted to local environmental conditions and are often better able to withstand disease and harsh environmental conditions than their genetically engineered relations. Preserving them preserves the biodiversity of our food supply. Look for the large "H" sign around the Market that designates an heirloom variety of fruit or vegetable or a heritage variety of animal. Visit The Edible Gardens in the Zoo and see the plant that provides the fruit or vegetable as it grows. Sample different heirloom products during our Savor the Seasons tasting sessions and check out our chef demonstrations for ways to enjoy these products throughout the season.
Savor the season
Savor the Seasons Tasting Series
Savor the Seasons is an opportunity for market customers to taste multiple varieties of the same fruit or vegetable in a side by side tasting event. Expand your taste horizons and discover new favorites by sampling over 15 different varieties grown by Green City Market farmers; lettuces in the spring, berries in summer, carrots, tomatoes and everyone's favorite apples! Tips for storing, freezing, and cooking; and take-home educational materials enhance appreciation for the amazing bounty of our region and our farmers. Stop by the Market Information Tent to find out more.

The Edible Gardens
edible gardensThe Edible Gardens are one of Green City Market's primary educational outreach programs and consist of over 5000 square feet of beautiful, organically grown vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains and flowers. Open to the public during the April to November growing season, the gardens offer Chicagoans the opportunity to connect with the process of growing healthy, delicious food.

Edible Garden May WorkshopSaturday, May 17, 2014 - Planning for Summer: Transplanting Warm Weather Crops
Join Green City Market as they transplant warm weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs.  Learn how to layout your garden and space your transplants to maximize fruit production throughout the season.  They will also discuss what plants pair well together and the benefits of planting a diversity of crops

Green City Market BBQ Tickets Go On Sale May 3
It isn't too soon to pick up tickets to Green City Market's Chef BBQ 5:30 to 8 p.m. July 17. Tickets go on sale May 3. The BBQ, Chicago's hottest foodie extravaganza sells out every year. Early ticket purchase is recommended. One of Chicago's best summer events, this grand picnic is held every July in picturesque Lincoln Park, with the fabulous Chicago skyline as a backdrop. This beautiful venue is ideal to showcase some of Chicago's finest chefs, the who's who of Chicago's culinary scene. All dishes served at the BBQ feature items offered from the bounty of the market with nearly 100 chefs/restaurants creating culinary magic. In addition to food, locally made beer, wine, hand-crafted cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. Visit here for details.

Discounted parking is available for $10.00 for less than two hours with validation in the Chicago Historical Museum parking lot off of Stockton Drive. Pick up a validation ticket at the Market info booth. (for validation, patron must make a minimum $5 purchase at the market). There is a special $5 Early Bird parking rate on Wednesdays for one hour between 7am-9am.

The following CTA bus routes stop by Green City Market: 22 Clark, 36 Broadway, 73 Armitage, 151 Sheridan. The nearest train stops are the Sedgwick Brown line (walk east on North Ave. and north on Clark to Green City Market) and the Clark/Division Red line (walk north on Clark to Green City Market).

About Green City Market
Green City Market is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization celebrating our 16th anniversary. The mission of Green City Market is to provide a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote and connect farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community. Green City Market values education about quality food and its source. We value farmers who take care of the land; the preservation of sustainably farmed land; a vibrant thriving community of local farms; and consumption of locally grown foods.

Green City Market showcases sustainable practices. From that first year in 1998 next to the Chicago Theatre to the present time, Green City Market has morphed into Chicago's most vital farmer's market that industry leader Alice Waters calls "the best sustainable market in the country."

Green City Market is funded by individual donations, corporation sponsorships, grants and fund raising events. It is a 501 (c) (3) independent farmers market .

Green City Market's (GCM) incredible momentum comes from our broad base of support including conscientious and caring farmers and producers, consumers, chefs, restaurateurs and other culinary professionals. It also reflects Chicagoans' increasing concern for a more sustainable food system by improving the quality of food on our table produced by local farmers using organic and sustainable practices that preserves the environment for future generations. GCM's support of these local artisan farmers and producers increases the density of fresh, high-quality, locally produced food in Chicago, and provides the basis for a regional cuisine.

After visiting European sustainable farmer's markets in 1998, Abby Mandel, chef, author and entrepreneur, returned to Chicago determined to create a similar market in her own city. Green City Market was her brainchild and began as a small startup with nine local farmers in the crosswalk next to the Chicago Theatre. The Market quickly outgrew the location and moved to the south end of Lincoln Park where it currently operates May - October. Four years ago, the Market continued to remain open November - December, first in the Lincoln Park Zoo and later moving to The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

The Market experienced record crowds closing 2013 with 8000 to 10,000 visitors each Saturday and 2000 to 3000 visitors on Wednesdays. From January - April, Green City Market operates in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum each Saturday. Weekly market attendance year round has increased steadily since April of 2009 when the market began opening throughout the winter as consumers continue to seek out and buy locally grown food directly from the farmers.  Green City Market provides this opportunity year round.

Visit Green City Market's website for on-going events and programs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Celebrate National Strawberry Month at Delightful Pastries this Belgium Chocolate StrawberriesetMay

May is set aside to celebrate the strawberry so don't let this month pass by without paying homage. Treat yourself and your family to some delicious strawberry delicacies. Delightful Pastries' three Chicago-area locations will be offering some of its most popular strawberry pastries. Pick up a strawberry tart, it's a great dessert for your spring menu.
Looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift? Delightful Pastries welcomes the return of its Belgium chocolate dipped strawberries, a most appropriate "I love you" gift for Mom and don't forget to treat yourself; these huge Belgium chocolate dipped delights are hard to pass up.

Perhaps the most luscious strawberry treat this May is Delightful Pastries' Strawberry Shortcake Paczki which makes its return for Strawberry Month as well as Strawberry & Cream Day, May 21.

Strawberries specials will be available at all three Delightful Pastries locations: Old Town at 1710 N. Wells St., (312) 255-0724; Jefferson Park at 5927 W. Lawrence, (773) 545-7215, and Chicago French Market at 131 N. Clinton, (312) 234-9644. Visit h ttp:// for more information.

Facebook  Delicious  Digg  StumbleUpon LinkedIn  ShareThis  Twitter  Google+

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prairie Grass Cafe Ramps It Up for Earth Day - Serves Complimentary River Valley Ranch Mushroom Soup at Lunch Today

Facebook  Delicious Digg  StumbleUpon LinkedIn  ShareThis  Twitter Google+
Stegner_Grant Kessler_34786
Northbrook's Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 847-205-4433) will be offering its lunch customer complimentary house-made River Valley Ranch Mushroom Soup today in honor of Earth Day. The soup normally sells for $5.50.

Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, chefs/co-owners at Prairie Grass Cafe showcase various types of organic, local mushrooms. "We buy our Button and Portobello mushrooms from farmer Eric Rose of River Valley Ranch in Burlington, Wisconsin, as they are a Certified Organic Farm and the oldest mushroom farm in the Midwest," Sarah says. "All crops are grown without pesticides or chemicals. We connected with them through the Green City Market. The combination of mushrooms makes the best mushroom soup. It's truly delicious."

The Prairie Grass Cafe menu also will be featuring ramps starting tomorrow. Chefs Stegner and Bumbaris have provide their recipe using ramps from Tim Burton of Burton's Maplewood Farm. Guest will be able to enjoy the Ramp Crustini with Ramp Butter during ramp season. Says Stegner, " I always know that Spring has finally sprung when the ramps come in season." Let's hope she's right.

Sarah Stegner Photo by Grant Kessler
Prairie Grass Cafe
Ramp Crustini with Ramp Butter
By George Bumbaris and Sarah Stegner
1# of wild ramps ( I use Burton Farms from Indiana)
1 Tbsp + ¼ cup olive oil (separated)
½ cup sweet butter (softened)
8 slices of baguette - sliced on the bias, 4-5 inches long each


Cook the ramps:
Take about 10 to 20 ramps depending on the size. Clean them very well. Divide the ramps into 3 parts: the bulb, the stem and the greens into three separate parts. 

At the very beginning of the season you  may need to only divide them into 2 parts the top greens from the bottom stem. 
Blanch the stems and bulb in boiling salted water for a few minutes.  Heat a medium size saute pan over high heat, add a 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Put chopped up tops of the ramps into the pan along with the blanched stems and bulbs.  Cook until tender and season well with salt.  If they pick up a little charred color that can taste good too.

Make the ramp butter:

Place ½ cup of the cooked ramps in a blender with ¼ cup olive oil, 1/8 cup of water and a pinch of salt.  Puree well.  Fold the pureed ramps into the softened butter.


Spread some of the ramp butter onto a slice of baguette.  Toast in the oven until hot and bubbly.  The butter will be vibrant green.  Add the remaining cooked ramps over the top and eat!
Ramp Crostini Low Res
 Prairie Grass Cafe Ramp Crustini with Ramp Butter