Thursday, May 2, 2013

A New Chicago Food Find and Two Chicago Food News Items: Sanabel Bakery on Kedzie, Paladar and a Fresh MarketPlace moving into our neighborhood!

One of the best things about living in Chicago is that I can do my grocery shopping in ethnic markets and find all the treats that I fell in love with on my travels. I was taking a different route home from work last week when I spotted Sanabel Bakery (4213 N Kedzie Ave)I can't even tell you how happy I am to have discovered this new-to-me bakery, lnown for its fresh from the oven pita, Mankoushi (a breakfast/snack bread topped with  za'atar or cheese); cheese and spinach pies, and wide selection of Middle Eastern grocery items. I went crazy on my first visit, stocking my shopping basket with everything I've missed. 

When I was pregnant with my son Daniel, I was living in London, in a neighborhood that luckily was home to many Middle Eastern and Cypriot grocers: One of my huge cravings during my pregnancy was for Halloumi, a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. Seriously, I used to eat a small block a day (it's no wonder I gained 70 pounds with that pregnancy!). I hadn't had Halloumi since, and it was such a treat to find it at Sanabel Bakery. Daniel tried it and told me it tasted vaguely familiar, and I happily shared how he likely ate a ton of it in utero. 

I stocked up on the spinach and cheese pies (which were so fluffy and fresh but also freeze well and are perfect for school lunches), baklava, hibiscus tea, tahini, and dried specialty beans. 

Another good food news item: Paladar Restaurant is moving into our neighborhood, taking over the old Cafe Bolero space at 2252 North Western. The move should be complete in a few days. While I loved Paladar at its original location on Milwaukee near the Congress Theater, wonderful Cuban cuisine will now be a mere couple of blocks away! Owner  Jose Gonzalez is hoping to create a warm, inviting, neighborhood-y cafe and I have a feeling the new location is going to be a great fit! Check out Paladar's Menu here.

Finally, while we will miss our local West Bucktown grocery, Danny's (2140 N. Western Ave.), for its in-store taqueria and wonderful, still warm tortillas, its produce, dry goods and dairy department were dismal. Danny's was the grocery store I can actually walk to from home, so it has been a difficult few weeks grocery shopping wise since it's closed (No place to run out for butter or eggs on a Sunday morning!!!). So I am ecstatic to learn the the site has been purchased and in the fall, a brand-new Fresh MarketPlace will be taking over the location. I was so happy to read this statement from the owners of the upcoming new store: "We want to cater to everybody. All the kinds of foods like high-grade meats and organic produce you'd find at Whole Foods, you'll find at Fresh MarketPlace," Marinis said. (Read more at

Any food news to share in your Chicago neighborhood?
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