Who needs to go to Italy when you can go to Eataly?

If you love food and haven’t gone to Eataly, you need to go now.

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Going to Eataly is like going on a self-guided Italian food tour. To facilitate your tour, Eataly even offers a guest services booth that have maps and descriptions of all their offerings. A condensed online version can be found here

For those who like to eat (who doesn’t?), there’s nine “restaurants” to explore, six departments to purchase specialty foods (fresh mozzarella, fresh pasta, etc), along with two coffee joints and of course, the NUTELLA BAR!

Never enough Nutella

Never enough Nutella

I use the term restaurants with quotation marks because the restaurants are small and aren’t closed off from the rest of the store, more like an eat-in-kitchen rather than a formal dining room.

We went carnivorous and sat down at their “La Carne” restaurant and got their special steak salad with sun dried tomato dressing.

No anemia here

No anemia here

The salty dressing, the thin cut steak, and the peppery greens made a fantastic combo. Would definitely recommend.

Personally, I think the most popular item at Eataly was the charcuterie and cheese board served at La Piazza. After roaming the area like vultures, we finally snagged a stand-up table. After focusing all our energy on snagging a booth, we had no idea what to order. In such close quarters, it wasn’t hard to spy on other patrons and see that the meat and cheese was a favorite. Naturally, that’s we ordered and were not disappointed!

The Grande Piatto Misto di Salumi & Formaggi

The Grande Piatto Misto di Salumi & Formaggi

I appreciated the variety of meat and cheeses…if only they were labeled. The parmesan had a hint of lemon that I’ve never tasted before and found quite refreshing.

A picture description of all that Eataly has to offer:

Pasta!

All the colors of the rainbow…in pasta

Handmade gnocchi

Handmade gnocchi

In house brewery

In house brewery

Cheese as far as the eye can see

Cheese as far as the eye can see

Master of cuttin' the cheese...hehe

Master of cuttin’ the cheese…hehe

Chocolates

Chocolates

Pastries and pastries and pastries

Pastries and pastries and pastries

For those who appreciate food and everything food related, Eataly sells kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, and offer cooking lessons too.

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The prettiest wine opener ever

Go discover Eataly!

Eataly is located at:
 43 E Ohio St, Chicago, Illinois 60611
Open 10am-11pm Monday-Sunday
Closest to the Grand Red Line CTA Station
 
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Stanley’s Fruits and Vegetables

I’m pretty lucky to live within a 5 minute walk to a Trader Joe’s. Dear Joe has come to my rescue when I’ve forgotten a stray can of tomatoes or need some chocolate to go along with my TV. However, as much as I love you Trader Joe, your selection of fresh produce and vegetables is sorely lacking. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve decided to look elsewhere to fulfill my fruits and veggie needs. Enter Stanley’s.

Can we please take a minute and note the awesome dude with a pipe sitting in a watermelon?

Can we take a minute and recognize how badass Stanley looks smoking a pipe in a watermelon-copter?

Stanley’s Fruits and Vegetables is located on the corner of North and Elston in Noble Square.

Quick overview:

What you will find:
Cheap fruits and vegetables (organic and non-organic)
Diverse selection of fruits and vegetables (Standard lettuce/carrots to more exotic crimini mushrooms)
European deli section
Small dairy section
Fresh potato chips, Jiminy chips!

How about them apples?

How about them apples?

A strange pear, has anyone had these before?

Seckles Pears. Has anyone had these babies before?

Verdant greens

Verdant greens

Organic verdant greens

Organic verdant greens. I spy Stanley in his watermelon-copter.

Probably the cheapest fresh herbs I've seen in Chicago.

Fresh naked herbs.

Prepare to get down and dirty with these fruits and vegetables. There’s nothing washed, diced, and packaged. Your spinach will have some mud at the ends. Stanley’s country strong to Trader Joe’s refined hipster.

What you won’t find:
Anything frozen
Fresh meat
Bread (only limited to some baked rolls)
Dried goods/Staples (Flour, sugar, etc)
Canned goods

Prices:

The prices here are unbeatable. They are probably the best I’ve found so far in the city. I got all of this for under $10, including organic strawberries for $1.49!

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Note: I usually do not eat so many vegetables. Yuck.

IMAG0293However, there is a caveat. Stanley is able to offer these low prices because some of the fruits/veggies here are more Lindsey Lohan than Jennifer Lawrence. The bell peppers might be tad too squishy past their prime, the strawberries just might be a little too juicy, some avocados and apples might be the runts of the litter, etc. Better eat your goods within a few days or they will become a sad stinky pile of compost in your fridge.

In sum:
Stanley lives up to its name and mascot. It’s a no frills grocery store offering mainly only fruits/veggies at cheap prices.
Good for people looking to do a massive weekly crock-pot meal. They have a decent parking lot for drivers.

Unfortunately, it’s a little more difficult to reach by public transit. Commuters will need to either take a bus or take a 10-15 minute walk from the North/Clybourn Red Line. Depending how Stanley feels that day, the goods might not be the freshest.

Stanley’s Fruits and Vegetables
1558 N. Elston Ave,
Chicago, IL 60622
Open Mon-Sat.from 6am-10pm, Sun. 7am-10pm
http://stanleysfruitsandvegetables.com/