Thursday, March 20, 2008

Brown Paper Packages, Tied Up with Strings...

posted by Elizabeth Fama

Future Home of the Zaleski and Horvath Market Cafe, 1126 East 47th Street.

When I snapped the photo above, the brown paper in the window made me sing out, like Maria Von Trapp. Because, as a matter of fact, the Zeleski and Horvath Market Cafe probably will be stocked with a few of my favorite things. You see, the proprietors want very much to work with the community to stock a "product mix" that we -- we the customers! -- want.

So I sent them an e-mail with the following list of items that I have to leave Hyde Park to buy. I encourage you to comment on this post with your suggestions for what the Zaleski and Horvath Market should stock, too. Zig & Lou are listening, really. So dream big!

-Raw honey (there are even locally-produced brands)
-Oat flour (although I did find this at TI since I wrote to Z&H)
-Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal
-Any interesting oatmeal
-Candied ginger
-The Ginger People 'Ginger Chews'
-Dried fruits (not just raisins, apricots, and dates)
-Amaretti di Saronno cookies
-Hard sheep's-milk cheeses
-Rice pasta (Tinkyada is a good brand)
-Dark Chocolate, all sorts.

(This is for Raymond.)


Eric Allix Rogers said...

I just noticed that sign while riding by today, too. Somehow I had missed it before. Exciting to see something good happening on 47th, since that's right around the corner from me.

chicago pop said...

Yeah, around the corner from us, too...once the weather's nice, we may use it as an excuse to stroll over on weekend afternoons...

Raymond said...

Well played!

Can I come to dinner at your house? That looks great!

Zig & Lou said...

Thank you for the very nice plug, as a small example of what we will be doing let me introduce the Wabash Cannonball, a cheese that we will be offering at Z&H. An amazing ripened goat cheese from one of the best cheese producers in the country who just happens to be located in Southern Indiana (yes, there is more than corn in Indiana). For more than 30 years Judith Schad has been making some of the best cheeses that you can find anywhere. Wabash Cannonball has been around for more than ten years, dusted with ash these little gems are thin skinned, white, and slightly wrinkled when new. after a couple of weeks the edible rind becomes more deeply wrinkled and the ash begins to appear through the rind. With the passing of time the pate becomes denser, and eventually, between 3-5 weeks the cheese is drier and beautifully crumbly. Different at each stage, it is delicious at each stage in unique ways. Ahhh, construction can not be finished soon enough.

autumnmist said...

Weird, every time I try to submit a comment, it submits an old comment I made a couple weeks ago on another blog.

Anyway, it might be too exotic, but I'd *love* to see some Asian herbs/spices especially stuff you can't find at TI or HPP. I'm particularly looking for galangal.

chicago pop said...

Wabash Cannonball!


I love cheese balls!

All cheese balls welcome on this blog!

Urban Domestic Goddess said...

I'm SOOOO excited for the opening of this store, because I live north of 47th street and I'm tired of living in a food desert. Even the lovely new HP Produce Market and TI are out of my way (I'm car-less). I'm hoping that this store will be successful and that it'll spur the opening of even more retail in Kenwood.

SR said...

I'm vaguely planning to mention these items to the HPP people too now that things have calmed down a bit for them:

Ata flour
Fresh curry leaves
Bitter melon
Mango pulp (canned)
Split mung beans (dried)
Urad beans (dried)
Channa beans (split chickpeas, dried)

There are tons of spices used in Indian cooking I'd like to be able to get locally, but I doubt any grocery store down here could beat Patel Brothers brothers on price, and since it's easy enough to go up to Devon and cart down the spices I need in a single shopping bag a couple of times a year, I'd feel bad if talked them into stocking a bunch of stuff I still wouldn't buy at TI or HPP or this new place anyway because I'm so cheeeeep :-).

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to see a small assortment of torrone. I can't find it anywhere except at World Market around Christmastime (and the kind they have there is really expensive).

Zig & Lou said...

Urban Domestic Goddess - We think you will be pleased with the MarketCafe, from your post it seems that you are directly in the center of the audience we hope to appeal to. Also, Greg, soft nougat or hard nougat Torrone? Indian ingredients (Urad beans, and so on) are tough for a neighborhood specialty MarketCafe to do well (and affordably) we will always leave those items to the experts in those areas (as SR mentioned, Patel Brothers is the way to go for such items). Spices are an area we will be delving into. We will be offering a refined selection of whole spices sourced from a well known Chicago spice merchant, as well as some unique spice blends (for instance perhaps the best crouton mix you have tasted [I know this may be throwing down a gauntlet Ms. Fama, perhaps a blind taste test in the near future]).

Elizabeth Fama said...

Ha! "Mix" is a dirty word at my house. But the real secret to my croutons is that I make them from my own homemade bread (or even better, stale homemade schiacciata). Otherwise the ingredients are simple: olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil.

I want the torrone from the cart at the top of the hill in Fiesole. I'm going to get you his name if it kills me, Zig&Lou. Maybe he exports!

rdb said...

How wonderful to have Zig and Lou posting here. If I might ask a question of Z&L -- I'm going to southern Indiana next weekend. Does the amazing goat cheese maker allow the public to visit? If so, I'd love to do that. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Z&L: I like the soft nougat torrone myself. It's easier to cut (if you get the kind that comes in blocks and needs to be cut into pieces).

La Florentine brand comes in individually boxed, personal-size portions, and an assortment of flavors (lemon, vanilla, plain, etc.)

bornatreese said...

I'm excited about the opening, but I just wanted you to know that you can get reasonably priced Indian dried goods, spices, and frozen convenience dinners at the otherwise not very useful little market in Regents Park. No Indian fresh produce though.

Andrew said...

Zig and Lou. I as many, am eagerly awaiting your opening. In an article I read somewhere they stated that your store would be modeled, to some extent, after Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor. Spending much of graduate school in AA I've had the costly pleasure of being introduced to very good cheese (and balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and wonderfully baked breads). I was wondering if you could say which parts of your business will be modeled after Zingys, and please tell me that you'll have as exciting cheeses as they do.

A separate request, and perhaps staying truer to the purpose of this blog, I was wondering if you'd be able and willing to give us some feel for what the process and challenges of opening a business in Hyde Park / Kenwood is like.

SR said...

Bornatreese, thanks for the tip, I'll check that out the next time I'm over on that side of the neighborhood.

And, BREAKING NEWS! Hyde Park Produce has added some Indian items in the aisle that already has the East Asian stuff. They have some basic spices, some pre-made pastes and powders, and chana dal. The prices on the spices and the chana are indeed higher than PB, but not really by very much and pretty well justified by the convenience factor.

The sad irony is, I just did a big shop at Patel Brothers last weekend, with a friend's car at my disposal no less, so I'm not going to need to buy any more of this stuff for a long, long time.

But look, somebody's posted up one of my favorite recipes for chana dal, maybe YOU would like to reward HPP for stocking these unusual items, dear reader, and give it a try. I usually serve this with chapatis, but I think that unusually good pita bread they sell at HPP would do in a pinch if you're not all punctilious about "authenticity."

Note: HPP has mustard seeds, chili powder, ground coriander, whole cloves, green cardamom pods, and garam masala. You will still need ground turmeric and whole cumin seeds to get very far in Indian cooking, but this is a good start (they've always had dried chilis in the produce dept.), and I think these other two might be available in the conventional spice section by the deli counter (I forgot to check; I'm pretty sure I saw both at TI if not). The dried mung beans and red lentils over in the rice & bean aisle are used quite a lot in Indian dishes as well.

So anyway, if you've ever been interested in trying Indian cooking at home, it just got a whole lot easier! Thanks Hyde Park Produce!

Zig & Lou said...

Andrew, I am excited you are also a Zingerman's fan. They are a fantastic organization. We will have a substantial cheese selection, that we are committed to keeping interesting by having new and different cheeses coming in to compliment our core inventory. We will also be focused on high-quality ingredients. We are currently fine tuning our deli offerings. As for sharing our experiences concerning the process and challenges of opening a business in the HP/Kenwood area is like; some of the tales will seem unbelievable (but they are true), I would be happy to relate them once we are fully licensed by the city and are open for business. Finally, In addition to espresso beverages,and traditionally brewed coffee, we will be offering coffee prepared using a Clover device. It is coffee like no other, a made to order cup of single-origin coffee.

Andrew said...

Zig and Lou, The store sounds fantastic, and I think I'm ready to try my first cup of custom coffee from a clover device. If you need any help coming up with temp/time formulations, I'd be happy to lend my naive palate. I'm really looking forward to your opening, and happy that there's plenty of empty real estate nearby for when you are ready to expand. Best of luck.