Thursday, August 07, 2008

On the Road Soon but I Got Something - Local Beet

The Local Beet is on the air. Michael Morowitz, also known as Eat Chicago, has fathered three babies in a short span. Besides two ever growing baby boy's, he's got an ever growing new site dedicated to eating local called the Local Beet. It's in its "soft launch." There is plenty in the works that you should see soon. Still, come and see what is there, participate in the discussions and enjoy the journey.

I promise a very fine day in Southern Wisconsin soon and more praise for the folks at Mado. I'm off again tomorrow, to Michigan. I expect at least two meals at Zingermans as well as a good amount of time in Detroit's Eastern Market. Pay attention here, but pay extra attention to what's happening at the Local Beet.

I'm very excited to be involved with the Local Beet as one of the featured bloggers and also as an editor. We plan on being an outstanding resource for those eating local, and we plan on providing interesting and informative writing, photography and videos and lively discussion.

You know what word I hate these days, no not locavore. It's ginormous. Locavore may be the word of the year, but ginormous certainly seems to be the word of the moment. Now, as much as I hate the word, it's what comes to mind when I think about our eating local scene. We have so many delicious foods. We have outstanding markets. We have multiple organizations. We have forces tasking. We got new stores a-selling and mail order a-shipping. There's a lot of dots out there. One thing, more than anything, with Local Beet, we want to connect those dots. It's ginormous.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Show Some Love Marion Street Cheese's Way

I happened to be twice at the newly built, quite worthy, Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park yesterday. No one was weeping or begging for this appeal. Still, at least one guy there expressed a bit of wistfulness. See, a few weeks in, the display coolers have gone on the fritz. Something about them over heating from the parking garage in the same building. So, when a shopper shops at Marion they do not see cases full of artisanal cheese, cases full of local meats like the array of La Quercia products they stock, nor do they see the salads and sides made from local produce. They will see a rotating band of cheeses displayed on the counter (I was especially pleased yesterday that they featured a row of local cheeses from Traders Point Creamery, Uplands, Prairie Fruit Farms and BleuMont Dairy). Still, people are not buying as much because of the problems.

These guys have poured a lot into their venture, and they are doing it righter than right. The cheese in the cheese danish comes from Zingerman's, that alone should make this place a must stop for dedicated foodies. It is all of that ilk. This, with Cassie's Green Grocer, [and Fox & Obel, but do they need the boost?] are the tops in the local food game. I'm lucky to have this place in my neighborhood, but it is worth driving to from all over Chicagoland.

The display cases will probably be up and running soon, maybe by the time you read this. They probably won't need special blogger pleas. In the meantime, go show them some love and buy something there.

Marion St. Cheese Market
100 S. Marion
Oak Park, IL

Monday, August 04, 2008

Find Farmer's Markets - Wisconsin

Readers of this blog know that I am enamored with the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Agri-happings site as a directory of farmer's markets in Illinois. I recently came across a good, not quite as good, site for farmer's markets in Wisconsin.

Eat Local Food

Miss Me?

Gosh, do I have stuff to blog about. A very fine day in and around Monroe, Wisconsin capped with an especially fine meal at L'Etoile in Madison; there's still the lingering memories of good food at Mado and bad food at Semiramis. I love Wisconsin. You can stumble into a place like Sorg's in the middle of nowhere and find the most incredible, near Kobe [ed. let's not exaggerate] porterhouse steaks as well as all the brats and other fine things you expect in this state. In the meantime, here's what we've been gathering:

Alp & Dell (Roth Kase Factory and Outlet - 657 Second, Monroe, WI) - 7/30/08

  • Lots of cheese including Roth Kase Private Reserve

Maple Leaf Co-op Outlet (W2616 Hwy 11-81, Juda, WI) - 7/30/08

Monroe Farmer's Market - 7/30/08

  • Freshly dug Kennebec potatoes
  • Pickles (i.e., kirby cucumbers)
  • Elderberry jam
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Hoesly's Meat - New Glarus, WI - 7/30/08

  • Dried beef (a deli cut, not jerky)
  • Smoked brats

New Glarus Brewery - New Glarus, WI - 7/30/08

  • Beer including Uff-da Bock; Organic Revolution and Belgian Red (cherry)

Willy St Coop - Madison - 7/31/08

  • Sugar River yogurt

Sorg's Meat - Darien, WI - 7/31/08

  • Polish sausages

Caputo's - Elmwood Park, IL - 8/1/08

  • Michigan eggplant
  • Michigan spicy wax peppers
  • Michigan apples

Genesis Growers CSA - 8/2/08

  • Eggs
  • Wax beans
  • Summer squash
  • Jalepeno peppers
  • Red cabbage
  • Pickles
  • Cucumbers
  • Apricots
  • Mesclun
  • Muskmelon

Oak Park Farmer's Market - 9/2/08

  • Genesis Growers - Arugula, purple basis, purple cauliflower, tomatoes
  • Nichol's Farm - Wild plums
  • Hardin Farm - Apricots, peaches, nectarines
  • Stovers - Sweet cherries
  • Catalina Farm - Tomato berries
  • Skibbes - White peaches, white nectarines, tomatoes

Previous list of stuff here.