Located along the south end of Lincoln Park along Clark Avenue, Chicago’s Green City Market bustled with activity on Saturday morning. Young parents pulling wagons loaded with children eating an apple from one hand and a warm apple cider doughnut from the other, urban-dwelling dogs steered with leashes held by their health-conscious owners and shoppers of all ages seeking fresh, locally produced food grown by farmers who practice sustainable methods contributed to the buzz of activity.
The close to 2-mile walk from my hotel had worked up my appetite. I was in search of a late-morning breakfast. I could have chosen a paper-thin Green City Crepe stuffed with caramelized onions, Prarie Pure butterkase cheese and greens from Klug Farms.
But I didn’t.
I could have chosen a smoothie made with fresh fruit and apple cider and an apple cider doughnut. I didn’t do that, either.
I could have had a large, rose-tinged fresh Michigan peach, the last of the season, with a thick wedge of quiche from Floriole Bakery. Nope, not that, either.
So many choices. Overwhelming, really. After perusing the whole market, I decided on The Best Grilled Cheese Ever with a glass of fresh apple cider.
I can’t remember the last time I ate a grilled cheese sandwich. But, I know it was nothing like the Best Grilled Cheese Ever. Made with Prairie Pure’s signature Butterkase cheese, bread made with organic ingredients from Bennison’s Bakery and fresh summer butter from Nordic Creamery (you know me and butter!), it was irresistible.
Buttery crunch and warm, creamy cheese that strings out with each bite was created on a panini grill in just the amount of time it took for me to walk over to the Seedling booth to get a glass of their fresh apple cider.
The luscious sandwich has rekindled my desire for grilled cheese. When something is created with just three ingredients, each of those must be of the best quality. The one I ate at Chicago’s Green City Market on Saturday definitely combined some of the finest bread, cheese and butter produced in the Midwest.
And, if you think tomato soup is the only food to partner with a grilled cheese sandwich, just try a glass of fresh apple cider sometime. Make it your breakfast. It’s The Best Ever!
What’s your favorite food or beverage to go along with a grilled cheese sandwich?
Sue Doeden is a food writer based in Bemidji, Minn. Her columns, recipes and photos appear weekly in select Forum Communications Co. newspapers. She also appears on Lakeland Public Television's Wednesday newscast at 10 p.m., and teaches cooking classes. Her recipes can be found online on her blog Sue Doeden's All about Food.