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City Farms Market & Grill
Black Forest French toast with chocolate bread and cherries, $11.

It's an unexpected addition to a stretch of Irving Park Road that you'd normally breeze by without a glance (unless you wanted a tattoo or niche coffee): City Farms Market & Grill, a new spot worth pulling over to try.

City Farms? goals are lofty: It favors local farmers and uses ingredients from sources that are open about their practices (i.e., no industrial methods or chemicals). But the space is unpretentious, with communal tables, water delivered in mason jars and a casual pay-at-the-register vibe with an open kitchen.

On our first visit, we virtuously ordered a spinach salad with chunky walnuts, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese and apples ($9; we paid $3 extra to top it with slices of Amish chicken). The next time, we couldn?t deny ourselves the luxury of the porchetta sandwich ($9) filled with juicy, herb-roasted pork belly, pork butt and crackling skin with chimichurri sauce.

Blissed out from the sandwich and too full for another bite, we still couldn?t resist when the owner handed us a parting gift of a banana-bread-and-chocolate-chip muffin still warm from the oven--a little slice of country hospitality that made our day.

City Farms Market & Grill, 1467 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-883-2767

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