Remember when you didn?t have the foggiest idea where your eggs, beef or mushrooms came from? Before the names of farms like Slagel and River Valley Ranch started to roll off your tongue as if you?d grown up feeding chickens?
Now that the local-farm frenzy is a fact of life, a new café and gourmet shop in Lincoln Park is playing to the fans.
Blue Door Farm Stand is named for the Indiana property of Chicago restaurateur and big-shot real estate developer Fred Latsko--Oprah just happened to be the farm?s prior owner--and it?s an adorable place for a casual meal or picking up specialty items from small purveyors.
At lunchtime, we sidled up to the counter and ordered a towering ham-and-Wisconsin-smoked-Gouda sandwich that came with two large, crispy kale-parmesan chips ($9) and a cup of rich and creamy cauliflower-and-cheddar soup ($3). We ate in Blue Door?s high-ceilinged, sunny dining room, which is much larger than we?d have guessed from the spot?s tiny street-facing storefront.
On the way out, we paused in the shop to pick up environmentally friendly dish soap by Further ($17), a bag of sweets from Chicago Butter Cookies ($12.50) and, our favorite find, a $4 bottle of all-natural, no-corn-syrup, Chicago-made 78 Red ketchup.
Blue Door Farm Stand, 843 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-935-2583 or bluedoorfarmstand.com