LTH Home

French Market [sneak peek]

French Market [sneak peek]
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 7 of 9
  • Post #181 - January 13th, 2011, 11:42 am
    Post #181 - January 13th, 2011, 11:42 am Post #181 - January 13th, 2011, 11:42 am
    A coupon that I received from Fumare via email, refers to it "Montreal-style Hot Pastrami Sandwich." Alert the pedants! :D

    As an aside, the coupon was sent in recognition of National Hot Pastrami Day, which is tomorrow 1/14. It's a little ironic that a Montreal-style sandwich is being served to commemorate a "National" event. Perhaps it should be an international event. In any event, I look forward to trying the sandwich. :wink:

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #182 - January 13th, 2011, 11:58 am
    Post #182 - January 13th, 2011, 11:58 am Post #182 - January 13th, 2011, 11:58 am
    Well, like I said, "or not." Who cares what something's actually called or what it is, as long as it tastes good and there's lots of it. AMIRITE? :D

    PS, in its Twitter feed, Fumare consistently calls the stuff Montreal smoked meat. Good on Fumare. But, alas, they also coin the term "Cuban pannini's": egregious cross-language sandwich term mixing, redundant pluralization, and outrageous (but typically Chicagoan) possessive apostrophe misuse. PPS, I spit tea everywhere and my monocle fell into my soup when I read this.

    http://twitter.com/FumareMeatsDeli
  • Post #183 - January 13th, 2011, 9:52 pm
    Post #183 - January 13th, 2011, 9:52 pm Post #183 - January 13th, 2011, 9:52 pm
    Hopleaf has Montreal-style brisket. It isn't smoked (as far as I know).
  • Post #184 - January 13th, 2011, 11:41 pm
    Post #184 - January 13th, 2011, 11:41 pm Post #184 - January 13th, 2011, 11:41 pm
    I stopped by Fumare at about 5:40 on Thursday night only to learn that the last Montreal-style hot pastrami sandwich of the day had been sold to the folks who were walking away from the counter just as we approached it. As I've learned from my bbq discipledom, there ain't nuttin' wrong with running out of hand-made product at the end of the day. Thankfully, though, Joan -- who was running the counter at the time -- offered us a sizeable sample of the last corner of meat, which was certainly not small but clearly not big enough to make a sandwich. I really liked it. It kind of reminded me of a cross between corned beef and pastrami. As others have mentioned, the spices were milder than those typically found on pastrami -- and it was cured -- which reminded me of corned beef but there was also an unmistakable and aromatic note of sweet smoke, which reminded me of pastrami. The entire chunk of meat was tender but not mushy at all. It broke apart with a gentle pinch against the grain. There was also a perfect amount of fattiness, which was visible as a sheen but not so over the top as to make it unpalatable.

    I spoke briefly with Joan about the pastrami-making process. She told me that it's cured and smoked entirely in-house. Unfortunately, her husband Dick, who actually makes the pastrami, was not on hand to answer my barrage of questions. For example, I don't know what kind of wood is used, what kind of smoker they have or how long they cure it. I did learn that it's made from brisket, though. In any case, based on the sample I had, I think this is a really nice product and not since my beloved Kuhn's in Deerfield closed, have I found a "deli" meat like this in the Chicago area that's actually made from beginning to end in-house. I really look forward to returning and trying an entire sandwich.

    Not wanting to leave empty-handed (but on our way to dinner), we grabbed some dry-cured sausages to take home. They're not made in-house but are sourced from a variety of local Chicago places where they do make their own. We bought some kabanoszy, landjaeger and beer sticks to name a few. I'l try to report back on those if my son doesn't snarf them down before I get a chance to taste them.

    As for the French Market market itself, I wasn't particularly encouraged by the overall lack of traffic at what should have been a peak commuter hour. It was a bit ghost-town-like with decent activity at Fumare and brisk activity at Pastoral's outpost. Beyond that, though, there wasn't much going on. I think there's a cultural barrier that's, perhaps, keeping people from really digging into this concept. I also think that prices are a bit high at some stalls. For example, over my past few visits to the market, I've become addicted to Gramp's pickles and I picked up a couple jars on this visit but at $7 each (1-pint canning jars), as good as they are, it's understandable that they may not be moving so quickly. Don't get me wrong, there's some good quality here but not a lot of bargains, from what I've gleaned over my few visits.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #185 - January 13th, 2011, 11:50 pm
    Post #185 - January 13th, 2011, 11:50 pm Post #185 - January 13th, 2011, 11:50 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:It broke apart with a gentle pinch against the grain.


    I love that descriptive test of a pastrami's structural integrity.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #186 - January 14th, 2011, 7:39 am
    Post #186 - January 14th, 2011, 7:39 am Post #186 - January 14th, 2011, 7:39 am
    ronnie suburban wrote:I As for the French Market market itself, I wasn't particularly encouraged by the overall lack of traffic at what should have been a peak commuter hour. It was a bit ghost-town-like with decent activity at Fumare and brisk activity at Pastoral's outpost. Beyond that, though, there wasn't much going on. I think there's a cultural barrier that's, perhaps, keeping people from really digging into this concept. I also think that prices are a bit high at some stalls. For example, over my past few visits to the market, I've become addicted to Gramps pickles and I picked up a couple jars on this visit but at $7 each (1-pint canning jars), as good as they are, it's understandable that they may not be moving so quickly. Don't get me wrong, there's some good quality here but not a lot of bargains, from what I've gleaned over my few visits.

    =R=


    I was just talking about the Market with a few people, and one of the things I said was that the only successful place in the market, Pastoral, was successful because it was pretty much duplicating the Pastoral experience. With pretty much all the other outposts and outlets you were barely getting what you should. In some instances, like the veg stand, you were getting produce no better than the most average super market. In other instances, like some of the bakeries, or in the example cited above, you could get a good product but the cost ($5 for a pastry!) seem so outlandish (and outrageous) for what they are. The only way for the Market to succeed is to find more places that can exist in their wheelhouse.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #187 - January 14th, 2011, 8:35 am
    Post #187 - January 14th, 2011, 8:35 am Post #187 - January 14th, 2011, 8:35 am
    The market is usually hopping around lunch time. Enough so that I usually wait until after 1:30 to go for fear of the lines and lack of seats.
  • Post #188 - January 14th, 2011, 9:52 am
    Post #188 - January 14th, 2011, 9:52 am Post #188 - January 14th, 2011, 9:52 am
    One of the most depressing lunch-hours I've had recently was eating something really good in a half-empty French Market, and then walking upstairs and seeing a jam-packed food court upstairs. The upstairs food court is the usual fast food outlets you might find at a mall.

    I agree that the market is generally much busier at lunchtime. It can be bustling, but I've never had to wait that long to place an order.

    It doesn't appear that many people use it to pick up groceries during their commute home.
  • Post #189 - January 14th, 2011, 1:48 pm
    Post #189 - January 14th, 2011, 1:48 pm Post #189 - January 14th, 2011, 1:48 pm
    Just came back from the French Market since I wanted to try this much lauded Montreal-style pastrami sandwich.

    I thought it was fantastic. The description of the meat as a corned beef/pastrami hybrid I think is a good one. The spice was pretty mild, and the meat was fatty enough to impart to right level of moisture. Good rye bread, good spicy mustard...I was a happy camper.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #190 - January 14th, 2011, 3:45 pm
    Post #190 - January 14th, 2011, 3:45 pm Post #190 - January 14th, 2011, 3:45 pm
    I stopped in on my way to catch a train at around 2:20 and they were out of rye bread, so I got a half lb of smoked meat to go. There's a Reuben in my near future.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #191 - February 1st, 2011, 1:08 pm
    Post #191 - February 1st, 2011, 1:08 pm Post #191 - February 1st, 2011, 1:08 pm
    I have a list of 9 spices to get, and the Old Town location just isn't close enough for me at lunch time! I really wish the Spice House or Penzeys was at the French Market!!!!
  • Post #192 - March 29th, 2011, 1:28 pm
    Post #192 - March 29th, 2011, 1:28 pm Post #192 - March 29th, 2011, 1:28 pm
    stevez wrote:As of today, Flip Crepes has reopened. They were there when I walked through the market this morning.


    May they fold again and start a different venture - one as far removed as possible from producing food. The Flip Crepe I had this morning was disgusting, and the "I want to be anywhere but here" attitude of the staff was almost as bad. Though the crepe I ordered was savory, the nasty batter seemed to have several handfuls of sugar and cinnamon. Once the sad dude who was swearing at the world for forcing him to get out of bed cooked the the thing, he added some old raw spinach leaves, some precooked egg that he rewarmed in the nuker before mashing to a rubbery pile, and some boursin-like cheese. Staring off into space as he poked and prodded the thing in a lame, messy effort to fold it up burrito-style, he then wrapped the whole thing up in some foil to make sure that it quickly deteriorated into a limp, misty, swamp. This would have been the worst breakfast I'd ever had if the French Market toilet was as gross as I'd expected. It's pretty clean, thankfully.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #193 - March 29th, 2011, 1:32 pm
    Post #193 - March 29th, 2011, 1:32 pm Post #193 - March 29th, 2011, 1:32 pm
    Kennyz wrote:
    stevez wrote:As of today, Flip Crepes has reopened...
    May they fold again ...

    :lol:
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #194 - March 31st, 2011, 10:33 am
    Post #194 - March 31st, 2011, 10:33 am Post #194 - March 31st, 2011, 10:33 am
    I heartily agree, a Penzey's or Spice House would be a great addition to the French Market.
  • Post #195 - January 25th, 2012, 2:49 pm
    Post #195 - January 25th, 2012, 2:49 pm Post #195 - January 25th, 2012, 2:49 pm
    I had a smoked meat sandwich from Fumare for lunch today. The edible part of my sandwich was excellent and perhaps the best commercial pastrami-style smoked meat in town. The only problem was that they served a big chunk of burnt to the crisp brisket heel in my sandwich. Now, I'm not inexperienced when it comes to smoking a brisket and I know that there is always a little bit at the very end of the flat that just gets overcooked and dried out and should never be served. At best, it's a great ingredient to use when making baked beans or chili. As I said, the rest of the sandwich was as good as ever, but this bit, which accounted for at least 1/3 of the volume of meat served, was inedible.

    Hey, mistakes happen so I finished what I could of the sandwich and went back to the Fumare counter to bring this to their attention. I was met with such indifferent, condescending BS that I just had to post about it. First, the person I talked to gave me a figurative pat on the head and said, "That's what we call the 'bark'. Most people like it." When I explained that I knew full well what bark was and that I very much enjoyed the bark in my sandwich, but that what I was talking about was something completely different; perhaps a leftover heel of brisket from the day before, he got very defensive and told me that it's impossible because nothing was left over from the day before. I granted that it may not have been a day old, but it was something that should not have been used and I just wanted to bring it to their attention. I wasn't asking for a new sandwich or anything. His reaction was to look past me, say nothing and ask the next person in line for their order. Needless to say, I was pissed. I left vowing to tell everyone on LTH about this experience. I can't in good conscience recommend not going to Fumare. When made correctly, this sandwich is a thing of beauty. All I'm saying is that a little apology or a "thanks for binging this to our attention" would have gone a long way. I'd also recommend specifically asking that your sandwich be made with fresh, non-dried out meat. If enough people ask, maybe they'll get the message.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #196 - January 25th, 2012, 4:15 pm
    Post #196 - January 25th, 2012, 4:15 pm Post #196 - January 25th, 2012, 4:15 pm
    I tried Furmare for the first time a couple of weeks ago while on a Northwestern Cutlery knife sharping run. I had been complaining about the lack of good pastrami in Chicago when RAB told me to try the Montreal smoked meat there. He say it still didn't match New York or LA, but was worth a trip. I didn't have time for lunch, but got a pound to go. When I went to make my sandwich that evening I found to my surprise not just slices, but big chunks that were not cut against the grain, but with it. It was tasty, but I wound up eating the meat and bread separately since I couldn't really make a sandwich. I liked the meat and I agree with the description of it as as corned beef pastrami cross. I'll try it again, but make sure they slice it right the next time.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #197 - March 25th, 2012, 10:19 am
    Post #197 - March 25th, 2012, 10:19 am Post #197 - March 25th, 2012, 10:19 am
    really enjoyed the pastrami from Fumare, even thick cut it was really tender with nice layers of flavor/spice.

    Image

    Image

    Saigon Sisters was mediocre, pork belly banh-mi was ok, shrimp spring roll was nasty.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #198 - March 31st, 2012, 9:42 am
    Post #198 - March 31st, 2012, 9:42 am Post #198 - March 31st, 2012, 9:42 am
    O'Vie Bar & Grill, a nearly 13,000-square-foot restaurant, is set to open in May.

    Klay Oven, a well-known Indian restaurant with locations in River North and Oak Park, just opened an outpost in the French Market this week.

    Spicy Monkey Soup Co. will open the third week in April, according to Marian Jarocki, the French Market's director of marketing and leasing. The restaurant will pair homemade soups made with vegetarian stock and sandwich options ranging from asparagus and Swiss cheese to provolone and blueberry preserves.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... -offerings
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #199 - April 7th, 2012, 10:43 am
    Post #199 - April 7th, 2012, 10:43 am Post #199 - April 7th, 2012, 10:43 am
    Working in the West Loop, I think the French Market is a welcome oasis in desert of Chipotles, Subways and Potbellies, and I try to get over there at least a couple times a week. So I was surprised to find out that Wisma, the concept of Innovasi's John de Rosier, had opened way back in January smack dab in between two regular stops, Saigon Sisters and Fumare. Clearly I'm not very observant. I'd intended to check out Klay Oven, which looked almost irresistible, but my lunch companion saw the fare at Wisma and that was that. It's a great idea - sandwiches, salads, soups and more, all packaged to go, all locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, all in recycled, microwave-save packaging, all reasonably priced ($5-$7) etc., etc. We split a hearts of romaine salad with chicken, and polenta with mushrooms and goat cheese. Because we decided to eat there, at a cute little counter inside their stand, the women behind the register suggested we heat the polenta in one of two microwaves they have there for eat-in customers.

    The food was terrific. We chose a basil-lime vinegarette dressing for the salad, which was tangy and basil-y and delicious. But the polenta stole the show. Creamy, with the combination of the mushroom's earthiness and the goat cheese's richness. it made all thoughts of the Indian goodness I was missing melt away. One of the women at the place also gave us tastes of their three soups of the day - a hearty tomato, a mushroom bisque and a butternut squash, all three of which were outstanding.

    They seemed a little slow when we were there, so I really hope people discover this place. It's a great lunch stop, or a grab-and-go option for dinner. Next I'll try a sandwich or maybe a fish dish, but it'll be hard not to go for that polenta.

    **edited due to lack of coffee
  • Post #200 - April 7th, 2012, 11:05 am
    Post #200 - April 7th, 2012, 11:05 am Post #200 - April 7th, 2012, 11:05 am
    Luckyguy wrote:They seemed a little slow when we were there, so I really hope people discover this place. It's a great lunch stop, or a grab-and-go option for dinner.


    Thanks to you, I've now discovered this place. I've been wanting to try Inovasi, but it's quite a long haul from home. This sounds like an excellent lunch option and will give me an opportunity to try Chef de Rosier's creations. I'll be stopping by for lunch next week. Thanks for hippin' me to this place.
  • Post #201 - April 6th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    Post #201 - April 6th, 2013, 3:45 pm Post #201 - April 6th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    I had always wanted to visit the French Market, but friends had talked me out of it, saying it wasn't much to speak about. And I just don't spend that much time in the Loop - maybe once a week at the federal courthouse, but only for a short time in the morning. But I kept looking at the list of vendors and wondering what there would not be to like. Well, maybe my friends were wrong, or maybe the market has come a long way since it first opened, but I was extremely impressed with my first visit today. It reminded me a lot of Reading Market in Philadelphia, except that I'd say that the cooked food offerings at the French Market exceed what you can find at Reading Market. I went with a friend and we were both very impressed with the choice of food, which included many Chicago favorites:

    Fumare Meats (Montreal smoked meat and more)
    Lillie's Q
    Pastoral
    Flip Crepes
    Frietkoten Belgian Fries (burgers & beer too)
    Saigon Sisters (banh mi)
    Wisma (from John des Rosiers - Inovasi)
    Klay Oven Kitchen
    . . . there was sushi, a Korean-ish place Bowl Square, a raw food spot, and more.

    There were also several places for dessert, including:

    Vanille
    Delightful Pastries
    Beavers Donuts,
    and more, including a place to get gelato and the aforementioned crepe spot.

    I can't imagine someone going here and not being able to find something they like. This would also be a very handy spot for someone taking the train to the burbs and wanting to pick up some meat, fish and/or vegetables to cook for dinner. In this respect, I was particularly surprised to see fresh frogs legs.

    I was surprised to find it quite crowded today, a Saturday. By the time I left (shortly after 1pm), all of the tables were filled. Today we sampled items from Fumare, Frietkoten, Flip Crepes and Vanille. I'm looking forward to returning and trying out more of the offerings. And I just read that Little Goat Bread expects to be opening a stall in May.

    This place really seems to merit a lot more praise and a lot more attention than it seems to be getting. But maybe others can address why they're not impressed, or whether the French Market has just improved that much since opening.
  • Post #202 - April 7th, 2013, 6:23 pm
    Post #202 - April 7th, 2013, 6:23 pm Post #202 - April 7th, 2013, 6:23 pm
    I'm a long time Loop worker, visitor to the Grand Central and Reading Markets, and I agree ours has really come into its own. But all of these spots are for tourists, commuters and office workers. They just don't get serious critical press and all of the best places are branches of some other place, mostly. It's a lifesaver for me, though. Even if just Pastoral, Delightful and Fumare were down there, I'd go.
  • Post #203 - November 5th, 2013, 8:46 pm
    Post #203 - November 5th, 2013, 8:46 pm Post #203 - November 5th, 2013, 8:46 pm
    When Hiran Patel and Sahil Singh decided to open up their own Creole-Cajun stand, they didn't just read New Orleans cookbooks or test out a few recipes.

    The two Chicago chefs hopped in a car and drove to Louisiana, spending their time sampling local cuisine and talking shop. The trip set the groundwork for Lafayette, a new addition to the French Market. It opened last week.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... nch-market
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #204 - November 5th, 2013, 10:27 pm
    Post #204 - November 5th, 2013, 10:27 pm Post #204 - November 5th, 2013, 10:27 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    When Hiran Patel and Sahil Singh decided to open up their own Creole-Cajun stand, they didn't just read New Orleans cookbooks or test out a few recipes.

    The two Chicago chefs hopped in a car and drove to Louisiana, spending their time sampling local cuisine and talking shop. The trip set the groundwork for Lafayette, a new addition to the French Market. It opened last week.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... nch-market


    I've seen a lot of food shots in my time, and I have to say that's the single worst professional food photograph I've ever seen. The sandwich looks only slightly more appealing than this one, and I don't think that's Lafayette's fault. We're spoiled here, as we already knew.
  • Post #205 - November 5th, 2013, 11:14 pm
    Post #205 - November 5th, 2013, 11:14 pm Post #205 - November 5th, 2013, 11:14 pm
    I visited the French market yesterday looking for a quick lunch to go on the train. Boy has the place changed since the Spring. I passed by the Cajun stall and only Po boys were on offer... meat based and no oyster or catfish. There was no line. The new draw is the Lobster roll stall sort of across the aisle from Pastoral. I have never seen a line so long in the market.(Took the sails out of the smoked meat joint line.) For $13 you get a pretty good lobster roll without going to the east coast. The monkey grilled cheese stall was doing brisk business but the BBQ stand not so much. Will return soon.
    What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Post #206 - December 12th, 2013, 5:46 pm
    Post #206 - December 12th, 2013, 5:46 pm Post #206 - December 12th, 2013, 5:46 pm
    One of the newer stalls in the French Market is the Little Goat Bakery outlet. They serve sandwiches, a few desserts, and have loaves of bread. I tried a couple of the sandwiches in the last few days and both were quite nice.

    The French Market has become a gourmet food court, and a very good one at that. I hope it continues to prosper.
  • Post #207 - December 12th, 2013, 8:38 pm
    Post #207 - December 12th, 2013, 8:38 pm Post #207 - December 12th, 2013, 8:38 pm
    I took some friends from Milwaukee here over the weekend, we needed to warm up from the Christkindl market. We all love the Milwaukee Public Market, and I told them it was the same concept. I was excited to see some great new places since the last time I visited and told them about how renowned many of these vendors were in Chicago. Yet I also saw it through their tourist eyes. There were virtually no people in here on Saturday afternoon, I don't think even 50. Because of the weather, it looked like the floors could use a mopping, and several homeless people begged us for money. They asked me how any of the food could be fresh, which is a legitimate concern in a place where there are no customers, so I felt bad since I was trying to show them a worthwhile spot. Next stop, Eataly!
  • Post #208 - December 12th, 2013, 10:56 pm
    Post #208 - December 12th, 2013, 10:56 pm Post #208 - December 12th, 2013, 10:56 pm
    There ARE tons and tons and tons of customers during the week so the products move fast. But on the weekends, it is indeed very very slow.
  • Post #209 - December 14th, 2013, 10:03 pm
    Post #209 - December 14th, 2013, 10:03 pm Post #209 - December 14th, 2013, 10:03 pm
    But on the weekends, it is indeed very very slow.


    Especially Sunday. Considering that it's closed, that's not surprising. :wink:
  • Post #210 - December 15th, 2013, 1:13 pm
    Post #210 - December 15th, 2013, 1:13 pm Post #210 - December 15th, 2013, 1:13 pm
    Ok, I was thinking of Saturdays ;-) :oops:

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more