I have lived on the Far North Side for more than 10 years, and I'm moving to the Far Northwest Side in two months, so I greet today's opening of the new Edgewater Whole Foods with a mixture of excitement, sadness and a touch of anger. Why, oh, why couldn't this enormous, gorgeous store (formerly a crap Dominick's) featuring a bar, café and made-in-house gelato have opened even a year ago so I could partake of its many edible delights?
Okay, enough of my fist-shaking. Here's why the store, located near the corner of Broadway and Thorndale, is more than just another Whole Foods store.
- It's the first Whole Foods in the Midwest to have a wood-fired grill. Order a whole, half or quarter chicken, in varieties such as jerk, cilantro-mojo and chermoula (a Middle Eastern marinade), and get your bird grilled to order.
- Also a Midwest Whole Foods first: the in-house cheese smoker. That makes for some pretty awesome smells.
- It has the biggest beer selection of any Chicago Whole Foods. That's 900 different beers, and you can mix and match to make your own six-pack.
- Begyle Brewery made a special Edgewater American pale ale, only available in the store—on tap at the bar or in bombers.
- The bar has a great local, Midwest and national beer selection. From Revolution, to St. Louis's fantastic Urban Chestnut to Stone in San Diego.
- You can also get cocktails at the bar. There's nothing like shopping for produce while tipsy on Moscow mules.
- The Broadway Norwood Cafe turns out freshly made pastas and tricked-out grilled cheese sandwiches. Plus, wines by the glass.
Yep, a food-lovers' paradise. You'll find me sipping wine and scarfing down grilled cheese every night for the next two months.