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47 Years Old and I Just Had my First Pastrami! A Mini Trip Report.

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Jun 6th, 2011, 06:55 AM
  #1
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47 Years Old and I Just Had my First Pastrami! A Mini Trip Report.

I travelled in to Chicago this weekend from the 'burbs to check out the French Market and visit with a friend. You can get 1-hour parking validated next door with $20 in purchases. www.frenchmarketchicago.com

I love Farmers' Markets, so I was interested in checking this out. I've never been to Chelsea Market in NY, but the French Market is how I picture Chelsea Market, on a much smaller scale. I was actually surprised by how uncrowded it was; there were maybe 20-30 shoppers wandering around.

On a whim, I decided to try a pastrami sandwich for lunch. I decided it was a shame I had made it to 47 without ever trying it! The vendor gave me a sample, telling me it was unlike any pastrami I would find anywhere else. (Not having had any elsewhere, I took his word for it.) It was very good - it melted in my mouth, and I happily ordered a sandwich.

I also bought 7 potstickers for just $2.99, a chocolate croissant, and some gelato, as well as some strawberries that we're still enjoying.

The French Market is worth a visit, but next week I'm going to the the Dane County Farmers' Market in my hometown of Madison, WI. Now THAT is a farmers' market!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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That sounds like an awesome farmers market. I wish ours was like that. Love potstickers and gelato. Thanks for letting us know how your experience was.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 08:57 AM
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Susan, The French Market is on my to-do list for the summer. I just went with friends to Chicago for the day and we discussed going there but went to Chinatown instead. Glad to hear this is worth going to.

I live on the Illinois/Wisconsin border so go to the Dane County Farmer's Market frequently. I get their e-mailings and like to plan my trips around what produce is available. You are right, that is a fantastic farmer's market. 2 years ago I went to the Saturday Market in Portland, Oregon. Several vendors asked where I was from and they would always mention the fabulous market in Madison around the capitol building. They said it was one of the best in the country, and they were probably people very familiar with farmer's markets.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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You probably had a wonderful Montreal smoked pastrami from Fumare:

http://www.frenchmarketchicago.com/vendor/fumare
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Jun 6th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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So, have you tried a Reuben also? I also was watching something on the travel channel last week and one of the markets had chocolate cover onions. Has anyone tried these before?
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Jun 6th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Yes, it was the Montreal pastrami. I wouldn't eat a Reuben, because I don't like sauerkraut. I could have them hold it, but I suppose then it would just be a pastrami sandwich, huh?

Barbrn, I'll think of you next weekend while I'm drinking my smoothie!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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SusanM, I am glad that you enjoyed your visit to the French Market but I have to say that when I went last fall I was highly disappointed. Perhaps it has gotten bigger in the spring or perhaps I am spoiled by our local farmers' markets. It sounds like you purchased food from every single vendor that was there last fall. The only other counters was a fresh meat counter, a chocolate vendor and a homemade bath and body products vendor. Since the market is out of the way, I encourage others to look at the website beforehand.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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Yes, it was on the small side. Other vendors I remember were a couple produce stands, 1 for coffee/tea, 1 for cheeses and olives, and a number of prepared food vendors.

There was 1 for Belgian beers and pommes frites, 1 with fresh pasta, another Asian one and . . . I think . . . oh, 1 that did crepes. If I hadn't gotten the pastrami I would definitely have had a crepe.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 12:15 PM
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Come to NYC and try real pastrami.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 12:18 PM
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I was waiting for you, Adu!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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I'm coming, I'm coming, twist my arm! The last time I was in NYC I barely had the opportunity to try it, as we were there for such a short time!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 02:14 PM
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Put these on your list now for pastrami-Katz's and Second Avenue Deli.

Chelsea Market is good for many things but it has limited restuarants.

Hope you enjoy our city as much as Chicago.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 06:31 PM
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Susan, Re the French Market and a farmer's market.

Although there are many farmer's markets around Chicago, the premier farmer's market is the Green City Market. It's located on the south end of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, just north of the Gold Coast. www.greencitymarket.org

As you can see, not only do they sell goods but they have cooking demonstrations as well as special events, such as their annual BBQ benefit, where 90+ of the cities' better chefs contribute.

By any chance was the purveyor which gave you the pastrami sampling Pastoral? They have a couple of other locations, one in the Loop and the original in Lakeview on N. Broadway.
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Jun 6th, 2011, 06:43 PM
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I'm sorry. I simply missed where you were talking about the Montreal pastrami above. It's been a long, long hot day!
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Jun 7th, 2011, 07:07 AM
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Not a problem, EP. And if you thought yesterday was hot . . . !

I've been to the Green City Market, and it's good, but nothing can top Madison's in my book. As a high school student we sold giant chocolate chip cookies there to raise money for AFS. As a college student I strolled through it almost every Saturday morning wishing I had money for more than just a fresh squeezed OJ or a bunch of fresh flowers. And now, 30 years later, I make it a point to get there once or twice every summer just to enjoy the sights and smells -- and to spend a little more $$ than I could in college!
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Jun 7th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Bring a friend! We had pastrami at 2nd Ave. Deli and one was enough for both of us!
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Jun 8th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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i'd love a pastrami sandwich right now. the university i used to go to had a place in the library that sold overstuffed sandwiches. i'd either get the cornbeef or the pastrami. they were always really good. pickle spears and chips on the side too. i'm getting uhngry.
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