August, A Grocery Store
By Jacy Wojcik in Food on Mar 12, 2009 6:00PM
August is the kind of local boutique grocery store you would find in a Meg Ryan movie - the store is charming, the owners are helpful and you feel cheery every time you leave. The only thing missing is Meg Ryan, even better. The small, bright space is filled with locally grown, seasonal produce, restaurant quality meats and fish, and even a line of homemade aprons. Carefully selected baking and cooking ingredients line the shelves, the cheese and charcuterie selections are an easy answer for entertaining unexpected weekend guests, and pre-packaged snack foods and cereal are kept to an eclectic minimum.
If you’re like us and are too busy (or lazy) to cook a nice meal every night, August has your answer. Monday through Friday you can purchase carry-out lunch and dinner prepared by the owner, Chef George Djurovic, who has worked in the kitchens of Tru and Le Bernardin. Lunch is usually sandwichy; dinner is more along the lines of seared monk fish on swiss chard mashed potatoes with a salad and bread. Every meal is restaurant quality (good restaurant, not like, Jerry's House of Fish And Other Food Restaurant). Be sure to grab one of their homemade soups while you're there - their carrot ginger is to die for. In the summer, bring a bottle of wine and have dinner on their back patio while surrounded by plants, herbs and the growing number of people becoming obsessed with this slice of awesome on a stretch of Division that leaves much to be desired.
If you're in the mood to cook but haven’t the slightest idea where to start, they’re kind enough to guide you through the process. On several occasions we’ve walked in with a blank stare and said “I see you have some delicious leeks, what should I do with them?” Co-owner Angie Kongabel (a former Four Seasons catering manager) will immediately whip out several easy recipes off the top of her head for us to choose from. You can also sit and page through dozens of cookbooks scattered around the store for inspiration. George and Angie are the brother-sister duo behind August and they couldn’t be more excited to get Chicagoans cooking. They also offer customized cooking classes based on whatever culinary skill you need brushing up on as well as monthly dinner events.
Chicagoist recommends August Grocery for: groceries, dinner ideas, dinner ingredients, dinner, cooking classes, knowledge, aprons, joy.
Chicagoist does not recommend August Grocery for: when it’s midnight and you’re in your Nilla wafer dipped in frosting with a side of Funyuns mood. Best stick to Jewel-Osco when you’re craving preservatives and regret.
August is located at 1500 W. Division Street. 773.252.9560