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Field Trip: An Arctic Journey In West Town/Noble Square

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Feb 2, 2015 4:00PM

Noble Square? West Town? Who knows.

When I walked outside on Sunday morning, I realized that going very far wasn’t a good idea. It’s no secret that even though Chicagoans are a hardy bunch, business suffers when there are two foot high snow drifts. But while a very long journey wasn’t a great idea, this was the perfect excuse to stop by some neighborhood favorites and enjoy the freshly fallen snow.

I have snow pants, that makes things a lot easier
I spotted a man wearing an amazing Batman snow mask and greeted shoveling neighbors on my way to Asado (1651 W. Chicago Ave.), a cozy coffee roastery with a nice little fireplace. I should have enjoyed my delicious warm cappuccino there, but I was hungry, so I chugged it before it was filled with snow.

My next stop was Butcher & Larder (1026 N. Milwaukee Ave.), where I picked up some sausages and bolognese to eat for dinner. Their boudin is some of the best in the city. I like to steam it and then get it nice and crispy on my cast iron pan.

Usually I have lunch/brunch when I go to Butcher & Larder, but on Sundays they don’t serve it, so I headed next door to Frontier (1072 N. Milwaukee Ave.), where they have a great beer, cocktail and cider selection, as well as a pretty impressive brunch menu.

Monte Cristo at Frontier

At this point I was nearly a mile from home, so I knew I’d want something with plenty of calories to fuel me for my journey. I chose a Monte Cristo made with parmesan-encrusted sourdough, bacon, maple jack cheese, seasonal preserves and fried eggs. It came with some delicious roast potatoes covered in scallions and cheese sauce. I paired that up with a hopped Vander Mill Cider called Nunica Pine and a cup of coffee.

Cute dog prancing through the snow


On the way home I decided to browse Lush Wine & Spirits (1412 W. Chicago Ave.) and grab some beers. Having trudged through the snow while listening to mostly Nordic metal and folk, I was tempted by the selection of Nordic brews. Last time at Lush I picked up the Haandbakk by HaandBryggeriet, an aggressively sour oaky beer for serious sour fans. But this time I wanted to try something new. I thought Middle Brow’s Keep It Copacetic, an elote-inspired collaboration with ManBQue that is brewed with popcorn, limes and chiles, would be a nice pairing with my boudin.


I noticed they have some of our ciders of the month in stock- Eric Bordelet Poire Granit and Journeyman’s Old Country Goodness.

I also wanted some Dolin Blanc, my favorite vermouth, but Lush didn’t have it. We are really lucky here to have multiple good liquor stores (and a couple of kind of questionable, but cheap ones), so I headed to the next one: Noble Grape (802 N. Bishop St.). Sadly, they didn’t have it either (WHHYYYY), but despite their name they have an excellent beer selection that I enjoy perusing.

Coming home, while my hair was caked with wet snow, I was glad I went out and brought home sausage and beer.