I'm not the first--and surely won't be the last--to get on the Fox & Obel bandwagon. But I have to report that even though one doesn't go to this gourmet grocery store with the expection of bargains galore, you can have a scrumptious lunch or dinner in the shop's cafe at a decent price. The biggest bargain I found was their Brown Box Express. The cafe usually puts out four varieties a day, priced: $5.99-$8.99.
I had the flavorful and filling chicken-mango quesadillas and Spanish rice for lunch: just $6.99. The sandwiches aren't as big of a bargain ($8-$19), but they're made with fabulous fresh bread, baked right on the premises. For $8.00, you can have the Caprese: cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, fresh Buffalo mozzarella, and basil and arugula pesto on fresh-baked focassia bread. On the high end, $19 buys you a Main Lobster Club, which sounds absoulutely out of this world.
Still, it's the desserts that make F & O a sweet lovers' paradise.The sunny cafe offers a wide assortment of made-from-scratch goodies (some of them seen above) such as Cinnamon Pound Cake, Tart Brioche, Apple Jelly Rugalach, Currant Scones and fresh muffins.
But take a trek through the rest of the store, and it's clear there's so much more to oooh and ahhh about-- from chocolate tarts to the selection of hearty breads. Thanks to executive baker Pamela Fitzpatrick and her team, Fox and Obel was named among "The Top Bread Bakeries in America" by Bon Appetit magazine.
Chocolate fans will find F & O's selection outstanding--with chocolates from 19 different, high quality manufacturers such as Vosges, Scharffen Berger, Terry's Toffee and Mast Brothers. There is a wide price range, too--from $2.99 to $100, which right now will buy you a huge chocolate bunny.
Fox and Obel
401 E. Illinois