So for Valentine's Day this year, my husband bought me a gift certificate to a butcher shop.
I just love that man. He knows me so well. And it wasn't just any butcher shop. One of my all time favorite restaurants in Chicago, Publican, has opened up a butcher/sandwich shop across the street called Publican Quality Meats. I go to Publican for brunch more than any human should go to anything. But it's so good.
I love the weekends. Weekends mean we can be lazy, spend time together, and discover the delicious new food Chicago has to offer. I LIVE FOR THE WEEKENDS.
We arrived at 10am and they weren't serving sandwiches until 11am, so we stood around staring and drooling at everything the store had to offer. I mean...just look at this...
Their cheese section was ridic. And a bit overwhelming. No problem though - there is an incredibly passionate and helpful guy behind the counter named Lady Chris that will help you with everything you could ever need. He even let us try a little. We ended up going home with a block of the cheddar he let us try - good salesman.
I'm also obsessed with the mini market they have. I was tempted to buy everything and anything but Charlie wouldn't let me. Wah wah...
I mean...check out these two condiments. Purple Condiment with Grapemust (I mean what is that?? Doesn't it sound SO interesting??) and White Watermelon Mustard. Yum.
So Lady Chris is engaging, helpful, and makes the most ridiculous pimento cheese. Pimento cheese is cheddar, mayo, garlic, and chopped pimentos. Lady Chris puts some Lady Crack into his.
This bread looks so delicious and interesting.
So I was totally content standing around the store for an hour, reading every little condiment and cheese label around, but Charlie was hungry...and so was I. So we settled on a baguette and some meats and cheeses. This reminded me of our time in Italy. Sigh. Here is the sliced porchetta, which is basically pork belly that's been rolled up and cooked with lots of herbs and spices and then cooled and sliced thin. DAMN.
Here's the rest of our spread. We got this ridic cheddar, Tuscano Salami, Genoa Salami, Mortadella, and Chorizo Sausage. Be still my heart. You can see Charlie's hand waiting for the SECOND for me to stop taking pictures so he can dive in.
Here's the first of four snacks I made myself...baguette with porchetta, mayo, a cracked black pepper. Hells to the yes Lady Chris.
If you're anywhere near Chicago, heck - if you live in the United States, book a trip to Chicago and try this place. Holla. Stay hungry!