Chicago deli boasts ingredients from Midwest

January 5, 2011 9:38:01 AM PST
The ''locavore'' movement gets a home base, of sorts, in a one-of-a-kind deli in Ravenswood.

Everything comes from the Midwest, and as ABC7's Hungry Hound discovered, not only are the ingredients carefully sourced, but they also happen to taste great.

City Provisions is an umbrella organization. It offers catering, but it also executes farm dinners in the summer and intimate supper clubs all year long. More recently, it opened a full-service deli, offering everything from coffee and liquor to homemade meats and salads. The one thing they all have in common is an almost religious adherence to using items from within the Midwest.

There are delis, and then there are locally focused, artisanally minded ones like City Provisions in Ravenswood. From the pastas and the sauces, to the honey and the ice creams, just about everything on the shelves here comes from the Midwest's finest producers.

"Our mission is to connect our community with food. I started City Provisions to do exactly that-- build a place that is centered around community and really connecting people with where their food comes from, to really understand what it is that they're eating," said Cleetus Friedman, the owner of City Provisions.

That understanding begins by butchering their own meats, then smoking them, and turning them into pastrami, which is sliced-to-order, then piled high on pumpernickel with mustard. Same goes for turkey, which is stacked on focaccia and served with a homemade pickles and chips. Salads are all noteworthy, especially the trio of healthy quinoa, a sustainably-caught laughing bird shrimp and egg salad. There's also a spinach and radish affair, plus chunky chicken salad.

"Part of our delicatessen is to feature the local artisans who produce these great things, but it's also to highlight seasonality and working with all of our farmers," said Friedman.

A massive coffee bar features Crop to Cup coffee. The talented baristas will happily whip you up a goat's milk honey latte if you choose. There's also a thoughtfully assembled wine, beer and liquor selection with everything either organic or local or both. Friedman says part of the mission is to get customers to start thinking locally and seasonally, even if it's just for a sandwich.

"We really try to engage our guests by changing things with the season, and educating people on what it means to cook seasonally and to eat seasonally. You're not going to come in now and find asparagus on our menu," Friedman said.

City Provisions
1820 W. Wilson Ave.

Also mentioned:

January Supper Club with Casa Noble Tequila.
Monday, January 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm, $75 all-inclusive
Reservations are required

Five-course, tequila-inspired menu with specialty cocktails by Casa Noble Tequilas. The goal of the Supper Clubs is to enlighten, educate and entertain guests. The City Provisions Supper Club is a monthly event focusing on seasonality, celebrating the fruits of every season.