Healthy Reviews

Healthy Reviews

I went to Italy and threw my paleo diet out the window

November 10, 2016
HealthyStaceyEatsItaly

I’m a rule follower by nature. I never skipped class in high school OR college. When I go 7 miles over the speed limit, I feel like I’m really pushing my luck. And when I decided to be Paleo a couple years back, I followed all of the “don’t eat that, only eat this” rules.

But here’s the thing. I respect rule-breakers. The little goody two shoes inside of me wants to be one because I know that, mentally, it’s a hell of a lot more healthy than being a rule-follower.

So when my husband and I decided on Italy for our honeymoon, I decided right then and there that I would break all the rules the moment we hit Italian soil.

CookingVacations_HealthyStacey

It started innocently enough with a cheese and prosciutto plate. Then I found myself reaching for the bread basket before dinner (the horror!). But by the end, I found myself housing an ENTIRE pizza. But not just any pizza, thin, crispy, saucy, cheesy, air-pockety Neapolitan pizza in Naples.

In fact, I am sorry to inform you that if you had any desire to go to Italy yourself, that it is no longer there…because I ate it. 

I ate big blocks of cakey bread topped with white cheese, red cheese, orange cheese, liver bruschetta (aka Bruschetta di Fegato), mozzarella, pecorino and goat cheese. I ate pumpkin risotto, then hazelnut gelato (then chocolate gelato and later vanilla bean gelato). Whenever the moment presented itself, I had tiramisu – tiramisu gelato, tiramisu in cups, tiramisu in bowls, tiramisu in squares, and when they were out of tiramisu, I ate crème brûlée. I gushed when croissants were brought to us on a tray at our cozy little bed and breakfast, and stuffed my face with squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta cheese. I squeeled, then drooled over pizza with ham, pizza with mushrooms and radicchio and pizza with anchovies. I "when Harry Met Sally-ed" at least twice. Once over eggplant lasagna, and the second time over lemon tart stuffed with freshly-made, sweet crunchy peanut brittle…in the same meal. 

When I needed a gut break, I had no problem finding paleo-ish fair that still felt nearly as indulgent. That’s when I found seafood salad, branzino and red snapper with a side of grilled vegetables drizzled in balsamic vinegar. I got giddy over prosciutto paired with eggplant drenched in truffle. Then found a new love for rabbit salad. I enjoyed a simple braised beef with golden potatoes dish. And later became in awe over an onion slow roasted till it became "soup." All of my health nut needs were met by sea bass in a lemon sauce, sea bass in “crazy water” vegetable broth, grilled octopus with spicy oil with avocado and plantain chips, and even an organic grocery store in Naples with aisles of food products shouting “senza glutine” and “non-OGM” (hehe, it’s backwards).

Yes, I felt uncomfortably stuffed by the end of the trip. My pants didn't fit. My thighs felt like big sausages. And to top it off, I caught a cold while we were in Montalcino so I was all stuffed up and snotty. But I was still standing. I didn't die. In fact, I lived.

I’ve gained weight since I got back. No question about it. But I am surprised to report that I kind of like it. I have this extra cushion that wasn't there before. I'm trying to think of it like a badge of honor. This new butt? Oh. Got that in Italy. 😉

If you ever find yourself going to Italy, you'll ask every previous Italian traveler you know, where they went, where they ate and what they did. I know I did. Which is why I'm going to make it easy for you and include my trip itinerary below (well, most of it – I don't need to bore you with ALL the details). 

That said, at the end of the day, my favorite finds were the ones that we stumbled upon – not the ones we went looking for.

You have to make Italy your own. So please do. But if you feel the need to start somewhere, here is my Italy…

Healthy Stacey's Italy Itinerary

Florence

We stayed here: AC Firenze (a little too far off the beaten path for our liking; it took us about 15 minutes to walk into town; it was clean and well-kept, but seemed more for the business traveler than the honeymooner)

We ate here:

La Prosciutteria (wine and a snack before dinner ended up being one of our favorite spots in the whole trip; it's teeny tiny, but has so much good energy that you don't even notice it)

ProsciutteriaFlorence

My husband's cousin's home (where we ate homemade pumpkin risotto, grilled eggplant and every meat known to man cooked over a coal-burning fire at the best restaurant in Monsummano Terme, not open to the public, hehe)

WelcomeSignFlorence

Montalcino

We stayed here: Porta Castellana Bed and Breakfast (adorable, warm, inviting, all the mushy gushy adjectives you can think of!; the owner was sweet, giving us the perfect itinerary for our stay in the beautiful little moutain town of Montalcino)

PortaCostallenaBedandBreakfast_Montalcino

We ate here:

Caffe Fiaschetteria Italiana (a historical cafe known for its famous guests includes Prince Charles of Wales, as well as Prime Ministers like Jean Chretienne of Canada, along with politicians, actors, and Italian and internationally renowned athletes – GREAT wine and waiters who know their wine like nobody's business)

CaffeFiaschetteriaMontalcino

Re Di Macchia (adorable, initmate restauraunt that was buzzing inside with locals and laughter, lots and lots of laughter; honestly, I don't quite remember what I had, but I know it was delicious)

HealthyStacey_CremeBrulee

We drank here:

Enoteca la Fortezza di Montalcino (a wine bar…in a castle! we tasted some of our favorite wines in montalcino here accompanied by a light appetizer of truffle eggplant bruschetta – absolute heaven)

EnotecaFortezzadiMontalcino

We wine-toured here:

Altesino (here, my husband and I learned everything about Super Tuscans and Brunellos on our private tour; there was a gorgeous view of the vineyards and of Montalcino in the distance)

AltesinoWinery copy AltesinoWinery

Pienza

We ate here (and wish we didn’t): La Taverna Di Moranda (weird vibe in a dark empty stone-walled room with an angry owner; the only reason we came was because the highly recommended Osteria La Porta was totally packed with no room for even two more guests; we ordered one app so as not to be rude and then we hightailed it outta there)

We made up for it here: Dopolavoro La Foce (bright and friendly with seasonal farm-to-table fare; it has its own vegetable garden across the road so you know it's fresh. A path connects the vegetable garden to the famous La Foce gardens; I had something called "onion soup" that was literally an onion that had been roasted until its insides became soupy – yum!)

OnionSoupinMontalcino

Rome

We stayed here: Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora (beautiful, great location, complete with a rooftop breakfast with a beautiful view of the city)

We ate here:

La Rosetta (came to me highly recommended by my dear well-travelled friend, Marta; this beauty was the first all-fish restauraunt in Rome; all locally-sourced, made to order; grilled octopus with avocado and plantain chips? yes, please! It's pretty much a Paleo restauraunt in Rome…kind of)

Octopus_LaRosettainRome

Sarafini alla Pace (my husband believes this to be the best pizza we had in Italy, while my vote is still in Naples, but I don't disagree that it was pretty frickin amazing; right in the heart of everything, great people watching if you sit outside)

Sarafini_alla_Pace_Pizza_Rome

Sapori D'Ischia (this place was literally a two minute walk from our hotel, but was such a gem; owned and operated by a very sweet family of three – the mother is the chef, the daughter is the server, and the husband is the piano player – meaning he takes periodic breaks to play a little diddy on the huge grand piano that takes up more space than the tables in this tiny and intimate eatery)

Amalfi/Positano

We stayed here: Grand Hotel Il Saraceno (it is literally a castle built into the side of the mountain; there are no words for how beautiful this city was, but I will embarrasingly admit that the view from our room actually brought me to tears – I am not exxaggerating, and no, this has never happened to me before, and may never happen again)

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AmalfiCoast_GrandSaraceno_ChampagneToast

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IlGrandSaraceno_AmalfiCoast

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We ate here:

Ristorante Mashreq (the restauraunt in our hotel; honestly, the food didn't blow me away, but I didn't care because we had no desire to leave our beautiful castle with tear-jerking views)

Covo Dei Saraceni (Amaaaazing gelato on the dock of the bay in Positano)

GelatoinPositano

We cooked here: 

Cooking Vacations (I'm tempted to say the highlight of my trip – but there are so many it's hard to say; here is where I got to check a bullet off my bucket list – a private cooking lesson with an Italian chef in Positano; he taught us how to salt an eggplant to get out the bitterness, how a simple vegetable broth is all you need to cook a sea bass, and the best indicator of a perfectly cooked garlic – "when it's turned blonde – like me!" he says).

PumpkinRisotto_CookingVacations

CasaMeleChefRafaelo

CookingVacations_SeaBassinCrazyWater

Naples

We stayed here: Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo

We ate here: 

Pizzaria Trianon (this is where I ate an entire pizza ALL BY MYSELF and I would do it again if I could because…damn; we stumbled upon this place as an alternative to L'antica Pizzeria de Michele – the shop that was put on the map after Elizabeth Gilbert gushed about it in "Eat Pray Love"; we took one look at the line that wrapped around the block and decided to find our own "best pizza in Naples, and therefore, the world"; we were spot on with Trianon; they not only hand-made the pizzas in front of you, they were more than happy to ham it up for the camera)

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Healthy Body, Healthy Reviews

Rise and Shine with Luna

July 14, 2016
The Word Brave

All photos courtesy of Amy Boyle Photography

I’m bad at making commitments. Really bad. Except for marriage, of course. I’m really good at that (Love you, babe!). I’m talking schedule commitments with friends, with strangers, with workouts, whatever. My mindset is, how can I possibly know how I’m going to feel or what I’m going to be doing on said day – days, weeks, or months in advance? For that reason, I’m always hesitant to sign up for events or agree to gatherings. Horrible? Maybe. Honest? Yes.

Berry Greek Yogurt Luna Bars

SO when my alarm went off at 5 AM after a particularly horrible night of sleep, I was extremely mad at myself for signing up to attend Rise and Shine – a group workout hosted by LUNA Bar, taught by a Nike Master Trainer and held at the Wit Rooftop. Two weeks ago it sounded fantastic. At that moment, the idea of getting out of bed for anything more than a glass of water sounded horrible.

Nonetheless, when I sign up for something, I follow through. So I dragged my groggy butt over to State and Lake – anticipating for it (my butt) to be kicked hard.

Today, I can honeslty report that it was indeed kicked. But that I’m SO GLAD it was.

Here’s what happened:

I met people. Really cool people.

Luna Bar Rise and Shine Workout

Like Alia Dalal, A Wellness Chef. This girl may have my dream job. I just didn’t know it existed until she told me it did. But I think that’s because she created it. She works with people to help them get their health on track, but in a really delicious way. She was professionally trained in health-supportive cooking at the Natural Gourmet Institute of Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. She’s worked at a destination spa in the Himalayas, an Ayurvedic spa in India and Sterling College in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. AND she is the host and creator of Nightcap, a late night-style web series on good food and beverage. WHA?? How did she? Where can I? What am I doing with my life??? She’s awesome. Until I get to where she is, I highly recommend checking her out.

I discovered A Sweat Life.

Sweat Life Founder Jeana Anderson Cohen

And the powerhouse behind the organization, Jeana Anderson Cohen. A fitness fanatic, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Nike Training Club trainer, Jeana had this genius idea for a health and wellness publication that helped make fitness more accessible to people – no matter where they are (hallelujah for work travelers, work-from-homers and long-commuters). She hosts monthly #Sweatworking events all over Chicago with the purpose of introducing people to a new workout while also introducing people to PEOPLE in a setting “other than a bar.” Amen to that. Coolest part is, she was a journalism major and a former agency girl just like me. Inspiring much?

I work ouuuut.

A Sweat Life WorkoutAs tired as I was, being on the brightly lit Wit Rooftop surrounded by other supremely motivated and in-shape women (I happened to lay my mat next to the DePaul Rowing Team. Really?), I was every bit as energized as if I’d had a solid night’s sleep. Oh. And did I mention we had our own personal DJ? Ya. I know.

Dj Lani Love

The trainer, Betina Gozo was a complete badass. But not in a scary drill sergeant sort of way. More like a really optimistic friend who knows you have it in you sort of way.

Beth Gozo Nike Trainer

The warmup was solid (which I always appreciate). Deep breathing with your diaphragm and lots of dynamic stretching. Followed by some great cross-training type movements and core exercises, partner drills, and finally a finisher that OF COURSE included burpees. But seriously. By the end of it, I was tired and sweaty, but not exhausted. Which I think is the sign of a good workout. In my opinion, if I can’t get through the rest of my day because my body aches all over and/or I can’t keep my eyes open, I pushed it too far.  

I juiced a lot. Then juiced some more. (I don’t mean steroids).

Bellis Juice Chicago

There were tons of goodies including coffee from Heritage Coffee, LUNA Bars – the new Berry Greek Yogurt, of course, and a goodie bag with THE COOLEST watch I have ever owned (see picture below). But for any of you who know me, I go gaga over juice bars. And it was here that I met Belli's Juice Bar. Chicago’s Cold Pressed (Raw, Organic) Juice Bar and Local Foods Market in Pilsen. I seriously went back FIVE times for generous samples. The taste was just incredibly fresh and after doing some research, I figured out why.

Alexandra Curatolo Bellis Juice Founder

Their founder Alexandra Curatolo was on a little bit of a mission when she opened up Belli’s. After growing her own food at nearby community gardens, she was inspired by urban agriculture. So she decided to open up a juice shop that used ingredients that were locally-sourced as much as possible. In fact, they work with urban farmers in the city of Chicago and local farmers in the Midwest to provide all of their ingredients. I’m telling ya. When you eat local, you can taste the difference. It’s just fresher. Since discovering them at the event, I have spotted them at multiple Farmer’s Markets, always served up by local Pilseners. Very cool.

LinorVaknin_Luna_Brave_Word

This is the third Luna event I’ve attended and I always have a blast. (Remember the Joys of Being a Girl at Lunafest?). The team of girls who put it on (especially Linor Vaknin ;)) are SUCH good people. Yes, of course their events are intended to promote their yummy (Gluten-free!) bars. But I always get this very strong this-is-your-community, have-you-met-this-badass entrepreneur?, girl power vibe from them. And just like that, I’m inspired to do more for myself and my business and you, my readers. I mean, if other Chicago girls can travel to the Himalayas, found a workout movement, and open up a community-driven local-foods juice bar, then I can AT LEAST get up at 5 AM to go get my butt kicked. Word.

The Time Is NOW Watch

Your turn: Name a commitment that you are SO glad you didn't bail on (even though you were THIS close).

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature

p.s. I just made it a whole lot easier to comment – no name, email or login required. So have at it, friends 🙂

 

Healthy Reviews

Get ‘Local Foods’ All Year Long in Chicago

June 16, 2016

LocalFoods_Purveyors

I love farmer’s markets. Come summer, you have this short window of opportunity to actually face the people who make your food. The farmers, the gardeners, the bakers and the artisans. They give you samples, they smile, they slip you a tomato on the house, and you can’t wait to go home and take a bite out of the freshest cucumber, peach, or blueberry you’ve had all year. Because it didn’t come from across the country, from some unknown source. It came from a nearby farm. And that makes all the difference.  

Living in Chicago, I have accepted this type of “grocery shopping” experience as a special occasion. Come Labor Day, it’s time to say goodbye to all your local foods.

Or so I thought. Until I discovered Local Foods.

LocalFoods_Sign

Local Foods is not a grocery store. It’s a public market for local food open ALL YEAR LONG.

YUSSS!

It has a sustainable whole-animal butcher shop, tons of local fruits and vegetables – each labeled by their farm and location, a café featuring all local produce and kombucha ON TAP.

LocalFoods_KombuchaonTap

You should have seen me on my first visit there. My head was spinning I was so excited. I actually finished shopping, loaded up my car, then upon further thought, went back in to pick up the rest of my groceries that I had originally intended on getting elsewhere.

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I could go on forever about the place (and probably will in future posts, and definitely on my Instagram page), but I want to spend some time today telling you about the hidden gem of a butcher tucked inside Local Foods. Just like a Farmer's Market, you can't necessarily go to their website to find out everything you need to know. Your best bet is to ask the purveyors themselves. So that's what I did. Below you'll find everything you need to know about the coolest, healthiest, most delicious butcher shop in town. Exclusive to HealthyStacey.com 🙂

Meet: The Butcher & Larder

Butcher&Larder

On their website, this is how they explain who they are:

Chicago’s first sustainable whole-animal butcher shop, led by Rob Levitt and his crew, produces the best steaks, sausages, charcuterie and other meat goodies the Midwest has to offer.

But there's so much more to it than that. Here's my experience:

THE MEAT:
All of their beef, lamb, pork and chicken are pasture raised. This means that they are raised out on the pasture (grass), but some are also fed corn for added flavor. A rare, rare find (at least in the Midwest) from a grocery store. Even Whole Foods only has select options for grass-fed meat or pasture-raised chicken. I've written a past post about the importance of grass-fed here. But just know that what your food eats is just as important as what your food is. 

Just like a farmer’s market, you actually get to know where your meat is coming from! Upon special request from the nice people at Local Foods (thank you Michelle and Andrew!), they have provided me with the source of all their meat. 

Ladies and Gentleman, meet your meat…

La Pryor Farm Beef
Ottowa ,IL
**Pasture-raised and pasture grained**
Never treated with any hormones or antibiotics
Mark and Kristin Boe have developed their own breed of cattle – Fleckveih and Black Angus cross. The family grows non-GMO corn on their farm exclusively for feeding their animals. The corn is cracked and mixed with hay and set out in the pasture to give the animals a natural way to eat grain while roaming the pasture.

La Pryor Farm Pork
Ottowa, IL
**Pasture-raised and pasture-grained**
Never treated with any hormones or antibiotics
Mark and Kristin purchased a rare herd of old line Duroc hogs from a family in Texas. Crossing the breed with Hampshire, they have created a unique breed that has “Superior marbling and a flavor like no other.”

Gunthorp Farm
LaGrange, IN
**Day range on grass and clover pastures, supplemented with corn and soybeans**
Never treated with any hormones or antibiotics
Gunthorp Farms raises Cornish Cross chickens on pasture. They have forty-six acres with chickens in the growing season.  A farm in Goshen, Indiana raise the just-hatched chicks in a hatchery, then they spend their first 3-4 weeks of their lives in a brooding barn under Gunthorp family management. They are then moved out to pasture.

Ferndale Turkey Farm
Cannon Falls, MN
No antibiotics or artificial growth hormones
**Free-Range during warmer months**
No shortcuts. Dale Peterson and his wife, Fern, live by these words. With 75 years and three generations of farming, the Petersons take pride in growing turkeys the way their farm’s namesakes (and nature) intended.  Their well-loved animals are fed their natural diet of grains, vitamins and minerals from a local feed mill.

Viking Lamb
Morristown, IN
**Exclusively pasture-raised**
Never treated with any hormones or antibiotics
Viking lamb raises wonderful lambs for meat, but a majority of their focus is specializing their breed and selling them to other farmers.

ButcherCounter_ButcherLarder

THE OPTIONS:
Because it’s a whole animal butcher, you can get ANY part of the animal. Meaning for crazies like me, I can easily get liver, sweetbreads and heart (GREAT fertility foods, more on that later). But even for the less crazies, it means unusual and custom cuts of meat, along with super decadent options like bone marrow, pates and homemade bone broths.

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THE BUTCHERS:
Did you ever watch the Brady Bunch growing up? Remember Sam the butcher? Alice’s bestie (well, with benefits ;). They’re like the 21st century version of him. Ask them anything about the meat, where it came from, what is a mortadella (Italian sausage made of finely ground pork and rich spices like pepper and pistacios)? They won’t make you feel stupid AT ALL. Plus, they encourage you to call ahead of time with special requests. For example, things like chicken liver and heart (don’t get grossed out; it’s really good for you) are not always readily available. But they will be if you just give them a heads up. 

Overall, this place just gives me happy vibes every time I go. From the bright and sunshiny setting, to the delicious samples handed out by passionate vendors, to the always-smiling bag man at checkout. This is my new happy place, and if you live in the area, I hope it can be yours too.

Local Foods
localfoods.com
1427 W. Willow, Chicago, 60642
phone: 312.432.6575
butcher: 312-583-7263 x122

Open Everyday
Weekdays 11am-8pm
Weekends 9am-6pm

LocalFoods_Family

Like what you read today? See those cute little social shapes underneath this post? They're for sharing! Click one to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or comment right here on the blog. I would love to hear from you.

Can't get enough of all this healthy stuff? Then sign up for the newsletter where it says "Enter Your Email" at the top of this page. Too much of a commitment? That's cool. I also have a sweet Facebook page, deep-thoughted Twitter page, food-pornish Instagram handle, and recipe-filled Pinterest page.

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature

p.s. I did NOT get paid to write this post. I just have a lot of love for this place and want as many people to shop and eat local as possible. 

 

Healthy Reviews

Grange Hall Burger Bar Review + Why Grass-Fed?

September 2, 2015

GrangeHallBurger_healthystaceyI recently met a new friend through Instagram. She had a simple question for me – what are my best healthiest restaurant recommendations in Chicago? 

I racked my brain, challenged to give her the best answers I could, and at the top of my list, was the last place you’d expect: Grange Hall Burger Bar.

A burger bar?
Yeah. A burger bar. But not just any burger bar.

Chicago’s only Farm To Table Burger Bar dedicated to wholesome Grass-Fed beef, Free-Range turkey and local farm fruits and vegetables.

There aren’t many places in Chi-town that guarantee you a grass-fed, grass-finished burger, served alongside fresh ingredients that were literally picked from a Michigan farm just for your plate with an affordable menu.

Yeah. Grange Hall is where it's at. And it’s where I ended up only a few days after my Instagram friend asked if I’d like to join her on one of my recommendations.

And I am SO glad that I did. Because this was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. I’m not sure if that has more to do with the amazing company I had (she’s traveling America for 6 months writing city guides, she has an awesome food blog, and she loves talking good digestion just as much as I do), or the super fresh, super flavorful, super real food at Grange Hall.

But before I get into any of that, let’s start with why. (Thank you, Simon Sinek).

Why grass-fed? Why grass-finished? Why do I care?

GrassFedSignsMarianos

Grass-Fed. You may have heard the word being thrown around on restaurant menus or at the butcher counter at your grocery store.  And all you know is that it means MORE EXPENSIVE. If you’re not necessarily an animal lover, you most likely have no problem turning it down for the much less expensive, conventionally raised meat.

As always, I am not here to tell you to stop eating what you’ve been eating. If you’re even at the produce section of the grocery store buying real food to cook at home, then you’re already doing better than most. But I do want to point out a few facts that might make you reconsider your meat choices – at least every once in awhile.

Grass-Fed Meat Means…

  • Cows (and goats and lamb) were meant to eat green, leafy, natural plants, not grain.
  • When cattle eat grain their fat contains a higher amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
  • When cattle consume green leafy plants, as they were designed to do, their fat contains a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acid.
  • When we eat the cattle that ate the greens, our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio improves.
  • When we eat the cattle that the grains, our omega-6 to omega-3 levels are scewed, causing inflammation in our bodies.
  • An improved omega-6 to omega-3 ratio means decreased inflammation – a very good thing, as its the cause of numerous diseases or just general discomfort, as I’ve posted about before.
  • Many grocers label cattle "Grass-Fed" that they still feed grain right before slaughter to fatten them up (AKA Grass-Fed, Grain-Finished). Although a better choice, this kind of defeats the purpose and eliminates the benefits of every point above. Duh.

In short – you are what you eat. If you’re going through all the steps to eat your veggies, stay away from gluten and grains, reduce anti-inflammatory foods, and eat organic when you can, then you should make sure that your food is doing the same. And even if you’re not doing all of those things, eating grass-fed is a good place to start.

Just like butter, meat IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. It’s just the foods that ol' Bessie is eating and the hormones that she's pumping that are. If you're looking for some suggestions for where you can get your grass-fed meat, email me. I'm working on collecting a list together to post on this blog.

Okay, back to Grange Hall. As I was saying, every single lamb, beef and turkey burger is humanely raised and grass-fed. And the result is something mind-blowingly good.

What I Ate

GrangeHallBurger

I ordered the same thing I always order: The Michelle Burger. AKA, any burger of your choice atop the seasonal salad. Gluten-free buns are available. But why would I do that when my salad is made of locally-grown and incredibly fresh lettuce, strawberries, blueberry, snow peas, carrots and asparagus? Not to mention the homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing and candied pecans that pair perfectly with a bite of lamb (my burger of choice).

The lamb burger (topped with roasted red pepper sauce, arugula, feta and pickled artichoke) was, unfortunately, only available for the season (and I believe as of this posting, will be gone). But I’m sure they will replace it with something equally as delicious.

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere is so welcoming. It’s literally housed in a barn (well, a barn-like building) on uber trendy Randolph Street. Open up the cute red door to find vintage wallpaper, quilted fabric and lots of cute little antique thingamabobs. Everybody – from the girls at the host stand to the always-smiley and knowledgeable waitresses – is so genuinely nice. I get the feeling the staff doesn’t just “work” there; they believe in what the owner is providing to the community. A real farm-to-table, know-where-my-food-came-from experience in the middle of downtown Chicago.

The Owner

The owner, Angela Lee, also just happens to be a farmer as well. OF COURSE SHE IS. She owns White Horse Farm in Southwest Michigan where her Grandpa and Grandma raise 100 head of grass-fed Black Angus cattle, along with hogs and chickens for their family needs. Besides the meat, there are also plenty of blueberries, apples, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and more. Thus the fantastic pie selection and seasonally-based salads and burger toppings. Angela literally drops off the goods at Grange Hall kitchen. So when she says those infamous buzz words, “Farm-to-Table," she really means it.

If you live in Chicago, or are considering paying Chicago a visit, I highly, highly recommend Grange Hall.

The Details

The Website

The Menu

The Address:
844 West Randolph Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607

The Digits:
1-312-491-0844

Unsolicited Life Lesson

If you've ever thought to yourself,

That girl's/guy's Instagram feed is so cool. I wonder what they'd be like to hang out with?

I would say, Why not connect with them? You never know what amazing experience can come out of it. (Hi @andjelkaj! Safe travels, my friend. Till we eat again).

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature

Like what you read today? Think somebody else would like Grange Hall Burger Bar or want to know more about Grass-Fed meat? See those cute little social shapes underneath this post? They're for sharing! Click one to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or comment right here on the blog. I would love to hear from you.

Can't get enough of all this healthy stuff? Then sign up for the newsletter where it says "Enter Your Email" at the top of this page. Too much of a commitment? That's cool. I also have a sweet Facebook page, deep-thoughted Twitter page, food-pornish Instagram handle, and recipe-filled Pinterest page.