The apples looked good.
So did the pears.
I thought the large Michigan tomatoes looked a little underripe but the Roma looked magnificent.
I picked a butternut squash for the two of us.
It was wonderful.
I was in Stanley’s, a little veggie oasis on the North Side. It’s a cheap place; that’s their draw. Cheap and delicious.
There is a deli section to the side and a refrigerated half wall where you can get eggs, cheeses and tub after tub of hummus. There’s bread too, delicious rolls and loaves to take home and crisp just a bit in the oven. But the veggies are the draw.
Green leafy things with names you’ve (well, I’ve) only seen on restaurant menus. Apples, plums and pomegranates piled eye-high. Rows of dirt-cheap veggies ready to take home and pop into something tasty for dinner.
I guess their business plan is to buy up veggies when they’re too ripe for other grocery stores. Not spoiled by any means, just ripe where most grocery stores like them unready so they last longer on the shelves.
So why are you reading about veggies? In this whole big city of action and adventure, why are you reading about where I found ripe avocados on sale?
Because it’s good. Because I’m trying to promote an amazing business where the cashiers smile at you. Because I’m a damn hippie who rode his bike to a locally owned grocery to get avocados and butternut squash to make a tasty meal for two.
Because I paid $25 for what will amount to three or four meals.
Because I want to feel I did some good. Sometimes stories of colorful Chicagoana aren’t enough to scratch that moral itch we all have. Sometimes I just want to let people know where they can get cheap, fresh veggies.
Stanley’s Fruits & Vegetables, 1558 N. Elston Ave. Check it out if you can.