There’s a fancy pants food mini mall at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago. The OTC is where a lot of the commuter trains terminate and it used to be called the Chicago and Northwestern Terminal, and old timers still call it that. The name was changed when the main building and facade was razed in the 80s to build a high rise office tower above it, designed by the man who changed Chicago’s skyline, architect Helmut Jahn.
In a city where everything stays the same but nothing does, the C&NW is no longer called that, the Sears Tower neither, and the market at OTC is called the “French Market” but bares no resemblance to the ‘real thing’ in New Orleans.
The market has a variety of food vendors, offering made to order sandwiches, hot plates, artisan goods and grocery items. It’s the perfect place to grab something to take to the office, or on your reverse trip, something to eat for the train ride home, or for dinner that evening.
On a recent pass through, I wanted more than a sandwich, so I grabbed a pound of sliced corned beef from Bebe’s Kosher Deli (menu) at $25 a pound (!!!) and a loaf of Today’s Temptations Light German Rye from the food shop. Today’s Temptations is a small Chicago baker that sells via a few local groceries, and apparently inspires a lot of enthusiasm from healthy bread advocates, as found here on the Chowhound discussion board.
It was $3.99 for the loaf, and if I had any knowledge of the brand, or healthy people’s enthusiasm for it, I would have passed. An all natural recipe, with no added yeast (the label states), as well as no sugar and a low fat content (not stated) I just didn’t care for it. If you’re an absolute bread lover, like me, and swoon when you take your first bite of a good bread, this isn’t for you. It’s kind of dry, relatively flavorless for a rye, and doesn’t even toast well. (Sugar in bread recipes assists browning in toasting).
If you’re on a healthy regimen, you may well love this bread. You’ll find zero information on the company’s website, so you’ll have to call to find the loaves near you.
As for the corned beef? Aside from the outrageous price, I found nothing extraordinary about it. The clerk said it was “Solomon’s” brand, which I also could find little about online (and Bebe’s did not respond to an email inquiry), other than some anecdotal blurbs about it being “Chicago’s best.” For my money (the only coin I care about), I much prefer local purveyor Vienna Beef’s product. Firmer muscle, considerably more flavor, and a lot less expensive. The Solomon’s is one of those deli meats that has an “iridescent shine” to the slices, which is quite common in processed meats. It is not a reflection of anything “wrong,” but simply the way light reflects on natural elements in processed meat that has been exposed to air. But I don’t care for the appearance, even tho it has nothing to do with quality, taste, and so on.
If Vienna products are not in a store near you, you can order them online here, along with other Chicago foods.
todays temptations bakery