Tomato Vodka Hummus

I recently became the lucky recepient of a Fox & Obel gift certificate. For those of you who don't know what this place is - it's magical and Chicago's answer to New York's famed Dean & Deluca (must fine food shoppes always have 2 names?) Fancy foods line the walls and crowd the aisles and on this day, I may have spent hours there, deciding the best possible way to spend my F&O money.

Once home, I decided cooking for myself was boring so I invited some friends over to share in my gourmet loot. The dish I decided to put out while people arrived was hummus, and I utilized my exotic new Tomato-Vodka Mustard to flavor the bean spread.

Made in Napa Valley

And my favorite flaky French salt.

And the finished product, which doesn't even need a recipe, it's so easy. Put the following in a food processor: 2 cans of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas if that's your thing), the juice from one lemon, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper, cumin and blend. It was enjoyed.

Later in the night, we started a congo line but that's for a different blog.

Fox & Obel
401 East Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60611-4319
(312) 410-7301


Chicago French Market

View from the taxi. Photos by Javier Ayala

As a celebration of the nice weather last week, friend Javier planned a "secret lunch outing". The 4 of us headed out around 12noon, weaving through tourists and side streets, blindly following our leader Javier, until we hit the Water Taxi platform. The $2.00 ride is totally awesome and you can ride it all the way down to Chinatown (yep). This is a recommended activity.

We hoped off at the Madison stop and walked over to the new Chicago French Market, which is less French and more Grand Central Station, but still cool. Numerous food stalls line the large indoor space, selling everything from fresh fish and olives, to Italian gelato and freshly fried Belgian taters. I had my first "raw" meal (a lifestyle promoting the consumption of un-cooked, un-processed, and often organic foods as a large percentage of the diet) at food stall RAW. and while it was good, not cooking your food comes at a price...

My $13 raw burrito. The raw sour cream was made out of cashews.

Samples get me every time!

From Raw's web site: "...RAW. food stewards, Carole Jones and Polly Gaza, find it important to incorporate 100% organic raw vegan food into one’s diet and celebrate the taste of the whole food in its natural state without altering or diminishing the nutritional content.

While this certainly tasted good and I'm all for healthy food consumption (most of the time), eating exclusively raw food seems a bit extreme, not to mention labor-intensive and possibly annoying to those you dine with (oh and expensive). But I still recommend tasting it, and RAW. is a good place for that.

The cheese stall sold cheese encased in wax, to look like a beer. I want this. It's not raw.

Chicago's French Market
131 N. Clinton
Mon - Fri: 7am - 7:30pm
Saturdays: 8:30am - 6pm

Digital Dish #14 - Is This For Real?


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