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Goddess and Grocer (Elston)

View Map2200 N. Elston Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 292-7100
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Editorial Review of Goddess and Grocer (Elston)

Elston Avenue, with its stacks of warehouses and lofts, seems dead-end real estate for small and innovative food retailers. However, the kitchen manager, Kevin Schulz, knows the benefit of having a business run along an avenue absent of bus service. "We're really focusing on the morning commuters who drive to work. For residents of the Northwest Side, Elston is like a hidden expressway into downtown. We're also hoping to bring in a lunch crowd from the surrounding warehouses," he says.

The idea reflects that of other Goddess locations, serving as the neighborhood upscale bodega. However, instead of undesirably gross looking sandwiches that have been shelved for days, here you'll find an array of unrecognizable foreign cheeses and delicious pre-cooked meals.

The setting, also carried over from the Wicker Park and Gold Coast stores, involves a limited seating area void of wi-fi, walls of olive, a chalkboard of daily specials and coolers of wines aside towering shelves of party snacks and woven gift baskets.

Smaller than the average grocery chain, Goddess and Grocer aims at delivering morning commuters their daily fixes; small lattes average $3.50. And with all the pre-made dinners, loft residents can save time invested in cooking and cleaning, expending it instead at the X-Sport Fitness nearby.

For the goddess of land, the Goddess chicken stuffed with goat cheese and roasted tomatoes, crusted in panko, works well. The goddess of sea leans toward the tilapia option with mango chutney. Most purchases ring out at $20, and catering is available.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez

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7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday; closed Saturday-Sunday

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