Writing about food makes me pretty jaded to “concepts”. But it seems as soon as I’ve officially declared a genre dead (ramen, speakeasies, donuts) a place comes along so well-executed that it redefines the trend and restores my faith in the hospitality commandments: make great food, serve it in a place people want to be, equip the venue with a knowledgeable staff, and it will be a success.
Such was my experience at Peach and Green (33 S Wabash) in the loop. They have all the appropriate buzz-words: local, organic, wholesome, etc. that typically make me run in the opposite direction. Hell, not having a liquor license is usually cause enough for me to yawn. Which only makes Peach and Green all the more exceptional as it’s become my go-to spot downtown.
Nestled in a cool vintage building under the train tracks on Wabash, inside Peach and Green is bright and lively. You can select from 3 sizes of their prepared foods or have them make a salad or sandwich to order. Usually I’m an utter failure at salad bars, but I was able to concoct something remarkably tasty between their chick pea and broccoli salads that were vibrant, fresh, and perfectly dressed and seasoned. My friend is still raving about the curry he tried and has designs on their shepherds pie.
I know this is the season for artfully foamed cappuccinos, but this place makes me want to count down until Grand Park Music Festival as it’s only a block away from Millennium Park. I can’t wait to make my blanket mates jealous on the lawn next summer.
It’s hard to be charming when you’re a fast-casual healthy spot in the heart of the loop, which is why this place surprised me. You can make it a super fast stop, but I find it more than inviting enough to take my time and relax a bit as the owner plays some solid tunes from his vinyl collection. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll try one of those fancy smoothies all the kids are talking about.
Good for: taking away something actually decent, meetings, small groups, pre-theater, pre-millennium park.
Check them out: www.peachandgreen.com