Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Eataly - Focaccia (Bakery)

Location: 48 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611
Eataly on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
DISCLAIMER - THIS REVIEW IS ONLY FOR THE 
EATALY FOCACCIA STAND/BAKERY (2nd Floor)

Eataly has been the talk of the city for a couple of weeks now, so I figured I had to give it a try.  Personally, I am not a huge fan of tourist traps, which Eataly definitely is... however, I kept an open mind and had a great experience (in terms of food) only because of Eataly's Focaccia.  All of the other restaurants were packed on a random Tuesday night with over an 1.5 hour wait for the pizza place.  Sounds ridiculous... and it is.  Luckily, we stumbled across the focaccia section of the bakery and knew that would be our dinner.  It reminded me of my studies in Italy.  They have a huge variety including authentic prosciutto and all different kinds of cheeses.  Excellent!

If I was doing a review on the entire establishment, I would easily give this entire establishment a 2.5 mile rating.  But, since I am going to do reviews on different restaurants within, the focaccia section at the bakery is delicious, quick, authentic, and cost-friendly ($2 to $7).  And for that reason I would walk 4.5 miles for some of that focaccia.

What We Ate:

Housemade Sausage, Sweet Peppers, & Onion Focaccia

A great alternative to the pizza joint (wait time of over an hour when we were at Eataly) was the focaccia portion of the bakery.  Only a small line ever crowds this stand, making us wait a mere two minutes.  This piece of focaccia may trick you into being a slice of pizza because of its thinner crust and its toppings of housemade sausage, sliced sweet peppers and onions, and a very thin tomato sauce base.  Only thing lacking was some sort of cheese.  I am a huge fan of homemade sausage with plenty of seasoning.  Their's even has a slight sweetness to it.  That sweetness is complemented nicely with the roasted peppers and onions.  Another amazing savory focaccia and for a little over three dollars, you will not be disappointed.

Squash, Basil, & Ricotta Focaccia

As soon as I saw squash and zucchini, I knew this was the other piece of focaccia we needed to split.  This one started with a much thicker bread base before being topped with a thick layer of ricotta cheese.  On top is a mixture of roasted squash, zucchini, and basil.  A sprinkle of olive oil finishes off this speciality.  And, WOW.  It is unreal.  No joke, this is the best item I have tried at Eataly and reminds me exactly of a focaccia stand in Italy.  The ricotta cheese is creamy, but has a little sandy texture reminiscent of salt mixed into the cheese.  The vegetables are roasted to perfection.  Very tender with the olive oil flavor acting as a great co-star.  The bread itself was crispy on the bottom and soft throughout.  It is served warm since they pans are kept on warming trays.  I crave this focaccia slice and at just under three dollars, it cannot be beat.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
DO:
- Do choose your slice.  They don't mind you requesting a specific slice.  Some have more toppings than others.  I suggest not the edge pieces because the crust is just ok.
- One piece of focaccia is a good lunch size portion for one person.

DON'T:
- Don't wait hours for some of these restaurants if you haven't tried focaccia yet.

How far would I walk for this food?



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