Story and photos by Adam Gerber
All over Chicago, the Goddess and The Grocer’s family of restaurants are known for a diverse and delicious menu of everything from avocado toast to layer cakes to meatloaf. It’s not often that a restaurant group that tried to be a jack of all trades can master them all, but the Goddess team somehow knows how to get it done. These skills are on full display in their Purim menu, new this year.
We’ve all eaten our fair share of take-home meals during the pandemic. Chances are, you’ve spent some time puzzling over reheat instructions, plated up some food as pretty you could, and sat with your family to eat a meal that, despite the best of intentions, has left you still wanting more. It’s a tricky needle to thread, the take home and reheat game. But the Goddess team’s extensive experience catering all around town and at some of the biggest music venues in the city mean they know how to get it done like few others. The quality of product across this menu is truly exceptional.
The Purim menu features old school favorites and new school takes. While everything is worthwhile, there are standouts, for sure.
There are rainbow latkes that blend in carrots, zucchini and beets in with the traditional potatoes. Give the latkes a quick pan fry and they’re coming out so crispy and delicious (sour cream and apple sauce on the side as it should be). Latkes are the kinda thing that are hard to make terribly, but even harder to make excellent, especially reheated. These are excellent, they are a “not to miss”.
There’s brisket that gives your Bubbe a run for her money (don’t tell her though). The fat is rendered with an expert touch, the meat is tender and the mushroom sauce hits all the right notes.
There’s an array of high quality, fresh, roasted veggies: asparagus, brussel sprouts, and carrots etc. Great produce is hard to come by this time of year, I’m not sure where they find it, but it’s truly A+ stuff you won’t find at a normal grocery store.
The feature of this menu is the roasted chicken. It comes beautifully displayed in it’s own roasting pan over root vegetables, with a tasty savory/sweet citrus glaze. All you need to do is throw it in the oven for about 30 minutes, and it comes out tender and perfectly cooked. This chicken is impressively moist, I’m not really sure how they pull it off. It’s a gorgeous centerpiece for your holiday table.
The matzo ball soup and hamantaschen are also some of the best respective renditions I’ve had. The hamantaschen have a perfect light crunch, and are filled with stunning preserves. The matzo ball soup is exactly what you want, firm and fluffy matzo balls and a tasty chicken broth.
This year’s Purim will no doubt be different, I’m sure this isn’t the first article you’ve read that points out that things have changed. Should you decide to give yourself a well deserved break from a day in the kitchen this holiday, I know The Goddess and The Grocer won’t let you down. You can pick up dinner and a stellar sandwich all at the same time, and keep your eyes open when Passover rolls around.
All catering orders must be submitted with at least 48 hour’s notice (2/23 for Purim), but they may have some extra brisket and hamantaschen on the day if available. Orders can be placed on their website or over the phone and can be picked up from any of their 3 area locations (except O’Hare) or delivered for a fee. The full menu can be found at Goddess and the Grocer/Purim