Edgewater Produce – Cheap Produce, Monkeylicious Dry Goods
With consumer goods prices burgeoning and my “still somewhat timid freelance writer” schtick not yet helping me rake large piles of cash into my wallet, I’ve been looking for more ways to cut costs.
Having sold my Ford Explorer (did I really drive that thing?) before I moved from Indiana to Chicago not long ago, I’m not feeling the pinch at the pump like you auto-owning Chicagoans are, but these days I’m riding my bike as much to save myself the $1.75 on the CTA as to get some fun summertime cardio.
I’ve been cutting my own hair. I’ve been sneaking snacks into the movies. I’ve been bringing my own food with me whenever I leave the house.
And I’ve been forgoing the convenience and selection of the Andersonville Jewel for the vastly cheaper and more interesting Edgewater Produce (5509 N. Clark St., near Bryn Mawr), a small Mexican grocery store right across the street from Jewel. Some prices might slowly be creeping up — the cheapest eggs have jumped from $.99 to $1.29 — but the produce and Mexican staples are cheap and delicious. They also have a small but nice baked goods selection, cheap tofu (if you swing that way), and a delightful assortment of strange and delicious Mexican candies and treats.
And while I go mostly for things like the bulk dried fruit and trail mix-type snack selection, even my boyfriend the foodie (who uses strange and fancy gadgets like skillets and spatulas) is happy with the selection of meats, veggies, and the colorful array of ethnic sauces and spices that populate the shelves there.
And the best part — the eagle-eyed shopper will spot little snapshots of comedy embedded in the Edgewater Produce experience, like the labels on the bulk foods. Exactly which pointy rice snack makes the “fancy Oriental mix” fancy? Does the energy in the “energy mix” come from the fake M&M’s? And how much of my RDA of ape-liciousness will I get from a half cup of “banana chimps?”
– photo by Bryan Bowden