Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vegetarian Caviar...

Yes and it is delicious. Aqua Gourmet vegetarian caviar is produced in Canada, using a variety of seaweed as the primary ingredient. This caviar is made strictly form plant extract to create a 100% vegetarian product. Kelp offers not only an authentic caviar taste, but also incredible health benefits, all at a great price. We have three varieties: Sturgeon, Salmon, and Spicy Chili. They each offer a taste and versatility to the table. Great for appetizers, salads, a fancy pizza offering and baked seafood, or haw about this recipe...

Z&H Kelp Caviar Eggs

The Stuff:
4 hard-boiled eggs
4 tablespoons of Kelp Caviar
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise or sour cream
freshly ground black pepper to taste

The Skinny:
Shell the eggs, cut them in half, and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks well and mix with mayonnaise, two tablespoons of Kelp Caviar, chopped parsley, and ground black pepper. Put this mix in the egg halfs, and serve it as a salad course. Easy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Neighbor on 57th Street!!!

Whoo Hoo. We have a new neighbor down the block on 57th Street; the 'old' Istria Cafe has a NEW owner and we wish Belinda and her team much success. Please stop in and wish her luck. It is great that we have another local small business that will add to the fabric of Hyde Park.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cheese: Old favorites, New favorites

One of our 'old favorites' is the peerless Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Upland Cheese in Dodgeville, WI. An artisanal cheese crafted from unpasteurized milk from their own Wisconsin cows, fed and raised using traditional practices This cheese is made only from early spring through fall.The sweet flavors of the pasture are detectable in every bite of Pleasant Ridge Reserve.

One of our new favorites is Rush Creek Reserve also from Upland Cheese. They have made just one cheese for the last 10 years, Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Now This. With a chalky beige rind, Rush Creek Reserve has a rich, slightly grassy aroma and a mild flavor that hints of smoke and pork. A washed-rind cheese, it is wrapped with a strip of the same spruce bark. It is made from evening milk that was not pasteurized (it is aged for at least 60 days). Aging this style of cheese for so long is tricky, but worth the effort. A great ay to enjoy this cheese is to remove the top of the rind and scoop the cheese with a baguette.

Old and new, both wonderful.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thanksgiving with Z&H!

We are currently taking pre-orders for all-natural Amish turkeys from Indiana. They are available in (approx.) 10-16lbs. We will also be selling brine to help you make your turkey moist and delicious (directions included, but keep in mind a 12-24 hour brining time).

We are also offering a variety of delicious homemade sides and vegetables. We recommend planning for 1/4lb per serving.
- New England Sage Bread Stuffing, $7.50/lb
- Cornbread Biscuit Stuffing, $7.50/lb
- Sweet Potatoes with Honey & Rosemary, $8.50/lb
- Mashed Russet Potatoes, $6.50/lb
- Creamed Green Bean & Corn Casserole, $8.50/lb
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pecans, $9.50/lb
- Red Miso Carrots, $7.50/lb
- Cranberry Sauce, $8.50/PINT

Our lovely bakers are also offering 9" pies in the following varieties...
- Classic Apple Pie, $19
- Pumpkin Pie, $18
- Southern Sweet Potato Pie, $18
- Classic Pecan Pie, $23
- Pecan Pie with Rum, $23
- Lemon Meringue Pie, $19
- Apple & Concord Grape Pie, $19

All items can be picked up between 7am-3pm on Wednesday 11/24 (turkeys can also be picked up on Tuesday, indicate preference when ordering).

Call our 47th Street location, stop by either store, or email info@zhmarketcafe.com for more information about placing your order.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Getting the hang of it.

Both stores are up and running.

We want to sincerely thank you all for your patience - working out the kinks took a couple weeks, and we're still getting everything down to a science, but we're starting to get the hang of it.

Come to 57th for specials, including French Dip and Stroganoff sandwiches, and come to 47th for all your cheese and specialty grocery needs. The rumor (or idea, really) that our 47th street location will be closing is not at all true. We're here for good.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We will be opening our doors on 57th Street at 9AM tomorrow, Thursday, for our first day...we will be working out the kinks in our new systems for the first few days and hope you join us for the fun. Thanks for bearing with us over the past few months during the construction phase, we think that the wait will be worth it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


…. “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” — Paul Cezanne

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

painting and tile

As we move into the final pre-opening stage at 57th Street, wall tile, tin ceiling painting (this had been neglected for many decades) and other work is in high gear. We are looking forward to getting our new La Marzocco espresso machine into place and loading up the cheese case with delicious selections. More updates to come.

Monday, June 21, 2010


If you happen to pass by the new Z&H space on 57th Street you will be hard-pressed not to notice the entire facade in now plywood. Lots of plywood. We removed the old, outdated, and generally sad storefront over the weekend and are waiting for the installation of the new storefront. We continue to move forward on all fronts, as with any project there are always surprises, and we have had our share. As we move closer to opening day we will let you all know our progress.

We will be having a 'soft' opening initially, which means that we will just unlock the door one day and not have balloons and people dressed as huge sandwiches and cups of coffee (in foam suits, don't think we have not contemplated this). More information to come.

Finally, the 'Marty' sandwich shirts are available for purchase. We love them, there is just something wonderful about an eggplant, a DeLorean, and a guy in a puffy vest.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Z&H 57th Street Update

Work moves forward on the 57th Street space, progress continues. Our info is in the hands of City Hall and we wait for the well-oiled wheels of our City bureaucracy to turn in the efficient manner that we all know so well.

As many of you know, we have, for the most part, self-financed Z&H up to this point. It has been creatively rewarding and challenging, but it has given us the ability to craft a business built around the idea of quality, value, long-term success. As we close in on the opening date of the 57th location we have looked at the idea of bringing aboard a few investors that would be interested in coming along on our adventure. Hyde Park is the community we choose to live and work in and we know our neighbors value of the worth of quality neighborhood businesses, a goal we work toward achieving each day at Z&H. Something that people often overlook when they visit us at the MarketCafe, is that we currently employ 15 people (10 full-time) and will employ more than 30 people when we open on 57th Street.

If an interest-bearing investment in Z&H is something you would like to know more about please contact Sam or Tim at the MarketCafe, or send us an email at info@zhmarketcafe.com.

Finally, the long anticipated 'Marty' Shirts will be arriving soon. We sold out of the 'Pig on a Pretzel' shirts quickly and we think the 'Marty' shirts are even better. Remember, .1.21 gigawatts of deliciousness is the right amount of deliciousness.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Plantain Chips

We have our Grab'em Snacks plantain chip for $2.50 a box simply because they are delicious. As the man behind the curtain says, 'while supplies last'.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring has sprung

We love this weather, sun, warmth...a sandwich outside.

As we are open longer and longer we get more and more reviews on line. the vast majority are supportive, which is great, but we get a few, and it is few, very bad reviews. All feedback is valued, but some reviews puzzle us. Here are two from the same day, posted on the same review site.

Can't tell you how glad I am to have a place like this in my neck of the woods. I use it more as a grocery store than a sandwich or coffee shop. Friendly staff, nice selection of unique & everyday items. Great to have owners that not only care about every thing that is on their shelves, but also in the store almost every hour they are open.

Top notch guys, can't wait for store #2

Here is #2:
I really like the "concept", especially since I am a foodie. However the service leaves a bad taste in my mouth - no pun intended. One two separate occasions the same person - clearly with a chip on her shoulder - was rude and dismissive. Today, I stop by to get a smoked turkey sandwich and she was way too much -- that I cancelled my order and walked out. DONE! So note to owners - not matter how fab your products, treating your customers -- all your customers -- with courtesy is a requirement not an option.

Seems like two different stores. All we can ask is that you visit our store and make your own decision about what we do. We endeavor each day to make the best tasting items and offer them in a friendly and respectful way to everyone. If you are ever in the shop and you feel that we are not living up to our end of the relationship please let us know. We can and will address any and all issues. We take what we do seriously and want each person who visits us be more than satisfied. Talk with us. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

With store expansion comes...

Staff expansion! If you're a foodie, coffee addict, or just plain fun (and hard working) type looking for a job, let us know! Email jobs [at] zhmarketcafe [dot] com or stop by the store for an application. Come soon though, spots will fill quickly!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From Yelp

"The manager/owner is rude, sarcastic and disrespectful. I will no longer give my money to this cafe."

That is the entire review. It is the only review that "Mika A" of "Chicago, IL" has ever posted about anything ever in Chicago. They have no strong feelings about anything that has ever happened to them other than a seemingly singular experience in our store. This seems doubtful to us. We would love to know the details. This is the reason we feel people should not put a lot of faith in sites like Yelp and other review sites. Listen to your friends, visit yourself, listening to angry strangers with hidden agendas is probably not the best way to choose a delicious sandwich, beverage, bottle of olive oil, or jar of spice.

We hope everyone has an excellent day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Food Thoughts

"An understanding of what food is and how cooking works does no violence to the art of cuisine, destroys no delightful mystery. Instead, the mystery expands from matters of expertise and taste to encompass the hidden patterns and wonderful coincidences of nature."
--Harold McGee

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

show you produce some love

We love vegetables here at Z&H. That said, there's no denying that we are much more likely to reach for greens and colorful produce when the greens are their leafiest and produce their brightest. With busy schedules making your produce last as long as possible at home by storing them properly is good money sense.

Broccoli -
Broccoli will last up to a week in your refrigerator. Tip, keep your broccoli heads wrapped loosely in a plastic bag in your vegetable drawer. Don't keep it in an airtight container, it will go bad faster.

Brussels Sprouts-
If the option is available, try to buy Brussels sprouts on the stalk. They will stay fresh longer on the stem, and can even last up to a month if kept in a cool, dry place. Trick, they will also last in your fridge for 7-10 days in a closed plastic bag to slow their respiration.

Chard & Spinach
Chard is best kept unwashed and dry in a sealed plastic bag or container in your refrigerator. A sturdy green like chard or kale will last up to two weeks, but more delicate greens like spinach will only last a week.

It is hard to use an entire head of garlic at once (not for everyone, but some) . Remember to keep them in a cool, open, dry place. Unpeeled garlic can last up to 3 months if properly stored. Trick, if your garlic starts to sprout green shoots, simply cut off the bitter green part before you start cooking.

Mushrooms can be difficult to store since they benefit from cool air circulation, but can also dry out or suffocate easily. Tip: store them in a paper bag in your fridge; they will last 3-5 days.

You've probably heard never to refrigerate tomatoes and the reason is that your Fridge will rob them of any flavor. If you absolutely must refrigerate, let your tomato sit and return to room temperature before using, it will help restore any lingering flavor. Trick, if your tomato is under-ripe, try storing it in a paper bag stem side down for a few days to accelerate the ripening process. Storing them stem-side down will also help maintain that the taut skin of a healthy tomato. If your tomato is on its last leg, for goodness sake, make chutney or salsa.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

file under Other Cool Stuff

Tidal Energy. Powerful, never ending, and perfectly clean.

"The Bay of Fundy pushes over 100 billion tonnes of water every tide - more than all the freshwater rivers and streams in the world combined."



Now lets enjoy some cheese.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Crop Mob: A very cool concept

"Crop mob is primarily a group of young, landless, and wannabe farmers who come together to build and empower communities by working side by side. Crop mob is also a group of experienced farmers and gardeners willing to share their knowledge with their peers and the next generation of agrarians. The membership is dynamic, changing and growing with each new mob event."

read more about this fantastic movement here:


Z&H and Kilgus Milk

We use Kilgus dairy products at the MarketCafe. They taste great and are a small scale local dairy. Here is some more information about them compared to others....


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An interesting take on school gardens

Alice Waters is an icon in the restaurant world, but this is an interesting take on her "The Edible Schoolyard" (www.edibleschoolyard.org) program from The Atlantic (link: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/201001/school-yard-garden).

We are already thinking about spring vegetables.

Snowy updates

We did get the keys to the new MarketCafe space on 57th Street this past week and we have begun the demo (very satisfying work, as the space had not been updated since the 1980's) and have our crack architect team (they are both local Hyde Parker architects, more about them in future posts) working to pull together plans that we can go to the City with for permitting. We have had to strange pleasure of shoveling the sidewalk in front of the new store the past couple of days.

We have also been making some changes to our product mix at the 1126 East 47th Street location, identifying and bring in additional excellent local and regional products. We also have a line of classic American made bitters coming soon. They have been on our training table since we were kids, and now we will be able to share them with everyone.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Newish Cheese

Dunbarton Blue is one of our latest cheeses here at Z&H, it is an earthy, cheddared-blue, open air cured, with essence of an English cheddar, and a subtle flavor of a fine blue cheese.

Our current wheel has very delicate veining but we understand this varies from wheel to wheel.
Not widely available yet, Dunbarton is named after a Wisconsin township and the cheese maker has been tinkering with the recipe for more than a year. He makes the cheese by hand in a small, 300-gallon artisan cheese vat in his small creamery between Shullsberg and Darlington. The dairy is renovating the original cave - surrounded by earthen walls on three sides with a rock wall foundation -- and plan to age the next batch on site.

Come in and try this subtle wonder.