River Valley Ranch expands to Chicago area
February 8, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- For nearly 40 years, the River Valley Ranch has been a mainstay for mushroom production, just over the Wisconsin border and after years of attending Chicago area farmer's markets, they now have a retail store and cafe here.
You've probably seen jars of River Valley mushrooms or pasta sauce at local markets. After attending about 30 markets a week during the summer, the family behind it all decided it was time to add a retail location.
"We started doing prepared food at those markets with the many value-added products that we make, so the next natural step in the evolution seemed to me to move to a storefront, and that's what this is."
Five varieties of fresh mushrooms are available yearround, including portobellos, buttons and creminis.
"And then we offer about 70 different products that are made with mushrooms; everything from pasta sauces to six varieties of pickled mushrooms to salsas, tamales, veggie burgers."
A 'shroom Italian beef combines marinated and griddled portobellos with roasted red peppers on a grilled mushroom baguette. Even brunch specials, like a fantastic smoked whitefish eggs benedict, embedded with their spinach-artichoke dip, topped with poached eggs and an heirloom tomato hollandaise gets a side of stuffed mushrooms. The only things safe are dessert: like lemon poundcake or the fantastic salted caramel gelato from Zarlengo's on the South Side.
"The philosophy is if there's a way to get mushrooms crammed into it we'll do it."
"Now River Valley is obviously a great spot for brunch, maybe get a sandwich, a little snack, or stop and get some groceries, and pick up some fresh mushrooms; go home and make dinner yourself.
They're also close to opening up a small wine room for private dinners. They also are now making bagels, including a mushroom flavor.
For more information:
River Valley Farmer's Table
1820 west Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
restaurants, steve dolinsky
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