Today I fell in love. I finally visited Chicago's Downtown Farmstand on my lunch break. It's basically a farmer's market indoors. They carry local produce, foods from various Chicago bakeries and ethnic markets, and organic dairy products. They even have a full service coffee bar. I went there to hunt down some Nicole's Divine Crackers that I had recently read about. Sure enough, they had a couple varieties. I bought the "tomato, tomahto" flavor and lemme tell ya, I wish I had heard about these sooner. So crunchy and thick, it reminded me of pita chip, but better. Full of flavor, and absolutely worthy of their Chicago magazine's "Best Cracker" title. These crackers are definitely perfect for a savory dip. Nicole even has some dip recipes on her site. If the crackers were good enough, the customer service is outstanding. Since the only location near me is in the loop, I wasn't sure if the little store would carry the gluten free line. Nicole got back to me herself and told me just where to find them. Thanks, girl!
While at the Farmstand, I also found some treats. The folks at Misericordia's The Hearts & Flour Bakery had flourless chocolate pecan cookies for sale. I bought one and was blown away. I've had flourless chocolate cake before (obviously), and I've even made flourless cookies. Nothing compared to this goodie. Crisp, yet still soft and crumbly like a cookie. The chocolate wasn't overpowering, super rich, or powdery tasting - it was perfect. I loved it so much, I was compelled to email them and tell them how much their cookies rock. I got a response right away thanking me for supporting their cause, and that they plan on introducing more gluten free cookies very soon. I told them to keep me in the loop! These were so good, I cannot wait to try their other gluten free flavors.
Last but not least, I found some date rolls from Kamdar Plaza at the Farmstand. Made from just dates, coconut, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, these are great sweets without all the added sugar or other preservatives and whatnot. I shared them with a few people and they too loved them! The other products on Kamdar Plaza's website look great. Just wish it wasn't so far away. I'll have to check next time I'm at the Farmstand to see if they carry any of Kamdar's other products.