Sometimes it’s hard to find a quick yet satisfying vegetarian meal when on the road. I was lucky enough to be stay at a hotel within walking distance of a Caffe Baci in Chicago. It is the perfect grab-and-go lunch location offering a wide variety of freshly-made items.
Inside, Caffe Baci is light and airy. However, even on a cold day, people were taking advantage of the ample outside seating.
Once inside, you grab a tray and step up to various stations. The menu is quite extensive and includes hot entrees, sandwiches, pastas, pizzettes, soups and more. I had absolutely no trouble finding something unique to eat. Even better, there are always two “soups of the day” but one of the daily selections is always vegetarian.
The colorful spread of salads made it hard to decide which one to get. Twelve of the eighteen salads offered were vegetarian. We’re not talking leafy green salads – we’re talking mediterranean potatoes, grilled vegetables, curried couscous, and pasta primavera.
I opted for the seven grain salad which was a “mixture of grains in delicate exotic spices.” It was the perfect companion to my sandwich as it wasn’t overly filling and the spices were indeed “delicate”.
The sandwiches were also beautifully on display. Again, I had no trouble finding something to eat…four of the fifteen sandwiches and paninis offered were completely vegetarian.
I had the Amore panini which was served on fresh ciabatta bread with “fresh mozzarella, marinated artichoke hearts, grilled red peppers, slices tomatoes, and basil leaves.” I’ve had plenty of tomato and mozzarella sandwiches in my time and Caffe Baci serves one of the best. I think it’s the addition of artichokes and red peppers that win me over.
Best of all, the location I visited is only a few short blocks away from Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. If you’re looking for a quick gourmet lunch (at non-gourmet prices), stop by Caffe Baci. Then head outside into the park for an impromptu picnic next time you are in Chicago.